Homeowners are getting sold lights not Landscape Lighting Design by Chad Rodvold

The perceived value in landscape lighting isn't the number of lights you're buying but the quality of the design.

The perceived value in landscape lighting isn't the number of lights you're buying but the quality of the design.

I'll never understand how a homeowner allows this to happen. This is NOT landscape lighting, but someone selling lights. If I have to explain why this lighting example isn't representative of quality work, than you my friend need to find another career. 

In my humble opinion, the concept behind landscape lighting is seeing the effect of the light...not the actual light fixture. This is disturbing on so many levels; 1) One light per trunk 2) Placement of the lights on the front of the trunks 3) This lighting example is at the front entrance for all the neighborhood to see...AND RUN FROM!

If you're considering the investment of landscape lighting for your home, please call a reputable company and request a design for your home. If someone starts the sales process by talking about the number of lights they can sell you, kindly throw them off your property. Landscape lighting can either do two things for your home...enhance and beautify or illustrate the mistake you made nightly. Choose wisely.


Rain day, blog day...2017 Review by Chad Rodvold


It's been a wonderful year for us and we're off and running in 2018. We're blessed to work with some great professionals in landscape architecture and construction and they referred us to many great projects. This was a banner year for total sales, but I didn't have to sell at professional relationships did all the heavy lifting. Did I say blessed?

I've seen quite the shift in landscape lighting these past several years. The focus seems as if it moved from quality of design to quality of the fixture...the LED fixture. Everyone is jumping in the LED water and trying to gain a piece of the market. It's made it a bit difficult as I'm not sold on aesthetic value of the LED and I'm sticking with the value of great design over price. There'll always be a market for great design. I'll talk LED later1

We didn't travel as much this year as in past years. Projects were plentiful in Dallas and we experienced some growing pains in the crew department. Finding and keeping high quality crews has proven to be our achilles heal...the foundation is solid with Ernesto, but a strong #2 was missing. I'm confident as we move forward into 2018, as we have a returning rock star in chief Jose that will stabilize the workload. Sooo blessed to have him back in the saddle! 

2018 has taken off with several high quality projects in Highland Park and University Park, as well as projects on the boards from a wonderful ranch south TX and estates under construction in Connecticut, Maine, and Missouri. Feel excited as to what the future will look like for E2 Illumination Designs and only wish my three boys were older so they could take some of the load off my shoulders. The greatest test I'll have this year will be trusting someone with managing the work load as I continue to design...I just love being on the job site too much. Wish me luck...I need to go play in the mud!


The Front Walk Looks Like A Runaway Lights by Chad Rodvold

What were you thinking Mr. LA?

What were you thinking Mr. LA?

Trace Adkins said it best in his his 1996 hit single "Every Light in the House" and I had to repeat it a couple months back to a builder and landscape architect. I was given the plan to bid from a highly regarded landscape architect in Dallas, TX for a contractor I have worked for in the past. I've never been a fan of the "bidding" process since I'd like to believe I do landscape lighting design first and is as important but not without great design. So they needed several quotes for the homeowner and right away I noticed the runway for the front walkway. After reviewing the plan in more detail, I realized this landscape architect had no business designing the landscape lighting. To be was not representative of the quality and value of the home...which is what I told the contractor. In reality...the plan sucked and that is what I really wanted to say. 

Over the years, I've found it hard to convince contractors that I know more about lighting than the landscape architect, but thankfully this contractor agreed and arranged for a conference call. I really thought the call would be more of a "p***ing" match than anything else, but after a few minutes of discussing the plan, the landscape architect actually agreed with everything and asked that I create and send them over a new plan! I hate giving my plans out without a contract or deposit and against my better judgement did exactly that...sent a copy to the landscape architect and builder. 

Then I got the news...I lost the job to a competitor! Couldn't believe it...jump through hoops to save the day and get kicked to the curb. I understand the homeowner makes the decision at the end of the day, but I would have thought someone would've stood up and said "E2 Illumination Designs saved our project from looking like a "runway" at night" and the homeowner from wasting thousands more to install a terrible plan they already spent thousands on. So now my plan will be used and the homeowner will get the product he deserves...and I will still get the shaft! (Update: They lighting installers didn't read the plan right and job looks no bueno.)

Well on to the next project. I really don't mind giving advice so if you should have any questions regarding a plan or your outdoor lighting project don't hesitate to call. 

Terrible Outdoor Lighting- Design and Installation! by Chad Rodvold

$5,000,000 million dollar home (according to the DCAD) where the future homeowner will get sold a pile of trash for their landscape lighting. Ask me how I really feel? Whoever did this job should be taken out behind the woodshed and shot!

Before I lose my mind completely, I will note a handful of reasons why this particular job is soooo horrendous.

1. This is a five-MILLION dollar home...with large trees. The low-voltage lighting should be used as the accent lighting for ornamental trees and architectural elements, not as the everything lighting.

2. All of the lighting temperature was 2,700K (warm) MR16's...honestly! No LED, no cool, no bueno

3. The fixtures are installed with the provided stakes...big mistake. Remember the lean? Check out the post "Eliminate the Lean" for more information on this typical mistake.

4. How many times do you think the wire will be cut in the next couple years? People that live in these homes change plant material frequently and the gardener isn't going to pay attention to what he cuts through. Also, plants do die...really. Put it in conduit and charge a few extra bucks...I think they can afford it.

5. The lights in the large trees....aaaaugh! How do I put this without compromising my Christian self? They are directed all over the place without any consideration to the most important rule in landscape lighting design...YOU WANT TO SEE THE EFFECT OF THE LIGHTING AND NOT THE SOURCE OF THE LIGHT!

If someone sold you ?lighting? or you bought a home with ?light?, contact us for a professional landscape lighting design and installation that will fit your needs.