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International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Information Sheet #47

Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA)

conference (generally in August) for the presentation and discussion of technical, research, design
and application papers and reports of interest to
the society, as well as many business meetings.

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North

America, most commonly referred to as the IES
or the IESNA, is a non-profit organization whose
bylaws describe its purpose as to advance the art,
science and practice of illumination by the investigation, evaluation, and dissemination of knowledge
to consumers, producers, and general interest
groups through education, literary, and scientific

A great many of the activities of the IESNA take

place through its Committees, several of which
deal with administrative matters but most of which
exist to address technical matters. Some of these
of special interest to outdoor lighting are: Roadway
Lighting (with numerous subcommittees, on of
which is Light Trespass), Sports Lighting, Outdoor
Environmental Lighting; and others including:
Aviation Lighting, Correctional Facilities, Education, Energy Management, Health Care Facilities, Industrial Lighting, Landscape Lighting, Light
Sources, Merchandise Lighting, Photo biology,
Psychological Aspects of Lighting, Quality & Quantity if Illumination, Residence Lighting, School and

To be eligible for membership in the IESNA, a

person shall subscribe to its purpose and shall
qualify under one of its membership classifications:
Associate, Emeritus, Fellow, Honorary, Member,
Retired, Student, or Sustaining. A Member is generally one who is a qualified professional in some
phase of illumination, an Associate is anyone at
least 18 years old interested in the purposes of the
Society (an associate has all privileges of membership but cannot serve on the Board of Directors,
as a Regional Vice President, or as a Committee
Chair). A Sustaining Member may be a company,
firm, association, or individual interested in the purposes of the IESNA and desirous of contributing
to its support. The International Dark-Sky Association is a Sustaining Member of the IESNA and
several IDA members are active IESNA members.
Likewise, a number of IESNA members are IDA
members, including several of our Organizational
Members. The more contact between the two
groups the better, of course.

The two groups have many goals in common,

especially the promotion of quality lighting, and the
desire for much increased research and education
about such lighting.
There are a number of excellent resources produced by the IESNA that are of interest to anyone
interested in learning about good lighting. These
include: the IESNA Lighting Handbook, in two volumes (Reference and Application), updated every
few years. While far from complete, and still lacking in many areas, such as a good discussion
of the adverse effects of poor lighting and what
to do about them, it is an invaluable resource.
Chapters in the Reference Volume are: Dictionary
of Lighting Terminology, Light and Optics, Light and
Vision, Measurement of Light, Color, Luminaires,
Day lighting, Light Sources, and Lighting Calculations; the Application Volumess chapters discuss

The IESNA is divided into several (12 at present)

regions, each with a Regional Vice President.
Each region contains a number of Sections, which
are the local chapters of the IESNA. For example, in the Tucson area there is the Southern Arizona Section, a part of the Intermountain Region
(which has 7 sections). Sections vary greatly in
size and in level of activity. There are regular Section meetings, an annual Regional meeting (sometimes Bi-Regional as well), and an Annual IESNA


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journal of interest is Lighting Institution of Building

Service Engineers, in England. It has quite a
number of interesting and useful technical articles
of interest to the issues.

the various application areas, and include Lighting

Design, Lighting Economics, Outdoor Lighting
Applications, Sports and Recreational Areas, and
Roadway Lighting. Most of these are produced by
the IESNA Committees of the same name.

Larger libraries will have some or all of these,

and other items. Local IESNA members or lighting
engineers or firms will quite likely have the IESNA
Handbooks and Lighting Library (These are free
to Sustaining Members). They are excellent references to the basic facts and information. Unfortunately, membership is not inexpensive nor are the
publications. However, most members are most
happy to share their expertise and experience,
subject only to the fact that they are professionals
and must make a living from their profession.

The IESNA also conducts quite a few educational

seminars and classes, both nationally and by Sections. There are standard materials available from
the IESNA for these classes. Individuals also give
seminars, though these are often more expensive.
Many of the Sections welcome non-members to
their meetings.
The IESNA also produces a Lighting Library,
which includes recommended practices for various
applications, committee reports, measurement and
calculation guides, and other printed material.
Some of the Recommended Practices that are
of special interest for outdoor lighting applications
are: RP-6 Sports and Recreational Area Lighting,
RP-8 Roadway Lighting, and RP-19 Roadway Sign
Lighting; some of the Committee Reports of interest are: CP-31 Value of Public Roadway Lighting,
and CP-46 Astronomical Light Pollution and Light

Contact either IDA or the IESNA (your local Section or the National office) for more information.
Remember, of course, that a great deal of the
lighting that the IESNA deals with is interior lighting. Outdoor lighting appears much less often,
in numbers, energy use, or most any factor, than
does interior lighting.
The Current mailing address for the IESNA is
IESNA, 120 Wall Street, 17th Floor, New York , NY

There is an IESNA monthly magazine of general

interest which is sent to members, Lighting Design
and Application (LD & A), containing useful articles,
news notes, product notices, and so forth. Another

Phone Number is: 212-248-5000