With over 60 years of experience Barbizon Lighting Company has set the standard for providing innovative lighting solutions with top notch results and highly satisfied clients.

From its post World War II roots, and its growth from supplying light bulbs to fully integrated lighting solutions, the company has maintained a simple but powerful dedication to take care of their customers. This service driven philosophy has served Barbizon well, and the company now enjoys both a national and global presence specifying leading products and systems while servicing television, film, theatre, houses of worship and entertainment facilities around the world.

Their latest venture, The New Light Initiative, brings sustainability to the forefront of their services and sheds light on the potential benefits and value of alternative lighting sources.


After returning from World War II, two soldiers – turned friends, Sid Bloom and Sam Resnick, decided to go into what they felt would be a solid and successful business – light bulbs and electrical supplies.

Hailing both from Brooklyn, the men had known each other casually before the war. As they entered business together, they learned the ropes working for an electrical distributor and in 1947 became the official owners of the business that today is known as Barbizon Lighting Company.

From the start, the partner’s business & management skills complimented each other perfectly. They were diligent about teaching their staff about the products and about great customer service.

The early Barbizon Lighting Company had four employees and a product line that ranged from light bulbs to toaster ovens and toy trains. Since that time, the company has steadily grown to become the well respected powerhouse it is today with 14 offices around the nation and the world.


With Barbizon since 1996, Tobin Neis, handles the marketing for the entire organization. His focus often centers on educating end users and consultants to enable them to better understand the latest gear that is available, new innovations in lighting solutions, emerging technologies that drive change and the ROI value of alternative lighting sources such as LED’s.

With regard to identifying the value of LED’s, part of this determination is understanding what the power loads are – and being able to benchmark them before and after equipment upgrades and changes. To do this, the systems group at Barbizon often relies upon LynTec RPC panels for their ease of use, flexibility and web based reporting and monitoring capabilities.

Tobin states, “We use LynTec in key studios, projects that don’t require dimming and in environments like museums, theme parks, and just about anywhere where the lights are always on or need to be monitored and controlled. “ With particular relevance to entertainment lighting, he adds, “the strange part is that every job is different, but LynTec serves as another great tool in our Swiss army knife of solutions. They have been great about coming up with new ideas and we are very pleased to see all of the new control options.

Before we started using their panels, we controlled panels with contact closures, but with the RPC line we have more options for control and we can support both the audio on a panel as well as the LED’s. What’s more, there are no grounding issues with the LED’s and the LynTec panels. This makes the systems a little more foolproof and a lot more user friendly.”


As the undisputed leader in lighting solutions, we asked Tobin for his feedback on several key questions.

Q Are the engineers receptive to accommodating the install of a LynTec panel and why?

A Yes, they like it because it is a Square D panel and this is what they are used to dealing with. A dimming rack for a smaller contractor in a smaller market can require a lot more project management but a Square D panel with LynTec controls in it is something that they see regularly.

Q How is Barbizon looking to achieve its sustainability goals?

A We have gone through our own internal processes and we are trying to be more ecologically sound. In this day and age we just try to help people identify ways to save money and we continue to educate our customers and our employees on the best solutions that can do this.

Q What do you feel is important to understand about LED lighting and energy efficiency?

A With most cases and the energy efficient lighting on the market today, “you get what you pay for”; an LED may last for 50,000 hours but the electronics behind the LED’s will not last the same. This means that your electronic circuit will die before the front end will fail. Buyers have to know – you get what you pay for and the cheapest solution is rarely the best solution.

Q How do you provide clients with the options to make the product choices they need to in order to meet their project needs?

A When we put together a system we usually provide clients three options – Mercedes/Chevy/Kia – the one in the middle can be fine but more importantly, we make sure that we build options that are scalable and that give the client a place for the system to move to. Invariably, clients don’t have enough money to do what they want to do off the bat but they want the greatest bang for the buck. So we focus on the infrastructure – the conduit, the wire ways, all of the places where you can provide future scalability and where their systems can grow into.

Having the right infrastructure in place means having the best relay panels so that you can “plug in” when you need to grow.

With the right equipment upfront, you can include the relays and circuits you need for day one and still have scalability for day 2 and beyond. You don’t have to put the whole thing in right away. Not having the proper infrastructure in place can mean very expensive retrofits in the future – this message gets lost too often.


Q What is Barbizon’s thoughts on green?

A Barbizon’s commitment to sustainable practices encompasses our own operational efforts as well as encouraging sustainability in our industry through research and education.

Sustainability in any form is most successful as a choice. Our New Light Initiative has been created to ensure that people have the information needed to make good choices in sustainability.


Always on the forefront, Barbizon is committed to helping clients meet their energy reduction goals and do their part to work towards a more sustainable world. Their New Light Initiative is their latest program.

