Certified Lighting Designer : Action To Date

The International Association of Lighting Designers' Credentialing Task Force has developed and is now field-testing an evidence-based global program to certify architectural lighting designers. Read on for details about past actions of the Task Force and to learn more about how the IALD has arrived at its current position. JOB TASK ANALYSIS
The IALD Credentialing Task Force began its work by engaging Judith Hale, PhD, a world-renowned psychometrician who has continued to assist the task force in its work. Following best practices in the certification industry, the task force engaged in a careful job task analysis to clearly define the work of architectural lighting designers.

The job task analysis followed accepted international standards for professional certification programs. The members of the task force explored the core competencies of architectural lighting designers, encompassing all aspects of the profession, from meeting owner and occupant needs to achieving maximum energy efficiency and collaborating with all members of the project design team. The lengthy process was conducted carefully and involved many stakeholders to ensure it captured the best overall picture of the architectural lighting design profession. DOMAINS OF PRACTICE
The job task analysis yielded a series of core competencies, which are encompassed by the seven domains of practice of the architectural lighting design profession. Lighting designers must excel in each of these domains in order to be eligible for ceritfication. The domains of practice are the backbone of the certification, and can be seen in the sidebar on this page, and all other pages of the Certification mini-site. GLOBAL CERTIFICATION SURVEY
To ensure the validity, reliability and defensibility of its work, the IALD conducted a global survey to determine how well the domains of practice reflected what architectural lighting designers really do.

Independent of country of residence, the 637 building/design industry practitioners responding to the IALD Certification Survey indicated that these seven domains of professional practice accurately reflected the practice of architectural lighting design (average rating 4.1 out of 5) and are important to the profession (average rating 4.66 out of 5).

Geographic spread of respondents was diverse, with design/build practitioners from more than 36 countries answering the survey. A majority of respondents had 12 or more years of experience. When asked about their primary role, 67% chose architectural lighting designer from a list of 27 roles. The next most frequently cited roles were engineer (8.6%), manufacturer (5.8%), live events (4.4%), educator (4.1%) and architect (3%). Among the architectural lighting designers responding to the survey, 63.4% were male and 34.8% were female.

Following the success of the global certification survey in September 2012, the Credentialing Task Force began work on an Alpha Study. This limited-member study tested the framework of the CLD certification, and was designed to ensure that the application process is clear and workable.

Feedback from the alpha study led the Task Force to make modifications to the application; Beta studies began partway through 2013. The Beta study is geared towards a larger group of lighting design professionals, and is designed to confirm that the standards of the certification and the application process actually measure competence.

For both studies, participants were carefully selected to ensure diversity in geographical location, gender, length of time in practice and size of practice. WEBINARS AND SPECIAL SESSIONS
Since the Certification Task Force was initially convened, several webinars and special sessions have been held to maintain communication with IALD membership and the lighting design profession.

The IALD Credentialing Task Force held a series of webinars on 19-20 June 2013 to discuss the IALD certification effort. The webinars were split into several sessions and were geared towards specific time zones/geographic areas. You can listen to those webinars on the IALD Youtube channel.

The IALD Credentialing Task Force gave a 45-minute presentation on their efforts in the new Spotlight Lounge at LIGHTFAIR International 2013. The session gave attendees from around the world - most of which were new to the idea of certification - an opportunity to learn about the IALD's activities and ask questions of the many Credentialing Task Force members in attendance. Select attendee questions from the Spotlight Lounge session, along with their answers, are available on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

The IALD Credentialing Task Force held a series of webinars on 13-14 March 2012 to discuss the IALD certification effort. Each webinar closed with a question and answer session that allowed attendees to submit questions about many facets of the task force's work. Attendees showed a strong interest int he activities of the task foce and the ideology behind the IALD's credentialing research; many participants have also begun to ask questions about the application of the credential in the future.


IALD’s Find a Lighting Designer feature includes four search options:

  • Country and Project Type can be searched using the drop-down menus.
  • To search by City, simply type in the city you are interested in. The results will first list lighting designers located in that city. The search will then list any designer that has referenced that city in their profile or project list.
  • To search by keyword, type in any word or phrase of interest (example: designer’s name, company name, project name, zip code). The search will yield any profiles that include the keyword you’ve used, or will yield no results if your keyword is not found exactly as entered.

You can use one field or a combination of fields to locate the desired lighting designer. If you are having trouble with the search, or need further assistance, please contact IALD at iald@iald.org or by calling +1 312 527 3677.

CLD Domains of Practice

Demonstrated skill at designing lighting solutions that satisfy project requirements and design intent so the solutions perform as expected.

Skill at interacting with other disciplines by serving as an integral member of the team so that lighting relates to its context and adds value to a project.

A record of contributing ideas that demonstrate innovation, creativity, originality, or resourcefulness to foster the goals of the project.

Demonstrated ability to integrate the technical and aesthetic elements of lighting with space and form.

Showing how light interacts with people, materials, and building systems by applying the principles of light to meet relevant technical criteria.

Responding to known and potential social and environmental impact by designing solutions that avoid or minimize harm, discomfort, or waste.

Demonstrated ability to design lighting solutions that positively affect people.