LIT Lighting Design Awards™ stands as a distinguished platform, acknowledging brilliance in lighting design across the globe. Celebrating innovation and creativity, LIT annually recognizes outstanding contributions to the field. This year, the Awards spotlight the recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award 2023, Roger Narboni, whose exceptional work has left an indelible mark on the world of lighting design.

Roger Narboni is not just a designer, he is a pioneer. Trained as an artist and an electronic engineer, Narboni has realized a number of landscape, urban, heritage, and architectural lightings. With more than 35 years of experience, he has worked across the globe including locations such as Paris, Jerusalem, Sao Paolo, and Hangzhou, China.

Roger Narboni, Pioneer in Lighting Design, Honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 LIT Lighting Design Awards
Roger Narboni. Copyright François David

Narboni began working with light in 1981 after spending a few years traveling abroad and 3 years in New York. When he came back to Paris he wanted to use light as a way to bring interest together. For him, it was easier to work at the scale of public space so he started putting his ideas together.

In the late eighties, Narboni coined the term lighting designer in French and paved the way for the practice of lighting design in France. He used this word to convince people to pursue the field and to create urban spaces affecting the city’s nighttime atmosphere.

Not only did Narboni invent the field of light urbanism but he also came up with the concept of the lighting master plan methodology. The lighting master plan (LMP) is a discipline that describes the main aspects of urban lighting in a city.

The primary purpose of the lighting master plan is to define the aesthetic and functional lighting criteria, to increase the efficiency, and quality of city lighting, and finally to achieve a secure, comfortable, and well-structured and -lit environment. As a consequence, crafting a lighting master plan has benefits that include saving energy, avoiding light pollution, reducing maintenance costs, creating a unique character for the city, and more.

For Narboni, throughout the most densely populated cities in the world, there have been different policies to reduce carbon emissions. These include and are not restricted to reducing the number of cards in the cities and encouraging other types of transportation such as bicycles. Consequently, these urban developments encourage us to change the way we perceive public lighting in cities. This idea includes lighting for vehicles and street lighting during the night.

The luminous city established a relationship with public spaces and allows us to open up to new innovations and ways to change how we live. This is also another way according to Narboni to introduce lighting in our daily routine.


Later, in 1988, he founded Concepto, a studio whose heart lies in realizing innovative lighting designs that tackle societal issues. The studio works in planning and construction to foster the use of space at night and properly deal with nighttime, which represents 50% of our yearly time.

Moreover, the company is committed to reducing climate change and signed the Manifest of Lighting Designers Sustainable Lighting Projects.

In buildings, Concepto reveals materiality and volumes through plays of natural and artificial light and creates atmospheres that serve the architecture and the public. One of the main goals of the studio is to adopt an approach that is respectful of darkness. Furthermore, Concepto is moving forward with its commitment to reconciling light and darkness and intends to become a reference company when it comes to light ecology.

It is of utmost importance to note that Concepto has initiated and contributed to the development of multiple design strategies such as integrating the lighting component in multiple urban projects, staging city centers, foreshadowing urban mutations, defining nocturnal identity, valuing local cultural customs, developing dark infrastructures for its lighting design strategy, and more.

The company has always kept an eye on the quality of its projects and has honed the balance between expertise and curiosity in its practice. Additionally, some of the core values of the team are sharing and collective smarts as well as professional ethics and talent appreciation.

Hangzhou, Grand Canal, China

Grand Canal nightscape in Hangzhou, China. Lighting design : Roger Narboni, CONCEPTO & Zhongtai Lighting Group. Photo copyright : CONCEPTO & Zhongtai.
Grand Canal nightscape in Hangzhou, China. Lighting design : Roger Narboni, CONCEPTO & Zhongtai Lighting Group. Photo copyright: CONCEPTO & Zhongtai.

Located 200 kilometers South of Shanghai, the city of Hangzhou is crossed by a large network of canals. The Hangzhou government decided to transform the industrial image of the Grand Canal over a 10-kilometer span in the city center, by renovating not only its waterfronts but also initiating diurnal and nocturnal cruises and creating a nighttime landscape attracting visitors.

The aim of the Lighting Masterplan was to reveal the beauty of the site, its monumental nature, identity, characteristics, and the richness of its traditional architecture as well as of its landscape. The waterfront landscape has been unified and emphasized through a blue-green-toned light.

The new nighttime landscape has transformed the site for tourists’ enjoyment, but it has also shaped a pleasant, one-of-a-kind luminous atmosphere that locals fully enjoy as well. This project has received the 2nd International Prize “City People Light” presented by the LUCI association in 2009.

Sèvres, Facade of the National Ceramics Museum, France

Ceramic Museum lighting in Sèvres, France. Lighting design: Roger Narboni, CONCEPTO. 
Ceramic Museum lighting in Sèvres, France. Lighting design: Roger Narboni, CONCEPTO. 

Located on the domains of Saint Cloud Park, the National Ceramics Museum is among the 23 buildings designated Historical Monument of the Sèvres City of Ceramics. The city of Sèvres planned the illumination of the main facade of the museum to be part of the public lighting renovation Public-Private Partnership for the cities of Sèvres and Boulogne-Billancourt.

This lighting design has been conceived in reference and in reverence to ‘Sèvres blues’ that are characteristic of Sèvres ceramics. Completed in 2012, the lighting design plays an important role in the nocturnal landscape of the Seine riverfront and asserts its presence from far away.

Terrasson-Lavilledieu, Pont-Vieux (Old-Bridge), France

Old bridge lighting in Terrasson-Lavilledieu, France. Lighting design: Roger Narboni & Virginie Nicolas, CONCEPTO. Architect: Studio Patrick Ponsot. Photo copyright: Darlavoix.
Old bridge lighting in Terrasson-Lavilledieu, France. Lighting design: Roger Narboni & Virginie Nicolas, CONCEPTO. Architect: Studio Patrick Ponsot. Photo copyright: Darlavoix.

The Old Bridge is a 130-meter-long, arch-shaped work, which has been declared a historical monument. It underwent restoration in 2017 for which a lighting design project has been required. In this context, Concepto has worked together with the Ponsot ACMH office to finish this design.

The Pont Vieux (Old Bridge) is at the center of the exceptional nighttime landscape setting. It is located at the foot of a cliff and its fortifications, bordering woods, and the city center of abrasion-Villedieu in the Dordogne region. Because the bridge is simple, the studio had chosen to enliven the materiality through a play of lighting beams. A grazing light highlights the texture of the stone on the vertical axis. Crossed and inclined beams of light create a yellow, white, and amber light trail on the surface, whose vibration can be felt even from afar, and whose detail becomes legible from close-up.

Lighting Masterplan, Jerusalem, Israel

Israeli authorities in charge of Jerusalem’s development decided in 2010 on a Lighting Masterplan for the old town and its vicinity, in order to promote the cultural and touristic development of this pilgrimage town at night.

The plan aimed to define the role of the fortified wall in the future nighttime image and silhouette of the old town. Another goal was to imagine the greater landscape at nighttime, focusing on the luminous atmospheres of the streets as well as the architectural lighting of the main monuments.

The plan included a lighting strategy for the six teams of architects in charge of the studies of the renovation of the public spaces in the Old Town. Concepto supported the planning of the Jaffa Gate and the Omar Ibn El-Khattab plaza.

The master plan and Jaffa’s Door were both completed in 2012.

