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SLL pulls back from merger with ILE

3 June 2009 15.00 BST

(UK) - The Society of Light & Lighting and CIBSE rejects a merger with Institute of Lighting Engineers stating it “would exclude other important sectors within the lighting profession”. New Lighting Council umbrella body now set to be established.

Since March 2008, the Society of Light & Lighting, part of CIBSE, has been in discussion with the Institution of Lighting Engineers about ways in which the lighting profession can achieve some form of unification and how to embrace other professional organisations in the future.

The last week of May saw the first joint meeting of the two organisations’ membership & education committees at the ILE's headquarters, which will now be repeated twice a year. There is cross-representation at all the other committees, with a view to those committees achieving this same level of communication. 

Some sections of the UK lighting industry have been desperate to push through a merger of the two associations in order to unite the UK lighting industry.

However, a statement from the SLL said that a merger “would not achieve the overall objectives of successful unification of the lighting profession”.

It goes on to say: “The SLL understands that there was some expectation for a merger but is of the opinion that trying to merge the memberships of the SLL and the ILE would not achieve the overall objectives of successful unification of the lighting profession.  SLL also has a commitment to providing access to a lighting discipline for general building service engineers (as against lighting specialists) within CIBSE, a link which is of value to the lighting profession as a whole.

“However, looking at the wider picture, such an arrangement would exclude other important sectors within the lighting profession who by nature of their constitution would also not be able to merge with a new body. It is thought that a Construction Industry Council type model for lighting would result in the widest possible grouping of lighting interests, be they professional, manufacturing, education or research and the creation of such a grouping remains the SLL’s focus.

“The Society believes that the creation of such an all-embracing new representative group will give the lighting profession the wider and stronger voice that it deserves.”

The last paragraph of the statement refers to the so-called Lighting Council, a proposed umbrella body for all organisations and institutions in the UK industry including the PLDA and IALD.

The new president of Cibse, Mike Simpson of Philips Lighting, has predicted that the Lighting Council will be up and running this year.

“It’s my aim to have the Lighting Council up and running by the end of my term,” Simpson said in his inaugural address to Cibse in London. “The council would bring together all stakeholders in a forum where common interests are shared, whilst the distinctive character of its members is retained.

“I am confident that all parties will work towards this common goal and I offer my full support to see the Lighting Council operational by the end of my presidential term. For Cibse members this will mean access to a richer vein of knowledge and experience channelled through our own Society of Light and Lighting.”


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