Jeffrey Kahn IES
Jeffrey Kahn joined The Lighting Practice in 2016 and brings with him a wide breadth of experience in lighting design. After studying cinematography and working in the film and commercial industry, Jeffrey felt a strong desire to make a longer lasting impact. He appreciates the opportunity architectural lighting design has to create a memorable experience as well as reduce stress in the workplace and even the challenges of technically demanding space and criteria. Throughout his 17-year career in lighting design, Jeffrey has developed lighting solutions for a variety of projects including residential, corporate office, specialty and general labs, and the public sector. He is an active member of the Illuminating Engineering Society and serves as Vice President of its Philadelphia Section. He stays in touch with his theatrical roots by volunteering for children’s/young adult theater.
Why did you become a lighting designer?
I didn’t become a lighting designer, being a lighting designer became me. As far back as I can remember I’ve had a strong curiosity about how I and others perceive the world. As I recognized light’s role in that perception I began to study it through photography, film and video. The effect light has on us is so intertwined with our emotions. Lighting designers are not just designers, but storytellers that connect directly with the human subconscious. As an architectural lighting designer we tell the story of the built environment.
What is the best thing about your job?
As if being a part of a collaborative team isn’t enough reward, at the end of the process there’s this beautiful and functional object that I contributed to. I help create environments that support good health and happiness.
Where do you think the lighting industry will be in 10 years?
In ten years, I believe there will be significantly more specialization and compartmentalization in the lighting industry on both the manufacturing and design side. Research into light and health will begin to drive new criteria to be created by end users. Since LED output is so easily manipulated with regards to color and intensity, we are now seeing a market that provides a new version of the LED for every occasion. As more lighting options emerge criteria development will expand to cover even more specific need types. All of this leads to more public scrutiny which will in turn create more specialized needs.
What 3 items would you take to a desert island other than food and water?
I only need two, plenty of gasoline and a motor boat.