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View Full Version : where to buy xmas lights direct


shade tree landscaping
08-15-2008, 09:03 PM
where do you guys go to buy your lights wholesale? I have never done the lights before other than my own home but want to get into it this year. Someplace that has a catalog that I can show customers would be great! I have looked online but I dont know what "professional" grade and whats homeowner grade when it comes to x-mas lights. Thanks in advance, any and all help/info is appreaciated

David Gretzmier
08-16-2008, 01:21 AM
read through the posts here and you'll find several companies to buy from . I'm a Holiday Bright Lights guy, they are in Omaha, Nebraska. Mike marlow is their rep. they are online and I believe they have the best stuff at pretty good prices. good luck- :waving:

hotrod1965
08-16-2008, 11:36 AM
I personally like to take actual lights out, not a catalog, it will give folks a real life look at your products. I also like to take out big box store lights to compare the difference. But HBL does have a nice catalog so does Creative Displays.

Wholesale price can also varry depending on your volume over the year. I personally buy direct from import companies, this skips the middle man, which means I can sell at wholesale.

As far as grade, you want to look at the wire gage.(i wont be much help for incandescent info) For LED the commercial grade lights are rectified and have coaxle connectors. They are water tight and won't pull apart. They are expensive, but will last for 20 years.
There are a bunch of different residential grade LEd sets, most of which are not very good. We carry two different brands, both which are rectified, one has sealed bulbs, the other you can make custom strands with by moving the bulbs around. We also have the sealed sets not retified for less money. All our sets have a three year warranty and are built with heavier wire.

HBL has sets out this year that are rectified, but I have not seen them, so I can't judge. They put the rectifier in a separate plug.

David Gretzmier
08-16-2008, 03:40 PM
Hotrod- how many seasons do you have in the field on the LED light sets that will last 20 years?

also, pm me on some prices, I'm interested in playing around with your commercial stuff.

I agree with Hotrod on bringing actual product to the home for bids. I also bring the catalog and my portfolio. HBL's noble garland and 4' flat wreat goes with me to every bid, along with 3 different light links. I've also got a 2 foot strand of my c-9 cord and walmart cord to show the difference in c-9's. I carry a clear, transparent color, and color ceramic c-9 bulbs to show the difference, as well so customers know what they are gettting.

hotrod1965
08-16-2008, 04:10 PM
Two years on the LED stuff. But I like to force degrade my demo sets by torchering them year round. The bulbs will last longer than 20 seasons, but the components will wear out before then.

Funny thing, I just got an Action Lighting catalog in the mail today... It has lots of pictures, but it also has prices, so I'm not sure it would be a good field catalog.

David Gretzmier
08-17-2008, 04:45 PM
The HBL catalogs have no prices, and good pictures. excellent field catalog. I've bought from action lighting in the past, be careful with their c-9 cord, kinda iffy.

CharlotteOutdoorImpact
08-17-2008, 05:28 PM
I currently buy from Village Lighting, but I really wish there were more options and really a place to just go pick them up near by.

I also need to stock up on wreaths and garland... I have not yet bought many LED's.... They have some nice marketing material available at Village..

hotrod1965
08-17-2008, 06:37 PM
I'm not sure why i got an action lighting catalog.. Must have signed up for one at some point...

I havn't heard great things about Village Lighting as far as products. I'm also not a fan of other ompanies marketing material, not that it is bad, we can do just as well, and brand our company for the same money. (As far as mailers and flyers)

I dont know anyone in NC that you could hook up with to just go pick up things.

shade tree landscaping
08-18-2008, 11:06 AM
thanks for all the helpful info! How do you guys market the holiday lighting to your customers?
Do you sell them the equipment or rent it to them and you own the stuff?

hotrod1965
08-18-2008, 12:40 PM
Renting and selling both work well. You just need to have your system inplace for which ever way you are going to go. There are advantages and disadvantages to both/
We rent everything and it works well.

If you search you will find a bunch of marketing ideas for lights. It has been covered a bunch.

lantanalawns
10-10-2009, 04:27 AM
We carry two different brands, both which are rectified, one has sealed bulbs, the other you can make custom strands with by moving the bulbs around. We also have the sealed sets not retified for less money. All our sets have a three year warranty and are built with heavier wire.

You mentioned that you carry. Meaning you sell them or you buy them and carry them in your inventory? I bought some LEDs from Holiday Light Source and I was disappointed in the look and brightness of the rectified bright white LEDs. I am not sure if it was because they were just not good from them or if that is just the way LEDs look.

I am interested in finding out who you purchase them from. I paid $17 for a set of 25 C7s in LED.

hotrod1965
10-10-2009, 11:39 PM
The C7's and the C9 LED light strands are not very good no matter who makes them. You have to go with the retro fit bulbs to get good brightness.

lantanalawns
10-11-2009, 05:12 AM
I know that on SPT1 C7 wire I can put about 160 regular 5 watt C7 bulbs and hit about 7 amps. Which I think SPT1 wire is rated for. If I use the C7 retrofit bulbs, which only use about 1 watt, should I (theoretically) be able to run 5 times are many C7 retrofit bulbs in a single run?

160 incandescent bulbs x 5 watts = 800 watts total = about 7 amps
800 retrofit LED bulbs x 1 watt = 800 watts total = about 7 amps

Are my calculations right here or is there something I am missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Carlos
Holiday Light & Decor

hotrod1965
10-12-2009, 12:39 AM
You are missing the fact that the wire will have internal resistance. So at some point, you are going to run out of juice. For 18 gage STP1 I think it is around 200 feet or so. Can't say I have any runs over 150 feet though.



