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 2021

Barbara Horton
Consulting Senior Principle, HLB Lighting Design

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
I’m an accidental tourist. My degree in Interior Design at FIT and met and married Jules Horton. After working a few years in interiors Jules asked me to help with a few projects. It was fascinating, I began to like the science and art of lighting. I decided to learn more about lighting at Parsons formally with an intention to return to interiors with newfound knowledge. That was 41 years ago, and I never looked back. Jules Horton and Stephen Lees gave me an opportunity to transition to lighting and give me the tools to learn more about the industry, professional organizations and the tools needed to be successful. As of March 1, I have retired, but will continue to work as a consultant and serve out my term on the HLB Board of Directors through the end of 2021.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
Our firm has a history of giving back to our professional industry. Jules inspired and supported everyone’s participation. I worked on a few committee programs and that was how I met Teal Brogden and we found common interests and when there was an opening in our San Francisco office she called me to explore an opportunity. I was equally invested in the IALD at the time which was located in NY. The benefit of participating in our professional organizations is an essential part of career development for lighting designers at any stage of our career. But at the early phase of my career, I learned to build friendships with my competitors. I learned confidence, speaking skills, shared experiences in the industry, education and awareness of the impacts effecting the industry.

Q: How do you see your role as a member of the IESNYC?
So many of our team and my colleagues were involved in both IES and IALD. Sometimes there is not enough time in the day to do it all. I saw my role as a leader in the industry to inspire our team to actively participate, to support the education programs, the energy code compliance and standards, local awards programs, and leadership opportunities to sit on the board or committees.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
There are many important and essential programs the IESNYC supports and leads. For New Yorkers, the Lumen Awards program is a coveted and honorable award to receive. Another good example is the sustainability and energy code committees that are critical to the industry. I am proud that Lee Brandt, Principal at HLB has been an active voice, supporting smart code changes and a decision maker in this realm. I also have been fortunate to visit and speak with IES members from Mexico to Australia in my career. IES represents the eco system of the lighting industry with designers, reps, manufacturers, and related professionals. Having all the players at the table strengthens the community, the activism, and the knowledge to make the lighting an essential part of the design world with a strong voice where it counts.