The Origin of Nightscaping

We’ve reprinted the summary of how Nightscaping started in 1959:


Before there was Nightscaping® Bill Locklin was a Redlands, California electrical contractor who specialized in agricultural electrical services and maintenance. In his spare time he would experiment with 12-volt lighting powered by automobile batteries and headlight lamps to see what kind of effects could be created with this more efficient light source. This hobby earned him a call from a client who wanted outdoor landscape lighting for his home. Locklin learned this client was expecting some very special guests and the lighting had to be completed before their arrival.

Locklin immediately went to work devising a plan. He began designing inconspicuous outdoor fixtures from mayonnaise jars, painted coffee and fruit juice cans, automobile lamps and 12-volt batteries. He improvised and experimented. He invented low-voltage landscape lighting and coined his lighting motto, “See the effect and not the source.”

The client was so impressed by the professional lighting system Locklin had provided on such short notice he invited Locklin to meet his special guests, President Eisenhower and his wife, First Lady Maime Eisenhower. This chance meeting resulted in another lighting job for Locklin. The president himself wanted a lighting installation at his vacation retreat for an upcoming event.

The installation for Eisenhower was such a success that the politicians, foreign dignitaries and social elites who attended the event wanted this kind of lighting for their homes. Thus Nightscaping®, Locklin’s landscape lighting manufacturing company, was born.

The success of his hobby that as he says, “got out of hand,” motivated Locklin to further his industry and craft. He continued doing lighting installations for everyone from the Sultan of Brunei, the CEO of Honda Motors, and all of the Mrs. Joneses living on your street U.S.A. As others in his industry began to more fully understand the lighting ideas, moreover the business he pioneered, competition began to infiltrate his market. Locklin was inspired. His creation that had sprung forth from the bottom of a coffee can was revolutionizing the landscaping industry.

Today Nightscaping® is still located in Redlands, California and is still focused on the future with competitors still playing catch up. New Nightscaping® innovations like LED bulbs and stainless steel fixtures are paving the way into the future for low voltage outdoor lighting. For fifty years now Nightscaping® has been solely focused on providing the best, most dependable, technically superior, presidential quality outdoor lighting systems to customers across the globe.

Nightscaping’s® ability to see beyond the here and now, the emphasis that’s put on continual research, development and innovation, and the unfailing commitment Nightscaping® has toward providing the industry’s most reputable service, have kept Nightscaping’s® customers on the absolute cutting edge of the outdoor lighting business.

Customers world-wide recognize Nightscaping® as the Professional Outdoor Lighting brand they know and trust. Today, the Nightscaping® brand stands for quality, dependable professional outdoor lighting. Just as it did when we first opened our doors in 1959.

Here is a letter Bill Locklin himself wrote upon the release of a new technical manual that was printed.

To my Friends In The Outdoor Lighting Industry:

I am extremely proud to present you with the Nightscaping® Technical Manual.

By definition a Handbook is a collection of useful facts and a guide used to understand how those facts are beneficial to the individual reader.

This Technical Manual certainly fits that criteria. It is the complete collection of data and equipment compiled by Nightscaping® over our illustrious 40 plus year history. And, more importantly, it is your guide to success in the low voltage outdoor lighting industry.

The information presented here has not been coined by some slick ad agency. The photos, drawings, composition and technical information contained have all been developed in house by your dedicated Nightscaping® staff.

These pages are more than product announcements. They are your guide to the industry’s most comprehensive collection of professional outdoor lighting tools. Each of which has been tested and proven by leading lighting Designers, Contractors and Architects from all parts of our world.

This Technical Manual/Handbook is not mine. It belongs to the dedicated men and women working in the field who have built the 12 volt outdoor lighting industry. This Handbook is a diary. It is a record of my lifetime spent working with and for those Contractors, Architects and Designers.

The evolution of the light source has played a great part in the development of the fixtures found in this Technical Manual. However, the most fundamental attribute with regard to the design of Nightscaping® equipment has been the one-on-one partnerships we have with those of you working in the field.

It would be wrong of me to take full credit for everything you find in this Handbook. The physical shape of fixtures, the many and varied modifications available, and the evolution of our Powercenter™ transformer are the result of feedback Nightscaping® has received from practicing Contractors and Architects. These designs in many cases have been specific requests made by front line installers that we have subsequently introduced into our product line.

Due to this production and design philosophy, Nightscaping® is a true manufacturer, not some company concerned simply with assembling offshore stampings. We transform full sheets of copper and stainless steel into hand crafted, safe operating landscape lighting fixtures on a daily basis. Our transformer specialists routinely test and retest every handmade Nightscaping® Powercenter™ we produce to guarantee it lives up to your expectations. These are only a few examples of how our staff of dedicated mechanics and customer service professionals practice “Mass Customization” manufacturing. These production practices give Nightscaping® the ability to produce the finest quality, most specialized equipment or tools available anywhere in the outdoor lighting industry.

This would not be the case if it weren’t for the tireless efforts of our loyal customers. Nightscaping® is where we are today thanks to them. We offer the industry’s most diverse line of fixtures and transformers because of them. Our success and ability to stay at the forefront of outdoor lighting technology for more than four decades is because of them. For that I thank you.

I am especially indebted to the Contractors involved in our original TEC (Test Evaluate Communicate) team, the professional and knowledgeable members of our NIGHTchat email information exchange, our elite “Advisory Council” and my much appreciated “Friends of Bill” group. The Handbook you are holding would not exist without them.

I would like to dedicate this 40 plus year edition of the Nightscaping® Technical Manual to these aforementioned individuals (you know who you are), my family of faithful Nightscaping® Employee Partners, and to you, the future of the outdoor lighting industry. May it serve you well.

Personal regards,

Bill Locklin


Posted on August 14, 2016