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February 2023 Contractor of the Month is: Budget Lightscapes

Budget Lightscapes was founded on a tradition of pride and excellence. While much has changed about us over the years, that legacy remains with us at every turn. It’s what governs our business practices—and what lets our services shine. We are committed to meeting the highest of industry standards. Up-to-date training, regular professional development, continual organizational improvements: We spare no expense in upholding our reputation and staying at the peak of our craft.


Tell Us About Yourself & Your Company

Since 1978 I've been involved in the landscaping industry. My first 9 years were part time. Then I started my own landscaping company in 1987. I took design courses and started designing and installing and maintaining residential and commercial properties. My design experience has helped me immensely with lighting design. I started developing the lighting business more intensely the past 10 years with the past 3 years seeing much more growth.

The Interview

  • Can you tell us a little about what you did before lighting and how you got into it? Do you have any certifications or a background that helped excelling with landscape lighting?

    I got into the lighting business out of necessity. With my landscape design and install company, I was in need of lighting at crucial times. It was difficult scheduling a Lighting contractor to work with our schedules. I had a knack for it since i had the design experience. I took some lighting courses and began to install as needed. LIke anyone else, i learned from mistakes and kept gaining as much knowledge as possible and still learning today. I do have certificates of completion for several courses. I have been in the Landscape Industry since 1978. We are also a member of the AOLP and Better Business Bureau.

  • Can you tell us about your business?

    As the lighting business picked up sales, I decided to make it a separate business and give it a name. After consulting with a friend in the marketing industry, we arrived at the name of Budget Lightscapes. I was not thrilled at first with this name as I did not want to be associated with any cheaper brands or undercutting companies out to make a fast buck. My friend reminded me of the national franchise Budget Blinds who were not always the cheaper bids. I had seen their vans in front of $2 million dollar homes and thought of how they do provide quality. I just need to tweak the approach. Budget simply means we will work with YOUR budget without sacrificing quality. AMP Lights are that great quality! The great pricing allows me to be in the ball park with the highly competitive market here in Ohio.

  • How did you get into the landscape lighting business?

    I got into Lighting mainly out of necessity and also, I`ve always been drawn to beautiful lighting. It definitely enhanced my landscape installs and it was fairly easy to sell to clients since we already had their trust. Having to wait on a lighting contractor with their schedule to install on our landscape projects stalled progress. This necessity added in with my already love of lighting prompted me to move forward and create the business I have today.

  • What percentage of your business is landscape lighting/what other services do you provide (ie: landscaping, irrigation, electrical…)?

    Currently we are at about 30-35% Lighting vs landscape design/install/ care business. I also have extensive knowledge in basement waterproofing, drainage ,Patios and outdoor kitchens which all require lighting. I have ceased advertising for landscaping as that part of my company has been operating since 1987 and we fully focused on growing our lighting business until its 100%. We expect that to happen in the next 2 years.

  • How long have you been installing landscape lighting?

    We started repairs around 2005 and started full lighting installations in 2007.

  • What AMP products do you prefer to use? Which fixtures are your favorite?

    AMP has such amazing quality. We use a lot of Control Pro 500`s and Magnum Pro Path Lights. Myself and my crew absolutely love the Clamp Connect Transformer! So much easier than the set screws which can push wires out of connections.

  • What tips or tricks have you learned that have benefited your work from a design/installation perspective?

    Few homes have the same architecture. We had to get creative to reach high peaks and tucked in corners of homes. Using the many products AMP has to offer has certainly helped and they have listened to my feed back from the field. There is always a new technique to learn. We use the HUB system which quickens installs and also provides easy troubleshooting should an issue arise such as a landscaper or homeowner cutting a cable wire.

  • Tell me about your sales process. How do you find your customers? What is your sales process? Do you use sales tools such as a free demo?

    It seems many people don`t have the time for demos. If they ask we do provide one. Mostly people have had lights or see them in their neighborhood and have a good idea how it all works. One thing I do for sure is put a fixture in their hands and also assemble a Path Light in front of them to show the solid brass. I explain to them that this heavy duty light has a lifetime warranty. I also show them in detail the ribbed section of the Control Pro and how it disperses heat to give the LED Driver longevity even more time than before ,which was already substantial. The lights are so well built that they practically sell them self. We advertise in local magazines and our online presence has increased which gives us the calls.

  • Where do you find inspiration for your lighting designs?

    When i lived in Arizona for a few years as a kid, i noticed how amazing lights made the Catus and Palm Trees look at night. The flowers and the architecture come to life at night with proper lighting. This goes all the way back to 1973 when i was a 12-year-old kid and has stayed with me ever since. As a Professional Landscape Designer I have been on so many properties, including many historic homes, knowing what i know, i think of how much more beautiful a home or landscape can be with great lights! The inspiration and passion kicks in!

  • What do you feel is the most personally rewarding part of installing a lighting system for a client?

    First, the fact that a client gave me the trust to do their lighting, this is in itself, very rewarding. My office manager Mary , certainly makes a very smooth transition from phone call or email to arriving at the client's property. She provides so much information BEFORE I arrive, and this is truly important. Mary is truly a very big part in what we do. They are looking for me to deliver what I promised in my sales pitch. Going back at night for a walk through EVERY project and seeing the clients pure joy at what we created for them. People work hard for what they have and they NEED good contractors. They don't have time for empty promises. I strive to improve every day and give the same passion to it as if it were my own home. I have never had a negative reaction for quality. Occasionally they will want to tweak and many times add more lights on the spot! Their happiness is very rewarding and plus you get paid in full by happy clients! I try to improve the image of our industry overall.

  • Tell us a little bit about you personally: What do you like to do outside of work? What are your hobbies?

    Outside of work , which isn't much time these as i devote a lot of time to growing this company, I do enjoy time with family, especially my 7-year-old granddaughter. I also love my Cleveland sports teams which are not always so joyous! I have three daughters all grown now and still love being them when they are not so busy, I love nature and walking through our parks and truly enjoy God`s gift of Nature, which is very soothing to ones soul!

AMP® Lighting appreciates the Professionals that make us who we are and why we strive, daily, to fulfill our vision statement. Our outstanding AMP® Pros deserve to be recognized for their exceptional landscape lighting work and to highlight some of our AMP® MVPs (most valuable professionals)!

Interested in being featured as an AMP® Contractor of the Month?

Contact Zach Evensen at: zache@amplighting.com

Become An AMP® Pro Today

AMP® Pros – a group of landscape lighting professionals authorized to purchase and install the industry’s best products.

AMP® Pros have the skills and experience to design and install professional landscape lighting. They are also committed to the use of high quality products and best practices in the design, installation, and maintenance of their work. These distinctions qualify them to become AMP® Pros.

The goal of AMP® Lighting is to elevate the profession of landscape lighting by providing AMP® Pros with the high-performance products and the professional support they need to succeed.

There is no cost to become an authorized AMP® Pro.

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