Each of ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING'S six editors and their editorial teams have put their stamp on the magazine over its 25-year history. And although there have been changes in everything from editorial direction to style, from logo treatment to page layout, two things have remained constant: a commitment to lighting and a commitment to editorial quality.

The Early Days: Charles Linn
“It is my pleasure to welcome you to ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING,” began Charles Linn in his first editorial for the newly launched publication in November 1986. At the time, there was no magazine dedicated strictly to lighting from the perspective of both design and technology. The discipline was just finding its legs professionally, and the need for “a regular source of practical information and ideas devoted solely to the subject of lighting for architecture.”

From the start, the magazine, which was monthly until it became a quarterly in January 1992, set itself a high bar. Organized into five sections—Cover Story, Articles, Statements, Columns, and Departments—coverage was left purposely broad to address the many facets of architectural lighting. Departments were one of the magazine's best editorial components and realized Linn's desire to create a magazine that was a valuable resource for designers.

Linn was very good at enlisting members of the lighting community to write for the publication. For example, the Design department series, which discussed basic lighting design techniques, was authored by lighting designer Gary Gordon. The Parts department, authored by lighting applications engineer Sidney M. Pankin, examined the latest product developments from lamps to luminaires. Departments also included a section of book reviews written by David Lord, a professor of architecture at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif. The inaugural article, “Building a library of architects' lighting references,” outlined many of the titles, such as G.Z. Brown's Sun, Wind and Light: Architectural Design Strategies (Wiley, 1985), which are still used today as architectural and lighting resources. In 1987, as computers began to make early inroads into lighting design practice, Lord began to write the Computer department, which featured programs such as the Lumen Micro.

Daylighting was a driving force behind the magazine's early content. As the magazine built momentum, it included a on daylighting in the Departments section, which discussed principles and techniques, and together formed a primer on the subject.

Many of the first projects featured in the magazine also employed daylighting as one of their main lighting strategies. And articles would often include supporting materials such as lighting-calculation charts, footcandle contour diagrams, and building plans and details.

But editorial discussions were not just limited to projects and product reviews. There was a concerted effort to connect with the industry and to report on conferences and events. In the January 1987 issue, a recap of the 1986 International Daylighting Conference brought to light the “changing views on the use of daylighting for energy conservation.”

Early issues also spent time providing basics about the makeup of the profession. The May 1987 article “Groups are sources of lighting information,” provided an overview of organizations such as the International Association of Lighting Designers, the Illuminating Engineering Society, the Designers Lighting Forums, and the Daylighting Network of North America.

ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING faced the first of many moves when founding company Aster Publishing sold the magazine to Gralla Publications in October 1989. The change was significant for several reasons. First, it moved the magazine's editorial offices from Portland, Ore., to New York City. Second, it grouped AL with other design and construction titles in Gralla's portfolio, such as Contract magazine and Facilities Design & Management. Third, it meant a change in editors. Linn would stay on as executive editor through the end of 1990, but the main editorial responsibilities would fall to Wanda Jankowski, a seasoned writer who had already authored several books on lighting.

Linn had established an important resource for architects and lighting designers interested in lighting. With this solid foundation in place, the magazine would continue to grow.

November 1989–May 1995: Wanda Jankowski
The November 1989 issue of AL reflected the magazine's shift from West Coast to East Coast. To mark the transition, the publication's layout was redesigned and its content restructured. The magazine also started to feature more design projects. Design Features was now the principal focus followed by sections such as Technique and Columns.

Like Linn before her, Jankowski was also good at tasking lighting designers with articles. One such collaboration was with noted landscape lighting designer Jan Lenox Moyer, and the November 1989 issue was the first of many for which she would write. In fact, several of Moyer's articles were recognized with certificates of merit by the Jesse H. Neal Awards—recognized as the Pulitzer Prize of trade journalism—and this editorial recognition would foreshadow architectural lighting's continued editorial success and recognition.

But perhaps the biggest single difference between Linn's and Jankowski's time as editors was the economic environment in which they worked. By 1990, a recession was under way, and one of Jankowski's editorial strengths was addressing these issues, and others such as energy, in her editor's comment. She provided an astute understanding of the issue at hand and its impact on the lighting profession.

Jankowski also excelled in broadening the magazine's scope to reflect the globalization of the industry. A special section, “Lighting Abroad,” in the April 1990 issue highlighted the work of U.S. lighting designers—Jules Horton, Charles Stone, and Lesley Wheel—working on projects overseas, as well as a profile of Motoko Ishii's lighting for the Tokyo Tower.

The magazine devoted extensive editorial discussion to energy. The May 1990 issue included a section assessing energy codes such as Title 24 and the New York State Energy Code, and their impact on lighting. Authored by Jankowski along with lighting designers Helen Diemer and Jim Benya, this section rooted the theoretical in the practical, and discussed codes from the designer's perspective.

Another significant development was that the magazine served as the co-sponsor of the IALD's awards program. This relationship would last through 2002 and it enabled the magazine to feature the IALD award-winning projects in its July/Aug issue each year. For a time, beginning in 1992, al also became Lightfair's official show directory. Both instances are examples of how the magazine has consistently connected to the industry beyond the articles in each printed issue.

After a successful run, Jankowski left the magazine to become executive editor of Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine, and passed the reigns to Craig DiLouie.

May 1995–December 1997: Craig DiLouie
DiLouie's tenure with the magazine as editor was short but productive. The magazine continued to excel in its combined coverage of design and technical topics. Special Sections were dedicated to energy savings, lighting controls, and information delivery in an increasingly digital world.

As editor, DiLouie was also responsible for a number of new initiatives. Aware of the growth of the Internet, he set in place a sponsorship of inter.Light, an online product database. He also initiated the Quality of Lighting campaign that targeted facility managers to educate them about the value of good lighting. DiLouie's strengths lay in his ability to assess the industry, and it was no surprise that by January 1998 he had decided to move over to the business side, becoming the magazine's associate publisher and executive editor.