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Check back here often for the latest news on our new product releases, awards, recognitions, and other exciting achievements.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #84: An Industry Q&A With David Warfel

Why Artistic Lighting Design is Important

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing David Warfel. Recorded live on Monday, August 5th, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About David Warfel

David Warfel, founder of, is a lighting designer, author, and educator who passionately shares the gift of light. Whether blogging at, writing for or designing residential and entertainment experiences from coast to coast through his company at, David simply wants to help others live better lives through the scientific and artistic application of radiant energy. From the local theatre to Carnegie Hall, from his parent’s kitchen to multi-million-dollar homes, from local pizza joints to the Las Vegas Strip, from school cafeterias to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line projects, David is endlessly fascinated by the power of light to reveal and transform space.
Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with David Warfel:

  • David´s background in the industry
  • Lighting! and Lighting Fails
  • The power of light
  • Why integrators need to sell lighting fixtures and design
  • Why lighting design is broken and how we're fixing it
  • How to look at a plan and know if it needs better lighting
  • Being a consultant to ProSource

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #83: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Kris Gamble


Ron:  Hello everybody. Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged. We're going to do Show 84. I've got a fantastic guest. I've got David Warfel, a lighting designer extraordinaire. And more and more folks in the custom integration industry are getting to know him and that is exciting. But let's look at it. Today's Monday, August 5th. We are going live at 12:30, so if you're watching us live, thanks for checking out the show. If you're watching on replay, thanks for watching it as well. As always, if you are checking out the show and you like what you see, please post your comments and or ask questions of our guests, whether it's live or it's after the fact. And both my team and I, as well as our guests, usually stay active on the comments and questions that come in over the course of usually the weeks and or even months post-show.So definitely don't be a stranger there and exciting times here. In terms of August, of course, we're a month away from CEDIA. I'm actually heading out for some travel this week. I'm heading out to Southern Cal for the first inaugural HTA, the Home Technology Association. They're doing a west coast event on the customer experience and they're going to do an east coast event as well in New York. So this week's gonna be LA. I'll be flying out to the west coast meeting with some dealers and having a good time at that event on Thursday. And then next week I'll be doing the same thing in New York. So, thus the odd time for producing the Automation Unplugged episode. But thank you again for joining us. Let's go ahead and get started and bring in our guest. Let me see if I can get technology to behave. There he is. David, how are you, sir?

David: I'm well, Ron. Thank you for having me.

Ron:  Awesome. Hey, thanks for joining us on Automation Unplugged.

David: I'm happy to be here.

Ron:  So David, you actually just did some training for my staff on lighting design and what's going on in the industry. And I know that my team loved that experience. In fact, some of them are going to join us probably by watching the show or commenting, so you may get some more questions from them. I know it was very educational, so thanks for doing that just last month.

David: Great. I'm glad they enjoyed it. I always enjoyed teaching.

"Lighting and lighting design is quite the rage in our industry. It is one of the hotter topics, one of the, I say emerging topics."

Ron:  So lighting and lighting design is quite the rage in our industry. It is one of the hotter topics, one of the, I say emerging topics. It's been around a long time, but it seems to do nothing but continue to warm up and become an interesting topic of conversation. You are the man at the epicenter of that here in our industry. You've really, made some great relationships and some inroads and you're one of the go-to people now, so congratulations on that.

David: Thank you. It's been a wild ride, but it's been enjoyable every step of the way.

Ron:  Yeah. So David, I always like to start out by introducing our audience to you, and if you don't mind, if you could kind of go into some of the background, kind of where, where'd you come from? What'd you study, and ultimately, how did you land in this industry?

