Landscape Illumination, Inc.: Local Experts in Professional Outdoor Lighting
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Laura Arick and submitted
Are you looking for professional and courteous experts to transform your home and property into an outdoor landscape lighting masterpiece that is also functional? Look no further than one of the Midwest’s largest outdoor lighting companies, Landscape Illumination.
For nearly two decades, Landscape Illumination has been enhancing commercial and residential architecture and landscapes throughout Indiana, creating smooth transitions between indoor and outdoor living and working spaces with an attention to detail.
Award Winning Experts in Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Experts in applying LED or “green” technology to every project, Landscape Illumination’s owner, Darrin Selking, and his team have earned Kichler Lightings’ North American Contractor of the Year in 2009 and 2012. They are the only outdoor lighting contractor in North America to have won this award twice.
Selking received a double degree from Purdue University in landscape management/design and turfgrass management. He is also certified by the Association of Outdoor Lighting.
Headquartered in Valparaiso, Indiana, Landscape Illumination serves the Indiana, lower Michigan, and south Chicagoland area. Selking and his team of highly trained service technicians specialize in not only landscape lighting for residences but also commercial outdoor lighting. Selking took a semester course at Purdue in outdoor theater lighting, and his strategic landscape lighting ideas and exterior lighting designs exemplify his study of dramatic lighting techniques.
“We’ve done some unbelievable commercial projects, like old churches,” Selking said. “One of them was insane. It was a 100-plus-year-old church. Some existing clients of mine hired me for that project out of their appreciation for the church’s architecture. A lot of those lights were custom ordered, and I worked with certain beam spreads and outputs for certain architectural features. We produced a drone video of it [the church], and it is pretty crazy.”
Selking admitted that he is not the least expensive in the market, but his 20-plus years of experience and commitment to his customers has made him inarguably one of the best in his field. He and his team believe that the bar has been set high by specialized lighting design companies and that the true cost for outdoor lighting comes into play when a low-quality system fails. When it comes to landscape lighting, price and cost are two completely different things.
“I’m not going to compete on price with anyone because that’s not me, but I will beat everyone on design,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for so long, and even the guys that work for me have an eye for it. Where I used to do everything by hand [designing and estimating], I am using a cloud-based software system that allows me and my guys to communicate quickly, and it makes the entire process more efficient.”
With modern technology, Selking can create a design and an estimate right from his phone and submit a proposal to his prospective client quickly. Landscape and seasonal lighting are his only business. It is not a sideline or an addition to other outdoor services, and Selking, along with his highly skilled staff, have a proven system that focuses on efficiency as well as customer satisfaction.
The design of the project is also important to Selking, and with his training in theatrical outdoor lighting, he has learned how to make a lighting project a work of art that the owners, neighbors and passersby can enjoy.
Outdoor Landscape Lighting Design Guide
“There are certain ways to do it [outdoor lighting design] and certain ways not to do it,” Selking emphasized. “Typically, when you’re trying to show architectural details, you use lower wattage and place the fixtures closer to the structure, as opposed to putting the typical two large floodlights out in front of a house and throw the light up at it so it looks like the White House at night. That’s not what I do.”
Selking explained that doing that kind of “typical” installation washes out the details of the architecture. Landscape Illumination installs low-wattage fixtures close to or on the structure itself so that it shows off the intricate and interesting details that most people don’t see during the day but at night creates a dramatic effect.
All the fixtures are standard with LED (light emitting diode) technology. They are energy efficient and usually offer a minimum 15-year warranty on the light source. It is not uncommon for the bulbs in their systems to last 18 to 24 months. However, it is strongly recommended that your systems’ bulbs be replaced every year. Landscape Illumination, Inc., offers a yearly maintenance contract after your system has been installed. With LED, the light source is warranted for 40,000 hours—around 15 years.
“LED has made a big difference [in outdoor lighting],” Selking shared. “The fixtures are nearly invisible. People’s houses may or may not allow for good lighting from the ground, so then we have to install lighting fixtures on the actual structure, and there is hardly anybody around [this market] that does that. I’m one of the only ones, and with the fixtures that I use, you won’t even know they’re up there. They’re [the fixtures] tiny and blend in so well. The power source is on the ground in one location, and my guys can hide the wiring so that it appears invisible.”
