1992: All About You

In honor of our 20th anniversary in 2012, Residential Lighting kicks off a year of retrospective coverage in a special blog authored by the magazine’s Founding Editor Cori Dunn.

Cori Dunn
First issue of Residential Lighting from Dec. 1992
The first issue of Residential Lighting from Dec. 1992

Lighting’s "fashion magazine for a fashion industry” came along at exactly the right time. A recession was ending and the housing market was starting to recover. (Sound familiar?) And for lighting showrooms, a tough new form of competition was gaining traction.

As The Home Depot and others expanded their historically ho-hum lighting departments by adding brand names, some lighting show-rooms considered manufacturers’ willingness to board the big-box train tantamount to treason. But others were using the paradigm shift to improve their stores and update their own product offerings to capitalize on the upturn. For those retailers, Residential Lighting hit the spot.

With graphic design genius Claude Zajakowski at the helm, this magazine broke the mold of the only existing publication in the marketplace. It debuted in December 1992 as a tabloid-sized, four-color inspiration book (with fixtures from ELK Lighting on our first cover), heavy on product, style trends and insights from incredibly talented people within the industry, plus important outside perspectives.

Nearly 20 years later, Residential Lighting continues to entertain, teach and support the industry, and the industry returns the favor.

Where Were YOU in '92?

• Michael Alford of Designers Fountain, John Blanchard of Vermont Lighting Co. and John McVay of J.M. McVay were elected Presidents of American Lighting Assn. (ALA) divisions.

• Kichler Lighting moved its warehouses, manufacturing and administrative offices to a 631,000-square-foot facility in Independence, OH.

Judith Anderson, at the time with Seattle Lighting, was named the ALA Lighting Person of the Year.

Harris Marcus celebrated its 20-year anniversary.

Satco had a 252-page catalog featuring a section devoted to energy-saving products.

Murray and Dorothy Feiss were helping to plan their granddaughters’ joint Bat Mitzvah celebration.

Amidst a sea of polished brass, Fredrick Ramond introduced its first rust-colored finish, named Tortoise Shell, by designer Fred Glassman.

The third ARTS Awards finalists had been announced for the January ceremony at the Lowe’s Anatole Hotel. Lighting finalists were Foothills Lighting, Lakeland, CO, Naples Lamp Shop, Naples, FL, and Seattle Lighting, Seattle, for Lighting Showroom; Bauer Lamp Co., Cambridge Lamps and Fine Art Lamps for Portable Lamps; and Kichler Lighting, Minka Lighting and Murray Feiss for Lighting Fixtures.

About this author

Cori Dunn

Cori Dunn has been covering the retail, lighting and furniture industries since 1982, and was the Founding Editor of Residential Lighting. Dunn also created Furniture Style and Home Fashion Forecast magazines. In this blog, she takes a look back at the last two decades in the lighting industry, in honor of Residential Lighting's 20th anniversary.

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