Homeowners looking to improve their outdoor lighting might be surprised to learn that so few companies specialize in this area. Erickson Outdoor Lighting, based in Mound, is one of the only businesses in the Twin Cities making outdoor lighting its focus. “Many companies do [outdoor lighting] along with 12 other things,” says owner Scott Erickson. “The thing that makes us unique is that’s all we do.” These days, homeowners invest lots of time and energy in their landscaping, yards, pools and gardens. Why not show off those features at nighttime, as well as in daylight?
Erickson, who has owned the business for 15 years, has a background in electrical engineering, which makes him well suited to diagnosing outdoor lighting problems. “I understand all the electrical and how it works as far as troubleshooting, which helps a lot with larger projects,” he says. He got his start wiring houses while he was in college. After five years at a large electrical company, he left to found Erickson Outdoor Lighting.
The move was a good one—Erickson Outdoor Lighting has completed more than 1,000 lighting projects over the last 15 years. The company works all over the metro and has also completed projects in Arizona, Hawaii and Mexico. “We’ll go wherever people want us,” Erickson says. “Some of our customers have second or third homes. The price [to travel] is not very different. We try to stay busy in the off season.”
One of those customers is Dan Arrigoni of Wayzata. Arrigoni first hired Erickson Outdoor Lighting in 2006 and has since worked with Erickson on two other projects. “I was so pleased and impressed, I had him come to our home in Scottsdale, Ariz., five years later to update and redo our lighting there,” Arrigoni says. “In 2014, we built a new home, and Scott was one of my first calls early on for my future landscape lighting. He’s very honest and professional.”
Another thing setting Erickson’s company apart from others is their team’s ability to conceive of and install a complete lighting system on a property. Erickson tailors all of his projects to each customer’s needs, which can include using different lighting techniques and types of lighting. “Outdoor lighting is more than safety and security,” Erickson says. “It’s the ambiance, inviting people to go outside in the middle of winter.
We can add depth to dark windows so you can see trees and snow falling. In the summertime, we can light trees in the distance to open up the yard and give you some depth. It feels more inviting.”
He says he uses a lot of copper and natural metals that will weather and patina beautifully, not fade and flake. “If there are painted fixtures, they will look old over time,” Erickson explains. “Natural stuff is timeless.”
To top it off, Erickson Outdoor Lighting offers a lifetime warranty on all of their products and makes customer service a priority. “We have one truck that just does service,” Erickson says.
“If somebody needs something, we can get them service right away.”
Trends in outdoor lighting have changed over Erickson’s 20 years in the field. Lightbulbs are now mostly LED, which Erickson says offers customers a larger selection of wattages and color temperatures. Another big change? Smartphones. More people are using apps that allow them to turn their lights on and off with a click of a button, even if they are away from home.
Looking to improve your exterior lighting but don’t know where to start? Erickson encourages homeowners to start small. Choose a few focal points or features, and gradually build your lighting system. “You can add to the system over time, or if your budget changes,” Erickson says.
He also suggests working with someone who knows lighting well, rather than someone who can just order products. “If they don’t know how to service it, or something goes wrong and they don’t have the background or knowledge to fix it, the homeowner isn’t saving money and the design suffers,” he says.