Steve Terry

SteveTerryNew York, New York

Inducted as a Fellow: 2006

Short list of career highlights:

Steve Terry is the Vice President of Research & Development at Electronic Theatre Controls, the Madison Wisconsin-based lighting manufacturer. In that capacity, he leads the team that is responsible for global development of new products.

Steve Terry began his professional career as the Production Electrician for the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1971. He toured the world in that capacity for over five years, and the experience gained in that position served as the basis for many of Mr. Terry’s designs of touring equipment for the lighting rental market.

In 1976, he was responsible for the care and feeding of the first computerized lighting control system on Broadway at “A Chorus Line”. From 1977-1981, he was the Production Sound Engineer for that production.

Mr. Terry joined Production Arts Lighting in 1976, and was Executive Vice President and Chief Engineer until 1998. In that capacity, he led the Systems Integration and Consulting Group of Production Arts. This group specialized in the design, engineering, furnishing, integration, and installation of permanent entertainment technology systems in a wide variety of markets. These included theatres, opera houses, theme parks, cruise ships, and television studios. Production Arts was acquired by PRG in 1998.
Over the last 30 years, Mr. Terry has consulted with a number of manufacturers in developing advanced products for the lighting industry. The first fully digital high density dimmer for touring was produced to a design specification authored by Mr. Terry, and many of the communication network products used in today's digital lighting systems had their genesis at Production Arts.

He has been instrumental in moving the lighting industry towards the concept of systems integration rather than purchase from a single manufacturer. Systems integration is now standard practice in the lighting industry, and his work on the DMX512 standard was a key element in making this possible.

He has been involved in the engineering and management of many prestigious installation projects over the last 20 years including, to name a few, the lighting renovation of the Metropolitan Opera House, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, and Wynn hotels and the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, the Lido de Paris nightclub in France,  “Fantasmic” at Disneyland, six NBC network television studios, seven cruise ship showrooms for Holland America Line, and the Disney/ABC “Good Morning America” studios in Times Square.

Mr. Terry also maintains an active involvement in the international lighting industry.

Short list of involvement in the Institute and other organizations:

  • founded the USITT National Electrical Code Committee in 1980 and was its original chair
  • appointed a member of NFPA National Electrical Code Panel 15 in 1994.
  • chaired the USITT Committee that wrote the internationally-accepted DMX512 standard for digital communications in lighting systems
  • USITT Vice-Commissioner for Engineering
  • a frequent panelist at technical sessions throughout the lighting industry
  • received the USITT Founders Award in 1993 for codes and standards work
  • co-chaired the Entertainment Services and Technology Association's Control Protocols Working Group from its inception in 1994, to 2007. This working group produced the next important control standards for the lighting industry, ANSI Standard  E1.17, Architecture for Control Networks (ACN) and ANSI Standard E1.20, Remote Device Management (RDM)
  • served on the ESTA (now PLASA) Board of Directors, the ESTA Technical Standards Committee, and the ESTA Electrical Power Working Group.
  • ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician and ETCP Recognized Trainer - Electrical
  • member, Technical Standards Committee, Underwriters Laboratories
  • full member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • member National Electrical Code  Panel 15, National Fire Protection Association (USITT Alternate)


  • a frequent contributor to Lighting Dimensions (now Live Design), and Protocol magazines
  • authored many articles on control systems, codes, and standards

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