In March 2008, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) released a position statement titled “Banning the Incandescent Bulb” about the energy legislation passed in December 2007 (See “Legislating Lighting,” Architectural Lighting, Jan/Feb 2008, p. 18) that will phase out the use of general service incandescent and halogen lamps. The IALD statement lists several points that the organization feels need to be addressed regarding the lamp phase outs. These include: 1. a grace period to allow for newer technologies to be developed that can replace incandescent in all applications; 2. realizing that some existing energy codes already effectively have banned inefficient incandescent lamps from new commercial installations; 3. not banning the lamps before the environmental impact and carbon footprint of each replacement technology is understood; 4. allowing for a continuance of incandescent technology when products cannot achieve appropriate lighting goals; 5. ensuring that replacement light sources are cost effective; and 6. stressing that banning inefficient light sources will reduce lighting energy use, but more effective use of daylight and control technologies also will be needed.

Kathy Abernathy, chair of the IALD's Energy and Sustainability Committee, says lately IALD members have come together to create one voice in regard to energy efficiency. “We felt we needed to comment on this,” Abernathy says about the energy legislation. “We need to make position statements on what is going on out there so the public knows we're here, and we're ready to play.” For the past six months, she notes that the IALD has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on various efforts, such as its Retailer Energy Alliance program, as well as supplying feedback on how IALD members are using solid-state lighting.

The statement release was a bit delayed after the passing of the energy legislation, Abernathy admits, but it has gotten people talking about an important issue that the IALD as a whole needed to address. “It's important for the IALD to get the message out that not only are IALD lighting designers out there, but they can make energy-efficient buildings with good lighting,” Abernathy says. She adds that today, design and energy efficiency go hand in hand, resulting in lighting designers having “the expertise to not only give you a great lighting design, but to make sure it's energy efficient and sustainable.”