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New Madison area lighting efficiency think tank comprises lighting designers, researchers and health professionals Madison, WI – Individuals, contractors and groups wanting to learn how to save more energy with their electric lighting will soon have a valuable new resource. The Midwest Lighting Institute, a lighting efficiency think tank of experts from multiple disciplines, has been formed with a two-pronged goal: teaching how to use today’s new lighting technologies and demonstrating how energy consumption for lighting can be reduced by 70 percent immediately and up to 90 percent in two or three years. “What this is about is educating the public on how to use these new sources of light for the interiors and exteriors of their buildings,” said Rodney Heller, Lead Lighting Designer at Energy Performance Lighting and the institute’s founder. “The Midwest Lighting Institute will teach people to use these new light sources in a hands-on environment and back it up with lighting science.” The institute’s location, near Madison, Wisconsin, is also significant. While research interest on the east and west coasts is generally utility and energy driven, the same has not been true in America’s heartland. “The upper Midwest has not had such cohesiveness on energy policy, especially between all of the utilities, yet this region has the highest consumption of coal burning electricity,” said Brian Liebel, of The Lighting Partnership in West Palm Beach, Florida. “It’s also probably one of the worst in terms of the use of energy for lighting and electrical use in buildings. There’s a real need in this area to focus on energy conservation from the point of view of conserving resources also to get a more dependable electric grid.” In addition to Heller and Liebel, Midwest Lighting Institute members will include Richard Moss, Senior Associate Dean at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine; Kurt Zimmerman, Director of Biotechnology and Graduate Study at the University of Wisconsin; and Dr. Steven Lockley, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Neuroscientist at Brigham Women’s Hospital, also plans to join Institute roster.