Indianapolis landscape lighting companies illuminate outdoors

“Lighting is one of the few home improvements that you can see the results beforehand,” Karl Lundberg says of the previews he offers.
Photo by Brandon Smith

“Lighting is one of the few home improvements that you can see the results beforehand,” Karl Lundberg says of the previews he offers. Photo by Brandon Smith

Angie's List members Scott and Maureen Sheehan needed help with their Jekyll and Hyde half-acre Carmel lot: a manicured gem by day, but a spooky sprawl by night. "We talked to some landscape people and an electrician," Maureen says. "Everybody had a different take on what we needed."

So they decided to call in a specialist: Ralph Redmond, owner of highly rated Indiana Outdoor Lighting. "This is not something he does on the side," Maureen says. "Outdoor lighting is his thing."

Lights accent the Sheehans' brickwork, front columns and arches and dispel backyard shadows. "The way he positioned lights on our back trees, it's lit up nice," Maureen says of their $3,700 job. "I feel a lot more secure."

Safety and aesthetics drive most outdoor lighting projects, experts say. A professional job starts at about $200 a fixture, including parts and labor, Redmond says. "It's got to be a minimum-size system, 10 lights or so, to get that kind of pricing," he says.

Karl Lundberg, owner of three-time Super Service Award winner Luminocity of Fishers, says his projects typically range from $2,000 to $5,000. "If price is the issue, then you should go to a big-box store," he says. "But it's not going to look very good and it's not going to last very long."

Lundberg says outdoor lighting specialists understand beam spread, lumens, watts and bulb type to ensure the best results. Newer LED bulbs mimic the look of halogen but use a fraction of the power. "When LED lights first came out, the color wasn't very good," Lundberg says. "I've seen some LED lights that are kind of anemic looking, kind of yellowish. I've seen some that are bluish. It's important to have lights that give you the same look and feel as the softer quartz halogen look."

Redmond says LED prices continue to drop. "You still pay somewhat of a premium on an LED installation - about $50 more per fixture on average - but there's an energy savings and a maintenance savings," he says. A typical LED system uses about 75 percent less power than a comparable halogen system, he says, and subsequently requires a smaller transformer. Also, he says halogen bulbs typically last about 18 months; LED bulbs, five to 20 years.

Angie's List member Jenny Young of Fishers wanted the energy savings and long life of LED, but she had concerns about the color it produces. "I didn't want to spend all this money and then have it look blue," she says. Luminocity, which she hired for the $5,000 project, set up a preview at her home. Previews, also offered by Indiana Outdoor Lighting, allow homeowners to test different positions, bulb types and beam spreads to achieve the exact look they desire. Both companies offer free previews before the contract is signed. "I can't imagine doing it another way," Young says.

Tonya Stewart of Indianapolis chose Luminocity for her $2,300 project after seeing a preview. "When they actually placed the lights, I could see I needed three more lights to get it the way I wanted," she says. "I was trying to be conservative with the cost and I would have been disappointed.

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