Professional Success

Although Concepto’s work in lighting design is exceptional, Narboni has done more outstanding work. He has written a large number of articles and is the author of many known books and science-fiction novels.

PSA Peugeot Citroen Design Center, Cars” Presentation Room lighting in Velizy, France. Lighting design: Roger Narboni, Sara Castagné, CONCEPTO. Architect: studio Ripault-Duhart. Photo copyright: CONCEPTO.
PSA Peugeot Citroen Design Center, Cars” Presentation Room lighting in Velizy, France. Lighting design: Roger Narboni, Sara Castagné, CONCEPTO. Architect: studio Ripault-Duhart. Photo copyright: CONCEPTO.

Academic Work and Publications

Narboni has been invited as a keynote speaker in congress, seminars, and conferences in many countries. In addition to this, he teaches Lighting Design Master classes and leads international professional workshops about light urbanism in France and abroad.

Narboni’s teaching career starts as early as 1999 and extends to current days. He was a teacher at Superior National School for Nature and Landscaping in Blois from 1999 until 2007 and in Versailles from 2003 to 2015. During the period between 2014 and 2018, he was a guest teacher in Russia and Italy where he taught various courses.

Cesaria Evora garden lighting in Paris. Lighting design: Roger Narboni & Floriane Deléglise, CONCEPTO. Architect: Urbanica. Photo copyright : CONCEPTO.
Cesaria Evora garden lighting in Paris. Lighting design: Roger Narboni & Floriane Deléglise, CONCEPTO. Architect: Urbanica. Photo copyright : CONCEPTO.

Since 2017 Narboni has been an associate lecturer on Light Urbanism at the WINGS University in Wismar, Germany, as part of the master’s degree in architectural Lighting Design with workshops in 2023 and 2024 in Bangkok, Thailands which have been in collaboration with the Royal University of Bangkok (KMUTT).

Among his publications on lighting design which include Cities of Light, Two Centuries of Urban Illumination (2015), Éclairer l’espace public et le paysage, nouvelles pratiques face aux enjeux environnementaux et sociétaux (2023), and more.

Awards and Collaborations

During the past three decades, Narboni has received multiple lighting awards including the Best Heritage Lighting Award for the Lumi-R night route in Rennes, France, the City People Light Award, for the Valenciennes Lighting Master Plan in France, the Architectural Lighting Award for Rion Antirion bridge in Greece, Nocturnal promenade « The metamorphosis » in Château de Chambord in the USA, and more.

From 1988 to the present day Narboni has partnered with the following lighting companies: Abel, Aubrilam Chrysalis, Philips Lighting,Ragni, Schreder, Selux, Targetti, Technilum, Thorn Zumtobel, and Valmont.

Inner River’s nightscape in Dujiangyan, China. Lighting design: Roger Narboni, CONCEPTO & Zhongtai Lighting Group. Photo copyright: CONCEPTO & Zhongtai.
Inner River’s nightscape in Dujiangyan, China. Lighting design: Roger Narboni, CONCEPTO & Zhongtai Lighting Group. Photo copyright: CONCEPTO & Zhongtai.

Additional achievements

Besides this, Roger Narboni has been a member of different organizations. In 2017 he was a member of the Paris Professional Lighting Design Convention (PLDC) steering committee. This biannual Convention was created for the global lighting design market. Lighting designers, architects, researchers, universities, and clients use the PLDC as a platform to meet and learn about the latest developments in lighting design and discuss the future of the lighting profession.

Additionally, he has been an expert member of the French-Chinese association SFACS from 2016 to 2018 and a member of the editorial committee of the French Internet portal Lightzoom since 2015.

Another of his life achievements is that he is the founding chairman of the humanitarian association Lighting designers without boarders. It brings together over 50 volunteers from across the world from the lighting sector. The association aims to promote lighting design in humanitarian projects and help the establishment of the lighting design profession in countries where it does not exist by providing appropriate training. Furthermore, the goal of the establishment is to encourage local initiatives for a better environment at night and to develop innovative proposals that address the economic difficulties, lack of energy, and sustainability.

Waste plant lighting in Carrière-sur-Seine, France. Lighting design: Roger Narboni & Virginie Nicolas, CONCEPTO. Architects: studio Quirot & Vichard. Photo copyright : CONCEPTO.
Waste plant lighting in Carrière-sur-Seine, France. Lighting design: Roger Narboni & Virginie Nicolas, CONCEPTO. Architects: studio Quirot & Vichard. Photo copyright : CONCEPTO.

Innovative work

Not only is Roger Narboni a winner of prizer and the writer of books, but he is also an innovator. He was the expert responsible for the study and diagnostics of Lighting and nocturnal ambience in the districts for the Ministry of Integration and Fight agains Exclusion, Inter-ministeria Delegation for the City and Urban Social Development in 1995. He is also the person behind the first seminar of the ecology of light organised by AFE and the City of Lyon in 2002.

Rion Antirion bridge lighting in Greece. Lighting design: Roger Narboni, CONCEPTO. Architect: Berdj Mikaelian. Photo copyright: CONCEPTO.
Rion Antirion bridge lighting in Greece. Lighting design: Roger Narboni, CONCEPTO. Architect: Berdj Mikaelian. Photo copyright: CONCEPTO.

Roger Narboni‘s extraordinary journey in lighting design has earned him the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 LIT Lighting Design Awards™, solidifying his status as a true luminary in the field. From coining the term “lighting designer” to pioneering the concept of lighting master plans, Narboni’s influence has been transformative. His commitment to sustainable lighting projects through Concepto, along with his dedication to education and humanitarian efforts, further showcases his multifaceted contributions to the world of light. As we celebrate Narboni’s outstanding achievements, it is evident that his impact continues to shape the future of lighting design worldwide.

Text: Polya Pencheva

Kevan Shaw: First-Ever LIT Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

“I am absolutely delighted to be honoured with this inaugural lifetime achievement award at such a young age! I have every intention of continuing my career in the same way as I have been, ensuring I remain worthy of this great honour.” – Kevan Shaw, LIT Lifetime Achievement Recipient

Kevan Shaw’s career in lighting began over 40 years ago, 30 of which have been at his firm, Kevan Shaw Lighting Design.

Kevan’s achievements in the field of lighting design consist of more than 700 projects completed worldwide and across a broad range of fields. Notable projects include the Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Scott Monument in Edinburgh.

We are delighted to give this award to Kevan and we continue to expect great things from his career in lighting design! Please read his expanded biography/background in lighting and see more of his work here.

With our partners from L+D Magazine as well as the LEDforum, our LIT Team will celebrate Kevan this August at the LEDforum in São Paulo. Held in the Tivoli Hotel downtown, we will have a brief ceremony on August 15th presenting Kevan Shaw and our 2018 winners:

2020 LIT Lifetime Achievement Recipient – Lighting Design 

Mrs Sally Storey

For over 30 years, Sally Storey has been guiding John Cullen Lighting and founded Lighting Design International company, gathered a talented team of designers from a variety of backgrounds: architecture, theatre design, fine art, product design and engineering.

Sally has been pushing the boundaries of technology and design to create outstanding spaces and memorable experiences. She has written three well-received books on lighting and often contributes to the national and international press. Sally Storey’s contribution to the Lighting Industry is tremendous!

Sally Storey studied architecture at Bristol University and in her second year was awarded the scholarship of the year. She was fascinated with how natural light and artificial light transformed a building and chose this as her thesis and never looked back.

