Inspired by the United Nations’ International Year of Light initiative, Lightswitch explored Why Light Matters in 2015. Each month we asked our designers why light matters to them and shared their responses in short Q&As, which can be found on our website. We hope our stories inspired you to think about light, and we invite you to share why light matters to you on Facebook.

Throughout the year we’ve asked the talented individuals who make Lightswitch great why light matters as part of our International Year of Light Q&A series. For our last Q&A, we turn to the partner and principals whose vision unites us all. Founders John Featherstone and Norm Schwab, principals Brad Malkus, Chris Medvitz and Howard Werner, and partner Avraham “Avi” Mor share why light matters to them.

Q: Why does light matter?

Avi: Take a look at the room you are in right now. Turn the lights off. What does the room look like? You can’t tell because there are no lights. How did you turn the lights off? Was it a switch, a dimmer, a keypad or an iPad? We use light every day but we don’t think about light every day...until we don’t have it or it doesn’t work. It enables us to live our lives and that’s why it matters.

Brad: The obvious answer is because it is essential to life itself. On a personal level, it matters to me because it is such a powerful and interesting tool for communication. Done correctly, it can connect people with an experience or an environment and influence their emotional reactions. As a high school student I experienced this during two very different types of performances. Within the span of several weeks I saw my first really big rock concert (Sha Na Na and Alice Cooper opening for Led Zeppelin) and my first Broadway musical (“Pippin”). The impact of those experiences led me to learn how to create that for others. Since then my career has been about finding ways to connect people to different types of experiences through the manipulation of light. In the end, it matters because it allows me to express myself.

Chris: Light = Life. That’s a dirt simple answer, but a universal one. Everything from scientific perspectives to spiritual perspectives are grounded in this intangible thing that we are fascinated with and choose to spend a significant part of our time on this Earth working with, manipulating and enjoying.

Howard: Without light we can’t see the good, bad or the ugly of the world, and somehow manipulating this thing we can’t touch has put a roof over my head.

John: It matters to me on SO many levels. The first and most fundamental reason is it is necessary for the very existence of life. It empowers mankind—it allows anyone and everyone to explore, influence and control their environment on a deeply fundamental level.

Light has fascinated and intrigued me for as long as I can remember, and been something that has brought me great joy, delight and discovery for many years. Working with light in one way or another is all I have ever done, and whether lighting bands, buildings or businesses light is my passion as well as my career. Most importantly light has been a great influence on both my daughters, and I have been fortunate to enjoy that special parental delight of watching that which fascinates you also fascinate and intrigue your children—for that light REALLY matters to me!

Norm: Light defines our perception of an environment. Our ability to influence and help interpret this perception is rooted in art, science and a deep interest in how light affects us personally. To be able to paint a sunset out of thin air, help someone feel excited about a new phone or raise the hairs on the back of someone’s neck (probably my own) with the push of a button is WHY LIGHT MATTERS!