Q. What made you choose lighting design as a career?
A. I think it chose me more than I chose it, but oddly enough it was a great marriage when it happened. I owned and operated a lawn fertilizing company; and I sold that company. When I did lawn care, we did holiday lighting to keep our guys working year-round. So with my holiday lighting affiliations around the country, with a few companies that I knew that did architectural lighting and landscape, I found that this appealed to me. What appealed to me was the artistic side of the business. So the experience actually, not so much out of design, but out of chance, really worked for me. What I enjoy most with light is that it allows me to work with my clients again, one on one with my creative side. Where as in lawn care, it was technical and a lot of maintenance and management of personnel. With lighting, I got to get back to the client and have a relationship with my customers. It allowed me to blend the art and business together in a way to be creative that I really enjoy, and I think that made it a good fit for me.
Q. How long have you been in the business?
A. I think now since 2003. We started in my lawn care office with the holiday lighting, which was in Provo, and then we moved that to our outside warehouse in Salt Lake and it wasn't until two years ago that we blended our office and warehouse to the location where we are at now, in Midvale. We go to our clients' homes and business', and try to keep it very professional.
Q. Now that you have your own business, what really differentiates Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah from others and what makes it unique?
A. The uniqueness of Landscape Lighting Pro really comes down to not just one specific thing, but the artful design. I think it's the design element of what we bring, and we do things perhaps a bit different, we're not cookie cutter. When we meet with a client, we really try to get to know them and their personality, why they enjoy their living space the way they do and how they interpret the way they choose to live. We incorporate all of that into my background, in the design element that I bring. I don't light every home the same. If I had two homes that were completely identical, I may approach them very differently based on what my client's needs are. I really try to listen to their needs and build the environment that will work for them, not for me, I think that's one thing that we try to do differently. That's something maybe everybody will tell you they do, but at the same time the other piece that we bring is that we really try to build lighting systems that are built to last a lifetime. There's so much low-quality product and jack-of-all trades that think they understand lighting and that it's not a big deal, like everybody can do it; but the truth is there are three elements that are built into the lighting system: the design, the engineering (how we build it and put it together), and it's the products that we use. All three of those things have to work together.
Q. What would you say was your favorite recent design?
A. I think one of my favorite projects is one we did about two years ago, it was a community project at Sandy City Hall with the Utah Freedom Memorial that was built there. It's a memorial that honors the soldiers from Utah that served in the military and were lost. That was a pretty neat project because it was a community effort. It was outside of the box and it took a lot of engineering and a lot of design, and what it represents was pretty cool.
Q. What advice would you give homeowners that are looking for outdoor lighting?
A. Well, when I show up to a client, the first thing I ask is, "Why light? Why am I here, and what brings us together? Why would lighting enhance your living space?" Find out their needs or their pains, whatever they are, sometimes they're very obvious, like they want to add accent and ambiance to the entrance of their home, or curb appeal. Sometimes it's about task lighting, like their stairs. They may frequently have guests and somebody may trip or stumble in the dark and we want to make sure we're safely lighting our pathways and stair ways. Sometimes it's about beautification. I always say, we light our front landscapes for everyone else, but we light our back landscape for us because that's our outdoor living space. I'd ask "What would be the top task lighting needs that you have?" Is it their stairs, pathways, maybe it's their driveway or their front entry and how can we do that artistically and in a way that is done so in a natural setting. How would mother nature light the property? You try to think if you were the moon or the sun, how would that splash light instead of having it feel mechanical or runway. I think the mistakes in lighting are too much light and too many fixtures. Don't design with fixtures, design with light, we find the fixture that adapts to the lighting that we're trying to create.
Q. What would you say is Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah's theme or motto?
A. It sounds pretty simple but my business motto is, "Do what you promise. If you say you're going to be there, then be there. Give the customer what they want, and give them excellent customer service."
Q. What is it that you're looking for when hiring employees, that helps you determine that these are the kind of people that you want working for Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah?
A. The person who fits our culture, more-so than the guy who has every skill trade ability. I'd rather develop the skill set with the guy or gal that has the right heart and the right attitude. I like to hire the person, not the skill set. I think it's worked well for us, because our employees have been with us a long time.
Give us a Call:
To learn more about how to light your outdoor living space, call us at (801) 440-7647 to schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form at our website, www.utahlights.com.
Located in Midvale, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves throughout Utah's residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper, Davis and Utah counties. Our outdoor lighting portfolio includes projects throughout Utah and beyond.