Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Preparing New York Manufacturers & Rate Payers for the Solid-State Lighting Market(ST9424-1)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-LRC


Along with improved efficiency, solid-state light (SSL) sources have the potential to operate 50,000 hours or more, and their operating life is unaffected by frequent on off switching. Integrated into the envelope of buildings, these light sources could provide a very sustainable building solution with low environmental impact. SSL technologies are easily tunable, the color appearance/spectrum can be varied based on time of day or activity. They require very little power to operate and radiate little or no heat, infrared, or ultraviolet radiation. SSL sources also contain no mercury or other known harmful compounds. Progressive lighting manufacturers, specifiers, and customers are interested in developing new, innovative, and energy-efficient lighting products and installation using LEDs (light emitting diodes), but there is a void of information about product performance characteristics and current lighting testing procedures. Performance metrics do not meaningfully characterize their performance. Collaborative work with industry and government partners in Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST), and other stakeholders in New York State could help advance this promising lighting technology.

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Project Description

The project will (1) evaluate LEDs and LED systems to understand performance issues; (2) develop recommendations for measurement procedures, metrics, and testing protocols for LED technologies and systems; (3) share these procedures and metrics with key stakeholders in New York State and around the country to help build industry consensus; (4) develop application guidelines to help end users in New York State select and apply LED products and systems effectively; and (5) provide information that will help market transformation program managers at NYSERDA and other public benefit organizations promote the use of LEDs in appropriate applications.


LED lighting has the potential to revolutionize the way people light their homes and commercial buildings. LED technologies are experiencing rapid improvements both in efficiency and color quality, and LED lighting systems of the future promise to reduce lighting energy use by 50% for conventional fluorescent light sources, and 90% for incandescent sources. The project will encourage earlier adoption of LED lighting systems than would be otherwise possible without market intervention. The project will provide manufacturers, specifiers, and end-users with information they need to develop and/or specify effective LED lighting systems and help prepare the market for innovative LED applications. The project team is uniquely qualified to perform the work, and the proposal includes excellent opportunities for outreach and technical transfer.

Project Results

NYSERDA’s membership in ASSIST supports research studying lighting systems and components research; human factors research; field demonstrations and market transformation activities; education; and industry collaboration. Publications that were released as a result of ASSIST funding 2006-2010 included more than 21 peer-reviewed journal articles. A sample of the most recent publications include technical analyses of heat transfer mechanisms in recessed LED luminaries, guidelines for successful LED applications; recommended life testing protocols, accelerated life test methods for LED drivers, LED luminaries performance metrics, and evaluation methods optimizing remote phosphor LEDs, etc. The ASSIST program also sponsors a three-day, hands-on intensive course for lighting fixture designers and manufacturers, lighting specifiers, and other professionals interested in learning more about LEDs and LED lighting systems and applications. These training sessions are held twice a year at the Lighting Research Center, Troy NY. In 2010 there were 18 ASSIST industry sponsors and two ASSIST government sponsors.


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-LRC
21 Union St
Troy, NY 12180

Principle Investigator

Nadarajah Narendran

Universities Involved

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Project Type:

Information Dissemination

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Solid State

NYSERDA Contact Information

Marsha Walton


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST9424-1

Last Updated: 2/8/2011 1