Our art director said, at nearly a.m. this morning, after reading a first version of the editorial, 'Don't tell them how tired we are. People like to think things are effortless.' It's now 3:00 a.m. (and several unsuccessful rounds of revisions later), and I've decided to be entirely candid anyway: We're tired.

More than half of our seven yearly issues-four to be exact-have been produced in less than five months, a feat of no small proportion with a group our size, and with a week-long trip to Light+Building and the A|L Residential supplement wedged in there. When this editorial is written, the last page as usual, it will be a sigh of relief heard around the world.

The wonderful-and sustaining-thing is, despite the demands of the last few months, we've still laughed a lot, which actually often does make this feel effortless. And here is the message that must inevitably be contained in these eleventh-hour (or third-hour, as the case may be) hymns: if you're not having a good time, what exactly is the point? A committed staff, with a great sense of humor, goes a long way toward helping one reach seemingly oversized goals. They-Elizabeth, Sallie, Jennifer, Casey, and Carrie-deserve a public thank you for their late-night efforts and enduring levity in the thick of it all.

I'm doubly lucky, however. It is also the community around which A|L revolves that makes this project fun. Put a bunch of lighting practitioners in a room, and in my experience, you inevitably get a party. You also find yourself surrounded by creative energy and interesting conversation-about light obviously, but it often stretches beyond those confines. At a recent event, I found I share years of Latin instruction with the managing director of Erco. Who knew?

A|L genuinely appreciates its relationships with the designers and manufacturers that make up this industry-and not just for the aforementioned good times. It is these essential connections that keep the magazine a relevant resource, and thanks to the genuine good will and accessibility of our friends and contacts in the field, aid significantly in making this effort appear effortless. With the May issue, we have rotated the editorial advisory board, to include four new personalities that we look forward to counting among this network of supporters: Gregg Ander, chief architect of Southern California Edison; Francesca Bettridge, principal of Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design; Robert Davis, senior instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder; and Mark Loeffler, the lighting and sustainable design director for environmental management and consulting firm The RETEC Group. Beyond general distinction in the industry, these practitioners represent, in their professional focus, a few of the issues that weigh most on the industry's collective mind: daylighting and sustainability, high design, successful practice management, education, and research. We heartily thank our previous board-James Benya, Howard Brandston, Renee Cooley, Craig DiLouie, and Kenneth Douglas-whom we have come to count as friends. (We are thrilled to have Jim and Howard stay on with us in the capacity of editors at large.)

With that said, I am just a few words away from a short break, before the exhausting but fun-filled days I've come to look forward to each year. See you all at Lightfair.


emilie w. sommerhoff


june/july Exchange Question

The dark sky movement has gained momentum in recent years. How do you feel it is impacting the practice of lighting design and manufacturing?

send responses to exchange@archlighting.com