Sally Storey, Design Director of Lighting Design International and John Cullen Lighting, is one of the UK’s leading lighting experts. Her extensive knowledge and experience has led to her travelling all over the world designing lighting schemes for esteemed brands, individuals and corporate clients.

Sally has written three well-received successful books on residential lighting and often contributes to the national and international press. She is a regular speaker at interior design and architectural events and conferences. Sally is a judge on many interior and lighting panels, and currently a judge for the Super Yacht Design & Innovation Awards.

Recent projects include the Kimpton Fitzroy London, Hotel Café Royal, L’Oscar, the multi-award-winning Fera at Claridge’s Hotel, The Lanesborough Hotel Spa, The Connaught Hotel, Ham Yard Hotel, The Savoy, Temple Church, Grocer’s Hall, Grand Hotel Cap-Ferrat, Emirates Palace Hotel Dubai, Crosby Street Hotel New York, St Regis Venice and Four Seasons Hotels including the spa at the Four Seasons George V.

Sally has also been involved in Private Residences and Palaces worldwide as well as numerous Super Yachts including the award-winning Topaz (J8), Northern Star, MY& SY Twizzle, JOY, Faith, Hasna, Lady S and most recently Archelon.


Project: Kimpton Fitzroy, London
Company: Lighting Design International
Photographer: Gavriil Papadiotis


Project: ESPA Life at Corinthia
Company: Lighting Design International
Photographer: Richard Powers


Project: Duplex Penthouse, London
Company: Lighting Design International
Photographer: Andrew Beasley


Project: Duplex Penthouse, London
Company: Lighting Design International
Photographer: Andrew Beasley


Sally has brought her residential lighting experience to create outstanding lighting schemes that make the stunning spectacular. Sally has been a key advocate in promoting residential lighting a vital element of interior design.

No matter the budget lighting can transform and make simple materials look elegant. Sally’s passion and enthusiasm for lighting never fade and still comes through when lecturing today. She is currently working on her fourth book on residential lighting which aims to help one understand new technology and how best to use it. This is aimed at interior designers, architects and the homeowner. Making people aware of their environment will hopefully influence push the standards of lighting in work and leisure.


Project: Heckfield Place, Hampshire
Company: Lighting Design International
Photographer: Sprately & Partners

Sally Storey’s Publications:

Lighting: Recipes and Ideas London: Quadrille, 2000

Lighting by Design London: Pavilion, 2002

Perfect Lighting London: Jacqui Small, 2008

Sally is currently working on a new book on residential lighting for RIBA called: “Inspired by Light: A design guide to transforming the home.”


Project: The Lanesborough Club & Spa
Company: Lighting Design International
Photographer: Oetker Collection


Project: Private House
Company: John Cullen Lighting
Photographer: Luke White


 About John Cullen Lighting

Founded in 1981 in London, John Cullen Lighting has positioned itself as a global leader in luxury residential lighting design and supply. For almost 40 years, the Company has been responsible for delivering some of the World’s very best luxury residential and hospitality lighting schemes.

Operating from offices in London, Paris, Dubai and Mumbai, John Cullen Lighting is well placed to provide the very highest standards of design and engineering excellence to any scale of the project. Internationally-acclaimed, discreet light fittings provide the tools to deliver outstanding lighting for both interiors and landscape. All are designed in-house and proudly manufactured in the UK. A bespoke award-winning design service is offered to ensure that products are used to optimum effect to create stunning lighting effects.

In 1986 on the death of John Cullen, Sally was left to run and drive the design side of John Cullen Lighting which specialised in residential lighting. At the same time, Sally set up Lighting Design International to cope with requests of lighting commercial projects such as JP Morgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs and large hotels.


About Lighting Design International

Lighting Design International is one of the most established independent lighting consultancies in the world, we have been creating adventures in lighting for over 35 years under the direction of Sally Storey, We bridge the gap between architecture and engineering, utilising artistry hand in hand with cutting edge lighting technology to render space and material, evoking emotion and creating inviting and dramatic spaces.

As one of the world’s foremost lighting design consultancies, we don’t just work with light, we understand it – the role it plays in affecting our mood and sense of wellbeing; how it combines with surface and form to create a single dramatic effect and how it can bring an otherwise unremarkable space to life. Our highly trained long-established creative team come from diverse design backgrounds, allowing us to deliver practical expertise and luxurious bespoke detailing through our uniquely creative approach to suit any project brief.

Lighting Design International’s portfolio boasts projects of every scope and scale, from boutique chic to classic opulence. But while our clients may be diverse, they have one thing in common – they demand the best; when considering lighting they understand the distinction between the exceptional and what is merely functional. Hotel projects include the award-winning Kimpton Fitzroy London, The Dixon, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva, Four Seasons Astir Palace Athens and Hotel Grand Bretagne Athens. Retail projects include multiple areas in Harrods – Technology, Men’s Shoes, Superbrands, Fine Dining and Food Halls. Our experience also covers high-end residential estates around the world such as the UK, Paris, South of France, USA, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait and the Caribbean. Lighting Design International is also involved in the ultimate luxury, superyachts.

2019 LIT Lifetime Achievement Recipient – Lighting Design 

Alfred R. Borden, FIALD, CLD

Al Borden is a principal and the founder of The Lighting Practice. After years of designing temporary shows for a variety of theater groups and rock bands, Al founded ‘The Lighting Practice’. He opened the Philadelphia office in 1989 to create a place where like-minded designers could work in a collaborative environment dedicated to design excellence and client service. In 2018, Al spearheaded The Lighting Practice’s expansion to New York, becoming managing principal of TLP’s second location. Al was motivated to open the New York office to support the firm’s growth and provide a second home base for local and national clients.

Inspired by his desire to create lasting designs that will positively impact people for years to come, Al continues to use light as his medium to make a difference around the world. Throughout his 30+ year career, Al has collaborated with building owners, facilities managers, government agencies, local communities, and architect-led design teams on projects spanning a variety of market sectors. Al’s personal and professional mission is to create lighting solutions that meet clients’ needs, respect and highlight architectural forms, and transform the ordinary into extraordinary spaces people want to spend time in.


Empire State Building, New York, NY Client: Empire State Realty Trust Photographer: Photographs courtesy of ESRT


Trinity Centre at 111-115 Broadway, New York, NY Client: Capital Properties Photographer: Alan Schindler Photography


Al’s background in theatrical lighting taught him the importance of story and the powerful role light can play in how individuals experience an architectural space. He has taken on the major task of relighting many iconic buildings and landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Philadelphia City Hall, Thomas Edison Memorial, and Trinity Centre. He was part of the project team that completely replaced all vertical circulation within the Statue of Liberty’s stone pedestal and created life-safety egress paths across the pedestal’s terreplein and through the walls of Fort Wood. In 2016, he designed the lighting system for the conversion of the historically landmarked Temple-Tifereth Israel into Case Western Reserve University’s Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center. When the Empire State Building’s tower lighting became outdated, Al was tasked with changing the existing metal halide lighting system to color-changing LED. From arts and entertainment to hospitality to transportation environments and more, Al’s designs have provided comfort, safety, and breathtaking beauty to hundreds of buildings and landscapes.

Al’s inclusion in several authoritative lighting design organizations is a testament to these successful projects and his leadership in the field. A Fellow of the International Association of Lighting Designers, Al has served the IALD in a variety of capacities and made significant contributions to the organization’s growth and resources. His work as a former Board member and Director of Marketing was characterized by his deep understanding and experience of the needs of the lighting design community. As a practitioner of considerable standing, Al demonstrated an ability to initiate and support ideas that were of practical worth to the IALD’s members. He also played a highly supportive and active role in the advancement of the IALD’s international development. Other significant contributions to the Association were writing the first Standard IALD Contract templates, overhauling the IALD Awards program, and establishing a relationship with an international lighting magazine to represent the IALD.


The Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH Client: Case Western Reserve University Photography: Halkin | Mason Architectural Photography


In addition to his Fellowship with the IALD, Al became a Certified Lighting Designer in 2016.  At the time, he was one of 12 CLD-certified professionals in the world. The CLD program is the first ever evidence-based lighting design certification. The certification processes challenge lighting professionals to prove their professional knowledge and proficiency. Al is also a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and previously served as past President of its Philadelphia Section.

In addition to his active engagement with local, national and international lighting and architecture communities, Al has looked for ways to support his local community in Philadelphia. Since 2002, he has worked with ‘Lights for the Cure’ to illuminate various Philadelphia buildings in pink to raise awareness during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Working with Joanne Calabria, former Vice President of Public Affairs at CBS 3 and visionary of the ‘Lights for the Cure’, Al helps building owners find the best way to turn their building facades pink expressing unity for the Susan G. Komen cause.


Trinity Centre at 111-115 Broadway, New York, NY Client: Capital Properties Photographer: Alan Schindler Photography


Understanding that lighting design is a service business, Al designs lighting not for self-aggrandizement, but to serve his clients’ needs and their businesses and allow the beautiful architecture to shine both day and night. He has applied this philosophy to hundreds of projects over the course of his career. His work does not exhibit a particular style, nor is it focused on a single project type. Al approaches each project with the same enthusiasm and the same goal to deliver a fresh, creative lighting solution that will give each client the best value for his or her lighting dollar.

Al’s 30-year legacy of lighting is woven into the fabric of buildings across the United States. He continues to be a role model for new designers, setting the standard for work ethic, creativity, and philanthropy in the field at large.

Congratulations to our 2019 Lifetime Achievement Recipient for his illustrious lighting design career and recognition by our panel of LIT Judges, we are all ecstatic to see what Al will do next!


Sagamore Sprit Distillery, Baltimore, MD Client: Sagamore Development Photography: Alan Karchmer


The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton, Philadelphia, PA Client: Host Hotels & Resorts Photography: Andre Bordwin Studio


The Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH Client: Case Western Reserve University Photography: Halkin | Mason Architectural Photography

2020 LIT Lifetime Achievement Recipient – Lighting Application Research 

Professor Wout Van Bommel

With over 50 years in Lighting Research and Application, Prof. Wout Van Bommel has carried out researches into various lighting subjects; some of the concepts he proposed, are now used in international and national standards for lighting.

Prof. Wout Van Bommel has published more than 150 papers in national and international lighting journals in various languages and wrote well-regarded books. Member and Chairman of various Lighting Societies and Commissions, Prof. Wout Van Bommel is also a University Professor and speaker. He is passionate about non-visual biological aspects of lighting influencing health and wellbeing, studying and lecturing about “balancing the positive effects of lighting on living beings with the negative impact of that lighting on the environment.

Prof. Wout Van Bommel obtained his academic degree (MSc) in physics, at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands in 1970. His specialization was in applied lighting under the guidance of Prof. J.B. de Boer and Dr-Ing. H.J. Schmidt-Clausen. This resulted in a detailed insight in, and publications about, the potential possibilities of the use of polarized light for vehicle lighting and ship lighting.

Prof. Wout Van Bommel has over 50 years of experience in Lighting research, of which he spent 37 years with “Philips Lighting” in different lighting application functions such as road lighting, sports lighting, and indoor lighting.

He has carried out research into many different lighting subjects; some of the concepts he proposed, on the basis of his research, are now used in international and national standards for lighting. He was responsible for Philips’ International Lighting Design and Application Centre (LiDAC).

After his retirement from Philips Lighting and with his vast international experience in lighting application, Prof. Wout Van Bommel is now an independent Lighting Consultant to lighting designers, researchers, companies’ municipalities, and governmental bodies. He assesses the quality of specifications of lighting installations (certification).

For 20 years, He is also specialized in non-visual biological aspects of lighting influencing in turn our health and wellbeing. He was responsible for the first two international lighting expert symposia (Vienna 2004, Ottawa 2006) where medical, biological, and lighting experts set the way for putting the new knowledge into practical use. Prof. Wout Van Bommel gives basic and advanced lectures about lighting, health, and wellbeing for both professional and laymen groups of people.

Prof. Wout Van Bommel has been a member and President of CIE – “International Lighting Commission”, the chairman and now an honorary member of the Dutch “Light and Health Research Foundation” and has been involved with many other commissions and associations throughout his career (see list below).

In 2004, He was appointed Consulting Professor at the Fudan University of Shanghai and in 2008 External Examiner of the Master Course “Light and Lighting” at the University College of London (UCL‐ Bartlett Institute).

Prof. Wout Van Bommel has published more than 150 papers in national and international lighting journals in various languages as well as books. As a young lighting professional, He wrote, together with Prof. de Boer, in 1980 the book “Road Lighting”, then 35 years later, in 2015, “Road Lighting, fundamentals, technology and application” and in 2019, “Interior Lighting, fundamentals, technology and application”. These books became “standards” in their fields.

All over the world and throughout his career, Prof. Wout Van Bommel has presented papers, taught, given invited lectures at different conferences, and participated in workshops.


Professor Wout Van Bommel – Philips Lab Van 


Open-air Road lighting Laboratory


Professor Wout Van Bommel – Philips Road Reflectometer in 1970s


Commissions & Associations

From 1988 to 2008, Prof. Wout van Bommel was the Dutch representative of the European Lighting Normalization Committee CEN TC 169.

From 2003 to 2007, Prof. Wout van Bommel has been President of the International Lighting Commission, CIE. During his presidency, he visited nearly 40 different National CIE Committees all over the world to learn about their needs and to support them in their local activities.

From 2008 to 2011, Prof. Wout van Bommel was a Board member of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

Prof. Wout van Bommel was the chairman and is now an honorary member of the Dutch “Light and Health Research Foundation”.

Prof. Wout van Bommel was for eight years the Chairman of the Lighting Commission of the Standardization Institute of the Netherlands (NEN).

Prof. Wout van Bommel is a member of the Lighting Society of the Netherlands and the Lighting Society of North America (IESNA).

Prof. Wout van Bommel was Chairman of the “Tunnel Lighting” and “Glare for Outdoor Areas” Committees of the CIE. For slightly more than eight years, He was Director of CIE’s Division 5 (Outdoor lighting and other applications).

Recognition & Award

Prof. Wout van Bommel was the first recipient of the “NSVV Wout van Bommel Award”, named after him. The Dutch Lighting Society, NSVV who created this award, will award it annually to a person who has as a volunteer contributed exceptionally to the work and mission of the Dutch Lighting Society.


