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Texas Bill H.B. 2649 to Restrict Lighting Design to Licensed Professionals

by PLSN Staff • in
  • News
• Created: May 28, 2009

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AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Senate passed legislation that will prohibit anyone from practicing lighting design except for registered architects, landscape architects, engineers, interior designers and commercial electricians. H.B. 2649 was authored by Representatives Wayne Smith,  Bill Callegari, and Senator Bob Deuell to amend the current state law relating to the regulation and practice of engineering and lighting design.

Three different sections of the legislation prohibit “a person from performing or offering to perform lighting design service unless the person is licensed as an engineer under this chapter; registered as an architect, landscape architect, or interior designer under Subtitle B (Regulation of Architecture and Related Practices), Title 6 (Regulation of Engineering, Architecture, Land Surveying, and Related Practices); or licensed under Chapter 1305 (Electricians).” The sole exception is for “the preparation of shop drawings or other directions from a manufacturer for the installation or operation of lighting fixtures.”

Senator Kip Averitt sponsored the bill in the Senate. His office declined to comment on the legislation. The bill will now go to the House for consideration. Smith can either concur or not concur with the Senate version. If he does not concur it will likely fail to become law. Smith’s office reported receiving many calls in opposition to the bill.

The International Association of Lighting Designers has issued a statement in opposition to the bill, saying that it will have the “unintended consequence of outlawing an entire profession—lighting design.”

The statement went on to say:

“The legislation has been drafted without any input from lighting designers, and restricts the practice of lighting design to members of other professions and trades, such as architects, engineers and electricians. There are no provisions in the legislation for establishing a licensing standard for lighting designers.

“Members of the IALD abide by a strict code of ethics and bring both engineering knowledge and artistic sensibilities to bringing out the best in buildings and outdoor spaces. IALD professional lighting designers dedicate their careers exclusively to the art and science of lighting. There is no substitute for their level of expertise and professionalism.

“The economic impact of the proposed legislation will be extensive: dozens of lighting designers practice in Texas, and hundreds of projects in the state depend on professional lighting designers for their full architectural expression.

“We believe that the Texas Legislature does not mean to outlaw an entire profession, but that is the impact of the proposed legislation.

Richard Cadena, editor of PLSN and a Texas resident, also issued an email call to action, saying:

“If you live in the state of Texas then you should be aware that there is a bill pending before the Texas House of Representatives that will prohibit anyone from practicing lighting design in the state of Texas unless you are a licensed architect, landscape architect, engineer, or commercial electrician. This law is potentially devastating to the lighting design community in Texas. It has already passed in the Senate and it goes up for consideration before the House on Thursday, June 28.

“If you would like to register your opinion about the proposed legislation there's still time. Please call the offices of the sponsors of the bill and make your voice heard. But hurry because time is running out.

Wayne Smith  512. 463.0733
Bob Deuell  512.463.0102
Kip Averitt  512.463.0122

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