Meet Andrew J. Coleman (AJ), one of the outdoor lighting designers at McKay Landscape Lighting. He has been part of our team since 2012 and knows how to woodwork. AJ has even made several pieces of furniture!
Keep reading to find out more about him and his role at McKay Lighting...
Give us a quick rundown on the day in the life of an outdoor landscape lighting designer:
It varies from day to day, but typically I'll check in with the guys early in the morning to get them organized and see if they have any questions. Then, I'll check my email and return any calls. The rest of my day consists of meeting with clients and partners, designing lighting plans, presenting bids, prospecting, and working with the guys on site.
How did you get into design?
I started mowing lawns on my parent's acreage, probably around the age of 10. I always knew that I wanted to do something with my hands, which lead me to pursue a degree in Horticulture. While attending college, I realized I had a talent to see things and visually meld them together and an artistry skill set of drawing a plan out.
Where do you get your inspiration?
The structure and landscaping of a property and the homeowner's goals for light all play an integral part in inspiring a design. I'll drive around at night and look at lighting jobs to observe the impact light has on different materials. I've been fortunate to go on business trips to visit other outdoor lighting companies across the nation and share ideas with other lighting professionals at The Lighting Summit.
What is the important part of landscape lighting that you think everyone should know?
I would say the security aspect that comes along with it. Many times, homeowners are mainly looking to add light to beautify their homes, which is important and adds value, but after having their system for a while, it becomes more of an added sense of security for them. They'll tell me later how much a properly designed system has made an impact to enhance the beauty and security of their home. AND the final walkthrough, I think that is the most exciting part of the whole process!
What is your favorite landscape lighting project?
Oh boy, that is tough. If I had to choose just one, it would be this project in South Dakota. I would love to make something similar for my backyard. The design came together so nicely with all the different materials our partner used, the natural earth tones, and I had the opportunity to be creative with the lighting design.
What is one thing you can't live without?
My family. Many other things are nice to have, but it wouldn’t be the same without being able to share it all with my family. I really enjoy watching my kids compete in sports and at school.My son does competitive baseball for Papillion Storm Chasers, basketball, and football, and my daughter is a competitive swimmer for SCSC and is in the band.
Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
I enjoy working in the yard, gardening, spending time with my kids, I help coach my son's basketball and football teams, movie nights with the family, watching sports like football & baseball, and working out with the F3 Omaha group.
What is your favorite part of working at McKay Lighting?
I look forward to visiting a project at night after the installation is complete. It's rewarding to see the design come to life and visually see how it all pulls together. Also, the excitement that comes from customers when they love the lighting design. There is a lot of flexibility that Jerry gives to his employees. It’s a family here, we work as a team, and yet everybody has their strengths. We share thoughts and ideas, and it’s all valued here.
What to meet with AJ to discuss your outdoor lighting needs? Feel free to schedule a free consultation online or give us a call at 1 (402) 289-3424.
Learn more about AJ and the rest of the McKay Landscape Lighting team, here»
Landscape Lighting is What We Do. Every Day.
We’ve been in the landscape industry since 1987, becoming a dedicated landscape lighting firm in 1992. Our experienced lighting team provides the expertise and experience needed to light your outdoor space for both beauty and security. Our goal is to provide the highest quality, custom lighting services and products, to homes and businesses across the nation.
Located in Omaha, McKay Landscape Lighting services Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota areas, including Lincoln, Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Des Moines, Kearney, the surrounding areas and beyond.