David: So, good question and I'll try and keep it short cause it's a long rambling adventure that I still don't know where it's going to end. I keep saying I don't know what I want to be when I grow up and it's looking more and more unlikely that that's going to happen. I've always had a foot in architecture and a foot in lighting of some sorts. I tell people I grew up on a farm in central Illinois, which is true, literally cornfields were my backyard. There's not a whole lot to do out in the country except imagine. So I developed imagination. But also I was very exposed to light and also sensitive to it. I got migraine headaches for example. And light was one of the triggers. It's just always been kind of part of my physiology as well as my psychology. David: I think that made me into a control freak. I wanted to control light. I wanted to control my environment. I wanted to be very specific about it. I've dabbled in a bunch of different ways of doing that. I've done theater, opera dance, a degree in architecture was my first degree. And then theatrical lighting was my Master's degree. I built houses for a few years, taught at the University of Illinois for a decade, and just have been really all the time looking at what I used to call convergence design or the overlap of architecture and light and drama, really, if you want to call it that way. My architectural projects have a lot of drama. When I do a live event, it has a lot of reality. It's a mess and a lot of fun.

Ron:  Now when you mentioned opera, are you an opera singer?

David: No, I am not an opera singer. I am a in-the-shower-singer or listening to Jack and Diane driving down the highway with the windows rolled down kind of singer.

Ron:  Got It. Okay. Okay. Within Broadway, or that side of things, you'll be involved in terms of lighting the live events?

David: Correct. Yeah, it was always lighting.

Ron:  Theatrical lighting.

David: It's always light. Yeah. Yup.

Ron:  Okay. Now you did a stint as a professor. What were you teaching at the University of Illinois?

David: Theatrical lighting. And then was the, I was the Head of the Lighting Design Program. They have both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Fine Arts in lighting design. I also taught an architect architectural lighting course for the School of Architecture and then started bringing their kids over into my classes to teach convergence classes where we went back and forth between architecture and theater.

Ron:  Okay. And how did you ultimately, or when did you decide to leave education in terms of, I guess that profession of teaching, and you know, officially going out and putting up your shingle as a lighting designer, as David Warfel: lighting design, or were you always doing that? Were they always running in parallel?

David: They were always running in parallel and it was kind of a choice of where do I put my energy at a given time. I actually left, I worked for an architectural lighting firm back in like 2001, somewhere around in there. And took the academic job because I figured then I would have plenty of time to start my own business and I did. And then I got, you know, at times I would be more heavily involved in the academics, at time I would be more heavily involved in the professional side of it. But it's really only been about five years since I quit academia full time, you know, left it full time.

Ron:  Okay. Do you ever go back and do any stents at the university or other universities or are you full-time in your business now?

David:  I am full time in the business, but I love to teach or guest lecture anytime, you know, I love teaching. It's the rest of university life that wasn't thrilling me, so I'd be happy to do that again. Just don't ask me to be on a search committee.

Ron:  What is a search committee?

David: That's when you look really hard and find a perfect candidate to fill the position. And then the Dean overrules you. So, that's a search committee.

Ron:  Yeah. It sounds like maybe at the university level there's some politics. Is that what I'm hearing?

David:  Ah, it's pretty majorly political. Yeah. I mean I loved university life, a lot of it, but there is a lot of politics and in the performing arts, you teach from nine to five and then go to rehearsal from six to midnight. And you know, I had young kids at the time and was like, I'd kinda like to see them once a week.

Ron:  That sounds really rough actually. So the expectation is you'd put in, you know, I dunno, 14-hour, 16-hour days, like that was normal.

David: Yup. Yup.

Ron:  Well that doesn't sound very fun.

David:  No, I'd rather do 12.

Ron:  Exactly, why do 16 when you could only do 10 or 12?

David: Exactly.

Ron:  So how did you, how did you learn about the world of technology in the home and custom integration and kind of the merging of those topics? Where did that come from?

David: I've always known it existed but never really got into it. I did a lot of commercial lighting projects, schools and offices and residential towers and things like that, but never worked with very many integrators in that. A couple of years ago, I got a call out of the blue from Jonathan Wesco at Allegro in Indiana. And Jonathan had gotten my name from a mutual colleague that he had met at light fair. Jonathan was looking for some lighting design help and the guy said, you need to call David. So that began a couple of years ago and Jonathan and I were just going back and forth. He would send me some plans and say, "Hey, I just got these. What do you think?" As that developed, he gave me more and more insight into the integrator business. My head, Steve Weber, from Liaison, showed up at one of my full day training sessions. So I met him and I was like, "Wow, there's an integrator, you know, 45 minutes away from me." So it really was a gradual process until about six or eight months ago when it started to explode.

