Enlighten Europe 2024: Insights from the LIRC Meeting in London

by | Jun 21, 2024 | News

Christopher Knowlton offers insights at the IALD LIRC meeting 2024 in London

Insights from the LIRC Meeting in London

On 20 June 2024, the Lighting Industry Resource Council (LIRC) held a meeting in London as part of the the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) Enlighten Europe Confernce. The conference was a platform for luminaire manufacturers and lighting designers to engage and collaborate.

LIRC Attendees Kick-Off with Rock, Paper, Scissors

LIRC Attendees Kick-Off with Rock, Paper, Scissors

The session began on a lively note with Anthony Kerr from LEDFLEX, an IALD delegate member, orchestrating an engaging icebreaker. His choice of a Rock, Paper, Scissors game a brilliant spark to begin the meeting.

Carla Bukalski offers Insights from the LIRC Meeting in London

Carla Bukalski Welcomes the Attendees to the LIRC 2024 in London

Following the icebreaker, Carla Bukalski, co-chair of the LIRC, introduced Andrea Hartranft, the president of IALD. Carla delivered the traditional impact statement and extended a warm welcome to all attendees. Andrea Hartranft’s comments were brief but heartfelt, expressing gratitude to the manufacturers and wishing everyone a productive day.

Christopher Knowlton, CEO of IALD, provided a concise overview of the organization’s structure and mission. He emphasized that the LIRC comprises an equal mix of manufacturers and designers, with manufacturers being elected and designers appointed (something I was not aware of.) He presented the vision and mission statements, underscoring IALD’s status as a membership organization and a non-profit entity. He noted that surplus funds, from event such as these conferences are reinvested into the profession. The IALD is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, while the IALD Education Trust Fund is a 501(c)(6) charitable arm, both are registered in New York.

Bylaws and Membership

A portion of the discussion centered around the approved bylaw changes aimed at making membership more accessible and extending the organization’s reach to more countries. The membership structure is divided into two categories: individuals and companies. Knowlton highlighted the importance of inclusivity, stating, “The more people we can reach, the greater impact we can have.” The shift from a linear to a more circular membership structure was discussed to accommodate a broader spectrum of lighting design professionals, including those involved in academic research, theater, and exhibition design.

The new membership structure places fellows and professionals at the core. The IALD conference is expected to draw about 350 individuals, including students and specifiers, representing 35 countries and 112 practices. The event features 39 speakers from 13 countries, delivering 24 hours of educational content. Much of this content will be available on the IALD’s education platform, reducing barriers to entry.


Christopher emphasized The IALD LERN (Lighting Education Resource Network) which was developed by the LIRC.  It aims to connect designers with valuable content. Knowlton elaborated on the benefits of providing content to LERN, offering various sponsorship levels—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—ranging from $3,000 to $9,000.

A live demonstration of LERN was conducted showcasing the platform’s capabilities. The system allows users to complete questions, progress to the next session, and track their credits, with reports sent back to the IALD. The platform is actively seeking supporters and content, offering discounts for early members.

The session was then handed over to Keir Hansen, who is responsible for marketing communications for IALD. Keir highlighted the rollout of the new IALD platform, designed to make content more relevant and accessible. He emphasized the importance of maintaining up-to-date profiles and accounts, noting that visibility settings are crucial for LIRC members. The new platform features member communities, forums, and discussion groups, providing sorted, edited, and searchable content in addition to existing social media activities.

Carla took the mike again and mentioned the relevancy of virtual LIRC meetings and are they still relevant.  She asked members to email her their feedback.

As a few colleagues and I had to leave early to attend the LIT Awards, the group divided into sections to focus on two specific subjects:

Topic 1: Creating LIRC Community

Topic 2: The Future of (How to Evolve) the IALD Enlighten Europe Conference