Caribbean Resort Transforms Courtyard with Help from Auroralight

With panoramic views just steps from the Caribbean Sea, Surfsong Villa Resort in the British Virgin Islands is a popular choice for those looking for a private getaway. As part of its intimate charm, the boutique resort recently converted a small patio just outside the reception area into a larger, highly functional courtyard. With its breathtaking ocean views, the new outdoor space includes a wooden pavilion ideal for outdoor dining, a dramatic rock fire feature, and meandering pathways that lead to the beach. With the help of strategically placed lighting from Auroralight, the space experiences a beautiful transformation each night by the romantic ambience it creates.

“The project is nestled between two existing buildings, large natural boulders, and an ocean view. Part of the efforts of the remodel were to maximize the site features, says Annie Lilyblade, the design manager with Blue Ocean, a design group from Colorado that worked on the project at Surfsong. “By highlighting the natural features in the area with light, the courtyard becomes a memorable location for the property’s guests.


“One of the focal points of the project is the boulder fire feature. The lighting scheme was created to highlight the landscaping and draw attention to this element, she explains. “Lighting was also used to highlight the pathways, boulders, and rocky areas that lead to the beach. Tree lights create additional ambiance throughout the property.”

According to Lilyblade, CT Lighting Sales from Denver was the lighting rep company that worked with Blue Ocean and DTJ. The lighting engineering was produced by Architectural Engineering Design Group, Inc. also out of Denver. “With such a harsh natural environment due to the salt air along the ocean, it was critical that we find a line of luminaires that were long-lasting, featured solid brass construction, and offered high performance, combined with a solid warranty because we didn’t want to be replacing the fixtures in a couple of years,” she says. “Auroralight offered everything we were looking for, including the beautiful living bronze patina finish and Balinese stylings in the pathlights and bollards we used that perfectly complement the design aesthetic we were trying to achieve.”

Mark Stephenson, the director of development at Blue Ocean oversaw the installation of the fixtures. “We worked closely with Greg White of DTJ Design, the landscape architect firm in Boulder, CO for this project to determine what the overall layout would be for the lighting. Our team found the installation was very straightforward and so the process went very smoothly from start to finish,” he says.

According to Stephenson, the lighting has been extremely well received by everyone. “It’s provided a really elegant and romantic setting that we couldn’t have created without a line of such high quality products like those from Auroralight. We especially like having the ability to control and fine tune the lighting levels to create just the right amount of ambience in the space,” he explains. “At night, the focus is on the beautiful light they create and in the daytime, the artistic stylings of the fixtures are quite pleasing to look at and blend well with the landscape.”

Lilyblade adds, “The owners of the resort absolutely love how the project turned out. The lighting has assisted to make this space flexible and allows for unique daytime and evening events.  We’ve heard nothing but very positive feedback about the use of Auroralight.”

Auroralight Products: HWM1, HSL16 & LPL7

Key Players:
Mark Stephenson – Blue Ocean Caribbean, Surfsong–
Annie Lilyblade – Blue Ocean Design –
Greg White – DTJ Landscape Design –
CT Lighting Sales –
Vannessa Pederson – Architectural Engineering Design Group, Inc.

Shakespeare Garden

Shakespeare Garden at Northwestern University Comes to Life at Night with LED Lighting from Auroralight

With the lighting design Inspired by a scene from a Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Shakespeare Garden on the campus of Northwestern University (NU) now features beautiful LED path lighting from Auroralight—specifically the Maglio LMG1-90s. For the first time in its century old history, visitors can enjoy the garden after dark.

Last year, The Garden Club of Evanston received a special gift of $100,000 from Northwestern University in honor of the club’s 100th anniversary and the centennial of the garden’s creation in 1915. The garden was originally established to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616. Now, 100 years later, the University’s generous gift allowed the club to make significant improvements in the garden as a multi-pronged project, including its first-ever lighting, a long-held goal.


“From the moment we heard acclaimed Chicago Lighting Designer Peter Hugh’s vision for the garden’s lighting plan, we knew we wanted that for the Shakespeare Garden,” says Claudia Lane, president of The Garden Club. “To create a magical scene at night, the lighting had to create a glow, with pools of illumination playing against the mysterious shadows in the space. But during the day, the lighting had to be unobtrusive and harmonious with the subtle palette of colors in our classic English garden. We are also a public space on the campus, so the lighting had to be durable and not require ‘babying’. We are very happy with the choice of the beautiful solid brass and copper Auroralight fixtures,” she says.

Peter Hugh drew upon his theater background for the lighting design. “I wanted to use lighting that was representative of the fairies coming out at night as seen in Midsummer Night’s Dream,” he says. “To make this vision a reality, I had to get the University to rethink what value fixtures are. Real value is seen in longevity, better performance, and less maintenance over time vs. the lowest upfront cost,” he explains.


