In keeping with ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING's editorial mission—to promote dialogue in all forms—it is gratifying when an article prompts spontaneous discussion among members of the lighting community. Such an instance occurred—an e-mail exchange between Dawn Hollingsworth, Jim Benya, Francesca Bettridge, and Gary Flamm—in response to Bettridge's Sept/Oct 2007 article, “Observations From Practice.” The discussion also continues the Sept/Oct Exchange topic: How do you balance the design process while adhering to energy code requirements? Exchange topic responses are always welcome from all readers.

Replies and proposed topics can be submitted directly to

In case you missed “Observations from Practice,”—a good read.

Thanks for making this article a relevant part of our discussion. I'm fond of the author [Bettridge] and consider her firm's work among the finest being practiced.

That said, I'd like to observe that among her criticisms, many are 90.1 specific. I believe that 90.1 and IECC are inferior to Title 24, and her comments support my belief. For instance, the RP-1 allowance and outdoor lighting restrictions that are not adaptation and environmentally based are examples of how badly 90.1 lags [behind] Title 24 in evolution.

However, a larger point in the article is that lighting codes are unfair. She uses examples such as toilet rooms (I agree with this one) and rooms with dark wood walls to illustrate how the code does not allow for common everyday lighting problems. Here's where maybe we have a departure in opinion. Lighting codes are not intended to restrict specific spaces, so when a particular space needs more [illumination], it needs to be taken from savings elsewhere. For example:

  • Dark finishes make the process harder for lighting, but the cause is poor architecture relative to the environment. The code is intended to improve the performance of the entire building, not just the lighting.
  • Exemptions are given when a case has been made (i.e., gaming areas) that, due to the process, it is not beneficial to regulate lighting power. These unique cases, which also include television lighting, etc., are the result of development committee consensus and a public process.
  • The point I most wish to make is the historically feeble involvement of lighting designers in the development process. I am sorry to say that until only this year, the IALD has left its participation up to a small group of volunteers—the principal players include Hy Kaplan, Nancy Clanton, Ron Kurtz, JoAnne Lindsey, Hayden McKay, Mark Loeffler, Naomi Miller, Kathy Abernathy, myself, and a few others. Whether it's Title 24, IECC, 90.1, or LEED, until only recently you'll more than likely find lighting design relying upon the personal skills, influence, time, and funding of this group.

    But thanks to an enlightened board and officers, the IALD is now stepping up and putting money as well as people behind a purposeful effort to have more influence. It is overdue and badly needed. As a person who has often fought for more lighting power, time and time again, against powerful pressures to reduce lighting, it will be great to have other IALD representatives keeping the pressure on the regulatory process to properly and fairly address lighting.