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If you specify, recommend, sell, buy lighting products or have an opinion on the subject and you aren't already a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society then you really should give Society membership some thought. The IES is the industry's knowledge bank and has been since 1906 when it was first formed in New York City. Today there are over 8000 members who benefit in so many ways from their affiliation with the true authority on the subject. 

For the most part, membership in the Society is designed for individuals and there are a number of membership options available to meet your needs. Companies wishing to support the IES can become sustaining members and receive 1 or more individual memberships as part of that package. 


Associate or Member Grade

These two membership classes tend to cause some confusion to prospective members.

To qualify for full member grade status, a member must either possess

  • a 4-year university degree in lighting or related engineering fields and have 5 years of work experience in a professional capacity in a field related to lighting.
  • 10 years of professional work experience in a lighting related field.
  • Hold the LC credential and have 8 years of professional work experience in a related field
  • Made some valuable contribution to the art and science of lighting or its literature.

Most of us start out as Associates. Associates receive all of the same benefits of membership as those of Member Grade. The only limitation is the ability to run for office on the Board of Directors, as a District chair or chair a Society level committee.

If you join as an associate, you can convert your membership status when you meet the criteria needed for member grade.

Membership packages

Basic Individual Membership: The most common form of membership. Available as Member Grade and Associate, the Basic Individual Membership features A subscription to LD+A magazine, online access to Luekos - the Journal of the IES, discounts on courses, publications, and many section activities and events.

Subscribing Membership: All of the features of the basic membership plus new subscribing members will receive the entire IES Lighting Library as part of their dues and as long as they remain a member they will continue to receive updated and new publications as they become available.

Individual Sponsor: Sponsors receive the same benefits as Basic Members and through the payment of higher dues have an opportunity to support special projects approved by the Board of Directors. Sponsors receive a $50.00 publication credit that can be applied to the purchase of Society publications.

Sustaining Membership: Company's and individuals that have an interest in the purpose of the Society and wish to provide support for those efforts can choose a Sustaining membership. Dues are based on lighting revenues and benefits include a Lighting library, one or more individual memberships, recognition of your contribution and more. Anyone interested in Sustaining Membership in the Society is encouraged to contact the Section membership chair, who can answer questions and put them in touch with the Society's membership department.

Reduced Cost Memberships

In addition to the plans above, there are special membership options for Students and Emerging professionals (individuals with fewer than 5 years of industry experience) EP memberships are only offered as Associate Grade, while Student memberships offer all the basic benefits of membership without voting privileges or the ability to hold an elected position.

For information on how to join, visit