Jul 13, 2021
After much debate—and hand wringing—out team selected these five issues as key touchstones along LD+A’s 50-year journey
LD+A Magazine | July 1971

1. July 1971 | Premier Issue
Volume 1 No. 1. With editor Ruby Redford at the helm, IES debuts a new monthly membership magazine. A glimpse of the Table of Contents serves as a snapshot in time, with articles titled “A New Approach to Supermarket Lighting,” “A Statistical Look at the Future of Lighting” and “Which ‘White’ Fluorescent Lamp is Right for You?” plus a first-person account with the headline, “When an Architect Lights His Own Apartment.” And talk about branding: the name of the magazine is the cover art in this funky concept. So early ’70s.

LD+A Magazine | June 2002

2. June 2002 | Moving Tribute
In early 2002, the nation was still reeling after the attacks of September 11. Our cover story for the June issue described how a simple gesture six blocks from Ground Zero demonstrated the healing and inspirational power of light. Designed to evoke the memory of the World Trade Center while honoring the victims of 9/11, the “Tribute in Light” featured two square platforms equipped with 88 searchlights that projected beams of light to replicate the appearance of the fallen towers across the city skyline. Conceived as a temporary art installation, the tribute has continued each year on 9/11.

LD+A Magazine | November 2005

3. November 2005 | LEDs Arrive
In November 2005, LD+A rode the LED wave with our first theme issue on solid-state lighting. The objective was to showcase the LED’s market penetration in areas beyond “pen lights and Christmas lighting,” as one writer put it. The issue included an analysis of the ROI of LED signage and case histories on how LED fixtures brought excitement to a pair of Independence Day celebrations. But the centerpiece was a feature on the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles, and how a variety of project stakeholders came to agree on an LED solution for the landmark’s 160 luminaires. Pardon the pun, but Vincent Thomas proved to be a bridge to the future, as LED applications have proliferated across the magazine’s pages ever since.

LD+A Magazine | January 2006

4. January 2006 | Happy Birthday IES
This commemorative issue reflected the theme of the Society’s Centennial—“Celebrating the Past…Imagining the Future.” Feature stories focused on the birth of the IES (a reprint of that article appears on page 50), as well as the pioneers who shaped the profession. We also asked several of our contributors to speculate on some of the trends that would drive professional practice in the coming years. Many of these observations proved prescient, as predictions about the emergence of light and health, quality of light over quantity, and sustainable design have been borne out.

LD+A Magazine | January 2015

5. January 2015 | Focus on Wellness
The 100 pages in this issue packed quite a punch. With “light and health” firmly in the mainstream, January ’15 represented our first theme issue on the subject. The coverage ranged from how lighting design could improve classrooms for those with autism to a look at how the Los Angeles Dodgers used LED lights on their team plane and in hotel rooms for circadian training during their long road trip to Australia. January also marked our first regular “Emerging Professional” column. Finally, the issue looked back at the career of IES Executive Director William Hanley, who retired at the end of 2014 after steering the Society ship for more than a quarter of a century. Appropriately enough, this array of diverse content was packaged into a dramatic LD+A redesign.