Texas state legislature outlaws non-licensed lighting design

June 1, 2009
Date Announced: 01 Jun 2009 -- IES Position Statement issued by Ronald Gibbons, President of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES)The Texas State Legislature passed HB 2649 on May 27, 2009, which included amendments that require “A person may not perform or offer to perform lighting design services unless that person is: licensed as an engineer under this chapter; registered as an architect, landscape architect, or interior designer….” The bill was received in committee on May 8th and reported out ofcommittee on May 23rd. This swift action essentially eliminated the opportunity for input from the lighting community until after the fact. Hundreds of phone calls and protest letters ensued and the latest indication is that Texas Senator Kip Averitt, the principal sponsor of the language in the bill, is willing to allow the problem to be referred to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for further study.The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) appreciates the willingness of Senator Averitt to refer the issue for further consideration. IES remains opposed to any legislation that would seek to restrict the practice of lighting design without the input of those who would be affected by such legislation. "Lighting designer" is a term used to describe professionals whose careers are dedicated exclusively to the art and science of lighting, many of whom are members of the IES. Professional lighting designers hold paramount the needs of building and property owners and end users by balancing the technical and aesthetic aspects of light in the built environment. In addition a large number of lighting practitioners, also members of IES, provide support services to the profession. The role of the lighting designer is increasingly important in developing a concerted and integrated approach to reducing energy consumption, and improving the quality of the environment. The IES would not support any legislative action that would retard progress byattempting to redefine the practice of lighting design without providing opportunity for input from those most knowledgeable. The IES believes that collaboration and consensus based effortsare the most effective ways to achieve results that are in the best interest of the public.The IES supports and applauds the efforts of lighting professionals at both the state and national level to change this bill and legislative willingness to reconsider the issue. It is hoped that the Texas legislature and executive branches will work with the lighting community to achieve a successful outcome on the issue.The Illuminating Engineering Society represents 10,000 members dedicated to improving the lighted environment by bringing together those with lighting knowledge and translating that knowledgeinto actions that benefit the public.

Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES)

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