LRC launches interactive website that guides efficient residential lighting design

May 21, 2013
NYSERDA-funded web tool helps homeowners to lighting designers consider different lighting installations in the various rooms typically found in a home, and choose products and design elements that are both functional and efficient.

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has developed a new interactive website entitled "Lighting patterns for homes" that provides guidance on energy-efficient home lighting. NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) funded the development of the site to encourage the adoption of energy-efficient lighting and to ensure such installations provide the required lighting functionality in the various rooms in a home.

The new website is targeted at everyone from homeowners to lighting-design professionals and everyone in between such as contractors and builders. The site is segmented by room, and shows how various lighting options will look using renderings from 3-D modeling software. Users can compare different light sources, such as energy-efficient LED-based lamps and fixtures, and also how to best use layers of lighting such as combining task and ambient lighting.

"This groundbreaking tool demonstrates the innovation that is driving development of New York State's clean-energy economy under Governor Cuomo," said Francis J. Murray, Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA. "The Lighting Research Center has once again proven itself to be a leader in the energy-efficient lighting industry. This site is a great resource for all New Yorkers who want to learn how to reduce their energy costs through lighting measures."

While the program may have been designed with New Yorkers in mind, most of the information provided is applicable anywhere. Some of the cost-comparison data is specific to the area. The site includes a calculator to estimate up-front costs, energy savings, pay back, and carbon reduction.

The LRC provided designs for 36 of the commonly found areas in the house ranging from bedrooms or living rooms to specialty areas such as hallways or home offices. The site compares traditional designs with 134 scenarios that provide equal or better lighting and better efficiency. The prototypical designs were created by professional LRC designers.

"Many homeowners still rely on traditional incandescent lighting, even though more efficient options have been available for years," said LRC research scientist Jennifer Brons. "We hope this website helps people save energy and money with improved lighting, and also prepare for the phase-out of some conventional bulbs that do not meet the new energy efficiency standards."