Ron:  Got It. And what does that look like now? Is this a primary channel of business development for you in terms of where you're finding new projects and partnerships specifically in like the CEDIA channel? I know you recently joined the Pro Source buying group. Is that how it's kind of shaking out?

David: Yeah, it's explosive growth for us in this channel. I've gotten business from colleagues and such for, you know, sort of the old fashioned network. And then I also write for and so I get some business through Houzz. The AV channel is where we're putting all of our energy right now really because it's the right time. We're in the right place. I believe the integrators have the ability to disrupt the channel in a way that benefits the homeowner and delivers better lighting. That's really what I'm about, is getting better lighting into the hands of our customers. And the AV channel is where it can happen. The traditional channel, just not happening. That's not what happens in the traditional channel.

"It has never been easier to make a home look beautiful with light, and it has never been so confusing."

Ron:  When you did the training for my team last month, you had made a statement and I'm gonna paraphrase it -- I'll probably get it sort of right. You had said something to the effect that it has never been easier to make a home look beautiful with light, and it has never been so confusing.

David:  Yeah, yup.

Ron:  Can you expound on that? Cause when you look at color temperature and CRI and low voltage versus high voltage, I mean it's retrofittable versus new construction. It's a confusing mess. And I kind of know a little bit about lighting and I'm confused.

David: Yeah. Lighting is a disaster zone right now. I went to buy a light bulb six months ago and it took me 18 bulbs. Multiple spreadsheets. Until I figured out which one I was going to buy. Out of just the ones available at the big box retail store. If you go to a buy a light bulb and you have to read the display to find out all the stuff of which you want to, you know, that's not what we're used to. We're used to going in and picking a 60-watt. And it's even worse in the construction industry because if you spend $300 on a downlight with the wrong led in it, you could be stuck with that for 30 years. It's not like you go in and unscrew the light bulb and change it. It's built into that thing. We can do amazing things. LED tape light that's an eighth of an inch, you know, wide like it's, I can put that in my shoes if I want. I can do amazing, incredible things but you can really mess it up.

Ron:  So what are some of the more common fails that you are seeing right now? Just think of, you know, the homes that our integrators are in, either that architect or that, I'm trying to think of the MEP firm maybe that designed the basic lighting plan for the architect. When you get a set of plans, where are the, "Oh my goodness!" moments that you're seeing over and over again. David: I'll give you a plan and a spec version. The plan version is geometry, right? When the typical lighting layout is being done, they're looking at it from above. They're looking at the floor plan and they're saying, here's a room, let's put in four cans and a fan. So I call it four cans and a fan, that's sort of the typical lighting arrangement in most rooms.

Ron:  I'm building a house and the builder put in four cans and a fan in my living room. I'm that guy. So I totally relate, now you gotta tell me how to fix it.

David: Yeah. Most of the time, if you lay out the furniture on that plan, you'll see that you're doing a really good job of lighting the carpet but not necessarily where you're going to be sitting or living in the room. That's true in a bedroom, it's true in a living room. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a kitchen with downlights placed over the aisle in between the island and the kitchen sink, so that you are in shadow no matter where you're working, whether it's at the sink or at the island. And it's like, I don't understand why that's done really, because it doesn't make any sense. So that's a big one. And then on the SPEC side, glare bombs, people were like, "Oh, we're getting led." Right? So, I'll say, you need to do some good lighting. And they say, "Oh, that's okay. Our builder told us we're getting LED." But it's a little bit like saying you're buying an electric car and you builder, said you're getting an electric car. Why are you getting a golf cart or a Tesla? Because there's a huge difference, right? And most people are getting golf carts thinking they're getting Tesla's. You get an LED wafer or whatever, which is really easy to install. And the electricians and the builders are concerned most about what's above the ceiling. But we live below the ceiling. So why do that? And it just creates massive amounts of glare. We're lighting our places like a gas station canopy really.

Ron:  How should an integrator change that? Like what should they be saying? Should they be saying, "Hey, I need to bring a lighting designer into this picture?" Or are they saying, "I the integrator want to be the answer and I now have the ability to offer counsel or advice around this," because maybe they're partnered with someone like you or maybe they are partnered with you. Like what's the solution?

David: The solution is yes. Right? There's so many different options. You've got the larger companies that are going to have a lighting designer on staff or should probably add one to their staff who can take care of that. You're going to have the smaller companies who need to hire somebody like us to come be their in-house experts. You can start with education, getting to know what lighting really is and what lighting design as a profession really is. And then start with the fixtures. If you're intimidated and at least get better fixtures into the job, but then the next step is to actually get those fixtures in the right place. And that's design.

Ron:  Maybe the thousand dollar question here, maybe the $10,000 question, should technology professionals that have historically not sold lighting, maybe they have sold lighting control, right? So maybe they were selling Lutron, Radio RA or Radio RA Two or Homeworks or you know, Crestron whole home or Control4 whole home dimming panels or retrofit solutions. You name it. They likely many in our industry, maybe not all, but maybe half or more have been selling lighting control. Are you proposing that they should be selling the lighting fixtures or the lighting technology beyond just the control system? Or who should be selling that? How does that happen? It needs to get specified and then someone needs to sell the gear.

David: Here's why I love this channel, is because when I specify outside of this channel, I'll go to a bunch of work and say, here's the right light fixture for you to use. I specify it all out, give cut sheets, give all the data or whatever. Give it to the electrician and the builder. They go to their distributor, the distributor says, "Oh yeah, but you know what? That one's kind of a pain to get, but I got these others on the shelf that look about the same and they're going to cost you half as much." And the electrician says, "Okay, well, you know, yeah, we'll take those." Or maybe they ask the client, the client says, "Well, yeah, it's the same thing." And so whatever ends up on the job is not actually what's specified. But when the integrator is involved and I'm involved with the integrator, what I specify is something that the integrator can sell, then I know that the client is actually getting the best all the way through and the integrator knows what it is so they can control it better. There's some real advantages in going through that channel. I love it. I would love for more integrators to sell fixtures because that means more homes are going to have better lighting in them and not just whatever happens to be on the shelf.

Ron:  Got It. And just for clarity, does it matter what brands they [the integrator] sell? Let's say Integrator A aligns with Brands One, Two, Three and Integrator B aligns with Brands Four, Five, Six -- how does that dynamic, if they engage with you, how does that work?

David:  It means that we have to do like an on-boarding process with each dealer to say, "What do you want to sell?" And most of them need an additional line or two, even if they've got lines. Some of them, we're doing their first lighting sales project ever. So they're looking at who's in their buying group, but then we're looking at the buying group and saying, well, they've got one, two and three, but you really need to add number four also to be able to fill this out. We're helping them choose that. Then when we go to dealer two, you know, it's like, okay, yeah, you're doing four, five and six. That's great. You really need to have three. And then you'll have a round package. So every project is different with every dealer. We'll have a kind of a whole train for one dealer to say, this is how we do it with this dealer and this is how we do it with that dealer.

Ron:  Does an integrator need to be in a certain type of project, whether it be new construction or retrofit or a certain price point of home for lighting design to be relevant?

David: I would like to think that, no. I mean, what we're seeing, of course, is a lot of higher-end homes that have a pretty decent budget for lighting or at least are about to have a pretty decent budget for lighting.

Ron:  Once they meet you, they will.

