The Wedding Biz – 336: IRA LEVY – Tastefully Using Technology to Create Lighting Designs

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“Light starts in the ceiling and ends in the floor, and there is nothing in between.” Listen as Andy and his guest Ira Levy discuss his journey from pre-med to concerts, lighting design, and entertainment, why he uses the term architainment, his process when working with clients, designers, and planners, plus much more on this episode of The Wedding Biz.

Ira is the Creative Director of Levy NYC Design & Production, a full-service design and production company focused on lighting, sound, and video for events, architecture, and what he calls architainment. He has also been the lighting designer for such event industry luminaries as Preston Bailey and Colin Cowie. Past clients include Martha Stewart Weddings, Dolce Gabbana, and the American Museum of Natural History.

“It’s not the turning of the screw; it’s knowing which screw to turn.” Ira believes that the mood you create with lighting is part of the experience. Ira shares mixing entertainment and architecture to create architainment, which happens when light touches inanimate material.

Listen as Ira speaks about the need for event industry professionals to allow more time before an event so that lighting designers can work their creative magic. Ira also shares what he still hopes to accomplish and what he is looking forward to.

Do you need some tips on handling stress during this crazy year? Andy has put together a list of the top ten tips for dealing with stress, which he has compiled from interviews with icons of the wedding and event industry. If you would like a copy, go to

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute.

Show Highlights:

[01:30] Welcome to the show, Ira!

[02:15] Ira shares his background and when he left pre-med for concerts, nightclubs, and lighting.

[04:40] Ira discusses getting involved with a company that did the moving lights.

[05:50] Ira speaks about producing rave shows in the late 80s.

[07:11] Preston Bailey was someone who helped Ira’s career take off.

[08:10] What is your overall philosophy concerning design?

[09:28] Ira believes that the mood you create with lighting is part of the experience.

[10:37] Ira works the dimmer, and he says that can make the entire event.

[11:42] “It’s not the turning of the screw; it’s knowing which screw to turn.”

[12:39] During an event, are you in contact with the designer, or are you on your own?

[13:28] Ira shares his process and who he works with most: clients, designers, or planners. 

[15:45] Ira describes a project he did with Preston Bailey and how he created the event’s lighting design elements.

[17:35] Ira speaks about the biggest challenges he faces when doing the lighting.

[20:16] Were you asked to do anything special for LeBron James’ wedding?

[22:29] Ira discusses doing the lighting he calls architainment.

[24:41] How far do you dig into the brand when creating designs for companies?

[26:08] Ira shares his view on technology and where he sees it going in the future.

[28:36] There is a lot of technical equipment out there, but few people know how to use it.

[30:25] Ira believes that time is so important. It takes time to make it look good.

[32:52] Ira shares some things he thinks event industry professionals need to consider when working with lighting designers.

[34:04] What do you still want to accomplish? What are you looking forward to?

[35:46] Thank you for being on the show!

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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by PartySlate – the first website designed specifically for event professionals and venues!

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Find Ira:

Levy NYC

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