Flatirons Boulder
Air Force Academy Courtyard

Our History

40+ years of excellence in lighting and engineering. Since 1981, Clanton & Associates has been designing beautiful visual environments and integrating daylight and electric light to enhance spaces and support visual needs. We design light for indoor and outdoor environments with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, minimizing energy use, sky glow, and light trespass. We persistently explore and evaluate new technologies that support design excellence by improving visibility while reducing energy use and environmental impacts.

Since our founding, we have held a strong commitment to lighting design that respects the natural and human environment. Our mission is to illuminate beautiful sustainable places that enable people and nature to thrive.

Architectural Lighting

Our Beliefs

We believe in visual comfort and enjoyment. People love daylight and views! We analyze designs to improve views and daylight availability while controlling glare. We collaborate with architects to study and refine building massing, orientation, space planning, and shading to create enjoyable day lit spaces. Visual comfort from electric lighting is equally important. Layers of light including lighting vertical surfaces and destinations help create visually pleasing environments. Carefully selected accent lighting adds charm. Personal lighting is critical for individual task and ambiance. All lighting is carefully integrated into the architecture to enhance space, form, and texture.

We believe in total collaboration. Sharing ideas, challenging assumptions, asking "what if?", and recognizing lessons learned allows us to continue to grow in our designs. Charrettes, collaboration in modeling, understanding interdisciplinary consequences, and post occupancy evaluations are some of the tools we use for this constant learning.

The Clanton team collaborates internally on every project. Internal peer reviewers ask the tough questions and everyone's input is encouraged. An open work atmosphere allows constant collaboration where all opinions matter.

16th Street Mall Denver
Well lit building

Our commitment

We are committed to sustainable and regenerative design. Since our lighting design leadership in the Greening of the White House in 1992, a commitment to sustainability has been ingrained in every project. In the early development of the US Green Building Council, we became a corporate member. Members of our team have served on the Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Group, been awarded LEED Fellow designations for their work in daylight, views, light pollution reduction, and energy reduction, and have designed lighting for the USGBC headquarters and many of the world's leading sustainable buildings.

As our knowledge grows, regenerative and net zero energy designs are our new commitment. Quality daylighting- supplemented with layers of electric light and optimized with controls- is key to achieving these goals. Our research in exterior visibility is influential in changing lighting standards, minimizing glare, and reducing lighting levels while increasing contrast visibility. Other benefits include reduced equipment quantities, less sky glow, and significantly less energy use.

We continue to learn and grow. Often, existing industry standards are not adequate and our team sees a need for enhancements. We engage in research to try to resolve inconsistencies or evaluate newer technologies. We collaborate with the best researchers and stakeholders to bring the highest credibility to the results.


We participate

We engage in a multitude of symposiums, technical advisory groups, and standards writing committees. As active participants in lighting education, lighting standards, and regulations we are leading the lighting industry in transforming the market to improve visibility and visual comfort while using less energy and moving toward net-zero energy and regenerative designs. Our commitment and knowledge is recognized in our leadership roles in the National Academy of Science committee, CleanTech conference keynotes, USGBC technical advisory groups, IESNA committee chairs, the International Dark Sky education committee, ISO environmental quality committees, and the Municipal Street Lighting Consortium committee.

Clanton & Associates is a small business enterprise and member of numerous trade and industry groups including:

  • Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA)
  • International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD)
  • United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)
  • National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
  • The American Solar Energy Society (ASES)
  • National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP)
  • TAG member: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Denver Highway

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