David: Right, right. But I'm doing more or less a tract home for a guy right now that the total cost of the house would be $300,000 or something like that. Sort of a mainstream, typical, suburban housebuilder, Basic House. But what we can do is take the dollars that they're going to spend, he's gotta spend a little bit more usually. And at least get the lights in the right place, even if they're not the best of the best or you know, what I would recommend longterm. And then we help them spend the dollars in the right place. I'd like to say that everybody can benefit from lighting design. I mean if you've got eyes that work otherwise, no you can't.

Ron:  So what is the business model look like? Are you seeing integrators that are bringing you in, David, and just saying, "Hey, this guy, David's gonna make life better for you. And I think you should hire David" or are integrators adding a service category called lighting design and then sub-contracting you in behind the scenes? Or is it maybe all of the above? Like what's normal right now? Or is there a normal?

David:  I would say about half of them are just saying, "Hey, we're going to send them to you." And then we do the lighting design and then we do have some that are like, we try to be seamlessly inside of their organization so we are their lighting team. Then they kind of offer us as a service to their clients. It just depends on the size of the organization and whether or not they've already contracted to sell. There are organizations that already do lighting design and now they're sending it out to us cause we can do it faster and they're too busy to do it and we can do it with a deeper level of expertise than they can.

Ron:  Okay. Understood. I have a bit of a self-serving question. In the house that maybe I'll be moving into at the end of the month, I don't know, let's just say hypothetically. I'm pretty sure that the builder put all of these surface mount wafer LED things in the house. I know. I'm pretty sure that that's all wired standard 120 volt to light switches. It's probably all wired, like a typical classic electrical contractor would know to wire a light fixture. I'm pretty sure they're all LEDs.

David:  Right.

Ron:  Is it possible to go into a situation like that and you know, pull fixtures out and put gear in and overall improve the effect and make that type of lighting design then controllable with like a smart wireless lighting system where you could put smart dimmers in the wall and overall have a better product or what do you do when you have a situation like that?

David:  Ron, you got to know some integrators out there, right? I totally know some integrators, that's for sure. You got to find the one that owes you a favor and say help me out here. I mean the answer is always yes. You can always fix a problem. The question is how easy is it going to be? If you're using those wafer disc lights, did they put a recess can in and then an LED trim in?

Ron:  Yes.

David:  In that case, it's pretty easy to pull that out and do something else. You know, if they just put a junction box up there and put the wafer on top of it, which they do sometimes now.

Ron:  No, there's a round hole in the ceiling.

David: Okay. Yeah. Well then you're better off than many. Of course there's a million options right now for doing it completely wirelessly as well.

Ron:  Sure. Okay. Well that, that is good. Now, how does an integrator handle the lighting design process? Do you generally find that they are collecting the electrical plans from the architect and they are then passing that off to your firm and then you're marking them up? And how does the budgeting, cause you could have probably perfect solutions that might cost a little more than less perfect solutions that might cost a little bit less. How is that dynamic working?

David:  We have a pretty clear process for how we work with clients. The integrators usually bring us in the plans, et cetera. We take those and then develop a range of prices or a preliminary budget pretty early on and starting to float numbers by clients.

Ron:  Bringing up your website, by the way, David, as we speak here, just for those that want to see. By the way, is this the best website? If I'm sharing something, this

David:  Yeah. It's sort of the portal to everything. You can get to the blog and you can get to other things from there, but you can go right on there and hire me to design your house right now, Ron.

Ron:  There you go. It sounds like maybe that's what needs to happen.

David: Click the middle option, send me your credit card and we'll get going.

Ron:  That's it. That's it. Is there a middle option? Oh, is this it -- Accelerated?

David:  Yep. That's what we do in the AV channel, is the Accelerated Model. And I like to think of it as 80% of the sort of, super high end lighting, but at 40% of the cost. When I started working with Jonathan, he was like, "Well, this is nice, but you need to be able to do it faster and you need to be able to do it cheaper." So we'd go through an iteration and he'd say, "Well, this is nice, but you need to do it faster and you need to do it cheaper." We kind of threw out the way lighting used to be done for the Accelerated Model and said, we're gonna disrupt the lighting design industry, if you will, and find a new way to do it. And this is the result of that, is being able to do true custom lighting design but in a quick and affordable way.

