Is It Time to Change How We Talk About Light?

Recorded: October 8, 2020

Description: One way or another, everyone in the lighting industry would agree that the biggest problem that we face today is the perception of light and its importance in our life. Either it’s a professional or end user, in many cases, light is taken for granted. Every day, we find ourselves explaining to a new person why he/she should care. One might argue that educating the client is part of our job anyway. But the question for me: Is there a way of doing this collectively all together? If so, what needs to be changed?

There is already an unconscious collective effort defined by the industry. The marketing minds within the industry are working relentlessly to add new meanings to light, new arguments to discuss, new offerings to convince the client. Often, that ends up having a “slogan” to describe what light can do. There is always an additional value defined by the industry to “sell” light. And that quickly becomes the norm for many lighting professionals including lighting designers how we talk about the importance of light. These messages, accumulated, creates an unrealistic – problematic image of light and why it matters for us. We end up having “light” associated with energy efficiency or sustainability or the internet of things. But at what cost?

It’s been 70 years since Richard Kelly called himself an architectural lighting designer and the profession is growing since. But is it fast enough? Can we do something about it?

I propose to look at how we, lighting professionals, talk about light and what can/should be changed to create a greater awareness of lighting design value? By talking differently about light, can we change the perception of the profession? Because just like Kenneth Wapnick said once: “Miracles are a shift in perception.” Can we help the shift to happen?

Speaker: Emre Güneş
Emre GüneşLighting Design Advocate. Formerly an industrial engineer, he lives and breathes lighting design. By a series of coincidences, he started publishing the only architectural lighting design magazine in Turkey back in 2005. Since then he kept reading, writing, learning, searching and organising events about lighting design.

He is the editor in chief of PLD (Professional Lighting Design) Türkiye magazine since 2006. He was the Turkish representative of PLDA (Professional Lighting Designers’ Association) from 2007 till it was closed in 2014. During this period, he has organised more than 20 events including conferences, workshops, Guerilla Lighting, Light walks and so on. Many firsts in the lighting design world in Turkey happened with its initiative. He has helped a change in the Turkish market from 0 independent lighting design office to 15 today within 13 years. (

Since 2011, he is trying to raise awareness of light pollution . Including screening “The city dark” documentary in major cities (Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir) and giving talks at  different events and universities, he has gathered many different interest parties into the same platform to discuss the issue.

At the beginning of 2014, he co-founded Ağustos Teknoloji. He’s introducing innovative lighting technologies to the Turkish market. Since May 2018, he has taken the role as the business development director for LIGMAN.

He’s been an active speaker and moderator in both national and international events. List of the speaking experience: