The Boston Section has an active calendar that includes various educational courses as well as multiple opportunities to network and socialize with industry peers.

To Save on fees and learn more of the benefits of an IES membership click here!

2020 IES Virtual Annual Conference
Aug 24 – Sep 4 all-day

2020 IES Virtual Annual Conference

August 24-28, 2020
August 31 – September 4, 2020

The Illuminating Engineering Society’s Annual Conference (August 24 – 28, 2020 and August 31 – September 4, 2020) provides a range of educational programming on the art, design, science, and research of lighting relevant to lighting professionals, educators, and related design disciplines. The 2020 Annual Conference has been moved to a virtual setting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, professional education is paramount, with a broad selection of CEU credits available through participation at the conference.

IES’s priority is the health and safety of the lighting community, including our members, staff, supporters, vendors and volunteers. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to unfold, it became clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we needed to make tough choices. While it took longer than expected to reach a resolution, we believe that this was handled with the precision necessary to preserve the well-being of the Society while creating an opportunity for success both in the present and future.

DATES: August 24th – August 28th and August 31st – September 4th
TIMES: Official times to be determined, but there will be two blocks of sessions each day.
* There will be reduced rates for Emerging Professionals (EPs) and Student members, but we encourage you to wait on registering for the conference until we announce the benefits of the EP Program for this year.

The virtual Annual Conference will have sessions that will be held August 24th – August 28th and August 31st – September 4th. By providing a schedule that offers content across these two weeks, registrants will be able to attend all sessions and not have to choose between different tracks.

Despite the disruption we are facing, the IES is excited to bring you the opportunity to participate in the Annual Conference without having to leave your workspace. We will leverage our technology to disseminate valuable, relevant and timely content. We hope that you find this virtual Annual Conference insightful, beneficial, and of the quality that you have come to expect from the IES.

More information, such as agenda, speakers, and more will be made available shortly.

Please note, if you previously registered for the 2020 Annual Conference, your payment has been refunded. Those that have booked their rooms at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, the hotel will cancel your room reservation on your behalf.

Guidelines for Specifying Light Fixtures in WELL Projects; What to Consider and What to Avoid @ Virtual - Platform and login details provided after registration
Sep 10 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Please join the  IES Boston and Rhode Island Section for a presentation by Shahrzad Abtahi and Caitlin Toczko on specifying light fixtures for WELL projects. As members of the lighting community, we keep hearing about  the WELL standard. There has been an explosion of interest in the idea of buildings as health intervention tools. This new standard focusing on human health crossed the 205 million square feet threshold for registered and certified projects in 39 countries around the world and it is becoming a popular trend in the building industry.

Spaulding Rehab Center: Boston MA, Architect: Perkins + Will

One chapter of the WELL standard is dedicated to lighting. It provides guidelines for minimizing disturbance to human body’s circadian system, increasing productivity and providing appropriate visual acuity. The new version of WELL (i.e., V2) provides more flexibility and options for lighting designer to illuminate a “WELL lit” space.

WELL defines new standards for visual comfort and it adapts new metrics for circadian rhythm lighting. Achieving these goals would only be possible by specifying pertinent products for each application. Although these guidelines are fairly straightforward, and it’s been about 1 year since the release of V2, it seems that gathering all required data is not easily feasible for lighting designers. Despite the high demand, many lighting manufactures don’t provide all the required information that lighting designers need for specifying right fixtures for WELL projects.

This seminar gives an overview of the lighting requirements in WELL standard and  will focus on key factors that lighting designers need to consider before specifying lighting fixtures. It provides practical recommendations and strategies for both lighting designers and manufacturers who are interested in WELL or are working on a project pursuing WELL certification.

Shahrzad Abtahi is the director of lighting design at Lightcraft and she is the head of Lighting Group at Boston’s office. She was one of the first lighting designers to earn WELL accreditation and teaches lighting and design courses at Suffolk University and Boston Architectural College. She is a frequent speaker at multiple lighting and architectural conferences throughout the country. In march 2018, Shahrzad was named as one of North America’s top 40 under 40 lighting designers under 40 by lighting magazine.

