April 5, 2024   

Reactions Mixed to IALD Bylaw Changes

2024 04 Reactions Mixed to IALD Bylaw changes5.jpg

New amendments spark a mix of excitement and mild concern among lighting people


The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) is revising its operational and membership covenants to reflect evolutions in the association and the lighting design community. Recent changes to IALD bylaws, described in an earlier Inside Lighting article, have elicited varied responses from lighting people, highlighting the balance between progress and tradition in the architectural lighting design sector.

This collection of feedback is anecdotal and not based on scientific methods. Although efforts were made to include diverse viewpoints, the feedback leaned more toward the positive than the negative.


Permitting Previously Off-Limits Revenue Streams

Adapting to Modernity: The IALD's decision to allow lighting design members to explore previously restricted revenue streams marks a significant pivot towards embracing contemporary business practices. This amendment facilitates architectural lighting design firms in diversifying their income through product design royalties and procurement profits. It reflects an acknowledgment of the industry's multifaceted nature, where firms increasingly offer a spectrum of services beyond conventional design.

Concerns Over Design Integrity: However, this move has not been without its detractors. Critics point to the potential for conflicts of interest, arguing that even with transparently communicated royalty agreements, the purity of design decisions could be compromised, with financial gain potentially overshadowing the best interests of clients.


Related: IALD Eases Business Restrictions »


New Membership Categories Will Lead to Larger Membership

Casting a Wider Net: The introduction of new membership categories represents a leap towards increased inclusivity, welcoming emerging talents with less than seven years of experience. This initiative is poised to invigorate the community with fresh perspectives, enhancing local engagement. Moreover, the inclusion of non-voting membership for certain manufacturer personnel introduces additional viewpoints, potentially enriching the IALD's discourse.

An expanded membership will also result in higher membership revenues, which can aid the association in gathering resources to achieve specific initiatives.

Challenges to Prestige: Conversely, there are apprehensions that these changes may dilute the IALD's prestigious designation. The broadened membership criteria could cause confusion among architects and end-users regarding a designer's level of expertise, potentially clouding the benchmark of professional excellence.


Proposed Association Name Change Rejected

Tweaking the Association Image: The proposed change in name from "International Association of Lighting Designers" to "International Association of Lighting Design" was designed to broaden the association's expanding membership base. This shift indicates that the group encompasses not just designers but other professionals linked to lighting design, expanding its representation within the broader lighting design ecosystem.

Upholding Tradition: The very narrow rejection of this name change, however, highlights a desire among members to maintain a clear focus on designers as the cornerstone of the IALD's identity. This decision reflects a commitment to preserving the essence of the association, even as it navigates the currents of change.


The IALD's recent amendments reflect a nuanced attempt to balance the imperatives of modernization with the values of professional integrity, association growth and identity. As the association charts its course through these changes, the dialogue within the lighting design community continues to flourish, highlighting the vibrant and adaptive spirit that defines the architectural lighting design community.