texas landscape lighting

First Landscape Lighting Project for a Client on the Forbes 400 by Chad Rodvold

Jerry Moore’s Friar Tuck Residence

Jerry Moore’s Friar Tuck Residence

Little nostalgic feeling! I was hired to illuminate this property maybe fifteen years ago by the owner, Jerry Moore. The home was a French chateau, broken down brick by brick, and rebuilt with a underground 26 car garage for his collection. At the time, Mr. Moore was my first client on the Forbes list from his dealings with shopping centers. Jerry wasn’t the kindest man and there are quite a few stories to back up his “attitudes”. I was confident in my abilities but he intimidated the heck out of me. The day we were to start the installation, we had to cancel and I called Jerry to reschedule. He wasn’t having it and went on a tirade calling me everything from a lying f*** to f***ing little ***hole! I took the abuse for a bit and to my surprise said, "Jerry, are you going to shut the f*** up for a second" He went quiet, asked for my boss, who then proceeded to tell me that Mr. Moore would like to see me Monday morning on site. 
Surprised I wasn’t fired, I went to meet Jerry and was amazed when he welcomed me with a handshake and put his arm around my shoulders…he damn near hugged me! We walked around while he told me stories, took me inside, and even showed me his car collection. 
Jerry passed away about ten years ago and the property has sat stagnant all this time. Drove by last week and noticed someone finally living there…it is one hell of an estate! 
At the time, my boss was almost 80 and had seen it all. He said Jerry enjoyed walking over everyone but I earned his respect when I stood up to him. He said, remember you’re the expert and don’t ever do it again. 

"A Little Cheaper" by Chad Rodvold


I lost a job this week that really surprised me. The text message said "I have somebody else doing the install for me that was a little cheaper". That wasn't the surprise, but the disappointing points just add up to a big "WHAT"! 

- I know this builder from my church and we even know a bit of each others "back story".

- I was referred by the landscape architect. First time I was ever recommended by an LA and didn't get the job!

- I spec'd out the equipment for the LA and recommended a couple unique details to the design that will make this job extremely cool.

- I am more expensive, but for a reason...not design, not equipment, but in the details of the installation. I make guarantees others can't because of how I install the job and won't install it any other way...not even to reach a budget.

- Reality is when it comes to million dollar plus homes, budgets are secondary to the quality. 

Thinking this particular builder either believes outdoor lighting companies can be compared apples to apples or doesn't place any value on the outdoor package. Either way, I'll make another guarantee, a phone call will be made to whoever does install the job "a little cheaper" to make changes (adjustments) within a year. At least if I'm right, it'll be a good point to make to other builders down the road.

A Little Company During Our Outdoor Lighting Review by Chad Rodvold

I always enjoy evening reviews of our outdoor lighting designs, at least in the winter! Summer hours keep me on projects till weeeee hours in the morning, however this my designs sharp and ensures the placement of the fixtures is correct in achieving the "thoughts in my head"...scary.:) It's really nice though when I get a little company. Although he didn't stick around long, I'm sure he enjoyed the results of this landscape lighting project in South Texas. 

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.