Wolfers Lighting Blog

Wolfers Lighting Spotlight: Meet Marty Whitney

Posted on Feb 25, 2018 by Andrea

It's time to shine the spotlight on another one of our amazing staff members. Today, we'd like you to meet Marty Whitney, who works out of our Waltham lighting showroom.

We could go on and on about how terrific she is, but we thought we'd let one of our customers do that for us. See, we received a nice letter from one of Marty's clients, which said, "Marty was extraordinarily generous with her time, knowledgeable, affable, and unflappable. I suspect you already know how exceptional Marty is but I want to say that having a staff member of her caliber reflects extremely well on Wolfers and has made me a loyal customer going forward."

We asked Marty to sit down with us for a little Q&A. Here's what she had to say:

Lighting Expert Marty in our Waltham Showroom

Q: What's your official title and how long have you been with Wolfers?

Marty: I've been with Wolfers for three years as an ALA Lighting Specialist in Waltham, and I'm transitioning to the System 7 and Wolfers project team this spring. I'll be working on projects that include lighting as well as lighting controls, automated shades, and A/V. I'm excited to be joining the project team and look forward to branching out further into home automation and technology!  

[Editor's note: System 7 and Wolfers will be moving a handful of our lighting experts into the project team to incorporate lighting fixtures and design into our largest and more complex projects. (Marty is one of these lighting experts.)]

Q: What drew you to the lighting industry?

Marty: My first glimpse into the lighting industry was in college, when I was working in the auditorium and campus center. We provided lighting design, live sound, and stage management for events, and I was drawn to lighting in particular because it is both very technical and very beautiful. It's a field where technology and design intersect—there's math and science here, but also art and aesthetics.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

Marty: What I love most about my job is the design and consultation process. I love collaborating with customers to find solutions that serve their lighting needs and suit their personal style and tastes. Every family and home is different, and I enjoy encountering new design challenges!

Q: What 1-2 tips do you wish more people understood about lighting?

Marty: Lighting has a tremendous effect on the way that a room looks and feels, but often it seems it's one of the last things on the list during a renovation or new construction project.  I encourage people to consider lighting as an integral component to a room, and just as important as the architectural elements and furnishings. Good lighting can make a design come together. Bad lighting or lighting that was an afterthought can make a room feel dim, "flat," or lackluster.

Q: Same question, but geared towards motorized shades and smart homes—what's the biggest takeaway you want people to know about home automation?

Marty: I often hear from customers that home automation is "too complicated" or "more than I need." A good technology design, however, simplifies your life instead of complicating it.

I think one of the best examples is with lighting controls. With a control system, a bank of switches on the wall can be distilled down into a single keypad. Each button on the keypad can then be programmed to control one light fixture or control groups of fixtures programmed into "scenes." This cleans up the wall in the room, but also allows you to quickly and easily transition a room into different lighting looks or moods. Add an app and you're now controlling your lights from wherever you are.

Q: Share a current favorite product.

Marty: My current favorite product is a technology rather than a specific product: "warm dim" or "dim-to-warm" LED fixtures. Incandescent bulbs naturally warm up in color when you dim them, approaching an amber color. LED fixtures, however, don't change color when you dim them down, and just become less bright.

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In rooms like dining rooms, family rooms, or bedrooms where perhaps you'd like to achieve a candlelit effect, some LED fixtures now mimic this incandescent color shift when you dim them down. This technology is available in lightbulbs, LED tape, and some recessed fixtures.

For a step further, another favorite of mine is "tunable white" LED technology, which allows you to choose any color temperature along a range, regardless of whether the fixture is dimmed down or not. A tunable white recessed light, for example, can be tuned to a soft amber to start your day, brightened up to a crisp white to energize you in the early afternoon, and then tuned back to a soft white for the evening.

Stop by our Waltham showroom and make sure you say hi to Marty!

Read our other spotlights here:

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