The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Texas Making Laws Against Lighting Designers

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by DBFJohn, May 27, 2009.

  1. DBFJohn

    DBFJohn Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
  2. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I smell a lobbyist.
     
  3. Anvilx

    Anvilx Active Member

    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Austin,Texas
    If you are qualified to do the work you should be allowed to do it.
    Landscape architects or Interior designers would be allowed? That doesn't make a ton of sense to me. Though to what degree it could affect stage lighting is yet to be determined.
     
  4. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Which then begs the question, "Who makes the determination as to how to define 'qualified'?".

    A grand day it will be indeed for Texas theatre when all of the lighting design is done by electrical engineers and landscapers.

    Perhaps the problem will be solved simply by renaming "lighting designers" as "lighting directors". Which is to say the "designer" is the guy who spec'd how to wire the house.
     
  5. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    106
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    WTF? What the heck does lighting design have to do with engineering? I can understand if you were installing a dimmer rack or something, but if you're designing the look, not the circuit layout, why should that require a license? It's not like the LD is going to designate the wire gauge required, the ratings of the upstream protective devices, etc. There's a reason theaters employ electricians. Part of the electricians' job is to tell the designers yes you can or no you can't do that.

    As an electrical engineer myself (not licensed yet however), I think the electrical system design should be done by a licensed engineer. Afterall the purpose of having licensed professional engineers is to certify a required level of expertise. It should not require a license to decide what gel should go in each instrument and where it should be positioned. (I'm aware that LD's do much more than that, don't flame me.)
     
  6. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    221
    Location:
    New York, NY
    From reading the article, I get the impression that the Texas senate has confused "Lighting Designer" with "Lighting Electrician". It's really not that hard to imagine when you think about it. Most non-theatre people do not understand that a Lighting Designer actually makes consious choices with choosing colors and angles and such, and instead think that the job of the Lighting Designer is to turn on and off the lights between scenes. After having read it a few times, this is the only possible explanation I can come up with. Also, it seems like the bill is oriented more towards architectural lighting, which actually makes some sense. Unlike most theatre lighting, architectural lighting is often in place for an extended amount of time and must be customized to work with each individual space, whereas theatres are equipped with purpose-built mounting positions for lights to hang. It also may involve lighting outdoors and putting lights and cables right alongside water pipes and conduit.

    Any Texans here who want to shed some light on this?
     
  7. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    3,988
    Likes Received:
    737
    Location:
    DFW, Tx.
    To follow up on what [user]Rochem[/user] just said, I agree that they're using the term "Lighting Designer" quite loosely. I believe their view of a lighting designer is a person who comes in and determines where to hang lights, how to hang them, and how to feed power to them in an architectural setting. In this case, they would be putting lighting instruments in various places and designing the system and how it works. Theatre lighting designers use the existing infrastructure for it's intended purpose in hanging lights. Architectural (or landscape) lighting designers may design a system from start to finish, designating where the lights hang, how they hang (from what supports), and how they are controlled/powered. A theatrical equivalent would be like the fine people at Barbizon or Texas Scenic. They, in a sense, "design the system" which a lighting designer uses to design a show. A landscape or architectural lighting designer would do what Barbizon or Texas Scenic does, plus what we do (in a much simpler process of course).

    That's the best I can do, and I'm not very good with my words today for some reason.
     
  8. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Interesting the way that bill mutated as it went through the legislative process (follow the links in the link of the original post). Started out as a structural engineering amendment. Then an unrelated definition amendment was added. Then another general amendment concerning documents was added. Then came the “lighting designer” amendments when it emerged from committee.

    My question: Is there another type of “Lighting designer” that has nothing to do with theatrical lighting? Judging by the IALD link (in the blog), it appears that “lighting design” is an architectural specialty for lighting buildings and lots. I wouldn’t be surprised if the term has come up in either Homeland Security guidelines or maybe even “green” lighting guidelines. The definition was attached to the Professional Engineering code and it’s been written broadly, I think the target group was in building design/architecture, not theatrical shows. There is a State Board of Engineers that enforces these regulations; if you’re in Texas, it would be best to contact them for an interpretation.

    However, as someone noted, it would be best to avoid using the “lighting design” term if this passes.


    Joe
     
  9. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Maryland
    It looks like this bill was ment to apply to the "permanent" installation or mounting of lights, they just left that part out.
    Sounds like it was something pushed for by existing license holders, who want more business.
     
  10. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    106
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I agree, it seems that the Texas Legislature is using "Lighting Designer" loosely. You guys hit the nail on the head about the distinctions between architectural LD's and theatrical LD's. My particular job as an electrical engineer is designing high voltage substations. I do run calculations regarding outdoor and indoor lighting, minimum intensities per square foot, dark sky requirements, security lighting, etc. I guess in that sense, I do lighting design. Maybe that's the direction this amendment was intended to go?

    A side issue here is the way the legislatures, both state and federal, handle passing bills. I have been particularly annoyed lately with completely unrelated items riding the coat-tails of a bill that will obviously pass. Both sides of the isle play the game I'm sure, but it is apparent recently with the amendment to allow a person to carry a loaded gun in national parks and the crap the Dems added on the original stimulus package.
     
