Lighting Research Center

The World's Leading Center for Lighting Research and Education

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Hello, looking for the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)’s website? You’re in the right place, but the LRC’s main website has moved somewhere else – the link to that is right below. By the way, you can also check out other places similar to the LRC on this page before you go, if you’d like.

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Illuminating Engineering Technology

Having been established in 1906 and being the official technical society and the educational authority of the lighting industry, the IES is focused on advancing and promoting good lighting practices, standards, and technology for the benefit of industry professionals, consumers, and the public in general. See what’s new, learn more about research projects, find workshops and other educational opportunities, and more on their website.

International Landscape Lighting Institute

Located on-campus at the University of Oklahoma, the illi are a non-profit, educational foundation with a focus on advancing and promoting both the art and technology of landscape lighting. They offer intensive courses, along with opportunities for membership and sponsorship. Visit their website to learn more.

National Lighting Bureau

A non-profit founded in 1976, the NLB promotes and advances High-Benefit Lighting – defined as “efficient lighting designed to optimize human performance, health, safety, and commerce” – and act as a guide and educational and professional resource for professionals and individuals with an academic or practical interest. Use their directory to find lighting designers and professionals (or sign up to be listed in it), check out articles, guides, videos and other resources, find out more on their website).

Facilities.Net – Lighting

Facilities.Net is a rich resource for Facilities Management Professionals. You can get extensive information on a variety of research, educational opportunities, job listings, salary information, building design, construction, management, and maintenance. The above link takes you to their section on resources related to lighting.

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As Featured in the News

Spotlight on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center

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Want to Sleep Better? Then You Need to Pay Attention to This One Thing

Light can affect the quality of your sleep.

Picture this: it’s the end of the day, you’ve just gotten back home from work, you’re tired, and you want to just sit down and unwind. What do you do? Plop down on the couch with a cold one in one hand and the remote control in the other? Grab your phone or tablet and start going through Reddit or YouTube? Or both, because today was a tough one, and you need some serious de-stressing?

Plenty of us have had days like that, and what we all have in common are the screens through which we consume our digital media drugs of choice.

But what many may not know – just like I didn’t know back then – was that what I was doing every day, late in the day on my tablet was having a huge impact on my ability to fall asleep, along with the quality of said sleep (e.g., whether you wake up refreshed an energized, or you still feel wrecked even after what you’d think was a decent night’s rest) – which winds up making the next day even more stressful.

That’s how we get to the question: how can I get better sleep at night?

Well, it’s time to read on.

The Wrong Kind of Light Can Lead to Sleepless Nights – And You’re Getting a Lot of It Every Night

According to Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, “Light is one of the most important external factors that can affect sleep”. The screens on our gadgets all emit light, and that’s the problem – it’s emitting the wrong kind of light if you want to be able to fall asleep easily.

Your smartphone and tablet could be causing you to lose sleep

Most of our gadgets and screens emit light that is short-wavelength enriched, meaning that it has a high concentration of blue light. Being exposed to high levels of blue light inhibits your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that is instrumental in helping you fall asleep. So if you frequently use your smartphone or tablet to read or browse the Internet before bed, you might be making it a lot harder for yourself to fall asleep!

How to Make It Easier to Fall Asleep

The good news is that there are ways to limit the blue light being emitted by your device’s screen: Mac and iOS users can use Night Shift mode, Windows 10 users recently got the Night light feature, and there are third-party apps that can automatically set your device’s screen to reduce blue light emissions every day, if yours doesn’t happen to have a built-in way to do so, such as f.lux for PC users, and the Twilight app for Android.

These features and apps work by automatically determining when the sun rises and sets, depending on your location, and adjusting the amount of blue light emitted by your screen accordingly, dialing it down come evening.

So if you like to read or check up on your social media feeds before getting your shut-eye, these can help make it a little bit easier for you to fall asleep and get a better night’s rest.

About the Author: Andre Salvatierra is a freelance writer who loves culture, technology, well-designed things, and great experiences. You can find him on Medium and Twitter.

Article References: : “External Factors that Influence Sleep” – Healthy Sleep, Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, December 18, 2007; “Q&A: Why Is Blue Light before Bedtime Bad for Sleep?” – Jessica Schmerler, Scientific America, September 1, 2015