by Sarah Pennington
When you were little you may have wanted to be a fireman, astronaut, pilot, or even the President of the United States but did you ever dream about working in the illuminating world of lighting when you grew up? With that said, many may start out studying or working in a completely different career path before finding themselves in lighting; I originally went to school for dentistry! It is the journey that we must all endure - finding our passion in life that is. For some, this journey might be like a brisk walk in the park while others, like myself, their journey is more like a walk in the woods blindfolded.
The juxtaposition of these journeys allows for an array of backgrounds, experience, and knowledge that could allow one to perceive the lighting industry as a melting pot of sorts. This is said because there can be a plethora of people who play vital roles for a successful design: lighting engineer, architect, lighting designer, lighting specialist, and sales representatives to name a few. Each role has a different task so it is critical to clearly comprehend and communicate the data that passes to each disciplined role. For instance, here at Lighting Application Sciences (LAS), a vast majority of our staff is currently in or has graduated from Texas State University with a major in Interior Design. This background is not one that may be common to most in the lighting industry, however, LAS has found that the skillset instilled within the designers works well in the area of photometry and problem solving.
Texas State University’s interior design program has been ranked as the best in Texas according to the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Statistics show a 20% graduation rate from this program and I feel it has a lot to do with the extensive and thorough curriculum the students follow to complete the program. The design program has enabled the students to have: an eye for detail; experience with a variety of technology programs; extensive knowledge of interpreting and compiling construction documents; understanding of standards, codes, product cut sheets, and specifications. Though students are exposed to only the surface of lighting, Dr. Asha Hegde, Asst. Professor of Interior Design and Lighting Design at Texas State University, does a phenomenal job at enlightening and encouraging the students to explore lighting.
Although each one’s journey may be different for those who have come to work in lighting, hopefully that path led to the finding of their passion. In the words of my father, “Find what you love and you will never work a day in your life!” This path can easily end up in a way one might have never predicted, but that is the beautiful part of the journey. It is a pleasure to work at LAS with every one of our clients as each job provides the opportunity to learn and grow in my newly found passion of lighting.