austin landscape lighting

Outdoor Lighting Hand Drawn Designs by Chad Rodvold

Connecticut Estate 

Connecticut Estate 

South Texas Ranch

South Texas Ranch

South Texas Ranch

South Texas Ranch

Things you realize when you get older..."old". All those times I was grounded growing up and had nothing to do but draw was actually job training. I remember sitting for hours drawing something, anything because I had gotten into trouble and was grounded. In those days, grounded meant no television, no outside, no fun; draw, color, and read were my only options. I usually would draw. Go figure, 40 years later, I'm blessed to be able to draw and color for a living while playing in the dirt.

When I'm not given a property plan from a landscape architect, architect, or builder, I have to hand draw the property to not only show the customer where the landscape lighting is going to be, but also to catalogue the different lights and their locations. I take great pride in these plans and spend countless hours trying to get it look like its' to scale. That's not too difficult on most properties, but I've done some very large multi-acres sites the last several years. These are just a few favorites of my hand drawn landscape lighting plans.

If I can assist you in your outdoor lighting project or if you have any questions regarding trends, lighting products, and expected pricing, please give me call or email

The Real Beauty of Landscape Lighting - Introduction to Uplighting by Chad Rodvold

Over the years, many clients, landscape architects, and landscape designers have had questions about the use of uplighting for larger mature trees. This video hopefully explains the "how to's" and "why" uplighting is used in my landscape lighting design...especially as it pertains to large tree specimens.

E2 Illumination Designs is a landscape lighting and exterior architectural lighting company focused on the highest standards in lighting design, construction, and customer satisfaction.

The devil's in the details...Comparing different LED lamps for landscape lighting by Chad Rodvold

Nothing too crazy here, but we have to do this from time to time with all the changing technology and claims within the LED industry. 

Today, I decided to compare three different manufacturers, I use relatively consistently, to evaluate their performance claims. Each one has the exact same specifications for wattage, kelvin, lumens, and beam spread...and each one is different from the other! Subtle differences, but still different.

I pay special attention to color consistency, beam spread, light intensity at center, and light intensity around the perimeter when analyzing lamp specifications. I then use this information to correlate the proper lamp with the appropriate plant material or architectural detail being illuminated. Momma always said "the devil's in the details" and I think paying special attention to those details differentiates E2 Illumination Designs from the competition.

E2 Illumination Designs, based in Dallas, Texas, is a landscape lighting design-build firm traveling wherever high quality design and construction is demanded.

Landscape Lighting for your Garden Ornamentation by Chad Rodvold

While traveling through south Texas this week, I went to a clients and found a unique addition to the front garden. At first I thought it had to be a joke, but then I realized how it was securely mounted to the trunk. Brings a smile to my face and I thought how lucky I am to have such "cool" clients. 

Now don't get me wrong, I am not thinking of adding a light to enhance the viewing pleasure of the bicycle anytime soon. However, I do think it was the perfect lead-in to illustrate several examples of different types of landscape lighting for enhancing your garden ornaments and statues. 

First, I can't tell you all my secrets and I do have to give credit to the master John Robin Watson for his teaching. He truly was amazing!


Typically, a garden ornament or statue is an afterthought when added to the landscape and that is how the lighting of it is usually done as well. Put a light on a stake in front of it and let it shine!!!! The only time to ever consider doing such a thing is when there's considerable landscape around to conceal the lighting unit and there are no trees on the property. This means do all your feature lighting from the trees. The above statue was illuminated with a low voltage 50W Par36 incandescent on a dimmer. The key to this type of lighting is finding the correct location for the lighting unit and amount to dim for the appropriate affect.  

Below, this garden ornament on a west Texas ranch was illuminated with a medium 3,000 kelvin 24W LED spot with a special lens and dimmer. Again, location of the unit is extremely important to get the proper coverage and lighting intensity.

While working at JWLI

While working at JWLI

The above feature is when you have to use everything in your arsenal so a 300W Par56 incandescent and 500W Par64 incandescent were used to achieve this result. Both lights are on separate dimmers and you have to determine the type of beam spread to use, for example spot, flood, medium flood, wide flood and narrow flood. Proximity to the feature and the feature characteristics will help you in determining which one to use.

Garden ornaments bring so much to an outdoor environment that it requires proper illumination or that ornamentation will turn into an eye sore in the evening hours. Just google lighting outdoor statue and look at the images. Most features are illuminated from the ground and the lighting creates a hot spot on the lower portion of the feature while the upper portion is either in the dark or shadowed. Also, most of the pictures are taken at dusk when the light intensity isn't showing as great. Little tricks the imitators try to use!

Illuminating garden elements is difficult and there isn't a one type or style of light for every type of feature. If we can help you in illuminating a special garden ornament for your home and garden, please contact us.