Caitlin Toczko is a senior lighting designer and project manager with Lightcraft. Her work includes ambitious WELL and LEED projects for Yale, UConn, Fairfield University, Mathworks, WorkBar and Delos. Caitlin holds an M.S. in Architectural Sciences with a Concentration in Lighting from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is an associate member of the International Association of Lighting Designers and a professional member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

IES 2020 Street and Area Lighting Conference
Oct 26 – Oct 28 all-day
IES 2020 Street and Area Lighting Conference

The IES Street & Area Lighting Conference is the only conference of its kind dedicated to improving the outdoor lighting business of electric utilities and energy service companies. We continue to provide an open forum for end-users facing the same questions regarding relevant products for specific application, lighting controls, benchmarks from other users in the lighting community, and milestones reached by municipalities, utilities and DOT’s. We strive to maintain a small community feel, creating a great opportunity to network with industry peers through seminars with speaker Q+A, breakout sessions to discuss issues in-depth, an exhibit hall and many networking events with speakers and peers in a comfortable and open atmosphere.

Despite the disruption we are facing, the IES is excited to bring you the opportunity to participate in the SALC without having to leave your workspace. We will leverage our technology to disseminate valuable, relevant and timely content. We hope you find this virtual conference insightful, beneficial, and of the quality that you have come to expect from the IES.

DATES: October 26 – October 28, 2020
There will be reduced rates for Emerging Professionals (EPs) and Student members

ABX 2020 – TH14: Demystifying Lighting from Specification to Installation @ Virtual - Platform and login details provided after registration
Dec 3 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

When it comes to the lighting design process, even seasoned professionals may not always be aware of all those involved outside of their own industry. From architects and engineers to manufacturers, distributors, product reps, and contractors—lighting design involves the expertise of numerous professionals across all fields. Ensuring successful lighting design means ensuring that all players involved are aware of what others are contributing at what stage of the process. “Demystifying” the roles, value, and expectations of all involved opens the door for more effective communication and specifications—critical to the delivery of a successful project that is consistent with the original design intentions. This workshop aims to equip both emerging and seasoned professionals with a better understanding of the process, greater confidence in their interactions with others involved, and a clear path to improving the specifications they provide.

Empathetic Lighting: An Industry Snapshot of Material Transparency & Practices @ Virtual event - information provided after registration.
Feb 3 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Empathetic Lighting: An Industry Snapshot of Material Transparency & Practices

Please join the IES Boston and Rhode Island section for a panel discussion on material transparency and industry sustainability practices. The architectural industry has made large strides in the last 5-10 years in its sustainable product offerings, building practices, cleaner materials, and regenerative ideals. But where does this leave the lighting industry? While some may bring up the substantial reductions in energy usage with LED technology, we must pause and ask ourselves if better efficiency and lower wattage are enough. Stacked up next to the architectural offerings, we have a long road ahead of us to get up to speed with the rest of the movement regarding luminaire material transparency and climate impact. While we may be able to boast high efficacy, have we considered how our luminaries are made, what materials are being used, how they are harvested, and where the products go at the end of their useful life? Are we asking for PVC free wire casings and Environmental Product Declarations? Where do we stand in our education, progress, and practice?

This session will begin with a summary of a sustainability survey by a group of lighting designers which gauged lighting manufacturers’ present and future practices regarding material transparency, climate impact, and social health and equity. Some of the lesser-known components of the survey, such as the Red List, EPD’s, and Declare & Just labels, will be further examined. A panel discussion of industry experts will subsequently discuss next steps in self-organization facilitating the establishment of recommended guidelines around production and specification of luminaires that are both high performing and sustainably manufactured. Additional discussion topics will include how to hold sustainable business practices at different scales of business, as well as the choice to publicly share measured sustainable manufacturing practices, such as through Declare labels. The session will conclude with questions and participation from audience members.

This event is approved for 1.5 LU/HSW AIA credits

This event is approved for 1.5 General LFA CE credits.


Learning objectives

  1. Participate in a live discussion with panelists regarding the sustainability survey results and recall how we might gain more ground in use and specification of responsibly sourced and manufactured materials making up the luminaires on the market.
  2. Recognize the opportunity to be a market leader in this new wave of sustainable manufacturing and discuss how manufacturing practices can impact the wellbeing of those along the supply chain, as well as end users. Evaluate the risk of business practices falling behind within 5 years’ time by not adopting these principles into practice.
  3. Acknowledge the level of trust between specifier, client, end user, suppliers and manufacturers that can be achieved through transparency labels and assess personal practices regarding specification or obtainment of said labels. Explain how these transparency labels address material disclosure, climate impacts, social equity, and health of building occupants.
  4. Define the value of celebrating and sharing progress towards larger, more lofty sustainability goals as a way of advertising company values, making the movement more mainstream, and valuing progress over perfection. Give examples of how these sustainable attributes can be shared with clients and end users, allowing them to make informed choices about products that will impact the health of users in their spaces.


