We at Metropolis have a longstanding interest in lighting design for obvious reasons. Without lighting excellence—be it subtle, dramatic, tech-savvy, or just plain old fashioned, depending on what’s being lit and for what purpose—our appreciation of the built environment would be primitive indeed. From the urban street to the building’s form and facade to the interior—and all details and scales in between—expert lighting is always at play, yet its importance to the designed environment is often ignored, though its subjects like great architectural form or a seductive interior, are celebrated. As the industry’s annual trade show/conference is about set up shop at the Las Vegas Convention Center (May 7-11), I consulted one expert, Kevin Theobald, who runs a lighting design practice in the UK and is the current president of International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), an organization whose vision statement promises things like “leadership and excellence” and an “appreciation of the power of light in human life.” And when I saw that the Lightfair keynotes plan to explore technology, entertainment, and energy efficiency, I emailed my questions to Kevin in London to learn more about his views on lighting design in 2012. What follows are his decidedly low-key, refreshingly modest, observations.