Smart Lighting Review Featured on Cover of Advanced Optical Materials

Achievement date: 

An article co-authored by Robert Karlicek, director of the NSF-funded Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications ERC (LESA), headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic University, was featured on the cover of the Best of Advanced Optical Materials issue, published September 2014. “Toward Smart and Ultra-efficient Solid State Lighting” was co-authored by Jeff Tsao, a member of the ERC’s Scientific Advisory Board.


The publication was a collection of the most outstanding articles on the topic from the preceding 12 months. The article reviewed the potential for solid-state, ultra-efficient lighting to enable significant benefits in human health and productivity. The piece highlighted the ERC’s leadership in developing smart lighting systems that have adaptive and controllable properties.


The article reviews the technological challenges associated with achieving ultra-efficient electroluminescence at the semiconductor level. It goes on to discuss the challenges associated with achieving smartness at the lamp level, such as control of light flux and spectra in time and space.

It is important to emphasize that smart and ultra-efficient characteristics can be achieved at the same time—they are not an either/or proposition. The route to ultra-efficiency brings with it the potential for smartness, which brings with it the potential for ultra-efficiency at the lighting system level. The long-term ultimate route to both might well be color-mixed RYGB (red-yellow-green-blue) lasers.