Local veteran grows LED landscape lighting business
When Joel Mayor got out of the Navy, he began working for a landscaping and lawn care company in Virginia that also dabbled in architectural lighting. Soon after Mayor, then age 25, moved back home to the Austin area where he and his wife, Beth, decided to give small-business ownership and the architectural lighting industry a try.
"We were having a baby, and we had just bought a house," said Mayor, owner of Texas Outdoor Lighting. "The 9-to-5 stuff wasn't cutting it, and I knew I'd always wanted to start my own business."
Mayor began his business by working out of a four-door Saturn, he said.
"We had little knowledge about running a business, and we had a little baby to feed. We knew we had to make things happen. We did jobs all over Texas," Mayor said. "Some in Dallas, in Houston, in West Texas—anywhere there was work. We really pushed in the Westlake and Lakeway areas. We'd stay up all night writing mailers to addresses of potential customers."
The company, which has offices in Bee Cave and Kyle, services homes and businesses throughout the Austin area.
"It was a delight to have him work for us," repeat customer Rene Garza said. "Mayor was very attentive. He made sure everything was done just right. I remember we had a problem with one of our lights. He actually showed up with his baby in his arms, and he was walking around in the backyard to figure out what was wrong. The customer definitely comes first."
Since opening, Texas Outdoor Lighting has made a name for itself in residential and commercial light-emitting diode, or LED, outdoor and architectural lighting. Mayor says Texas Outdoor Lighting is an expert in installing LED lighting.
A conservative installation might cost a homeowner about $2,500, but Mayor says the sky is the limit when it comes to landscape lighting.
"It depends on how expensive a lighting system you want," he said. "We can put everything on remote control. You can control it with your iPad or iPhone. The lights can change colors. We pay attention to what our clients want, and our service is the best out there."
Typically use about 25 percent to 80 percent less energy than incandescent lights
Are sturdier and can last three to 25 times longer than incandescent lights
Emit less heat, making them safer than incandescent lights
Are easier to install than incandescent lights
Are ideal for kitchen, hallway and bathroom lighting
In addition to home landscape lighting, Texas Outdoor Lighting owner Joel Mayor says interior retrofitting is a growing trend. In September, his company replaced the incandescent light bulbs in the Kemah, Texas, City Hall building with LED lights.
"The analysis showed we would get a savings from our electrical bill—a payback in about three years of about $25,000," Kemah City Engineer James Reddington said. "I started tracking our electric bills after the [LED] lights went in. In December we received the first clear indication; comparing December 2011 to December 2012, we used one-third the amount of kilowatt-hours in 2012. We saved about a thousand dollars that month on electricity."
Texas Outdoor Lighting
- Bee Cave location, 3267 Bee Caves Rd Ste.107, Austin
- Kyle location, 5500 FM 2770 Ste. 103, Kyle