Change is in the air

Nov. 6, 2023
Editorial director Wanda Lau welcomes in exciting developments at Architectural SSL, including the arrival of a new editor in chief, Linda Becker.

In life, the frequency at which we experience change is itself always changing. For decades, the lighting profession was content with incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen lamps—until it decided it wasn’t. From 2012 to 2018, LEDs’ market share in commercial building use rose from 9% to 44%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Five years later, LEDs’ share has only ticked higher, and its greatest competitor in commercial lighting—standard fluorescent lamps—is on the chopping block in multiple states. Even lighting designers who might once have considered hoarding halogen MR16s have jumped on the LEDs ship and are navigating the sea of change.

Similarly, Architectural SSL has also undergone changes over its life. What began as a publication focusing on the latest releases in lighting products, controls, and technologies has morphed into a print and online brand that celebrates the architectural lighting profession holistically.

Don’t get me wrong: We still love our products, as evidenced by this issue’s cover story presenting the honorees of Architectural SSL’s 13th annual Product Innovation Awards (PIAs). Manufacturers worldwide submitted their latest and greatest launches for PIAs consideration. They shared technical achievements, diverse use cases, stunning imagery, and noticeable traction in sustainability efforts beyond leaning on LEDs’ innate efficacy improvements over conventional sources.

This issue is also introducing a new magazine department, Designer Files. Here, we profile emerging and established architectural lighting design firms, highlighting their office culture and personalities beyond their portfolios and websites. Philadelphia firm BEAM, ltd. bravely agreed to be our first subject, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Feel free to throw your company’s name in the hat for coverage consideration in future Designer Files, which will also run online.

Other stories in this issue: design advice for high-end residential and hospitality lighting; a primer on linear lighting; illumination strategies deployed at two distinctive and award-winning athletic and recreational centers; and awe-inspiring innovation in circadian lighting by experts in neonatal care, lighting, and architecture for our most vulnerable patients.

The brand has a few more exciting changes in the pipeline, including one that I’ll share here. As of October, Architectural SSL has a new editor-in-chief. Hailing from Greater Chicago, Linda Becker has an extensive background in B2B media, overseeing titles such as Process Heating and Process Cooling for nearly three decades. She is ready for the change in subject matter and the opportunity to cover experts, topics, and products in the field of architectural lighting. Since her hire, she has already expressed a newfound appreciation for the far-reaching impact of lighting on our built and natural worlds. 

About the Author

Wanda Lau

Wanda Lau was the editorial director of Architectural SSL, LEDs Magazine, and Smart Buildings Technology. She was formerly the executive editor of Architect magazine.