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2015 News

ARPA-E Selects Plenoptic TOF Technology @ LESA

The LESA team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of New Mexico in collaboration with industry partner ABB was recently selected to receive a $2.375M award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Saving Energy Nationwide in Structures with Occupancy Recognition (SENSOR) program.  (more…)

Circadian, Sleep and Neurobehavioral Performance Engineering @ LESA

Human circadian rhythm regulation is linked to many physiological processes, including sleep. Circadian disruption is known to have negative impacts on health and may lead to lower human performance and higher risk of failure during critical tasks.  By understanding the relationships between human circadian processes, sleep processes, and cognitive performance, improved management of lighting and task scheduling can be developed to favorably impact overall human health and performance. (more…)

LESA and Cornell to Collaborate on $2.42M Program for Advanced Urban Farming

LESA and the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) team at Cornell University have been awarded a $2.42M research program under the NSF “Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water” (INFEWS) program. The awarded research project, Strategic FEW and Workforce Investments to Enhance Viability of Controlled Environment Agriculture in Metropolitan Areas, will develop a multi-dimensional toolkit to guide the development of metropolitan based CEA. (more…)

LESA featured in Light Matters Newscast

LESA was recently featured in the August 2017 edition of Light Matters, an online newscast at  The segments highlight LESA research in the Smart Conference Room Testbed and Plant Physiology Lab and features interviews with Center Director Robert Karlicek and graduate student Tianna-Kaye Woodstock.  Two segments are available to view, A ‘Smart’ Lighting Revolution and a bonus feature Light Matters Extra: Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications.

June 5, 2017

LESA, Cornell and NYSERDA announces the launch of a multidisciplinary consortium to reduce electricity use in greenhouses up to 70%. Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering (GLASE), a seven-year $5 million project funded by NYSERDA, is being launched to transform the way greenhouses operate reducing both energy cost and carbon footprint.  Dr. Tessa Pocock, Senior Research Scientist at LESA will lead the work at Rensselear.

July 14, 2017

Recent advances in solid state lighting technology are enabling the development of ‘designer’ crops, according to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute plant physiology expert Dr. Tessa Pocock, who serves as a senior research scientist at the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA). The impact of lighting on plants is the core focus for Pocock, who conducts research in both academic and industry settings around the mechanism of photosynthesis on plant development and regulation by light for traditional greenhouse crops and the emerging field of medicinal plants. Recently, Pocock and her team received a $25,000 grant from Dr. William Beers, Black Belt/Senior Systems Engineer at Current, powered by GE, to support continued work on sensing and signaling in plants.

March 4, 2017

LESA Alum Dr. Jessica Morrison has formed a startup, Helux Lighting, Inc to bring dynamic optical control to the market through microtechnology developed at Boston University.  These micro-mirrors are an example of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) that can steer a beam of reflected light by applying a voltage.  The tiny mirrors steer light faster that the human eye can detect and facilitate rapid control over light position, brightness, and illumination area.  The competitive advantage of Helux technology is a tenfold reduction in size and lower cost when compared to existing mechanical systems for light control.

February 16, 2017

Industry Meets Academia: LESA has a Record-Setting Attendance at Annual Conference.  The Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) held their 8th Annual Industry-Academia Days Conference on February 8-9, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, NY. This annual conference brought together LESA researchers and students to showcase innovations in research initiatives and educational activities to industry representatives. This year’s conference had over 100 industry attendees from approximately 64 distinct organizations and was the largest conference we have held to date.

February 8, 2017

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has signed a sponsored research agreement with Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc., the leading North American supplier of LED-based lighting solutions.  As part of this project, the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) will develop light protocols for specialized LED lighting with integrated feedback for efficient plant growth. (more…)