Ron:  And typically, would a reseller or a technology contractor, when they look at this as their price for your services, or is this a retail number to the consumer?

David:  That's the consumer.

Ron:  This is the consumer number. Okay.

David: Yup, Yup. That's the consumer number.

Ron:  If people want to understand more about just the value of lighting design in the home or read up and educate themselves. Is there a direction here on this website where you would recommend that that I go or for our audience to kind of know where they could learn more?

"I think of lighting as the first gift of the universe. It's fundamental to human existence. We don't have food or life without it. And our bodies are hard-wired for it."

David:  Yeah. If you kind of want to just get the basic overview, go to The Gift. I think of lighting as the first gift of the universe. It's fundamental to human existence. We don't have food or life without it. And our bodies are hard wired for it. There's kind of the miniature sermon there if you will. And then under "Learn More" is the link to the blogs and other resources so you can find out more and more practical advice I think would be in the writing and the blogging.

Ron:  Okay. So great resources there. Now I know, David, you also have this other site. I have it here, I'm gonna click on it. The Language of Light blog. Is this what is linked to from your light can help your website?

David: Yes. Yeah.

Ron:  Okay. And what type of content will we find here?

David:  Kinda whatever I feel like. There's some that's just rants, when I see something done horribly, I go through a walkthrough and it's like, why do I see this again? The Tesla and golf cart thing was up there at the front. Like which are you getting? I dunno. You have no idea what you're getting if they just say LEDs. I write those thoughts down with some advice on how to get around that usually. I would say that if you read all the blog posts though, you could do a pretty decent job at fixing your house.

Ron:  Sounds like I have my homework assignment.

David: Yeah, yeah,

Ron:  I'll report back to the professor and let him know.

David: I'll grade it, yeah.

Ron:  You'll grade it? Oh, no! That might be scary. That is funny. Now, what are your observations, David? So you kind of been exposed, you've known of this industry, you've worked more closely, you named some names, Jonathan, and others that you've worked with in the industry. What do you see as the opportunity for this space in terms of really elevating their game with lighting as a category?

"If you look at that 650,000 homes and you say, how many of them have lighting in them? Well, all of them actually. There's a huge potential to disrupt and increase the quality across the board."

David: I show slides when I'm presenting to dealers that out of the 650,000 new homes that will be sold this year, how many of them have integration in them? How many of them have lighting control or whole-home audio systems? No one can actually tell me what that percentage is. But we know it's not a big percentage. If you look at that 650,000 homes and you say, how many of them have lighting in them? Well, all of them actually. There's a huge potential to disrupt and increase the quality across the board. Everybody uses light in their house, everyone. I think there's opportunity to grow. There's also opportunity to keep from shrinking because as the controls get miniaturized, they move out of the panel and into the light fixture itself, so the driver is just communicating with a brain somewhere and the dimming panel goes away and you just lost $50 to $100,000 worth of gear on a job. If you're not selling the lighting fixture, then you're not actually selling controls anymore. You're just selling a tech, a touch panel and a rack mount unit. Because the light fixtures are now getting controls integrated into them. It's no longer a separate thing.

Ron:  So if the integrator doesn't figure this out now they're going to see, potentially, a very large category of their revenue walk out the door.

David: Yeah, if they're heavy in panelized lighting, that is going to shrink substantially.

Ron:  Wow. That's a good reason to figure this out. Now I know that you have aligned and partnered with Pro Source, one of the buying groups out in our industry. Can you just talk about what that alignment is and kind of how you see that playing out?

David: Sure, yeah. They've been great to work with, ProSource. Essentially what I'm doing for them as their consultant is offering education to their members, offering advice to their lighting committee as they look to bring on new brands, et cetera. I'm kind of like the phone a friend. It's like, wait, we got a lighting question and we don't have the answer for it. Oh, we'll call Dave. Right.