Landscape Illumination has many fixtures to choose from to create your uniquely designed lighting system. They also know the illumination factor that each fixture provides and where the most accurate spot is to place it.
This is what they do: They are professional lighting designers. They will make several suggestions on fixture selection during the initial consultation.
Benefits of Adding Outdoor Landscape Lighting: Security and Safety
Additional benefits to creating outdoor lighting displays—including seasonal and holiday lighting applications—is the increased safety and security benefits of having strategically placed lighting around a home and landscape. It is a well-known fact that lighting around your home can help deter potential break-ins. Proper deck lighting and pool lighting are also important safety features that Selking and his team can expertly install for their clients.
“Outdoor lighting is huge for security and safety, in addition to the aesthetics,” Selking stressed. “Those are the three main benefits, but you would be surprised at how many people’s houses that we go to during the day have their coach lights on. I ask why those lights are on, and the homeowner always replies that they forgot to turn them off. So, convenience is another benefit—everything we do is automatic. It works off of a photo eye [photoelectric] sensor, so the lights come on in the dark and go off in the morning. You don’t have to mess with having to turn them on and off.”
Another point that Selking made was that using properly placed, low-wattage, no-heat LED lights, especially around doorways that have coach lights next to them, will have “zero bug draw” when you turn them on and open the door.
“Because of that, we do a ton of deck lighting, step lighting, pool lighting and things like that,” he added. “Outdoor living and kitchen areas have been a popular trend over the years, so for sure, you’ve got to incorporate some quality lighting in those spaces, not only for cooking but also for general entertainment purposes and safety.”
What is New in Outdoor Landscape Lighting?
Selking explained that with ever-evolving technology, there is a plethora of options and gadgets that are available in his industry.
“There are things coming out all the time, but I’ll only use it if I know it works. There is some fishy stuff out there, but I want my clients to never have to call me again unless it’s for more lights, so I use what I know is proven. With newer technology, we can drop a Bluetooth module in your controller, download an app on your phone, and you can control your lights from anywhere in and around your home right from your phone.”
When asked how long the average project takes, Selking said, “We come out and evaluate the current situation and collaborate with our clients on any specific ideas that they may have, and then we create a design and proposal. After you’ve done this for as long as I have, it becomes second nature. I know what I’d like to do as soon as I pull in to the front of a house or structure. On average, the [residential] projects are completed under three days, depending on the size of the project, and are typically scheduled three to four weeks out.”
Dog Guard Out-of-Sight Fencing Also Offered
Landscape Illumination also provides a service specific for dog owners: Dog Guard Out-of-Sight Fencing is a safe, affordable alternative to traditional pet fences and uses a veterinarian-approved combination of animal training and state-of-the-art electronics to safely train your pet where it can and cannot go. Be sure to inquire about this service when scheduling your consultation.
If your commercial or residential outdoor lighting system is in need of repair or an upgrade and you live in the Indiana, lower Michigan, or south Chicagoland area, contact Landscape Illumination at (855) 703-1416 or visit their website at landscape-illumination.com to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.
Don’t forget to ask about their yearly maintenance packages for your lighting system. There are different levels to choose from to meet your specific needs. These packages can be performed year-round.
Be sure to follow Landscape Illumination on Facebook and Instagram for completed residential and commercial projects.
Landscape Illumination Also Offers:
Landscape Illumination uses commercial-grade lights, not available in stores, to custom fit your home or business. After the holiday, they take down and store your lights for you until next year.
Landscape Illumination specializes in custom lighting design for homes and businesses. They use only the highest quality, lowest maintenance outdoor lighting system components available.
Landscape Illumination Highlights
• Two-time National Lighting design award winner
• Service on all existing outdoor lighting systems
• Largest installer of outdoor lighting in the Midwest
• 15-year manufacturer’s warranty
• Professional LED lighting
• Custom on-site design
- Greater Metro Indy Area
- Northern Indiana
- Lower Michigan
- South Chicagoland area