Willard Warren

August 2016

Willard L. Warren, LC, PE
Willard L. Warren Associates, Lighting and Energy Consultants 

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
When I graduated from Cooper Union in 1950 with an electrical engineering degree, I was recruited by Clarence Keller, president of Holophane — who later became president of the IES (1966-1967) — and joined the company as an application engineer in their training program along with six other recent engineering graduates. Fortunately, I attended the IES National Technical Conference in New York City in 1951, and was impressed with the quality of the presentations, and the combination of illumination engineering as a technology and lighting design as an art. Shortly thereafter I joined the NY Section of the IES, attended the NYU Graduate School of Engineering, and pursued my NY State PE license. In 1957, I started teaching Illumination Engineering at Brooklyn Polytech and participating in the NYC Section’s educational and program committees. I am proud to be a Fellow of the IES since 1999, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the IES in 2010 and the Section awarded me with a Brilliance Award in 2014. This year, I received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Lightfair.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
Holophane was very supportive of the IES — three presidents of the national society came from Holophane — and we provided our “Light and Vision Institute” facility in New York City and the IES Basic Course in Illumination sessions, many of which I taught for the IESNYC education committee.    

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
After serving as president of the section in 1977 and serving on the Board for over 20 years, I feel it’s time for young members to take over, especially as there are so many new developments in lighting, including energy codes, solid state lighting and the retrofitting and relighting of the many facilities in NYC that have very low energy saving scores. The best way we can serve the profession as IES members is to fill the need for education on “What’s New”
and “How to Do It” in lighting. It’s ironic that at a time when over 900 people participate in the Lumen Awards program and attendance at the Light Fair breaks records every year with over 600 companies participating with elegant booths, the IES membership has fallen to only 8,000 members — half the number we once had. With so many newcomers to the lighting field from the electronic and solid state industries, the explosive growth in new technology, and the importance of energy conservation, we in the NYC Section should set an example of recruiting more members — and especially sustaining ones.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
We have two great educational facilities in NYC, the Acuity space and the BEEx, which is also where the IESNYC has its office and where the Section holds many of its events. We have some of the leading lighting experts here, including members of the ASHRAE and IECC Standards committees, whose recommendations get adopted into mandatory energy codes. We have the IES National Headquarters, who are very supportive. We have a brand new Zero Net Energy Elementary School on Staten Island — let’s rent some buses and go visit it. There are some outstanding retrofit projects, accomplished with incentives from Con Edison, that haven’t been showcased. And we have designers whose creativity is unmatched in the country. Starting in the fall, we should have some dynamite programs to attract our members and encourage others to join the IES and participate in the NYC Section activities. Our section has vitality, we have the facilities and the people. Let’s start setting an example and attract new members and educate ourselves in the process.