Ron:  Sure.

David: That way they can bring somebody in like me who has 20 years worth of experience in lighting and speaks the language, knows the manufacturers, et cetera out there, knows the right questions to ask, and help them evaluate as they move and expand in the category. So that's what I do for the buying group.

Ron:  Got It. Now would you do business with integrators that are not in Pro Source or are you exclusive to Pro Source?

David: Our business model is not exclusive to Pro Source. We will work with any integrator, just call us up. I'm offering sort of some education and advising things that are exclusive to the Pro Source buying group. But if you're a dealer with me, I can do whatever.

Ron:  Got it. I'm on your website, that's why I'm looking away here and I'm grabbing an email address, which I'm gonna put up on the screen. And for those that are listening to audio only, it is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Can you just talk briefly about what the process is? If someone wanted to engage you, how would they go about learning what that looks like? Should they email this address here or should they give you a phone call? What's best?

David: Either one's fine. It'll make its way to me. There's the way it should be run and then there's the way it seems to always go.

Ron:  Sure.

David: The way it should be is, if you're thinking about lighting, give us a call, reach out and we'll start the onboarding process. That way, we have a little while to get you set up and ready before that first project comes in the door and you're like, "Oh my gosh, now I have to sell light fixtures." The way it normally happens is people call us and say, I think we've got a project. I had one last week, I think we just sold your lighting design service. And I'm like, what's your name?

Ron:  What's your name? What does it do?

David: So then we're doing both at once. We're designing the first project for them and we're trying to get them up to speed with what brands they need to carry. That sort of thing. There's a lot of learning that needs to go on. The integrators are going to have to spend a little bit of time. It's like if somebody came in and introduced a whole new line, all new paradigm of audio and you had to figure it out, this is a whole new thing. You've got to figure it out at least some level if you're going to be selling it.

Ron:  David where will you be next in terms of industry events? Are you going to be in any way at CEDIA?

David: Yeah, I'll be at CEDIA. Got a meeting tomorrow with the Pro Source team to figure out exactly what we're going to offer to the membership there. I will be walking the floor and most likely working with Pro Source members and different vendors as well. So kind of facilitating relationships, and giving them the highs and lows of those product offerings.

Ron:  Got It. Well, cool. Well, David, it has been a pleasure to have you on for episode number 84 of Automation Unplugged. Believe it or not, we've been on almost 40 minutes. You blink and it goes by quick. The information, the contact information we've just reviewed, are those the best ways for folks to get in touch with you?

David: Yeah, I mean if you're watching this, you can just email me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I'll respond. My cell phone number is (217) 202-8280 and yeah, give me a shout.

Ron:  Awesome. And we'll also put that number down in the comments as well, everyone. If you're looking for that, we'll post it there. On that note, David, I probably will be reaching out to you regarding lighting design for my own home, but we'll take that one step at a time. It was great to have you on the show.

David: Thanks Ron. I appreciate it. It was fun to do.

Ron:  Awesome. Thank you, David. All right, gang. There you have it. As you can tell, I'm missing furniture behind me. I'm in the process of moving here, as I've mentioned on the show. So it's probably going to become more and more sparse in this office as we get things boxed up and moved over the course of the next month. So just bear with me on the upcoming shows. I'm going to do my best, along with my team, to keep these shows going every week. But it's a little chaotic with a lot of moving and shaking going on behind the scenes. Anyway, thank you for joining me for another episode and please don't be shy about liking this and or giving us a comment. Tell us what you thought of the show and if you have any questions for David, we will make sure to get them over to him as well. Until next time I will talk to you soon. Be well.

Show Notes

David Warfel is endlessly fascinated by the power of light to reveal and transform space. His resume includes being founder of, a lighting designer, author, and educator who passionately shares the gift of light.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing in the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and Links from the Interview:

If you’d like to contact David, he provided his email and cell phone number to reach out to him.

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • (217) 202-8280

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