With the help of Andy Siegel, Senior Specifications at Archibald & Meek, a Chicago-based lighting rep, Hugh brought in samples of Auroralight’s Maglio LMG1– 90s for LED path light use, and created mock-ups that were also shared with the landscape architect, Hitchcock Design Group. “We let the staff at Northwestern hold the fixtures in their hands so they could appreciate the quality in workmanship and the beauty found in the use of solid copper and brass,” explains Hugh. “They loved the look of the Maglio and when I talked about its outstanding performance, use of energy saving LED technology and the lifetime warranty, they were completely on board with our choice of Auroralight!”  

The Maglio LMG1-90 is powered by a single, 2.5 Watt, high performance LED in 2700, 3000, or 4500K color temperatures (80 CRI typ.).  Its light output is profuse, yet allows the designer to manage direction for a glare-free presentation with the use of its rotational glare shield and dimming capabilities. This contemporary luminaire is manufactured from solid copper and brass, is offered in four different finishes, and is assembled with stainless steel hardware and hermetically sealed with silicone O-rings. It is a popular choice for path lighting because of its sleek silhouette that seamlessly blends into the surrounding landscape. The Maglio LMG1-90 comes standard in 12, 18 and 22” heights with a wide variety of mount options from which to select.

Hugh also specified four of Auroralight’s LMWL LED micro well lights to highlight the focal points of the fountain and sun dial. At a mere 3 Watts, this diminutive luminaire provides the designer with a variety of inspired options to ensure the desired effect. It is available in three beam spread options – 10° narrow, 25° medium or 40° wide, and three standard color temperatures in 2700, 3000 or 4500K (80 CRI typ.). The LMWL also dims to less than 10% typ. and is compatible with standard TRIAC dimming systems. Machined from solid brass, it comes with six faceplate selections, which include brass, stainless steel, round, square and others. It’s also rated for interior and exterior use making it possible to illuminate a diverse range of architectural features to create design continuity throughout the project.

Overall, the 70’ x 100’ sf garden features 40 path lights, four well lights and another LED fixture mounted on a tree by a tree strap to create a moonlight effect illuminating a statue of William Shakespeare and the fountain.

“Using Auroralight was an easy choice for me,” says Hugh. “We have peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong, we are working with a company that will take care of it and that means a lot to us.”

Seigel also appreciates how the fixtures speak for themselves during client presentations. “Their light distribution, color temperatures, adjustability, versatility, and sustainability are all major factors in why I try and get them specified whenever I possibly can.”

Claudia Lane adds, “We feel that Shakespeare himself and the original landscape architect Jens Jensen, along with the “ladies of the club” who founded the garden 100 years ago would be happy, too. The garden, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is now ready for its second century with the ‘dream’ of illumination achieved!”

Lake Austin Mid-Century Bungalow

Outdoor Lighting Solutions for a Lake Austin Mid-Century Bungalow

Plan Creates Subtlety, Beauty in Low-Light Neighborhood

Vincent Landscapes Inc. of Austin, Texas had two challenges in lighting this unique, upscale mid-century bungalow on Lake Austin. The first was that the area is very low in ambient light. Out of respect for the neighboring homeowners, the bungalow’s lighting was designed using a more intimate approach. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, the home features an integrated Smart Home system with a fully dimmable and programmable controller that covers three different landscape lighting zones, keeping everything in sync.

“Using this system and being sensitive to our surroundings, we avoided over-illuminating the property. Instead, we concentrated on using a large amount of down-cast lighting,” says Kellan Vincent, Vice President of Vincent Landscapes, Inc. and the project lead for this home. “We were faithful to the feel of the neighborhood while still enhancing the home.”

The second design challenge was that the fixtures needed to look as good in the daytime as they did at night. Fulfilling this need was made easy by selecting Auroralight’s PVD nickel solid copper, brass and stainless steel fixtures to compliment the home’s finishes inside and out. “The clients were very particular about finishes and there was a lot of attention to detail at every level,” says Vincent. “They were extremely pleased with our recommended choice of Auroralight,” he adds. “Once they held the heavy, solid fixtures in their hands, saw the attention to detail in the design, and learned that they are milled, not cast like most fixtures, it made all the difference. When you consider all this, combined with the fact that Auroralight offers a lifetime warranty, it made the decision even easier for them.”


Path Lights and Outdoor Wall Lights Play up Home’s Architecture

The home’s lighting design plan included several key elements:

  • Outdoor path lighting that guides guests around the property.
  • Stainless steel wall lights embedded within the masonry walls provide lighting to adjacent stairs and pathways
  • Stainless steel in-grade fixtures within the paver driveway highlight its unique texture and give reference to drivers as to where the walls are located.
  • A series of moonlighter pendants mounted within trees at heights of between 25 and 40 feet creates a very gentle cast of light throughout the lower lawn and dock areas.

Landscape Lighting Highlights Design

“We also wanted to highlight the landscape features and create dynamic interest beyond what can be seen during the day,” says Vincent, “In order to accomplish this, we used a series of wash lights on the urns along the front. This scheme highlights their mass while also casting textural shadows on the monumental brick wall.”

The LMG1 Maglio was the ideal choice to light the urns as it is among the most versatile in Auroralight’s line of high quality, high performance LED luminaires. Unique in form and function, its sleek silhouette allows it to blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape while artistic styling provides critical thermal management. Powered by a single high brightness LED and featuring a rotational glare shield, the Maglio’s light output is profuse yet allows the designer to control direction and aperture for a glare free presentation. Machined from solid brass, assembled with stainless steel hardware and sealed with silicone O-rings, this fixture is as durable as it is magnificent.


The circle area on the side of the house now glows seemingly all by itself among the dark basalt, providing a pop of color for nighttime visitors created by Auroralight’s LSL1 Sago luminaires. It is a high performance, low energy LED directional spot light. Machined from solid brass and copper bar, its artistic styling and precise machining make this fixture both attractive and functional. Engineered to provide an ideal heat-sink for the High Flux LED, the Sago addresses the need for thermal management head on. The Auroralight exclusive AMS™ mounting system offers and extensive selection of mounting options.

Additional path lights featured in this project include the Borealis LPL10s. The Borealis graces the landscape with its classic profile and unparalleled craftsmanship. Assembled with the finest components available, the Borealis redefines industry standards for quality, performance and longevity in landscape lighting. Machined from solid copper and brass bar with stainless steel hardware, the Borealis is well-suited to harsh coastal environments. Designed for larger scale areas such as driveways or large patios. Adding a frosted lens will diffuse the light for a softer glow with no shadowing.

Like all the Auroralight Inc. luminaires featured in this project, they are made exclusively in Carlsbad, CA USA, come with a lifetime warranty and offer a generous, long-term savings in power consumption with their LED light source. We are certain this project will shine bright for many years to come.

San Diego Coastal Estate

A San Diego Coastal Estate’s Landscape Creates a Gorgeous Outdoor Living Environment with the Use of LED Lighting from Auroralight™

This stunning 6BD/6.5BA, 7,522SF custom home in the hills above the exclusive beach community of La Jolla, CA sits on an expansive 1.8-acre lot. Less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean, the gated estate also features a four-car garage, a large greenhouse, and an in-ground pool, spa, and fire pit, along with a substantial investment in professional landscaping and lighting. More than 300 luminaires have been installed over the last 15 years to help transform the home and grounds of this estate into a world-class outdoor living and entertainment environment enjoyed year-round.


The majority of the exterior lighting was provided by Auroralight. This landscape lighting project was designed and installed by Michael Geier of LightScape Designs, Inc. of San Diego and features a wide variety of Auroralight’s products to accentuate specific trees, focal points, and architectural elements found throughout the property. Luminaires include a variety of accent lights, pathway lights, in-grade well lights and more. The installation includes the HSL16 Telluride , HSL11 Taos, WL16 Lighthaus  and LSL4 Sitka.


Grand Tradition Estate & Gardens

Grand Tradition Estate & Gardens

Auroralight Provides Dramatic Lighting Solutions for a California Estate & Public Gardens

Tucked away in North San Diego County in the community of Fallbrook is a jewel of a property spread over 30 acres called Grand Tradition Estates & Gardens. With its finely manicured lawns, lush foliage and heart-shaped lake with dancing fountains, the owners pride themselves on creating a “wow” factor for everyone who visits. The estate is a popular wedding and event destination and in August 2012, the facility officially became a member of the Public Gardens Association where the public can also tour the grounds on a daily basis.

McDougal explained that as he was designing a garden in 2005, his lighting supplier at Mission Electric suggested he contact Auroralight. He was impressed with the solid brass and copper materials used in all the luminaires along with the unprecedented lifetime warranty and top-notch customer service they provide. “Past lighting choices offered no comparison to what we see with Auroralight,” he says. “The powder coated fixtures we used to have began to fall apart within a few years. We’ve had to replace just about everything we have ever purchased before we started working with Auroralight.”


According to McDougal, once he began working with Auroralight, he knew he had found the company that reflected the same level of quality and long-term approach he believes in. “It’s a big investment initially, but there is virtually no maintenance involved and the savings we are experiencing from using LED in our latest garden area is impressive.”

“Part of our branding strategy is to create a unique experience using the finest products combined with the finest customer service,” says McDougal. “It’s important to us to do things and make decisions that will last a lifetime as we create memorable experiences for our visitors. Choosing Auroralight is part of that commitment to only using the finest in everything we do.”

Today, Grand Tradition utilizes close to 500 fixtures throughout the various gardens and pathways. The majority of the fixtures light pathways, up light trees and showcase spectacular foliage and larger open spaces.

One of McDougal’s goals is to offer evening tours of the gardens and host events so that the public can experience the gardens at night when it’s lighted for an entirely different look and feel. “Auroralight has become an important long-term partner to us as we continue to upgrade our existing gardens and create new ones,” says McDougal. “It’s exciting to create synergy with companies like Auroralight. We want to work with only the best and Auroralight has proven to us that it is the very best when it comes to estate quality lighting solutions.”


City Creek Center

Auroralight Creates a Modern Take on Old World Festoon Lighting for a Mixed Use Redevelopment in Salt Lake City

In the heart of Salt Lake City just steps from the Mormon Temple, you can experience the new City Creek Center, a vibrant, 24-hour, mixed use redevelopment. As a pilot participant in the new LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System, City Creek Center is integrating the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into its design and construction. The completed project is registered LEED Silver. The project exemplifies sustainable urban living with a comfortable pedestrian scale, unparalleled access to transit, and open spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy. The five condominium buildings, an office building and the 900,000sf of retail space support sustainable design with native landscaping, water conservation, energy efficient equipment, green material selection, abundant daylighting, access to views, and high levels of indoor environmental quality.

According to Wayne Chubb of Hobbs & Black Architects and the Project Architect for the retail portion of the Center, the design inspiration is evocative of a European streetscape with pedestrian plazas, water features and various points of interest that showcase public art and large open spaces. Part of the design concept was to unearth the creek that once flowed from the mountains into the heart of the city and was originally used as the settlers? fresh water supply. The creek is now a major element flowing through most of the 20-acre site.

To reinforce the European streetscape theme at one of the more prominent entrances and only vehicle friendly roadway into the Center, Chubb and Associate /Project Manager Laura Yates of Horton Lees Brogden called on Mike Joye of Auroralight for assistance.

They wanted to create a modern take on Festoon Lighting and knew that Auroralight’s expertise in exterior lighting design and manufacturing made them an ideal choice for the custom LED project.

The functional purpose of the hanging lights was to bring the scale of the surrounding buildings down to a more intimate and welcoming level. By doing so, visitors could enjoy outdoor seating at night at any of the several restaurants located in this area of the Center.

Chubb and Yates asked Joye to develop a series of custom LED hanging lights inspired by Auroralight’s existing LHL50 Candela luminaire. Joye took on the design challenge and created a variety of engineering objectives and solutions that were based on esthetics, safety, energy efficiency and serviceability.

With three different lengths, 12″, 24″ and 36″, the luminaires, nicknamed “The Necklace” now hang in a random pattern connected by a single cable that zigzags over a large area high above the roadway. If one light should ever need to be replaced due to lightning strike or other calamity, it typically requires the entire cable be taken down. However, Joye thoughtfully designed both a removable luminaire and interchangeable LED module so that individual lamps or complete fixtures can be easily serviced in the field quickly and efficiently. This state-of-the-art, solutions-based feature has become the catalyst for several other Auroralight luminaires that are also available in the company’s product catalog.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of working with Auroralight,” says Chubb. “Our clients are very happy. The lights installed without difficulty and have performed without problems since installation. Despite the natural swag of the cable, every luminaire hangs plum and the light output is beautiful even with the different lengths,” he says.

“More importantly”, Yates adds, “the construction of the candelas by Auroralight is extremely solid, which was very appealing to us and the contractor because we wanted to make sure they could withstand the tricky Utah climate. Everything is so well thought-out and thorough in the engineering that we couldn’t ask for more. It’s been a real pleasure working with Mike Joye and his team at Auroralight.”

The luminaires created for the City Creek Center are UL Listed Products and are now part of the official Auroralight Product Catalog.

Project Summary

Project Name: City Creek Center Mixed Use Development, Salt Lake City, Utah

Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, Inc., Culver City, CA

Retail Architect of Record/Project Architect: Wayne Chubb, AIA, Senior Associate, Hobbs & Black Architects, Ann Arbor, MI

Featured Lighting: Custom LED Festoon Lighting from Auroralight

Master Project Architectural Firm/Project Manager: Julie Bronder, AIA, Associate Partner, ZGF Architects, Portland, OR