Member of the Month

We are pleased to introduce to our readers the IESNYC Member of the Month, chosen as part of a dedicated team of professionals that represent a cross-section of the lighting industry in New York City. We value their expertise, and thank them for volunteering their time and energy for the betterment of the section.

May 2017

Lee Brandt, LC, LEED AP BD+C, IALD
HLB Lighting Design 

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
I attended school at Penn State University, where I got a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering, and received my master’s there in 1999. It was the perfect major for me, since there was a balance of engineering, science, and design. In my second year, I met some older students who were involved in the student section of the IES, and the rest is history. They showed me some copies of LD+A magazine, and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a lighting designer even before I started my lighting classes with Craig Bernecker and Rick Mistrick in my third year. I also interned for two summers with Tigue Lighting in Philadelphia. Luke Tigue is a great mentor, lighting designer, and a wonderful person who introduced me to lighting design as a practice. I’ve been fortunate to be at HLB Lighting Design for the past 17 years, since the start of my full-time career in 2000. That said, HLB has played a huge part in the start and continuation of my growth as lighting designer.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
I joined the New York City Section when I moved here in 2000. I had some early involvement when I helped Lumen Co-Chairs Susannah Zweighaft and Megan Carroll. Since then I have been involved here and there — mostly attending many meetings over the years, but also presenting some programs on LEED and Energy Codes for the Section. In 2013, I joined the Programs Committee and served for two years. I’ve also assisted the Education Committee and taught sessions of the Fundamentals Course. In addition, I served as a Lumen Awards judge in 2015. This year, HLB decided to support the Section as a Studio Sponsor. We’re happy to support the IESNYC’s educational programs and initiatives. In particular, the seminars offer a great resource of continuing education and networking for our team, and we’re happy to participate.

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
I love our industry and think our professional societies are a huge reason why. I’ve loved being a part of the IES since I was a student and then living in New York City. I get so much from meeting a student or a designer just starting their career. I know all of the advice I wish I could’ve gotten, and just want to offer that. I’ll talk to anyone about anything! Career advice, the industry, energy codes, LEED, movies, kids — anything! Pay it forward, right?
I also have this ridiculously nerdy interest in energy codes, and I think I — along with some other experts in our Section — have been the go-to people for code information. I don't mind being one of those resources.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
The networking and mentoring connections alone are reason enough to be involved. Like I said earlier, I love our industry and the people. I love the joining of designers, manufacturers, distributors, and reps in one place, and the connections you can make. I also want to mention that I very much appreciate the programs the Section offers. They are very valuable to me.