About Mark

Brief Background:

As a young boy, I spent a lot of time outdoors playing and exploring the natural forests and hill sides of the communities we lived. What a joy it was to learn and to develop my creative mind. Because of this love I studied biology and ultimately gained my B.S. degree in Botany. However, my interests expanded to include the design and forming of nature, which led me to study landscape architecture.

In 1986, I began working with a landscape architecture firm in S. California until this progressed into working with a contractor to develop my field skills. In 1992, I successfully was granted a landscape contractor’s license and I eagerly jumped into running my first business.

Over the next several years, I performed the role of landscape designer-contractor, as well as acquiring experience in several other forms of business—manufacturing, engineering, sales, customer service, and even the U.S. Army. Each of these opportunities allowed me to gained business, management and leadership skills.

By 1998, I came full-circle back to placing 100% of my attention on my landscaping profession. In April of 1999, I opened the doors to ‘Avalon Lighting’ in Roseville, CA, which only performed low-voltage, landscape lighting design-installation. I was the first company in the Sacramento region to do so.

During the time of 2000-2009, Avalon operated in the form of a corporation. After this point, it changed back to a sole-proprietorship to allow me the flexibility to expand my offerings outside of the state and internationally. And in 2014, I began collaborating with Gambino Landscape Lighting on larger scaled projects where we could benefit each other. Currently, our collaboration is the only one of its kind in the U.S.A. and we are setting a higher standard for the lighting industry.

The Owner:

  • Mark A. Carlson—Principal/Landscape Lighting Designer
  • Licensed CA Contractor: C-27 #648814
  • Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer (COLD) #1101
  • Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician (CLVLT-'06-'12) #0631
  • Author/Speaker/Educator
  • Historian/Collector of Frank B. Nightingale history
  • Married with two sons
  • Musician/Drummer

Company History:

Originated as Sole-Proprietorship in 1999
Incorporated 2000-2009
Currently a Sole-Proprietorship (2009-present)
Designed-Installed projects: + 700
Services provided Nationally & Internationally: CA, OR, NV, AZ, AB Canada, and Costa Rica

Avalon's Story:

I have always been inspired by the ocean, the sun and nature, especially its ability to provide energy and restoration. It's a place where one can become rejuvenated or invigorated, while at peace. A wonderful gift given by our heavenly Father.

In my quest to find a meaningful business name, I had a vision of a place of longing, a place 'seemingly removed from the world'. Maybe this could even be considered a mystical place with spiritual connection. Therefore, it reminded me of the tale of King Arthur and the Island-Valley of Avilion (Avalon). This was the final resting place for Arthur and the origination and forging of his sword, Excalibur.

Avalon, as described by Arthur:

"Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, nor every wind blows loudly.
Where I will heal me of my grievous wounds."

This characterization describes a place untouched by weather and 'seeming removed from the world.' Also, it’s interesting to note that Avalon (Aballon in Old Welsh) means 'Apple'. The apple symbolizes many things, such as; knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man into sin, and sin itself. Yet, others believe that it's a symbol for beauty, love, fertility, peace and salvation. It’s also associated with health, generosity and abundance.

Additionally, I have found it to include the matter of 'choice', in obtaining fulfillment. This representation of choosing that which is desired, is something we all face in life. To choose Avalon Lighting Design, one will find fulfillment when it comes to landscape lighting design implementation. It’s a quest to enter a wonderful journey to a final resting place that can be enjoyed.

Avalon Lighting Design employs the use of light and shadow to promote thought and to provide therapeutic benefits to those participating with these spaces.

Background Music Credit: The Fragile Fate
Album: "Lilliam Ocean" (2016)
Musicians: Rupert Greenall, Jerry Marotta, and Eric Taylor
Mark Carlson is the Principal of Avalon Lighting Design and is an industry leader in this specialized art form. Design development and the design process are Mark’s competitive advantage. Mark continues to author books, Guides & Standards, and is a leading activist for the preservation of the Landscape Lighting discipline. Very few strive to this level of passion or expertise.