Community Service

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Let There Be Light

Sam Goldman knows what it means to live in the dark. For four years, the young Peace Corps volunteer inhabited a remote rural community in the West African country of Benin. Kerosene lamps were the primary light source in this off-grid village. One night in 2003, a snake came out of the shadows and bit him. Read more

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The Meaning of Light

Lighting designer Chad Groshart brings light and power to remote villages in Nepal Read more

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Lighting Designers Form Humanitarian Group
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Lighting the Way: LEDs for the Developing World

In the last several years, the practice of socially responsible architecture has received mainstream attention. Architects and designers are using their talent and skill to create affordable and sustainable designs for communities in need. The work of the late Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio led the way. Bryan Bell's Design Corps carries on this tradition, while Cameron Sinclair's Architecture for Humanity brings the design world and the relief world together on a global scale. But where do lighting and energy issues fit into a movement that has focused primarily on the physical building? The work of the Light Up the World Foundation (, founded by Dave Irvine-Halliday, is addressing this question. Read more

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This year, architectural lighting's editors were compelled by the good intentions of several manufacturers to make the world a better place-with products that give a nod to the ideas of reuse and recycling, or that offer a hand to struggling communities in places such as Columbia, Indonesia, and Africa. While not an overwhelming trend, it is a rustling in the bushes that deserves attention. We also recognized the ever-intensifying industry attention to products that embrace the notion of daylight as an essential design tool. Lastly, we were very interested to learn of a new ballast, designed to aid the overburdened power grid-and in the process, save energy-currently being developed by the Lighting Research Center. Read more

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