Alfred Borden Exits Stage Left After A Career Full Of Glowing Reviews

Goodbye Concert

To my Partners, Colleagues, Clients, Peers, and Family:

Thank you for your friendship, your guidance, and for challenging me.  You have made me a better designer and businessman.  While the decision to leave The Lighting Practice and retire from lighting design was not easy, it was made easier by my confidence in my partners and the future of this firm.  I have dedicated many years of my time and energy to The Lighting Practice, I am proud of our team and proud to have played a role in the firm’s 30+ years of success.  I often refer to The Lighting Practice as my fourth child.  And as with all children, there comes a day when the parents must step aside and let go, let their children determine their own path. I am confident in The Lighting Practice’s next generation’s leadership and the firm’s continued success.

In retirement, I look forward to slower days, creative projects, reading, travel, more time with my family, and a wide range of tie-dye shirts and bucket hats (isn’t that what retired people wear?).

Thank you,

Alfred Borden, FIALD, MIES, CLD
Retiree in Training




Alfred Borden, Founder and Principal of The Lighting Practice (TLP), will retire on December 23, 2020.  Al has been a leader at the firm for over 30 years.  He founded TLP, in 1989, as a place where like-minded individuals could come together and make a positive impact through lighting design.  Al’s commitment to the future success of the firm was established from the start, “I wanted to build a firm that was not dependent on my presence to succeed which is why the firm is named The Lighting Practice and not Al Borden Lighting Design.”

Al’s passion for light and understanding of its power began in the theatre.  After graduating with an MFA in Theatrical Design from NYU, Al started lighting dance, opera and musicals in New York and Philadelphia.  His desire to work in a more permanent and accessible venue brought him to architectural lighting, and The Lighting Practice.  Al has illuminated thousands of buildings, improving the daily experiences of millions of people.  Al is driven by storytelling as the basis for how design decisions are made. Al’s creativity, curiosity and commitment to unparalleled service became part of The Lighting Practice’s culture. His legacy will live on in the iconic structures he has illuminated, and through the individual lives he has impacted.

In 2009 Al, once again looked to the future, as Helen Diemer, FIALD, LEED AP became President and majority shareholder of the firm.  Al and Helen together made The Lighting Practice a success inspiring long-term loyalty and growth amongst their team and clients.  Helen will continue to lead the firm as President alongside her partners Michael Barber, Assoc. IALD, LEED AP BD+C, Jered Widmer, IALD, MIES, Emad Hasan, IALD, MIES, LEED AP BD+C, and Jonathan Hoyle.  “I am confident in the leadership of my partners and know that they will continue the success of The Lighting Practice after I retire,” stated Borden.

“Al has been a great business partner and my dear friend for many years.  We have built a business and a team together that neither of us could have done on our own.  Al’s vision of The Lighting Practice recognized that two heads are better than one and good ideas can become great ideas when we all work together.  I look forward to continuing that mission in collaboration with my other partners.  We will miss Al and we will always be inspired by his creativity and determination.  We wish him all the best in his next chapter.” – Helen Diemer, President


About The Lighting Practice
The Lighting Practice, a WBE/DBE certified firm, has been a leader in lighting design for 30 years.  With offices in New York and Philadelphia, TLP has partnered with developers, building owners, and design professionals to develop innovative lighting solutions. TLP’s talented team, over 30 lighting design professionals, has created dynamic and innovative lighting strategies for projects in civic, corporate, healthcare, higher education, historic, hospitality, and retail/mixed-use markets. For more information, visit: