View Full Version : Pricing Fixtures

08-03-2007, 12:15 AM
My correspondence with James in the "Ushio Thread" got me thinking about how some of you guys price fixtures. Without getting into actual figures. How do you guys go about establishing how you are going to mark-up your fixtures? As rule of thumb I initially marked up my price on fixtures by multiplying my cost by 2. If a fixture cost me $50 I charged the customer $100. However, I started getting into some fixtures that were extremely expensive and for me to double the cost to my customer would be outragiously crazy expensive. and by the same token if a customer wants a cheap fixture I would only make a small return on that. What I have done is establish a set amount that I will tack on to a fixture no matter what the cost. So basically, I make the same on every fixture I sell. It doesn't matter if it is a crazy expensive fixture or a cheap fixture. What do you guys think about that? What do you guys do?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-03-2007, 04:49 AM
Ned. Stick with your first formula. Seriously if you can achieve a 100% markup then do so. Another strong way of pricing is to charge full MSRP for all the fixtures and components in your systems. This gives you wiggle room if you have to compete on a bid or otherwise discount your price to get a job.

That being said, competition will surely help dictate your pricing structure. There never seems to be any shortage of inexperienced contractors or trunk slammers who are willing to drive down the prices in order to win jobs.... Only trouble is, those guys never stay in business long enough to service their clients, which results in a lot of people having a negative opinion of LV lighting.

I have never had a problem with paying top dollar for top of the line products and service, just be sure that you actually follow through and provide top of the line service. The good clients understand and expect this.

sprinkler guy
08-06-2007, 03:02 AM

Some customers ask right away what I charge per fixture, and I counter with, it depends on the logistics of the job, and what type of lighting we will be doing. I've tried to keep pricing pretty simple by sticking with a handful of fixtures that cost about the same. I have about 9 or 10 pathlites, most within a few dollares of each other, that I'll show customers, a couple of uplights that are almost identical, and a handful of downlites. I will give people an approximate price per fixture, but advise them it is a number to have in their heads for budget purposes only; the on-site walkthrough determines the pricing. I know where the ground is nothing but rocks and heavy clay adobe soil, vs. an area with soft silty sand that doesn't even require a pick. I'll explain to a customer that they will be paying more because of working conditions, etc, and that somebody not charging accordingly for these conditons might short cut the job, or come back for an extra once the work has started.

Specialty lights (BBQ, fancy in-wall or masonry set, concrete encased well lights) are a whole different animal.

I also charge for transformers on a seperate line item.

08-20-2007, 04:50 PM
Doubling prices is common with irrigation parts, but........

We can not always get away with that here. We have a large lighting supply house, right off of a main freeway. The customers can (and do!) go in there to check out the prices. They fail to grasp that the price they see is only for the fixture: it does not include bulbs or mounting stakes.

"Why would you let your customers see what the retail price is?"

Uh......that is where they go to buy lights. Once they realise it is more involved than they thought, they ask for names of qualified installers.

Hey, I would rather they go there and get ready for sticker shock than to go to Home Despot and ask me to install that crap. (And they do that as well.........labour only, and crap parts to boot.)

So, best I can do take my 20% discount, and live with it. There is always labour charges to work with.

David Gretzmier
08-21-2007, 09:52 AM
I could of sworn we have run this thread before, but anyways...I charge for the fixture installed with light, trans,wire and labor included. I am getting away from mentioning my per fixture price, but quoting x number of fixtures installed for a total price of x. that way if they add on fixtures we know what # we started with and what the bid includes.

08-21-2007, 10:18 AM
I don't hear anyone talking about the real value of the lighting design - our artistic talent. It really is the best justification for setting profitable pricing.

If a customer asks "How much do you charge per fixture?" Why not answer something like:

"Please understand, landscape lighting is my passion. I'm not a lighting fixture salesman, I'm a lighting designer. My estimate is not entirely based on the number of fixtures - yes, that's part of the equation, but my fees are mainly based on the value of the lighting design. I'm sure you can find a fixture salesman who will sell you these lights very cheap. But if you want a lighting design you'll love, then you need to hire a designer such as myself. I promise you that when I'm finished, you won't be thinking about the money, you'll be loving what you see."

08-21-2007, 11:47 AM
There you go Steve!! This is also a great way to start charging a design fee. This sets you apart from the competition because you are viewed as a professional designer instead of a light fixture salesman.

08-21-2007, 12:38 PM
Well said Steve! I am going to borrow some or all of that if you don't mind.

08-21-2007, 01:12 PM
I agree with Dave's method and Steve's approach. On jobs that I personally bid on, that is how I do it.

The landscape company that I do most of my work through......well.......they insist on a per fixture price.

Ironic part is.........

They charge for the landscape design ($350), but not the lighting design!

08-21-2007, 03:53 PM
It's much easier to do a price per fixture.

08-21-2007, 06:29 PM
my new outlook on this... While I do sometimes do the math just to see where I am on price I find myself more often calculating off my invoice from my suppliers and number of hours spent on a project.

I dont offer or have a per fixture price anymore. It just didnt work for us. I just dont feel its fair to the client whos project takes 4 hours to install and doesnt require hours of planning to charge them the same per fixture price as the client who took 6 meetings..multiple transformers...excessive amounts of wire.... hours of planning... pre project imaging and a detailed proposal.

It is sometimes a difficult question to avoid however. I am not trying to hide anything from the client but I offer them a project price. I can reprice the project based on agreed changes. I have seen estimates where clients request breakdowns and people list MSRP in thier pricing and show labor. I try to stay away from this but I have had to do it in the past.

The more my clients are smart shoppers and appreciate service the stronger the chance they will use me over someone who will hook it all up and be gone. If they are simply shopping by fixture price only I doubt they will be retaining our service. Not that I am over priced but because I take alot more time to plan and execute jobs properly.

You can really get burned or burn someone pricing per fixture. If they ask how much a fixture is you should be armed with retail on all your materials