Joe Zhao Associate IALD, NCQLP LC

Lighting Designer II

Joe Zhao joined The Lighting Practice’s Philadelphia office in 2023 as a Lighting Designer II. Prior to TLP, he worked at another Philadelphia-based lighting design firm as a lead designer on a variety of projects including commercial offices, hospitality, education, and exterior façade projects. Joe is NCQLP Lighting Certified and believes that light is not only an essential element for visual perception and functionality in architecture, but also a transformative force that breathes life into a space, evokes emotion, and showcases the spirit of architecture.

What’s your favorite aspect of light?
It shapes space and evokes emotions.

What is the best thing about your job?
The work we do will have an actual impact on the people in space, sometimes they may not even notice that.

If you could only have one mode of transportation for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Whatever can make me fly like a bird.

If you could go back in time, what wisdom would you pass on to your younger self?
Do not drink that much soda. Don’t ask me why.


Master of Science in Interior Architecture and Design - Drexel University

Bachelor of Architecture - Shandong Architecture University, China

Credentials & Affiliations

  • International Association of Lighting Designers - Associate Member