More than 300 lighting professionals descended on Savannah , GA. , November 9-11, for the 2008 Annual Conference of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America ( IES ). Aptly named, “Day & Night—An Exploration of Light: Moving Ideas Forward,” the general sessions covered two topics of growing importance to the lighting community: daylighting and the dark sky.
The conference began with the presentation of the 2008 IIDA Awards and an overview of the new IES Illumination Awards program launching in 2009. The keynote address was given by Emad Afifi, Professor of Architecture and interim Dean at the Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD), which was recently awarded the 2008 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Prize for the Building Systems Integration and Performance Studio, established and led by Dean Afifi. Speaking at the historic Lucas Theatre, Afifi welcomed the Society to Savannah, discussed the city’s history, especially from an urban planning perspective, and described some of the programs offered to SCAD students.
The first of four General Sessions featured Jim West, Dean, College of Architecture , at Mississippi State University . West tackled one of the industry’s current hot topics: integrated design. All members of the project team (architect, engineer, lighting designer, builder and client) have an ownership stake in daylighting. The importance of good building and lighting design is emphasized by the fact that we spend 90 percent of our time indoors. West’s advice to the project team: treat the building as a luminaire. Lighting, but especially daylighting, needs to be an integral and early part of a project team’s building design if it is to benefit a building’s form, function, use of energy and long-term impact on the environment.
Dr. Joan Roberts, Department Chair of Natural Science at Fordham University spoke during the second General Session. Her discussion explained how light and darkness are both beneficial to human physiology and how this knowledge can help lighting practitioners design lighting for homes, workplaces and hospitals.
Monday’s activities concluded with the IES Progress Committee presenting the 2008 Progress Report, highlighting the year’s most innovative lighting products. The presentation included a tribute to the late Michael Klein, a Progress Committee member. Thirty-six table top exhibitors were on hand to showcase Progress Report innovations.
The third General Session on Tuesday morning addressed concerns about the dark sky. Astronomer Richard Wainscoat from the University of Hawaii used spectacular photographs to illustrate what the night sky looks like from a dark location—an increasingly uncommon event in much of the world, particularly in the U.S. His talk also touched on how artificial light can impact astronomers’ search (via telescope) for asteroids that may hit the earth. Wainscoat called this the only natural disaster that we can actually do something about in advance, unlike earthquakes, hurricanes and floods. The presentation underscored the importance of on-going efforts by the lighting community to minimize unwanted light trespass and glare.
The last General Session of the conference was given by Randy Moorhead, VP, Government Affairs, Philips Electronics North America Corporation. He offered a rare, first-hand glimpse into the national legislative process with regard to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The take-away from his presentation: those who are involved make the rules, so if you want to affect legislation related to lighting, get engaged and involved.
Finally, IES Awards were presented at the closing IES Gala Dinner (see LD+A September and November for detailed information on the recipients), presided over by Dr. Ronald Gibbons, President of the IES and Fred Oberkircher, President-Elect. Guest speaker Josh Dorfman, author of The Lazy Environmentalist, gave a provocative talk on how self-interest and convenience—not guilt and preaching—will ultimately drive consumer acceptance of green products and turn the average American into an environmentalist.
Conference chair, Nick Bleeker of Day-Brite Capri Omega, commenting on other aspects of the event, said, “I was delighted with the variety of technical paper presentations at this year’s conference. The presentations on new technologies were especially well attended. There were some very good informal exchanges too during the poster sessions and 20 luncheon roundtable discussions.”
Conference sponsors were Acuity Brands Lighting; Cooper Lighting; Day-Brite Capri Omega; Focal Point; GE Consumer & Industrial Lighting; Hubbell; Lumec; Lutron; Philips; and Sylvania .
For information about The Progress Report and the 2009 IES Annual Conference, ( Seattle , WA ), contact Valerie Landers by email at [email protected] or by phone at 212-248-5000, ext. 117 or visit the IES web site at www.ies.org.