Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

SSL Patterns for Multi-Family Housing(25783)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-LRC


Lighting accounts for over 20% of the energy used in New York State, with residential lighting being the 2nd highest consumer of lighting energy, representing 27% of all energy used for lighting in New York State. In New York State 37% of the population lives in multi-family housing units. This represents over 7 million housing units (e.g., apartments) in over 2.6 million buildings statewide. The vast majority of these buildings, over 2.1 million, were built prior to 1970. Therefore, it is likely that these buildings have a significant number of outdated and inefficient lighting systems installed. Residential lighting is the least efficient of all building sectors, and is dominated by the inefficient incandescent lamp. Newer technologies, such as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), have created new opportunities for energy savings, but there is lack of knowledge about how to best use these new sources effectively. A significant portion of the multi-family housing in New York State is administered by public housing authorities or other public entities. These organizations do not have specialized expertise in state-of-the-art lighting products and lighting design.

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Project Description

The objective of this project is to provide public housing authorities, and other entities that maintain multi-family housing structures, with a lighting case study that demonstrates opportunities to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the lighting in the public multi-family housing sector by using solid-state lighting systems coupled with controls. The Contractor will assist owners and managers of multi-family housing units to assess opportunities to use LEDs in the common areas, and design, install and evaluate LEDs at a demonstration site in New York State. The results will be documented in a Design Evaluation Lighting Testing and Applications (DELTA) report and distributed via web postings. The Contractor also will host two seminars to educate multi-family building administrators and operators about the efficiency and other benefits of replacing inefficient outdated lighting systems with new solid-state lighting alternatives.


Residential lighting accounts for approximately 17,554 gigawatt hours (gWhs) of electric energy consumption per year in New York State. Thirty seven percent, 6,495 gWh of electric energy, is used in multi-family housing. If incandescent lighting currently installed in multi-family housing were replaced by solid-state lighting and controls, more than 1,169 gWhs could be saved statewide.

Project Results


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

Principle Investigator

Russell Leslie

Universities Involved

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Project Type:

Product Demonstration

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Solid State

NYSERDA Contact Information

Marsha Walton


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 6/21/2012
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 25783

Last Updated: 9/29/2014