Landscape Lighting was created in 1989. While working as a landscape designer I realized that there was a need for a professional design and installation company specializing in outdoor lighting. The companies up to that point were installing do it yourself kits from the national retail chains. After some searching, I found a few manufacturers around the country that were willing to share ideas and product information with me.
Today, as was the case back then, a large majority of the lighting manufacturers are located in sunny California. Being here in Michigan, I knew that we were going to need a product that would hold up to Michigan winters. After many trials and errors we had come upon a couple of manufacturers who guaranteed their product would work. In the spring of 1989 I began designing and installing outdoor lighting systems on my own. Things started out slowly as they do with most new companies. By dropping flyers and minimal advertising, the first year I installed 35 scene creating systems.
Landscape Lighting was on it’s way. I targeted homes in which the owners had put a lot of time, effort, and cost into their homes and landscaping. Offering a system that would compliment what they had already done in terms of landscaping and street appeal. Now imagine trying to sell a homeowner a $2,000.00 lighting system, that really to that point, they had no idea as to what the finished product would look like. Many long nights of fine tuning and redesigning began. Trial and error were the recipe of the day, but word got out about Landscape Lighting and sales begun to increase.
The next few years sales increased dramatically: 70 homes the second year, 100 the third year. The referrals between neighbors and friends were tremendous. Doing the design and installation myself provided me with incredible quality control. However, with the overwhelming work coming my way and calls for maintenance on existing systems, I had to limit the new installs to 110 systems per year. That gave me enough time to run new appointments, offer a maintenance program, add on to or revise existing systems, and install new ones.
This worked for the next 5 years quite well. Then something remarkable happened. Our work was featured in the Detroit Free Press Sunday edition…twice! Once for our work at Cranbrook Academy and the second time for a house in Clarkston, MI. We were also featured in a local home magazine twice as the top lighting company in the area. As you can imagine, this put us in a whole new market.
I was flooded with calls from developers, builders, and landscape architects. For the past 4 years this has kept us as the leader in the outdoor lighting industry. We have had to reduce the number of homes we can service during the year, because the size of the systems has grown exponentially.
My first year our average job was 15 lights 1 transformer. For 2001 our average job is 65 lights 3 transformers. As you can see from our portfolio, large systems are now quite common. This year we already have sold one home with over 150 lights and another with over 260! It is important though that one realizes these homes are not the norm. The large installs accompany multiple acre estates. Average size jobs are still in the 35-65 fixture range.
Since the second year, 95% of all work coming to landscape lighting has been through our referral network. I have the continued support of many individual companies who appreciate the work that I do.
Competition in the market has come and gone. It seems every year new companies sprout up and old companies fade away. From the adds our competitors run, You would think everyone was the best! Unfortunately though that is not the truth.
Every year we receive numerous phone calls from homeowners who had someone else install their system, only to call us asking if I can fix it. We tried to accommodate these requests, but it now takes too much of our time to fix other’s mistakes. I have heard many times from disgruntled homeowners, “I wish I knew there was a difference”. That is why we put together this website. We hope the information provided will allow you to put your confidence in our company, and to let you know there is a difference!
What is our biggest compliment? When other companies try to duplicate what we do. We realized we were the leader in the market when other companies began using our name in their advertising.
When I started designing and installing lighting systems, the term used to describe lighting was, “outdoor lighting”. This term remained the same for about 4 years until we began making strides in the industry. Slowly our competition began using “landscape lighting” in their advertising.
The name Landscape Lighting was derived from my degree is landscape design from Michigan State University. When I started my company, I offered potential customers a landscape design and lighting design on the same blueprint. No other competitor was able to accomplish this task. Remove the word “design”, and hence the name Landscape Lighting.
If you look in the Yellow Pages or any other type of advertising, landscape lighting is used predominately in our competitor’s ads. Some go as far as to make it a different color or larger size than their own company name! Not a week goes by where I don’t get a call saying someone saw our name on a sign or on my truck. I cam assure you one thing we don’t do is leave signs behind or letter our trucks.
I have considered a name change, but it would be more work than it’s worth. Every company has their pitch, offer better fixtures, better controls, copyrights their design and placement techniques. At the end of the day though that’s all it is, a pitch. No other company offers the warranties that we do: 10 year complete on fixtures, 5 year on aluminum transformers, lifetime on stainless, 3 years on wire, 15 years on installation and labor. No other company has the experience on the sizes of systems we install. No other company has as many years experience, nor does any other company have as many completed systems as we do. No other individual has worked on as many systems as I have.
When it comes down to it, Landscape Lighting is the only choice for your outdoor lighting system needs. We understand that your landscape is a living entity. Ever changing every year, every season, and it is not stationary.
Leveraging my knowledge obtained as a graduate from Michigan State University School of Horticulture and a certified Michigan nurseryman; I design a system with the flexibility that will change as often as your landscaping. Using 16 years experience in the installation of the finest outdoor lighting systems, I also guarantee that the system will work to your highest satisfaction.
We realize in today’s market you have many choices in regards to your outdoor lighting needs. One thing we have always been committed to is the quality of our systems. The exclusiveness of our systems and of your satisfaction. The only way we can guarantee these things is if we all approved pay day loans are 100% dedicated to your system. Because of this commitment, we are not interested in mass producing our systems. We limit the number of homes we do in a year not only by the seasons, but also by our commitment to maintaining our existing scene creating systems. This year’s target for installations is 90 homes. We have already accomplished 30% of that goal. We could easily do over 100 homes this year since we turned down 35 homes last year.
We could send out flyers in the mail, we could look into selling franchises or branching out to other states. I could hire high school kids to install the jobs but once again, if it has Landscape Lighting on it; I will personally be working on the project. We will not compete with lesser-experienced companies using inferior products or those using no creativity just to get a job.
Having an outdoor lighting system designed, installed and maintained by Landscape Lighting puts your home in very exclusive company. Our customers are the best customers I could ask for. They have allowed me to use their homes as my playground for lighting. We did not get these homes because of the lowest price. We did not get them because we paid an architect, or landscaper a finders fee commission to get us the job. We got them because we offered a lighting system that would set our customer’s homes apart from the everyday systems.
When the above mentioned customers refer us, they are assured that their contacts are getting a truly special system, and don’t have to worry about callbacks for improperly installed systems. We know our systems are not for everyone. As a landscape designer, one of the basic theories taught to us is: Don’t fight the site. This means work with what you have. I remember that theory every day in designing our lighting systems. Our systems are only as good as the canvas we are lighting. Knowing how to use the site to the best of our ability is what sets us apart.