Prof. Wout Van Bommel – CIE President in 2007


Most Relevant Publications:

Van Bommel, Wout
Discomfort glare and LEDs: an empirical and a fundamental approach
Israel Lighting Journal,82/8, 2020

Van Bommel, Wout
Topics important for the up-to-date interior lighting professional
Light & Engineering, Vol. 28, No 1, 4-22, 2020
Svetotekhnika #2, 2020

Van Bommel, Wout
Interior Lighting, fundamentals, technology and application
Springer Publishers, 2019

Van Bommel, Wout
Street Lighting Innovation: Sensor Sensibility
Lighting Journal (ILE), February 2017

Van Bommel, Wout
Een uitdaging tot innovatie, optimaliseren van Ledspectrum voor de kleur van objecten en ruimteoppervlakken.
Ruimte en Licht, 3, 2016

Van Bommel, Wout
In: Luo MR (ed) Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology, Springer Science + Business Media, New York, 2016

Van Bommel, Wout
Age, light perception, and street lighting
Dekra Road safety Report, 2016

For over 40 years Patrick Woodroffe has been a guiding force in the lighting for rock concerts, operas, ballet, architecture, and special events. Patrick began his career in lighting in 1973 and since then has lit and directed productions for many artists including, AC/DC, Paul McCartney, The Police, Take That, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Rammstein, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, The Eagles, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Pet Shop Boys, Michael Jackson, Elton John and many more.

Patrick’s contribution to the lighting industry is tremendous, he has been one of the revolutionary minds behind the evolution of entertainment lighting.

Rolling Stones 14 on Fire (2014) Creative direction + Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

In the world of rock touring he has lit and directed shows for a long list of iconic artists as diverse as ABBA, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Simon and Garfunkel, Adele, Sting and Michael Jackson. He has worked for over thirty years with the Rolling Stones, beginning his association with the band in 1982 and continuing as the band’s lighting designer and creative director for all their live and filmed performances since then. He was one of the curators of Exhibitionism, the band’s traveling exhibition showcasing artifacts and examples of the band’s work over 50 years.

Exhibitionism (2016)  Design – Pentagram, Curator – Ileen Gallagher, Curation + Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

In the classical world, he has lit performances by many singers, conductors, and international orchestras including Jessye Norman, The Three Tenors, Sir George Solti, and the London Symphony Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, and Gustavo Dudamel. In opera, he has created works in Vienna, Salzburg, Bregenz, and Helsinki, on occasion using lighting in the place of scenery to convey mood, atmosphere and narrative.

His musical theatre credits include productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Batman Live, Bat Out of Hell, West Side Story, Mama Mia the Party and Ben Hur Live. He lit the 25th Anniversary Performance of Les Miserables at the O2 Arena and Phantom of the Opera at the Albert Hall. For over twenty years he has lit and helped to produce the famous Vanity Fair Oscar party in Los Angeles and at the Cannes Film Festival.

In film he lit This Is It with Michael Jackson and Martin Scorsese’s Shine A Light, the superb film of the Rolling Stones in performance.

Adele (2016)  (Production Design - Es Devlin, Lighting Design - Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

Adele (2016)  (Production Design – Es Devlin, Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

Romeo + Juliet, Vienna State Opera (2001) Director – Jurgen Flimm, Stage + Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe

Romeo + Juliet, Vienna State Opera (2001) Director – Jurgen Flimm, Stage + Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe

Aside from Entertainment Lighting, Patrick has created some important architectural lighting schemes, including those at the O2 Dome, the Lake of Dreams in Las Vegas, Highgrove House for The King, Prague Castle, the Madejski Garden at the V + A, and Somerset House in London.

In 2012 he lit the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympic + Paralympics Games in London.

London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (2012) Director – Danny Boyle, Choreography – Akram Khan, Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

With his long-time collaborator Adam Bassett, he runs the international lighting design consultancy, Woodroffe Bassett Design. The company operates globally designing lighting for many different genres including music, theatrical performance, special events as well as permanent architectural entertainment installations.

Patrick is a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) and in 2014 was awarded OBE by the late Queen for a lifetime of services to the arts.

“I’m so pleased to receive this lifetime achievement award from the LIT Awards, particularly because I join a group of previous honorees who are all from very varied disciplines. They remind me of the familial feeling that exists in the lighting world despite our coming from different ends of the spectrum! As ever, this is an award shared with the many, many collaborators without whom my work would not exist – my partners, associates, programmers, designers and producers. The practice of working with Light, in all its glorious forms, is as much a privilege as it is a job. Thank you.” Patrick Woodroffe.

Skyscape at the Millennium Dome (2000) Design – ESS, Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe

Woodroffe Bassett Design (WBD) is one of the best-known and most prolific lighting design brands operating in the world of entertainment and architecture today.  The studio was established by lighting designers Patrick Woodroffe and Adam Bassett in 2013. In 2019, Terry Cook, a long-standing and experienced member of the team, joined Patrick and Adam as a partner.

WBD works for an unrivaled network of global clients and is a thriving creative practice focused on providing dynamic, intelligent and often breathtaking lighting design projects across a broad range of genres. WBD has seen few boundaries in its artistic ambition and currently provides full creative service across multiple entertainments and architectural sectors and projects with skill and integrity.

WBD comprises a core team of agile and experienced specialist designers, supplemented by a regular team of associates in the form of lighting directors, programmers, assistants, logistics and planning experts. This group is experienced in working with artists in all disciplines and can interpret and deliver any brief, detailed or otherwise, ensuring their client’s vision is protected and creative ambition often exceeded.

Michael Jackson This Is It (2009) Director – Kenny Ortega, Set Design – Michael Cotton, Lighting Design - Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

Michael Jackson This Is It (2009) Director – Kenny Ortega, Set Design – Michael Cotton, Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD


Senior lighting and industrial designer, Dave Kavanagh has been working for 44 years at the 110-year-old lighting manufacturer Planet Lighting, Australia. Dave has a unique and impressive career, with an impressive design contribution to the Australian and International lighting community. Dave has been successfully navigating extensive technological changes in the industry!

Not shy of a challenge, Dave has helped bring to life some of the most ambitious custom architectural lighting projects across the globe. He’s worked on renowned projects of architects such as Renzo Piano and I. M. Pei, and helped design and deliver a suite of iconic lighting concepts from South-East Asia to the Middle East, including lighting for Larry Oltmanns Hong Kong Handover at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, I.M.Pei’s Bank of China in Beijing and Caesar Pelli’s Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

As described by former CEO of Planet Lighting, Brett Iggulden, Dave has easily designed more light fittings for architects than any other designer in Australia. “He would literally save architects’ lives, turning their crazy concepts into working, safe and reliable light fittings.” Dave’s work is found everywhere from Australia to Dubai.

Dave also developed, improved, and expanded on a range of important and award-winning Australian medical and task lighting products. His design adaptations of the prestigious Prince Phillip Australian Design Award- winning U-arm, and his work on modernizing task lighting resulted in a range of quintessential Australian medical lighting products such as the MSE, UMH, UGP and include the important redesign of the 7 LED head for the ULED – one of the most prevalent examination lights in Australian hospitals. He designed the iconic Continental C arm, a spring-balanced desk lamp and in 1992 his Ninox Workstation Tasklight won the Luminaire Design Award of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand Award (IESANZ).

ULED Medical Light with Planet Lighting unique award-winning floating balance U-arm and fully enclosed springs.

Dave’s successful design and technical proficiency, which his colleagues agree includes his exceptional penmanship and eye for detail, is equally matched by his creative ability to adapt and navigate extraordinary technological and industry change. He saw the transition from pen and ink hand drawings to CAD, and from incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes to modern LEDs as well as the transition from hand machining to Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining.

Dave’s legacy is extraordinary,” says Sinclair Park, Dave’s colleague and fellow industrial designer who raised the idea for nominating him for the Award. “He even managed to become an expert in glass mould design when Planet Lighting built their own glass-blowing facility in the 1980s.”

Dave promptly designed a screening process to quickly generate shapes in plaster as patterns for sand casting, equipping Planet Lighting with semi-mass production capabilities. As a result, there was a time when every Starbucks in the world had custom glass luminaires, all of which were glass blown in Planet’s factory and company headquarters in regional Bellingen NSW. Planet Lighting subsequently became the biggest glass-blowing operation in Australia.

Dave’s use and demonstration of scientific and supporting evidence and use of emerging technologies married well with his unhindered propensity to “tell it like it is” to his customers and architect partners.

Dave recalls a successful job tender “a half-inch thick” for Australia’s Parliament House. “They wanted 400 lamps with a hot and inefficient 100-watt globe. So I showed them a light head with 13 watts that had even better light output, and for good measure demonstrated that the entire cost of the light fittings could be recovered in reduced power consumption and lowered air conditioning costs over 18 months.”

DG “Boat” chandeliers to commemorate the Hong Kong handover. Each chandelier is 8.4 meters in length with strips of slumped glass. Each weighs 500 kilograms and is suspended 30 meters in the air.

DG “Boat” chandeliers to commemorate the Hong Kong handover. Each weighs 500 kilograms and is suspended 30 metres in the air. Also showing Dave’s engineering plans for the construction.

Dave graduated with a Diploma in Design from the National Art School, Division of Design in 1975. After college, he was invited by Paul Schremmer and Associates, a leading Sydney design consultancy where he began his first professional role. In April 1977, and less than 2 years out of college, he was hired by the iconic Australian lighting manufacturer Planet Lighting after an interview with then-CEO of Planet, Brett Iggulden. While his current employer thought he was too young, Brett was impressed enough by his interview to put him on a 9-month contract. Now, 44 years on and one of Planet’s oldest and most accomplished staff members, Dave jokingly admits: “I’m still waiting for my probation period to end.”

A thinker and entrepreneurial spirit, Dave heralds from a family of engineers and inventors. “My eldest brother is an electrical engineer, and my older brother was a boat builder who became a hot air balloon manufacturer.” Dave describes himself as coming from a family of “have-a-goes” where it’s ok and even important to make mistakes. He even began his own Medical equipment company, Phoebus Design, while working in tandem at Planet in the 1980s. For 8 years he was an important supplier to Australian Medical Equipment, designing and manufacturing intermittent pressure therapy equipment designed to forcibly drain postoperative lymph fluid.

Dave’s passion for design and its importance in society is palpable. “Lighting is something which touches everyone, every day,” says Dave. “The performance of the most mundane tasks to the most demanding, particularly in medical task lighting is intensely rewarding to me, knowing the products on which I work contribute deeply to such tasks.”

Bank of China HQ, Beijing Architect: I. M. Pei Lighting Consultant: William Artists International. LTD.  

“Wheel” Aerial sculpture & chandelier foyer centerpiece 12 meters in diameter and hanging below the 48-meter high ceiling. The wheel, constructed of steel and weighing 350 kilograms, had to be assembled fully and disassembled in pieces for transport in 20m shipping containers. “I had to generate a map of which part of the wheel went into the container first so the first piece that came out could be carried to the back of the assembly area – it was important they came out in the right order!” – Dave Kavanagh

Bank of China, showing wheel aerial sculpture & chandelier also featuring 30 meter steel beam grow lights suspended over bamboo planters.

The wheel, constructed of steel and weighing 350 kilograms, had to be assembled fully and disassembled in pieces for transport in 20-meter shipping containers from Planet Lighting, Australia.

Dave’s interest in design also seems inseparable from his personal interest in both social conscience and design consequence. As a result, he gained the friendship and acquaintances of many academics and pursued interests with like-minded people equally curious about sociology. He was the Public Officer for the establishment of the Bellingen Institute, a think tank endeavor of Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and Adjunct Associate Professor, Dr. Richard Hil.

Dave’s design thinking overlapped and complemented educators promoting the importance of socially and ecologically responsible design. He was invited to guest lecture in the Kansas City’s Art Institute for students of the influential design educator Victor Papanek. “I remember my own final year thesis: Outside and Inside: Morality in Design which was kind of a shock to my lecturers who felt that the topic was a bad idea. I’ve always felt there’s no such thing as a bad idea – it only becomes a bad idea when you don’t express it.”

Dave’s deeply personal drive for social enquiry and social justice has also found him volunteering with his local community. In 2007 Dave worked closely with former Australian father of the year Steve Biddulph and candidate professor and Lecturer in Law, Beth Gibbings in the installation of the SIEV X National Memorial. The memorial consists of a series of 353 pole beams which were erected lakeside in Canberra and are engraved with commemorative artworks from over 200 schools and community groups across the country. The important monument commemorates the 353 people, including children, who drowned when the SIEV X boat sank on its perilous voyage from Indonesia to Australia in 2001. Most of the poles remain nameless as the victims were unidentified. “That’s what the ‘X’ in ‘Suspected Illegal Entry Vehicle X (SIEV X)’ stands for, that is, representing the unknown victims,” says Dave.

The memorial is one of Australia’s largest and most extensive installation and collaborative efforts and spans 400 square meters of the peninsula along Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. It remains a solemn symbol and reminder to both the government and public on the plight of refugees and a persistent indicator of the still unanswered questions ordinary citizens have with regards to the circumstances surrounding the tragic event.

The SIEV X installation’s arduous process to becoming a permanent display lakeside and nearby Parliament House has become its own emotional journey for Dave and his peers. Originally, the poles were only temporarily “held up” by 600 people during a televised procession in 2006. Dave helped in the certification and engineering effort to establish their permanent installation in the Australian capital. “I met Beth and Steve through the Rural Australians for Refugees organization,” of which Dave is still a formal member. The memorial continues standing today 15 years on. “It still chokes me up when I see those poles.”

Dave Kavanagh continues to innovate at Planet Lighting today and is a valued member of the community.

Dubai Metro – Red and Green Lines Consultant: Gulf Line International Trading Co  Multiple custom lighting fixtures were designed including the “Water Wave” and the “Flying Carpet.” The “Water Wave” decorative light fixture in Burjuman Station consists of a wave-like dynamic effect created via LED edge-lit clear glass and is controlled via DMX. The custom-made fixture is made up of 21 pieces of 1-inch thick glass and each piece is made up of three segments. The wave is 40 meters long and 10 meters wide.

Designer Dave Kavanagh shared with us some thoughts on design philosophy, practice and the context of his career with Planet Lighting:

“Joining Planet Lighting in Bellingen New South Wales Australia in April 1977 as the sole Staff Industrial Designer for an agreed tenure of 9 months to design and develop an extended-reach task lamp, I was not too worried about being without experienced designers to mentor and assist me, as it was for such a short duration. Forty-five and a half years later I find myself still in the same job but having experienced massive changes to my work tools and the type of work I have undertaken, including running a small design/manufacturing business in my spare time.

Many designers have experienced the leap from the drawing board to the CAD monitor and I can assure you it can be quite intimidating at first. CAD arrived in my professional life at the age of forty-five, just four years after I first began working on large custom light fittings.

The first large custom fitting was feature-lighting in the Australian Darwin Parliament House. This quickly developed into an explosion of work including feature lighting in the main hall of The Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre for the Hong Kong handover in 1997 and the (then) world’s largest building/s the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, the head office of the Bank of China in Beijing in 2000 and some very large glass fittings in the Dubai Metro UAE. Some of these projects weighed many tonnes and called for engineering certification, including taking a Bellingen crew for installation on-site. We even employed a London-based crew of riggers for one of our higher/heavier fittings. These are just some of the highlights, there being many smaller, less prestigious, jobs along the way and since.