Q What is the New Light Initiative all about?

A Barbizon’s “NLI” team is working within our organization to implement sustainable practices into all facets of Barbizon¹s operations. We are also developing educational materials to be used both internally and externally to promote sustainable practices.

The lighting systems in theaters, television studios, and even in houses of worship are among the least energy-efficient parts of those buildings. Cutting energy consumption, whether in a new building or throughout an existing system, can be an overwhelming task for a facilities manager, technical director, or staff technician.

That is why many in the industry rely on Barbizon¹s expertise to help them create a sustainability plan that is tailor-made for a specific facility¹s needs and usage.

Barbizon’s staff includes a full-time LEED-accredited professional who understands the technology and benefits of the wealth of products available as well as the application challenges of a lighting system. This enables the firm to be uniquely positioned to provide the energy efficient solutions for the entire lighting system that meet your technological and design requirements.

When discussing lighting and energy efficiency, one of the most common topics these days is the movement toward LED lighting and the ROI that this can provide.


LED power supplies, fans and processors are not made to stay on all of the time. To extend the life of the fixtures and to save energy, they need to be turned off. At a recent PLASA Focus show, Tobin presented a seminar on the cost advantages of going to LED lighting. A part of the seminar was on the importance of turning the fixtures off when not being used to save energy, but more importantly to extend the life of the fixture and protect the customer’s investment. Here, LynTec panels and web based monitoring and reporting tools can provide clients with access to data and information to support energy savings and to identify for clients their return on investment. Here are some of the ways Tobin shared during his session that can help clients determine ROI.

When assessing the potential cost savings it is important to first understand your current lamp information which should include the following:

  • How many fixtures
  • Cost of replacement lamps
  • Expected Lifespan (hours)
  • Maintenance (Hourly Rate in $’s)
  • Not just salary, it’s all the rolled in costs
  • How much time to change lamp (minutes per fixture)
  • Average use per week in hours

Next, you need to understand some specifics about your intended new/replacement lamps including:

  • How Many Fixtures (note this is not always 1 to 1)
  • Cost of lamp / fixture
  • Expected Lifespan (hours) / to LM70 for LED Note: LM70 is at what point in time (hours) does the LED reach 70% of its initial output.LM stands for “Lumen Maintenance”

Estimated electrical costs can be identified by using the following formula:

Total Wattage x Hours Used Weekly ÷ 1000 x Price per kwh

You also need to estimate AC costs, considerations for these will include:

  • Cooling Weeks / 52 x Fraction of Lighting
  • Load as Heat (.9) / Cooling System
  • Coefficient of Performance (2.7) Note: For most packaged commercial cooling units the COP varies between 2.5 and 4.0. The higher the COP, the more efficient the system. The .9 value of lighting load as Heat (90%) is a general HVAC rule via DOE.

Make sure to identify rebates

There are a lot of institutions that have funds earmarked for energy efficient upgrades. It is worthwhile to find out if your facility or planned upgrade meets the requirements for this.

To calculate your ROI – use the following:

ROI (%) = (Annual Savings + Total Rebates) X 100

(# of Fixt x Installed Cost per Fixture)

ROI (yrs) = (Total Installed new Lighting Cost)

(Yearly Savings in AC & Maint)


In a market very often driven by price alone, Barbizon is not always the cheapest solution. Instead they rely on designing innovative systems that start with a strong foundation and often include LynTec panels for power and lighting control. With this solid core in place Barbizon builds solutions for clients that not only last, but that are built to be scalable and support a growing infrastructure and the future needs of their clients.

Download the complete paper

This paper was developed based on an interview with Tobin Neis, Marketing Director for Barbizon Lighting Company, a fully integrated, specialized lighting company. In it, Tobin shares his thoughts on Barbizon’s New Lighting Initiative , the advantages of moving to LED’s & the importance of proper infrastructure.


In business since 1947, Barbizon is the one-stop source for sales, service, installation & integration of lighting equipment and accessories. The company carries more than 20,000 products in stocking locations around the world & represents hundreds of manufacturers. Their inventory includes virtually anything you could need for lighting & rigging in a variety of industries such as:

  • Theater
  • Television/ Studios
  • Film
  • Worship
  • Production and A/V
  • Themed Environments/Retail
  • Wholesale/Resale Supply


Tobin Neis is the Director of Marketing for Barbizon. His varied background includes work in industrial and traditional theater, museums, broadcast, and corporate audiovisual environments. He holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a MFA in Theatre Technology from Indiana University. Tobin is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and is on the Board of Directors for the ESTA Foundation. Visit www.barbizon.com for more information on the firm, or reach Tobin at [email protected].