Texas Making Laws Against Lighting Designers


Feb 10, 2005
Lafayette, LA
I doubt this will go away entirely; it seems to me that the government will simply do a better job at it's homework and then find the best way to stagnate our industry. We need to work at helping to set the standards so that we can continue to grow and not fall by the way side like an old console.


Active Member
Feb 9, 2007
Dallas, Texas
They aren't trying to stagnate the industry. The just were way too broad in the limited definition's that they used. They really don't want anything to do with theatrical lighting designers, just the architectural ones.


Active Member
Aug 31, 2004
Pittsburgh, PA
One last (and long winded) post on the subject

(A) This appears to be an issue between architects (and maybe engineers) and the architectural lighting professionals. It appears to be a “turf” issue and I won’t speculate here about what generated the proposed bill. However, in light of the phrase “plans and specifications” that was used in the original bill, some group and/or individuals have been producing “architectural” lighting plans and specifications without a professional architectural license. There may be a quality issue, but I haven’t tried to track that down.

But the bottom line is that the bill was intended to place a certain group of architectural-type professionals under the licensing authority of profession architects or engineers.

I doubt that the any state board of architects or engineers has any interest in over-seeing the theatrical lighting design. That profession is simply not part of the engineering/architectural “turf”.

One analogy that I can think of would be any other construction craft: plumbers, electricians, etc. This type of work is directly related to construction, but they do not answer to the engineering/architectural licensing authorities.

Another analogy (that may be closer) is maintenance. Once a building/structure has been installed, it is pretty much out of the hands of the original design professional, and repairs and modifications (for example, repainting or adding a door) are made by the owner. These repairs and (presumably minor) modifications do not need to be made under the professional engineering/architectural authority. Thus, the rearrangement (for lack of a better word) of instruments, colors, intensities, etc. that are part of theatrical lighting design are outside of the professional engineering/architectural domain.

However, should this issue appear again, the direction that the theatrical lighting design professionals must take is to address definition. Because of the use of an identical term, “theatrical lighting design” work must be (1) defined, and (2) excluded.

(B) On the other hand, regarding ship’s reply to my question, it would appear that a theatrical lighting designer could also prepare architectural-type lighting designs, although the latter would be a function of an individual’s talent and career focus. Thus, the Texas bill could affect some individuals who make a living in both theatrical and architectural design.

(C) Although it often appears that politicians operate in a vacuum, the bills that they sponsor are often written by others - staff or independent authors. For example, I doubt that the original amendment that dealt with structural engineering was prepared by the bill’s sponsor or even his staff. However, the lighting design amendment was written so poorly, I suspect that the amendment’s sponsor was provided with a hastily prepared text (at the end of the session) that was not entirely thought through. However, if the amendment’s author is serious about this, it will appear again in the next session, presumably in a better form. (I think there is something more to this amendment. Maybe a few badly designed lighting systems or maybe some group is infringing on another Texas group’s turf. Or maybe a large company losing some business.)



Active Member
Dec 13, 2006
(I think there is something more to this amendment. Maybe a few badly designed lighting systems or maybe some group is infringing on another Texas group’s turf. Or maybe a large company losing some business.)
What I read on this indicated that this was the result of ONE bad design... something which should be resolved directly between the parties involved (i.e. lawsuit,) not the regulation of an entire profession.