The CEO of Planet Lighting throughout this time was Brett Iggulden OAM who was solely responsible for securing and managing these jobs for our company, a very small business in a very small town in coastal New South Wales Australia. Even though I was integral to the process, it never ceased to delight me that, for instance, for a few years any Starbucks Café anywhere in the world included light fittings using hand-blown glass blown in Bellingen in our own glassworks. This engenders a level of pride in our company workforce that is second to none.

I have always held high moral standards as an important baseline for design work of all kinds and often struggle internally with issues surrounding my work, if not directly impacted by it.

The design process I find most effective uses a recursive progression: two steps forward, one step back and so on until after a few iterations I take many steps back to review the design progression and evaluate the results to ensure the project is heading in a healthy direction before proceeding any further, avoiding “vertical” thinking in the design. This re-evaluation applies to all aspects of a project or product and includes all stakeholders and has worked well for me over many years.

Perhaps the most important mindset to nurture for me as a designer has been that there is no such thing as a stupid question … ever. Question everything and everyone, and always have a reason for your choices and decisions.

Once a brief or work order is accepted, it becomes a personal responsibility for eternity. At no time is a job handed over with no further responsibility or “ownership” by the industrial designer, production designer or engineer. This demands a passionate embrace of the work and its consequences.

Finally, this award was an unexpected bonus in a long and as-yet incomplete journey which has been an enormous amount of fun and I unreservedly thank all those who have contributed to my success in this career.” Dave Kavanagh

Dave Kavanagh/ Courtesy of Planet Lighting

Dave Kavanagh/ Courtesy of Planet Lighting

The “Flying Carpet” lighting fixture, one of six, was installed in different stations of Dubai Metro. The fixture is 27 metres in length, 2.5 metres wide and comprises 140 individual glass assemblies. Each glass piece weighs 70 kilograms and the total fixture weighs 11.5 tons.

About Planet Lighting: The Planet Lighting design tradition heralds back to the early 1900s when founder WA Iggulden set up Bentley Mfg Co in Melbourne to produce building tools for patented designs. Since the 1930s Planet has been manufacturing lights, including the iconic Australian classic, the Studio K desk lamp. Over the years, our facilities have expanded to include handblown artisan glassblowing facilities, a high-tech LED laboratory and state-of-the-art CNC equipment to ensure high-quality in-house capability and a comprehensive approach to lighting manufacturing.

Today, we are one of the leading Australian suppliers of Medical & Surgical lights, LED and custom lighting solutions and are uniquely placed to provide the expertise and know-how required to work with lighting designers and specifiers to realize creative custom lighting ideas and concepts.

With a career of over 50 years in Lighting Product Design, Tony Lawrence has been working since April 1969 at Concord Lighting part of the Sylvania Lighting group. He has been designing products that brought accent lighting to the high streets, art galleries, museums, hotels, and more… He has also set design briefs and evaluated projects for degree students of St Martins School of Art London’s students and at the University of Sussex.

Tony was trained as an Electrical/Mechanical Engineer and knew little of lighting.  He joined Concord at the age of 21 as he wanted to live in London and was soon taken up with the subject of the combination of Product Design and Lighting Design Technology.  He was fortunate enough to join at a time when the emphasis was very much on Design as championed by the artist founder, Bernard Stern, and working in the studio of Professor Robert Heritage of the Royal College of Art.  It still gives him satisfaction to see those products he has designed being used to enhance beautiful objects or spaces.

Tony has won numerous prizes with Concord’s innovative range of LED luminaires starting with the Red Dot Award in 1996 for the Torus 100 Low volt spotlight range, followed by the FX Interior Design Awards in 1999 for the Torus 35W CDMT spotlight. In recent years, the Beacon Muse won 4 lighting industry awards mandating a ‘clean sweep’ and expert endorsement for high performance and beautiful products. The Stadium spotlight in 2010 won the prestigious Red Dot award. This was followed in 2013 when Concord Glace won the Best Interior Luminaire at the Lighting Design Awards and been a finalist at the Lux Awards and the FX Awards, whilst 2014 saw industry recognition of Concord’s Officelyte with new intelligent Sylsmart technology.

Tony has been involved in the design of all Lighting products from Concord by Sylvania, being the center of innovation and development; his contribution to the lighting industry is prodigious!

Meet Tony Lawrence


Craig A. Bernecker’s lighting career now spans nearly four decades and during that time he has had the opportunity to play a significant role in the development of two highly regarded lighting education programs, one at Penn State University and one at Parsons School of Design, The New School. Craig’s contribution to Lighting Education is tremendous, as an Educational Facilitator for the LIGHTFAIR International, Professor of Lighting Design and Director at Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York and Founder of The Lighting Education Institute as well as his involvement in professional societies such as the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and the International Commission on Illumination (CIE).

Craig shared with us his involvement in lighting design to understand his career:

Craig A. Bernecker: After leaving college with an undergraduate degree in psychology, I chose to pursue a very different career by entering the Master’s Program in Architectural Engineering at Penn State University.  Unknown to me was the fact that the lighting faculty member there, John Flynn, was conducting research on the psychology of light.  I got into lighting because my background in psychology led me to serve as his graduate assistant. And my master’s thesis work in lighting, The Potential for Design Applications of Luminance Data, turned out to be awarded transaction status when presented at the 1979 IES Conference and published in the Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society.  It also introduced the first computer-generated photorealistic rendering of the lighting effects in a space.

The influence of John Flynn on my career was not over yet, however, as after graduation I took a position with a large architectural engineering firm in Philadelphia, and was asked by Flynn to co-teach graduate architecture students at the University of Pennsylvania. Thus my teaching career began.

After designing lighting systems for all of the A&E firm’s projects for two years, I was hired by a west coast manufacturer, primarily based on the strength of my thesis, to run their applications department and conduct research.  Shortly after arriving there, I learned of the illness and ultimately the passing of John Flynn, which began a road to return to Penn State to continue the lighting program there.  One of the carryovers from the west coast manufacturer to Penn State was research I conducted on indirect lighting systems and brightness perception.  This led to a second major publication, The Effect of Source Luminance on the Perception of Environmental Brightness, and to an effort by a number of manufacturers to convert totally indirect lighting systems to direct-indirect lighting systems.

Penn State Lighting Program

Craig A. Bernecker: While at Penn State, I was able to expand the lighting program in the Department of Architectural Engineering from 2-1/2 courses to eight courses, and created stability by bringing a second lighting faculty position to the program, which led to the hiring of Rick Mistrick, who remains a mainstay of the program.  I was also able to garner funding from the Besal Foundation to provide a significant number of lighting scholarships for our students.  During my twenty years at Penn State, we placed well over 200 professionals into the lighting industry, with notable graduates like Chip Israel (Lighting Design Alliance), Rick Mistrick (Penn State), Kevin Houser (Oregon State), Clarence Waters (Nebraska), Bob Davis (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), Dorene Maniccia (Design Lights Consortium), Jim Baney and Emily Klingensmith (Schuler Shook), Andrea Hartranft (Hartranft Lighting Design), Karen Murphy (HDR), Mary Ann Hay (Syska Hennessy), Ron Kurtz (Dark Light), Dave Pfund and Joe Zaharewicz (The Lighting Quotient), Dave Ranieri (Acuity Brands), and countless others I have missed, who hold significant positions in the lighting industry.

