Last month I attended the American Lighting Association’s annual Engineering Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. and was bowled over not only by the sheer volume of impending legislation topics to be addressed, but the amount of time and research needed to fully comprehend the pressing changes that will impact our industry.
Ever wonder just how much standby power those “smart” devices that are always listening for commands (i.e. Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Home) consume? The government has. Did you know the FDA has been looking whether there are any side effects to “radiation-emitting electronic devices and LEDs?” Have you thought about where the industry is at concerning laser diode LED lighting and the development of “resilient power” (lighting fixtures that go beyond the scope of emergency lighting for egress to supply illumination for days, instead of mere hours, after a natural disaster)? And, of course, there are the impending updates to California’s Proposition 65 and Energy Star Lamps V2.1.
The people who are devoting large portions of their time to staying on top of the legislative changes and assessing the ramifications are doing so for the greater good. Yes, manufacturers’ engineering departments need to stay abreast of the changes, but these ALA members are volunteering an extraordinary amount of time to share their research with one another and band together to effectively counter some of the proposed regulations. Without their obsessive attention to detail and due diligence, there could have been some especially negative complications passed on the legislative level if these volunteers on the ALA Engineering Committee — and therefore the ALA — had not gotten involved on the residential lighting industry’s behalf.
While most decorative lighting manufacturers are members of the ALA, not all lighting distributors are; however, everyone benefits from the organization’s legislation watch group’s efforts. You don’t have to be a member of the ALA in order to contribute to the ALA’s Political Action Committee, which bolsters the ALA’s efforts to continue its productive dialogue with various lawmakers by contributing to members of Congress (both Democrats and Republicans) who are responsive to issues challenging the lighting industry.
For our readers who are interior designers or other non-retail design professionals, you’ll find the ALA’s Web site (www.americanlightingassoc.com) is a useful resource for staying up to date on lighting trends through educational articles plus you can sign up for a free monthly e-newsletter of lighting tips.
As someone who has observed just how much time and effort the ALA’s volunteer Engineering Committee members have devoted to monitoring potential government regulations and lessening the negative impact of them for the good of everyone, I encourage you to support this worthy cause.