The Best Holiday Lights in Pasadena

An innovative SoCal-based outdoor-lighting company sets the holiday mood with mesmerizing light decorations.

Jason Zdenek founded outdoor-lighting company Mobile Illumination in 2001 with the idea of using lights to dress up homes for the Christmas season. Based in Northridge, the brand has built an international reputation for creating festive displays for residential and commercial properties—including South Lake Avenue, The Grove, The Americana at Brand, Universal Studios, and L.A. Zoo Lights.

“We had a request from a prince in Abu Dhabi to fly our team out to decorate a palace,” says Michael Deutsch, the company’s vice president. But Mobile Illumination doesn’t just transform palaces and stadiums into winter wonderlands—it can do the same for your residence.

For one Pasadena-based client’s two-story home, the team infused holiday cheer into the space with a variety of décor, with amazing results. Red and green Christmas lights started along the lawn’s stone walls, glided up the walkway, caressed tree trunks, danced in the shrubs, and finally reached the house, where they dangled from the rooftop and windows like warm icicles. Six-foot-tall nutcracker soldiers stood on guard, while glittering deer grazed on the grass.

Beyond traditional garlands and wreaths, the company offers a winter frost palette with more neutral ornaments that can add a mirthful touch to any home. Putting even small spaces to good use, the team hangs overhead mini lights above pools and gazebos and wraps bistro string lights around trees of all sizes. As you’d expect, Mobile Illumination considers both the property’s dimensions and the clients’ vision to come up with a design that is both functional and eye-catching.

Regardless of which design clients choose, Deutsch recommends that those looking to decorate their homes for the holidays plan early to get the most value and use from their decorations. “Most people turn their lights on within the first week or two after Halloween,” he says. “And most people turn their lights off somewhere within the first week and a half of January.”

Planning ahead might also mean that those opting to install lights by themselves can avoid rookie mistakes, from running out of lighting to cover large areas to struggling with placement. And, these days, good lighting better not only look good but also be sustainable. Unlike the popular string lights sold in department stores, the LED lights used by Mobile Illumination are color-changing, energy-efficient, and made with recyclable aluminum. When bulbs burn out, they can easily be replaced. Projects start from $2,000 and vary based on a project’s scope and a home’s unique features.