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Frank B. Nightingale - Blog

Wednesday, 7th December, 2016 5:40 pm

Landscape Lighting

Published in Lighting Design / 4 Comments /

What a pleasure and honor it is to finally have a place… a home that is dedicated to Frank B. Nightingale. I am talking about the new website at www.frankbnightingale.com and blog, which preserves the history and vision of Mr. Nightingale. He is considered the “father of garden lighting” and he alone, was the first to utilize lighting equipment in the outdoor and garden environments. And even though this has taken a few years to develop, I am proud to offer this to both the public and trade.

This project couldn’t have been accomplished without my good friend and fellow colleague, Mike Gambino (owner of Gambino Landscape Lighting). We are both professional landscape lighting designers who do this solely as a living. Together, we have made it our mission to provide such information, so that Nightingale could be properly respected and remembered for what he has given to this profession. Mike and I have spent the past 5 years collecting information and researching data to ensure its authenticity.

Mark and Mike

Outdoor lighting is a broad term used to encompass all of exterior applications of lighting. It should be noted that garden lighting or landscape lighting is one in the same. Landscape lighting is the common name used today. Additionally, architectural lighting is another faction under outdoor lighting, but it applies to the architectural forms constructed and being illuminated in these environments. Landscape lighting applies to the plantings and pedestrian routes around the exterior of this construction, as well as to those applications that utilize plant materials.

Frank Nightingale was instrumental in developing a discipline of this art form by providing a framework of understanding for others to follow, as has been described in two of his books: “Garden Lighting” (1958) and “Lighting as an Art” (1962). His vision and approach to this craft is rarely seen these days, and that is why Mike and I wanted to promote these standards for everyone to see. The driving force behind Mr. Nightingale was his passion for lighting and that of nature.

Today, Mike and I are likely the leading authorities on Frank’s history, as a landscape lighting designer and mentor. We have had the distinct pleasure to meet several people who either were related to, or worked with Frank. Our most memorable moments were spent with Nancy and Bill Eppard (youngest daughter and son-in-law of Mr. Nightingale) whom are still living today. We were honored to visit them at their home and to share in stories and lunch together. In addition to this, we were fortunate to document and record another hour long interview about some of this historical past.

bill and nancy

This is our first blog entry to celebrate the efforts that Mike and I have been so passionate about. It’s very important to us that Frank Nightingale also be remembered for his key principles—Education, Innovation, and Uncompromising Quality. In honor of this, we intend to utilize this website as a portal to helping to “educate” the people. We will continue to develop this site so that it provides for additional learning opportunities, whether as a tradesman, lighting designer, or as a consumer.

The first start to our offerings is the re-publication effort that Mike and I incurred–“The Original Garden Lighting Book”. This newer book includes the exact writings, sketches and most pictures that Frank originally had in his Garden Lighting book. We felt it was important to re-create this wonderful works, due to its extremely limited availability. Most of Frank’s books are a rare find these days. There are two benefits to purchasing our new version—it allows for our commentary to show relevance of Frank’s efforts in today’s market, and it provides funding towards this endeavor and future works that preserve this history. It is our hope that many will contribute to this cause.

Mike and I have taken the steps to establish the Nightingale Foundation, as another means to help provide for the preservation of Nightingale’s efforts and history. This is our goal, but as many understand…we both have our own businesses to run, so it will take a little time. We have several plans and ideas for what we wish to do with this effort. This includes the establishment of an actual museum of Frank’s work, to include his developments when he owned Kim Lighting. To enhance this concept even more, we desire to either purchase the original property buildings where Frank and his family lived or we will entertain having this property dedicated as a historic site in California. Grand goals, yes, but that’s our dream.

Please take the time to comment or to “like” these pages, to show your support of what we are doing. This would include following us or being on our mailing list for updates. Thank you for appreciating our celebration of this new site for Frank B. Nightingale.

Mark Carlson
Avalon Lighting Design
Nightingale Foundation Administrator

Author: Mark Carlson

Professional landscape lighting designer located in the Sacramento region of N. California. I am a consultant, specifier, technical writer, and activist to promote excellence in this specialized discipline. My company is award-winning and I have done projects throughout the state, N. America and internationally. My business, Avalon Lighting Design has been serving at this capacity for 18 years and it now resides in Orangevale, CA. I perform as an individual designer and contractor for most of my local projects and in a collaborative effort with Gambino Landscape Lighting. This intriguing relationship is one of a kind, as we fulfill to primary roles in this trade/art-form this is unmatched by any of our competition. We lead in the advancement of this craft by continuously raising the bar to standards and practices. I serve with Mike Gambino in the preservation of history for this unique trade--landscape lighting. We have made it our goal and mission to preserve the history of Frank B. Nightingale, the "father of garden lighting"--the man who started this discipline in 1933. Additionally, we republished his book called, Garden Lighting (1958) with an enhanced version called, "The Original Garden Lighting Book" (2013). It allows Mr. Nightingale's words to be redistributed and protected for many years, as well as us providing relevant commentary and updated photos.

4 thoughts on “Landscape Lighting”

        1. Loknath, it was a great pleasure working with you on this and other projects. I really appreciate your thoughts on why you are doing what you are doing with every element of this site. You exhibit the same basic caring or drive that I do–you are passionate about your work. Thank you for a wonderful job.

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