In response to Willard Warren's letter in April/May :
I agree completely. In fact, the Times Square Development Corporation mandated that all of the buildings in its district have extensive signage. Of course we must use energy wisely. But after all, that is what creative lighting does. It excites, it stimulates, it creates, it sees, it composes, it reposes, it makes living better. I hope that Bill, A|L, the AIA and especially the IESNA are sending that message to everyone in Washington that is involved in establishing energy codes and usage.
on the other hand:
While many lighting professionals find it challenging to create drama given the code restrictions they must adhere to, it is nonetheless possible to do so. Codes aren't in place to 'squelch creativity,' which seems to thrive under adversity in any case, but to help make the world we live in more livable. Being conscious of energy usage is timely and important, given our current political/global situation.
In the very issue in which Warren's letter is published, refer to Barrier Motors where designers dealt with stringent Washington State energy codes, as well as the subdued lighting requirements for the Michigan Vietnam Memorial, in sensitive, dramatic and aesthetically pleasing ways.
Great lighting in the hands of skilled designers is indeed an art form, but that art is neither as one-dimensional as Mr. Warren seems to feel (e.g.,'retail, dining and hotel spaces cannot create excitement under the new lighting codes'), nor as lacking in political-historical context (e.g.,'Where is the provision for an occasional 'gas-guzzler? We need...a little indulgence to brighten up our leisure time. It generates lasting memories...for all leisure activities'). What is actually generated is a thoughtless use of resources, an indulgence no one, especially Americans, should be encouraged to expand upon.
Many leisure experiences do not require lighting other than sunlight, and some require an absence of artificial light altogether, like stargazing, for example. I like my lighting to be aesthetically pleasing, environmentally sound and economical. That is both possible and reasonable.
Buchanan Architects, New Haven, CT