Lighting – who ya gonna call?

I was talking with Peter Harrison, Technical Director at ILP, the other day. The conversation came round to all the professional bodies that proliferate around the lighting industry. What is it they do exactly? This is what things look like from the UK.

Thanks to Peter for his original input in creating the directory for the ILP members, The ILP Guide to the Lighting Industry.

Bodies providing an overview of industry standards and practices:

The Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage

The Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage, or International Commission on Illumination to give it its English-language title, was founded in 1931 and is the body responsible for the international coordination of lighting-related technical standards. It is recognised by the international  standardisation body the ISO.

Its objectives are to:

  • Provide an international forum for the discussion of all matters relating to the science, technology and art in light and lighting and for the interchange of information between countries
  • Develop basic standards and procedures of metrology in light and lighting.
  • Provide guidance in the application of principles and procedures in the development of international and national standards in light and lighting.
  • Prepare and publish standards, reports and other publications concerned with all matters relating to science, technology and art in light and lighting.
  • Maintain liaison and technical interaction with other international organisations concerned with science, technology, standardisation and art in light and lighting.

As a side note, it is worth being aware that, since 1999, the optical, visual and metrological aspects of the communication, processing and reproduction of images have been covered by CIE. This includes all types of analogue and digital imaging devices, storage media and imaging media.

For more information:

The Lighting Liaison Group

The Lighting Liaison Group is an informal industry umbrella body designed to enable bodies with a shared interest in the application of light and lighting – for example, trade associations and professional bodies – to co-ordinate action, collaborate, share views and information.

The LLG’s priority objectives include:

  • Improve communication between lighting organisations
  • Improve awareness of lighting and the benefits (including economic) of lighting
  • with the public, local and central government
  • Provide a joined-up consensus approach to UK lighting topics and ensure the
  • industry presents coherent and coordinate strategies on areas of common interest
  • Identify areas where a coherent and authoritative voice for the industry and
  • profession can be presented on public policy issues and concerns
  • To raise awareness of lighting issues within government, among the general
  • public and elsewhere.

Beyond this, it reviews and periodically reissues the ‘Lighting Sector Strategy’. This, again, is designed to ensure there is a consensus among UK lighting stakeholder bodies when it comes to informing and guiding the government and public.

Representing the design and specification sector:

International Association of Lighting Designers

the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) was founded in 1969 and is based in Chicago, IL, USA,  It is an internationally recognized organization dedicated solely to the concerns of independent, professional lighting designers. The IALD strives to set the global standard for lighting design excellence by promoting the advancement and recognition of professional lighting designers.

For more information:

The Institution of Lighting Professionals

The key purpose of the ILP is to promote excellence in all forms of lighting. This includes interior, exterior, sports, road, flood, emergency, tunnel, security and festive lighting as well as design and consultancy services. With some 2,000 members, we are a registered charity, a limited company and a licensed body of the Engineering Council.

The ILP’s history goes back to 1924 and the foundation of the Association of Public Lighting Engineers. This evolved into the Institution of Lighting Engineers and, now, the ILP. The ILP’s role and work is very much as an independent, authoritative voice for the industry, focused around advocacy, standards, best practice and education, both professional and continuing education.

The Institution also lobbies central and local government and seeks to raise public awareness about the crucial role of lighting in everyday life. It is also active in outreach work with schools and young people to promote the benefits of a career in the industry.

For more information:

The Professional Lighting Design Convention

The Professional Lighting Design Convention (PLDC), an annual event created for the global lighting design market, provides a communication platform for established and newly qualified lighting designers, researchers, students, manufacturers, city planners, architects and related professions. The event invites all lighting design enthusiasts, supporters and specialists to attend and be part of the development of the lighting design market to network, exchange and share knowledge and new approaches in practically all fields of light and lighting.

For more information: www.

The Society of Light and Lighting

The Society of Light and Lighting is part of CIBSE (see entry above) but is an important body within the lighting community, as it represents the interests of all those interested in the application of light. To that end, lighting designers, consulting engineers, researchers, students, professors, manufacturers and sales staff, among others, all contribute to and are members of the SLL.
Its current incarnation was launched back in 1999, but the society itself goes back more than 100 years, to 1909, when the Illuminating Engineering Society was first established.

The society’s aims are to:

  • • Promote the benefits of good lighting, especially in the built environment.
  • • Be at the forefront of developing lighting as an integral part of a low energy
  • and sustainable future
  • • Provide professional recognition to those in light and lighting
  • • Establish and promote good practice in lighting design and engineering in all their facets
  • • Provide a forum where people interested in all aspects of light and lighting can come together
  • • Set and maintain standards in education for light and lighting
  • • Advise government and other bodies on the best use and application of light and lighting

For more information:

Representing the manufacturing and distributing sector:

Electrical Distributors’ Association

The EDA (Electrical Distributors’ Association) is the trade association that protects the interests of wholesale distributors of electro-technical products in the UK. EDA members provide the link in the supply chain between manufacturers of electro-technical products and the electricians who install them.

The EDA works closely with allied industry associations on key issues of policy and practice. Close links with industry partners are helped by the EDA’s location in the electrical industry hub at Rotherwick House near Tower Hill in London.

EDA services include:

  • business networking events;
  • training and apprenticeships
  • publicity and exposure;
  • representation in Europe;
  • business support services 
  • digital product data services (known as ETIM-UK).

The Lighting Industry Association

The Lighting Industry Association describes itself as Europe’s largest trade association for industry, encompassing lighting equipment professionals, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, wholesalers, designers and lighting professionals. It promotes and delivers training, including the Lighting Certificate, and its technical managers sit on more than 40 national, European and international standards and regulatory committees. It has also recently opened a new Lighting Industry Academy.

As well as its training and standards work, it runs the largest independent lighting laboratory in Europe, and is able independently to measure and verify the safety and performance of lighting products. It also operates Lumicom, the not-for-profit WEEE compliance scheme and runs the only UK scheme that recycles light fittings.

For more information:

Special interest / industry sector organisations:

Given the history of the ILP, it was inevitable that Peter would concentrate on the organisations that inform transport and highways.

The Association of Directors of environment, Economy, Planning and Transportation (ADEPT)

The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT)

The Highway Electrical Association (HEA)

The Highways Asset Management Financial Information Group (HAMFIG)

The Local Government Technical Advisors Group (LGTAG)

The UK Roads Liaison Group (UKRLG)

And the list goes on. if you’d like to add any proferssional organisation in other sectors – or add to what we already have here, please get in touch by emailing the editor at

Posted in , ,
Find out more:

About John Bullock

John Bullock is the editor of The Light Review

Visit Website
View All Posts

The Light Review Newsletter

* indicates required

Please confirm you'd like to hear from The Light Review by email:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

Latest Articles

Scroll to Top