Zoom information will be provided after registration. This event will be recorded.



Reiko Kagawa LC, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, WELL Faculty, Fitwell Ambassador

Reiko joined Sladen Feinstein team at company’s early age in 2004.  With her academic background in both architecture and interior design, she cherishes the beauty of architectural space.  She enjoys bringing life into the architectural space with light.  Knowing how powerful the lighting can be in the architectural space, she is constantly pushing the limit of the lighting designer’s role in a project’s vision, sustainable footprint, and occupant’s wellbeing.  After completing one of the first Living Building Certified project; Hitchcock Center for Environment, she has been focused on a wholistic sustainable approach.  She also received many national level lighting awards and in 2018, Reiko was named one of Lighting Magazine’s top 40 under 40 lighting designers, joining a prestigious group of young designers.


Karen Jess-Lindsley

Karen is the co-founder and CEO of Lindsley Lighting. She embodies a mix of corporate experience, know-how, and entrepreneurial spirit. As CEO at Lindsley Lighting, she oversees corporate strategy, marketing, sales, finance, legal and anything else that comes with starting and running a fast-growing company.  Prior to being in the lighting industry, she founded a very successful management consulting company focusing on strategic planning and brand development for startups as well as Fortune 100 companies. Having spent a significant portion of her career in the wine and beer industries, she has developed several successful new brands including George Killian’s Irish Red Ale (Killian’s Red), Zima (product concept) and Winterfest for Coors Brewing Company and R Collection for Raymond Vineyards. She also has a strong background in retail, transportation, and logistics. Karen has a BS in Journalism from University of Colorado, Boulder and an Executive MBA from St Mary’s College in California.


Tristan Roberts

Tristan Roberts is responsible for leading staff support for HPDC’s Technical Committee, education programs, and the evolution of the HPD Open Standard. Mr. Roberts is a leader in the advancement of green building practices. Prior to joining HPDC in May 2018, he was part of BuildingGreen, Inc.  for eleven years, where he most recently served as Chief Strategy Officer, moderating and leading the community development of LEEDuser forum which supports over 10,000 users. He is the author of hundreds of articles and in-depth reports on building industry trends and technologies, and is a frequent speaker and educator in the areas of green building and sustainable design. His objective stance and focus on practical tools has earned him the trust of a wide spectrum of stakeholders in the industry, including architects, sustainability professionals, manufacturers, and nonprofit groups. Mr. Roberts has taught sustainability and building science at the Boston Architectural College.


Scott Sorensen

Scott is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for BEGA North America. A 20-year veteran of the lighting industry, Scott joined the BEGA family in 2013 and currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Minnesota State University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, completed the Leadership Development Program through the Harvard Business School, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Global Leadership & Change through Pepperdine University. Scott was Lighting Certified through the NCQLP in 2003 and became a LEED Accredited Professional through the USGBC in 2004.  Together with his wife and two children, they enjoy taking their Jeep wherever the roads end, playing a round of golf, any musical event, and as much time behind the helm of a sailboat as possible!


Alexandra Gadawski, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP

Alexandra is a designer and sustainability leader at HMFH Architects. She provides integral support to every project she is a part of, applying her passion for building performance to help the project team solve problems and make decisions during every stage of design. Her contributions to lighting design through daylight and energy modeling support student health and reduce energy.  She has a background in energy consumption and voluntary building standards and holds a Master of Science in Environmental Design of Buildings from Cardiff University in Wales and a Master of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design.



Melissa Mattes LC, LFA, Living Future Ambassador, LEED Green Assoc., IALD

Melissa leads Sladen Feinstein’s sustainability efforts and is tirelessly curious about what it means to embody space, particularly through the lens of lighting.  Her orientation towards regenerative living and design began by redefining her personal living habits to better align with her spoken sustainable values.  This then led to closer examination of her practiced values in the workplace.  Melissa has presented at multiple national conferences on the principals of living and lighting.  She earned her Living Future Accreditation, is an Ambassador for ILFI, and has taught several interior design lighting courses at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2020, she was named Lighting Magazine’s international class of 40 under 40 top lighting designers.  When Melissa is not designing or teaching, she loves spending time outdoors and dancing Brazilian Zouk.