iilluminati: Mark Raissen, LightRaze


As president of LightRaze, Mark Raissen has redefined the concept of light in luxury hospitality and high-end residential spaces in Southern California and beyond. 

Raissen and his team have illuminated spaces for major brands like Starbucks and Universal Studios Hollywood, as well as high-end residential homes and luxury resorts. With more than 30 years of experience in the lighting design industry, Raissen elevates client visions to brilliant new heights.

We had a chance to speak with Raissen and discuss his career, work, and inspirations. Read our interview with the illustrious lighting designer to learn about his favorite hospitality and high-end residential projects, what keeps him motivated, and what separates his lighting design firm from the rest.

About You

What inspired you to pursue a career in lighting?

I discovered early on in my engineering career that I was both left and right brain dominant, so I veered towards the right, and began designing lighting projects .

Can you walk us through your career path?

For 20 years, I designed hotels, resorts, and casinos in South Africa and London. In 2000, I was awarded an O-1 visa to work in the U.S. I was the spokesperson for the Department of Energy in their Energy Star campaign for 5 years. I received my Green Card in 2005 and was able to start up my own lighting design business.

If you could articulate your philosophy about light in one sentence, what would you say?

My philosophy is to create emotion with lighting.

Your Craft

How would you describe your lighting or artistic style for high-end residences?

Our style approach is to design for our clients’ needs, not our egos.

Tell us about one of your favorite lighting techniques for high-end residences and why?

Our favorite technique is to “frame” our subject or objects that we are illuminating.

Can you tell us about one of your favorite residential lighting projects that involved Luminii products? 

One of my favorite projects was when we installed early LED lighting in the School of Architecture at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, without altering the look and feel of the rooms. The school is also known for being the former winter home of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Who or what do you look to for inspiration?

For inspiration, I meditate in the dark! Now isn’t that an antithesis? But, without shadows, you would not see light.

What separates LightRaze from its competitors?

LightRaze is unique in that we design, procure, and supervise the installation of our projects. What separates us from the competitors is the fact that we create, engineer, and supervise the installation of our projects.

Working with Luminii 

What do you enjoy most about working with Luminii?

We work with people, not companies. That is why we love working with Luminii.

Can you tell us about a residential project that involved Luminii products and how they helped bring the project to life?

My newest, most beautiful Luminii project is a private residential library for a famous award-winning author. We’re using STENOS now throughout the author’s personal art gallery, office, and meeting room.


What advice would you give to lighting designers starting out in the field?

The advice I would like to give to lighting designers is to think and design in elevation, not in plain view.

Connect with Mark Raissen and LightRaze

3183 Airway Ave #C 
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Office Phone: (949) 529-5494

Cell Phone: (949) 735-4133

Website: www.lightraze.com

IG: @lightraze_lightingdesign