I also got involved in distance learning in its formative stages during my tenure at Penn State, in particular serving on the university steering committee for Penn State’s World Campus and serving as a Faculty Fellow in Distance Education.  As a part of my work in this arena, I developed a course that I taught jointly between Penn State and Tennessee State University students using early distance learning technologies.  Focusing on creating diversity using these technologies, this led to several publications, An inter-institutional approach to distance learning and diversity, and Distance learning in architectural engineering: An inter-institutional case study.

My research at Penn State included collaboration with Dr. George Brainard, where we published the first study (Biological Effects of Architectural Lighting and Their Associated Energy Utilization) demonstrating that the physiological effects of lighting could be influenced by architectural lighting systems rather than solely through the use of therapeutic devices.

During my time at Penn State, I also authored five chapters in the IES intermediate education course (ED150), as well as many other articles published in a variety of journals.

The Lighting Education Institute

Craig A. Bernecker: Ultimately my work in distance learning and restrictions on the ability to reach a wide range of people led me to leave Penn State and pursue distance learning on my own by forming The Lighting Education Institute (LEI).  I continue to deliver professional lighting education through LEI, including offering an annual Lighting Certification (NCQLP) review course with the Illuminating Engineering Society and serving as Educational Facilitator, responsible for planning the conference program at LIGHTFAIR each year.  I also annually teach the two-day intermediate lighting course annually at LIGHTFAIR.

Parsons School of Design Lighting Program

Craig A. Bernecker: A few years after starting the Lighting Education Institute, I was asked to travel to Parsons to teach one of their lighting courses.  Over a year or so, this quickly morphed to four courses and a full-time position in the lighting program beginning in 2006.

At Parsons, I contributed to revising the curriculum in the two-year MFA Lighting Design program, and, in particular, helped establish a stronger fundamentals base for the lighting design students.  We also developed an interdisciplinary emphasis, establishing both a dual degree program to award a Masters of Architecture and MFA Lighting Design simultaneously, and a double major granting an MFA in Lighting and Interior Design, led by my colleague Derek Porter.

An additional curricular initiative relatively early in my tenure was to create an elective course offering, Lighting Technologies in the Developing World, exploring the large part of the world that does not have access to electric lighting either due to poverty or lack of access to electric power. We generated significant interest among our students in exploring the developing world, including design issues, technologies, and implementation. As a result, I was able to deliver twenty-four solar-powered lighting systems, identified through a series of these course offerings, to a remote village in Senegal, and presented both our students’ work and my experience in several venues – IALD Enlighten Americas, PLDC, and IES.

In 2014, I was awarded an educational grant by the Illuminating Engineering Society to seed the development of a one-week intensive lighting design studio, intended to bring practicing professionals back into the design studio to refresh, reinvigorate, and learn new design techniques.  The studio has been quite successful, drawing attendees from around the world.  One international attendee wrote on Facebook, “to one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had along my journey with light,” and “If it existed… the 10 courses to take before you die, surely this one would be at the top of my list.”

We recently added a Daylighting Intensive Design Studio to pair with the regular intensive, taking advantage of the heliodon and diffuse sky simulator of our Light and Energy Lab.  The studios are run back-to-back in consecutive weeks so participants can schedule either one or both together.

In the fourteen plus years since I’ve been at Parsons, we’ve been able to create a unique research program within a design school.  Focused on evidence-based design, to get our design students to conduct experimental research as their final thesis projects. Over the last four years, we have presented and published more than a dozen of their projects as technical papers at the IES Annual Conferences.  Students learn how to do a good research so they can more critically evaluate cutting-edge information potentially informing their future design decisions.

A significant accomplishment of the research program involves two studies to finally expand the psychology of light work of John Flynn by exploring the influence of color temperature on subjective responses to lighted environments.  These two studies, The Influence of Chromaticity on Subjective Impressions in Lighted Environments, and, The Influence of Color Temperature along with Illuminance on Subjective Impressions in Lighting, were presented and published in 2017 and 2019.

Another part of the research program is being conducted for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Next Generation Lighting Systems program.  As a result, there are currently thirteen different connected lighting systems installed on the New School/Parsons campus that serves as a “living laboratory,” where students are engaged in evaluating these systems to better inform their effectiveness.  The ongoing work of the assessment of these systems following the stages of the overall building design and construction process from specification to post-occupancy evaluation has been presented in a variety of venues, from LIGHTFAIR to LEDucation to both the IES and IALD conferences.

Our most recent research is focused on the integration of germicidal ultraviolet radiation (GUV) into architectural lighting systems.  We are evaluating the potential for GUV to be safely integrated into architectural lighting systems to kill bacteria and deactivate viruses, including SARS-CoV2.  We will test both the efficacy of GUV to treat upper room air to keep our environments safe over the long term and develop a protocol for the assessment of such systems as more manufacturers produce products that will require evaluation to ensure they are safe.

Most recently, I have developed a lighting certificate program in cooperation with The New School’s online distance learning initiative. Consisting of three five-week courses and entirely virtual, this certificate program will address a growing need for lighting education outside of full degree programs.

Service to the Lighting Profession

Craig A. Bernecker: A large part of my service to the lighting profession has been through the Illuminating Engineering Society.  I have had the opportunity to serve in three major positions, Vice President of Technical and Research Activities, Vice President of Educational Activities, and President, including serving one year as Senior Vice President before serving as President, as well as one year as Immediate Past President, the year following.   Within that arc of service, I was able to implement several changes.  One was to create a new publication, a Technical Memorandum, to address cutting-edge issues in a timely fashion, another to establish a task force to develop a new classification system for exterior luminaires, and yet another to revamp the annual conference that had been lagging in attendance and quality.  I also reorganized several committees and the overall committee structure in each position.

The IES recognized my service with the Distinguished Service Award in 2017, and my overall contributions to the profession by naming me a fellow in 1991.

I have served two terms on the IALD Board of Directors, but also have provided service in a different way, specifically to develop and deliver a series of workshops on solid-state lighting (LED’s), as it was becoming a more accepted technology and helping designers to understand it better.

I have been involved in the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) in the past, and again most recently, having been appointed as the United States representative to Division 3: Interior Environment.

Consulting and Other Services

Craig A. Bernecker: I have regularly attempted to stay current with design practice by engaging in design opportunities throughout my career as a lighting educator.  My projects have included pro bono design work for a church in my community, to design for a historical township building.  I was also called in to re-design a newly installed lighting system in a residence that purportedly contained the largest collection of modern art in the U.S.

A part of my consulting work over the years has been to serve as an expert witness in several cases.  Over time these have included automobile accidents, personal injuries due to poor lighting, and even a murder case.  My most recent expert witness work was a major multi-billion dollar trademark infringement case where the judge cited my testimony as one of the major factors influencing his decision.

Crossing back over to more of a service role, I was appointed by the U.S. Department of Energy as co-chair of the technical committee that evaluated and ultimately awarded the $10,000,000 prize for the Bright Tomorrow Competition, also known as the L Prize, of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

I find it important to be involved in these kinds of activities in order to bring an understanding of design practice, as well as cutting-edge information back into the classroom for my students’ benefit. And if I’ve accomplished anything deserving of this award, it is the students who as practicing professionals have contributed to the lighting profession in a myriad of ways, raising the importance of lighting as a critical design element in our built environments.