  11. theILLUMINATEDfrog

    theILLUMINATEDfrog Member

    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas, United States
    I'm a Theatrical Lighting Designer in Texas, but I'm not too concerned. The field of Architectural Lighting Design is huge and diversified, with work being done by sales reps from diff. luminaire manufacturers, electrical contractors, architects, M.E.P. firms, Interior Designers, Electrical Engineers, Private Electricians, ... and well, you get the idea--lots of professions doing the job of what we think of as a "LD."

    There have been several programs initiated to standardize the profession, including the LC certification, as mentioned previously in the forum, but the field is still young and flexible. And though everyone making specs has to abide by the NEC, there is a tremendous amount of flexibility on how things are being done within the field. The problem with this is that the responsibility ultimately falls upon the Electrical Contractor to stay under budget, within load limits, etc. Even the most meticulously designed lighting scheme for an architectural application can be manipulated during installation by the EC as a means to save money, time, wattage, etc--not very fair to the designer.

    I believe this bill is an attempt to streamline the process and allow for the rigidity of the NEC and the new Energy Laws to be implemented and followed explicitly from the source of the design, cleaning up the edges (so to speak) of a field where unanswered details simply get passed off to the next guy down the line, usually resulting in money, time, and energy being wasted.

    I do not believe this bill was ever intended to affect the art of theatre or its designers. However, the broad language as it is written now does seem to include us starving artists. Although I hope this bill does not pass, there is always room for amendments and added clauses to exclude groups and applications such as ours in case it does.

    My father, which is an Electrical Engineer with a MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) Firm and is doing "lighting design" work but at a much different level than I do in my profession. He specs wattage and photometrics, keeps things within code and simply illuminates the space--with no concern of aesthetic, color temp, angles, etc... (again, an engineer, not a Designer) His thoughts on the Bill.... licensed professionals are overloaded with work and the sales reps, interior designers, etc relieve a tremendous part of the load-- business would back up astronomically without their services; simply not a good idea.
     
  12. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Maryland
    Another blog on the subject:
    Texas House Bill 2649 Passes | Jim On Light
    Note that although this passed the Texas Senate, the whole section on Lighting Designers was added by the Senate Committee, so it needs to go back to the House now. If you are in texas, call your representative now!

    Edit: I just found this:
    Texas Society of Architects - Government Advocacy
    It seems the Texas Sociery of Architects is pushing for this bill, though hopefully not in it's current form. Perhaps a polite note to them expressing our concern about the effects of this bill on entertainment Lighting Designers might be in order.

    -Fred
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  13. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

    Messages:
    546
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Guys I have spent most of my day on the phone with various legislators in the state of Texas and have more to say on this. Unfortuately right now, I don't have the time to do a full post. I will try later tonight.

    Short info though - it looks like the bill will have to go back to conference where this amendment may get stripped out of it completely.
     
  14. mrb

    mrb Active Member

    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    32
    be careful when contacting legislators about this, you dont want this to go the other way where they tack on a bunch more riders to the bill regulating theatrical lighting and requiring electrican licenses for stage personel
     
  15. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,615
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I actually think this article is quoted out of context as a scare tactic. Its obviously meant for permant install/Architecule designers and not aimed at the theatrical/enterainment industry.

    In fact if you read http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/billtext/pdf/HB02649S.pdf that's exactly what it feels like.
     
  16. DBFJohn

    DBFJohn Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    It could simply be that they are putting legislation in place to help prevent what happened in Hong Kong

    How Do They Do It - Hong Kong Light Show

    Notice the desk Grand MA baby!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  17. len

    len Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,709
    Likes Received:
    204
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    That's what I thot at first, but I'm thinking that the word "mounting" could be interpreted to cover temporary installations (concerts, theatrical, corporate, etc.). My guess is this won't stand any kind of challenge, assuming the bill goes through as written.
     
  18. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    This phrase in the text of the proposed amendment caught my eye the most:

    "...“lighting design services” means the preparation of plans and specifications..."

    "Plans and specifications" - that's engineering and architecture. And if you look up the Texas Occupations Code, you'll find that Chapter 1001 (where this amendment would go)covers the Practice of Engineering. This amendment was not intended for theatrical lighting.

    If you look further at the Code, you'll see that there are numerous chapters for various professions. A separate law for theatrical lighting designers would have its own chapter, if there was need for such a thing.


    Joe
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  19. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,556
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    This was obviously meant for engineers, but could easily be expanded into the entertainment field since it is so broadly written.

    There are also those of us who fall in between levels. For example I spec out lighting/electrical distribution and control systems and installations, but I contract electricians and riggers to actually install the system. I also will do full A/V/L installs (which is what most of the theatrical lighting in spaces in Texas is classified under) myself. I do not have to pull permits or have my work inspected by building inspectors when I do these "entertainment" installs.

    I also often design/hang/rig temporary rigs for concerts.

    I wonder where I would fall in all this.

    Mike
     
  20. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,397
    Likes Received:
    2,782
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Nice Mario 2000s with DMX rain covers!;)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice