World War II ended, and as soldiers returned home, young Sid Bloom and Sam Resnick decided to start a business together. After working for a while at a neighborhood electrical supply business, they decided to buy it and named it Barbizon Electric. In 1947, starting with just four employees, they sold everything from light bulbs to A.C. Gilbert toy trains.
In the 1950s, after relocating to Hell’s Kitchen, near New York City’s emerging film and television industry, Barbizon became one of the first US distributors of “new” tungsten halogen lamps, which became popular and shaped the future of the entertainment industry. The focus of Barbizon shifted towards lighting supplies, and Barbizon gained a reputation for vast stock and superior customer service.
In the late 1970’s, the company expanded by offering the services of experts in putting together different components of entertainment lighting and control systems to ensure they would work well together. Barbizon’s “stage and studio systems integrator” staff worked with theatres, television studios, churches, and museums to provide a single point of contact to ensure a working lighting system for renovations and new construction. This concept of systems integrators not only won over end users but also became valuable to consultants, engineers, and general contractors as these systems utilized various control methods to function correctly and needed to be installed in a specific way, making them more complicated than traditional electrical systems.
In the 1990s, Barbizon also started one of the industry’s first Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), making employees part (and eventually majority) owners of the company. In 2022, Barbizon moved to a new headquarters in New York City, designed to be a hub for entertainment lighting equipment, and education.
Despite significant technological changes in the industry, Barbizon Lighting remains committed to its customer-centric model, providing superior customer service and sourcing the best equipment for our customers’ application and budget.
From humble beginnings of toy trains and electrical supplies, Barbizon has evolved into one of the industry’s largest lighting sales and integration companies, serving clients in television, film, theatre, houses of worship, themed environments, and architecture worldwide.