Guiding Light

The lighting professionals at Illumination Solutions, Inc. know how to make your home or commercial property a shining standout.
Mar 1, 2024
Jennifer Blomquist
Jeffrey Crane & Michael Hatcher Photography

Years ago, Ed and Amber Smith, owners of Illumination Solutions, Inc. were at Salvatori’s Authentic Italian Eatery in Fort Wayne when they offered their lighting services to the restaurant’s owner.

“I took them up on their offer and hired them to do some landscape lighting at our home,” says Panos Bourounis, who, along with his wife Stephanie, owns the seven Salvatori’s restaurants in northeast Indiana. “They did a great job and that led to having them do more work for us, like Christmas lighting, which then led to us hiring them to do commercial work at our restaurants.”

Bourounis was not only impressed with the quality of work by Illumination Solutions, but also the exceptional customer service.

“Illumination Solutions is family-owned and operated, just like my business. Ed and Amber are great people who are outgoing and have strong family values. They always go above and beyond for their customers. When I need to reach them, I can text Ed directly and he gets back to me right away. That doesn’t happen at most businesses — you have to call a main number, are placed on hold and never get to actually speak to someone. Ed’s prices are very fair, and the crews are very nice and professional on the job.”

The Smiths started Illumination Solutions in 2005, and very quickly became a standout in the residential and commercial lighting industry.

Ed took the initiative to become certified through the AOLP (Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals). He’s also a Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician and has completed the ILLI (International Landscape Lighting Institute) Intensive Course 2022, and is in the process of getting certified for design work.

“We are always growing and adding new products and services for our customers,” he says. “We have an amazing new product called Automated Color Changing Technology from a Kentucky-based company. It’s literally the future when it comes to landscape lighting. The possibilities are endless and it can elevate your property, whether commercial or residential, to a new level. Let’s say you’re a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. With this cutting edge technology, we can program every single bulb to do whatever you want it to do. We could set it up so that the lights blink a certain color and a certain brightness every time the Cubs score a run. We could do the same kind of thing in an indoor setting, such as a bar, where we could program the lights to blink every time the home team scores. This technology automatically updates, so you don’t have to worry about replacing or upgrading it as it evolves. This is a true game-changer in our industry.”

Summit City Grill in Fort Wayne has also used Ed and his crew for its bistro/café lighting.

“Bistro or café lighting became popular with restaurants when COVID hit and everyone wanted to be outside,” says Ed. “We put café lights in the outdoor patio at Summit City Grill. A lot of restaurants are doing that. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to high-end landscape lighting, plus, you can change colors with the café lighting.”

Moonlighting is another popular trend for outdoor lighting.

“It’s called moonlighting because it mimics the moon,” says Ed. “We have the ability to go up into trees as tall as 100-feet and hang lights that beam down, just as the light from the moon does. We run wire all the way down the tree to the ground. The wire is in a flex tube made of either aluminum or steel, and it’s a must-have. Outdoor animals will eat the wire if you don’t have the flex tube. We paint it the color of the tree and hook it into a transformer. That way, you can control the transformer with an astrological timer, so you don’t have to adjust the times for the changing seasons.”

As spring quickly approaches, Panos is already lining up another job with Illumination Solutions involving the Automated Color Changing Technology.

“We’re super excited about this,” say Panos. “This is going to be used for the signage at our Washington Center Road location. No one else in town has this and I want it to be different and modern-looking.”

“Whether it’s residential or commercial, lighting says so much about a structure,” says Ed. “People don’t always realize that until after we finish using a new product and they’re amazed at the difference it makes. Also, we don’t just install lighting systems, we maintain them for our customers. We know people are busy and we want to simplify things for them. We enjoy the longtime relationships with our customers, like Panos and Stephanie. Our business philosophy is to do whatever the customer wants and we are committed to that.” 

Illumination Solutions, Inc. / Christmas Solutions, LLC

Address: 1810 Broken Oak Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46818

Phone: (260) 489-1000


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