The Editor’s Comment is one of the most challenging articles to write. Deciding what to say, or not say, is something I take very seriously. This is the 78th time during my tenure with Architectural Lighting that I have the privilege of addressing you, the lighting community.

Over the years, I have used this page, hopefully with objectivity, to initiate debate, ask critical questions about the future of architectural lighting design, and address the pressing issues facing the lighting community. I’ve also encouraged the community to think about its role in the overall design process and its relationship to architecture. My motivation has been for the lighting community to see itself on equal terms with architecture, design, and engineering. In raising issues, I have always tried to offer a way forward. Lighting’s greatest ongoing challenge is how it communicates its importance to the architectural arts, for it is one of the most important elements in a building, and it can make or break the success of any project.

This editorial approach has resonated with readers in print and online, and many have told me that AL—and this page in particular—has served as their guide in evaluating the industry’s important issues. But it’s not just during my tenure—14 years and 3 months, including 11 years as chief editor—that AL has led the way. AL has always played a unique role as the profession’s independent voice.

Over the course of the publication’s 31-year history, it has been at the leading edge of the lighting conversation. Never has that been more true than today, as we create more content than ever, across multiple platforms. From print to web to social media, AL engages with a worldwide audience of lighting designers, manufacturers, architects, emerging professionals, and students who are all working to shape the built environment. In each medium, AL has always maintained a strict commitment to editorial integrity and quality. Our imperative as a media brand has always been to inform, educate, and inspire as we serve as the eyes, ears, and voice of the lighting industry.

That is why it is particularly bittersweet to tell you that, starting in 2018, AL will become a digital-only entity—at and in our twice-monthly email newsletter AL Notes. This print issue (Nov/Dec 2017) you hold in your hands is the last of its kind. The print-to-digital transformation is something that all media brands, no matter the subject matter or audience, have had to face over the past decade. I had hoped we would be able to maintain our full portfolio longer, but business conditions for both publishing and lighting point in a different direction.

Additionally, Dec. 8 will be my last day as editor-in-chief, although I will help guide AL through its next chapter in an editor-at-large capacity. I’m particularly proud of the way we weave together the worlds of architecture and lighting design. When asked how I see AL, I’ve always said it is a lighting publication about architecture and an architecture publication about lighting. All the hard work is worth it, because it allows me to connect with all of you, and it gives AL an impact beyond lighting.

Over the years, we’ve received a number of prestigious journalism awards. In 2017, AL was a Top Ten Finalist for Magazine of the Year in the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ Azbee Awards. In 2016, this column was recognized with a Jesse H. Neal Award in the category of Best Commentary/Blog. And in 2015, AL received another Neal Award for Best Media Brand (Overall Editorial Excellence), about which the jury said, “Architectural Lighting offers consistent quality of content and presentation across every platform, creating a brand presence and image of superiority, taste, and intellect.”

AL doesn’t just raise the bar in lighting journalism, it sets the bar. It has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve as its steward. I look forward to AL’s next chapter; I’ll see you online.

Elizabeth DonoffEditor-in-Chief
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