All the Light Moves

Fort Wayne-based Illumination Solutions, Inc. is light-years ahead when it comes to sophisticated outdoor lighting.
Aug 7, 2023
Jennifer Blomquist

When Mike and Donna Packnett bought their home years ago, they wanted to enhance the landscape lighting and the exterior house lighting.

“A friend referred us to Amber and Ed Smith of Illumination Solutions,” says Mike Packnett, retired CEO of Parkview Health in Fort Wayne. “Ed was extremely helpful when it came to recommending what would look best and also recommended very high-quality lights that have really stood the test of time.”

The Smiths started Illumination Solutions, Inc. in 2005, and wanted to set themselves apart from others 

in the industry for both commercial and residential outdoor lighting.

“A lot of people will simply hire someone from the landscaping industry to not only put in plants, but also lights,” says Ed. “Outdoor lighting used to be more of a DIY project, but not anymore. There are a lot of things you need to know and pay attention to, such as the correct voltage and amperage.”

The Smiths have grown their business, Ed has invested a lot of time in becoming certified through the AOLP (Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals) which is somewhat of a rarity in that line of business.

“I only know of three people in the state of Indiana with that certification,” says Ed. “Both myself and my Operational Manager, Michael Kucharski, are Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technicians. Besides being an AOLP member, I have completed the ILLI (International Landscape Lighting Institute) Intensive Course 2022 and am in the process of getting certified for the design work. It takes about a year and there are only around 60 people in the world who have that certification. My lead technician is signed up to take that training as well.”

Attention to detail and knowledge is what impressed local restaurateur James Khan when he hired the Illumination Solutions team.

“Ed was amazing to work with,” says Khan. “He helped us develop a long-term plan for lighting our home, instituting lighting in different areas to help fit our budget and bring life to our home. Ed came to our home on several late evenings to adjust lights and make sure there were no shadows or forgotten spaces to illuminate. We would never hire anyone else for this kind of work.”

“Everything we do is custom for each individual,” says Amber. “We offer different packages depending on the client’s needs and how much they want to invest in the project. We don’t do anything that would ever be considered ‘cookie-cutter.’ In addition to designing and installing light systems, we provide regular maintenance.”

The Smiths also started a Christmas lighting company called Christmas Solutions, LLC., as well as a mosquito-spraying company called The Mosquito Dr.

“Christmas lighting gets bigger and bigger every year,” says Amber. “We will come out to your home or business and design something specifically for you. We install the lights, take them down and store them for you until the following year. Some clients request permanent Christmas lights that can stay up throughout the year, and that is something we can do.”

Customization is also provided when it comes to the services of The Mosquito Dr.

“We set ourselves apart from franchise companies by using different chemicals depending on weather conditions and the breed of mosquitoes, whereas the franchises have to stick with a certain program,” says Ed. “We target landscape beds and bushes. Once the spray dries, it’s perfectly safe for people, pets and plants, and will kill the mosquitoes for up to three weeks. We also have an organic product that we use at lake homes. We can spray docks, and kill spiders and other insects that get inside boat covers.”

The Packnetts have used Ed and Amber’s mosquito-spraying services in addition to lighting, and continue to be pleased with the results.

“We still enjoy pulling into our driveway and seeing everything lit up,” says Packnett. “We appreciate the maintenance they provide, too. They check everything – replace bulbs, clean lenses and make it look just as good as the day it was installed six years ago.” 

Illumination Solutions, Inc. / Christmas Solutions, LLC / The Mosquito Dr., LLC

Phone: (260) 489-1000


IMG Insurance Management Group

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