I know that on SPT1 C7 wire I can put about 160 regular 5 watt C7 bulbs and hit about 7 amps. Which I think SPT1 wire is rated for. If I use the C7 retrofit bulbs, which only use about 1 watt, should I (theoretically) be able to run 5 times are many C7 retrofit bulbs in a single run?

160 incandescent bulbs x 5 watts = 800 watts total = about 7 amps
800 retrofit LED bulbs x 1 watt = 800 watts total = about 7 amps

Are my calculations right here or is there something I am missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Carlos
Holiday Light & Decor

David Gretzmier
10-12-2009, 09:42 PM
I think LED retrofits still have full brightness down to 90 volts. below that and they do not work at all. I have heard of guys going 400 feet, but I myself stop at 200. At that legth on my voltage tester with single LED c9 ceramic bulbs ( which I do not reccomend by the way) I measured 102 volts, or a drop of about 18 volts. you probably could go another 50-100 feet, but the newer 5 led bulbs do pull a bit more juice than the older single led's. So I think 200 feet, maybe 250 is about max. There is however, 16, 14, and 12 guage c-9 wire out there, and those should go 100-200 feet further.

turf hokie
10-13-2009, 07:59 PM
What is wrong with the ceramic LED? I am getting ready to order a case from HBL to sample for one of my customers who does not like any look but ceramic. We have 500 feet on her roof and would really like to not have to run it to 3 different power sources.

Black Bear
10-13-2009, 09:41 PM
Shade tree,
there is a local importer in Phila, send me a PM and i will send you his name. Been using them for 7 years or more. You can drive over and pick-up and be on your way in 10 minutes.

David Gretzmier
10-14-2009, 01:03 AM
This is the third year on the HBL LED ceramics for me on three properties. I have one that has about 500 bulbs on it, commercial building with all white ceramic , the other two are about 250 bulb residential jobs. The bulbs fail at a pretty strong rate. we replaced close to 75 bulbs on the 500 bulb job, and all were lit at takedown last year. not broken, but out. on the 250's, one is up this year and needed about 50. the other is not up until November.

Obviously replacing 15-20 percent of bulbs is insane, given I have 2, 9 year old clear c-9 glass old style jobs that have well over 1500 bulbs, range closer to 25-50 bulbs replaced at install this year, and most of those got broke while taking down or storing them. i just put up a 3000 plus bulb job with old style bulbs on it's second year, and we replaced 28 bulbs, most broken some "brighties", 3 burnout. 1-2 percent is normal for incandescant, for LED it should be 1/5 to 1/10 that. instead it is 8-10 TIMES that.

The ceramics are not waterproof like the plastic faceted ones are, so I believe that is the failure point. DUH. also, they only have a single LED, so you cannot see them during the day to change out bad ones, even if you cup your hands around them. you can only fix them at night. The white ones are also very dim, probably close to a comparison of 1/2 watt of normal incandescant power.

turf hokie
10-14-2009, 07:51 AM
Thanks David, I was hoping to get LESS burn out and did just assumed that the covers were plastic. I will now look at other options and research further. One diode is not enough. Especially at the cost of the bulb.

I need these lights to pass muster with this customer. She is very particular and if she approves then nobody else will have a problem.

Back to the drawing board. I will let you know what I find.

turf hokie
10-14-2009, 05:16 PM
Looks like we will be sticking with incandescent. I had them, but they are being discontinued from the vendor, so I wont be able to replace them down the road.

They have one that supposedly mimics the incandescent perfectly but it is not replaceable and the socket is more the size of a mini light with a c-9 on it so a roof clip wont hold. I'd also hate to have to replace a 25 string b/c one bulb went out.

I will keep looking but it doesnt look good.

ecoguy
10-11-2011, 06:13 PM
Anyone heard of http://www.christmasdesigners.com/
They also have a book on how to do everything!!!

addictedtolandscaping
10-11-2011, 06:42 PM
I have heard of them. Spent the weekend looking for commercial grade products - skylines, pole mounts. I thought that they have a fair variety, so I also sent a request for dealer info.

David Gretzmier
10-13-2011, 01:12 AM
replied to your pm.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-11-2011, 01:26 AM
Every year I see LiteSource and Novelty Lights at the TNLA show. I think these are two of the more contractor oriented places with more wholesale type prices. Their C7 LED price of $1.03 with a minimum order of 500 is what I'm looking at currently. The HBL price is 98 cents (up from 89 cents last year) but you have to buy 1000 bulbs which is a grand.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-11-2011, 01:34 AM
The prices on the website are retail prices that are higher then HBL, LiteSource, or Novelty Lights. I emailed them to see if they had a wholesale price list.

addictedtolandscaping
11-11-2011, 03:32 AM
I just received an order yesterday. HBL was completely out of 18" bows as of the first. A little birdie told me to contact these guys. I did the dealer paperwork. Last evening I did some of the math with regards to HBL vs. Christmas Designers. I will sum it up as this, it is very much worth checking into for a additional supplier.

TimNNJ
11-11-2011, 07:43 AM
Ha I did the same thing last night..

I just received an order yesterday. HBL was completely out of 18" bows as of the first. A little birdie told me to contact these guys. I did the dealer paperwork. Last evening I did some of the math with regards to HBL vs. Christmas Designers. I will sum it up as this, it is very much worth checking into for a additional supplier.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-11-2011, 08:11 AM
I just received an order yesterday. HBL was completely out of 18" bows as of the first. A little birdie told me to contact these guys. I did the dealer paperwork. Last evening I did some of the math with regards to HBL vs. Christmas Designers. I will sum it up as this, it is very much worth checking into for a additional supplier.

All I looked at was the C7 LED's and they were $1.38 versus HBL's 98 cents. Was the pricing on the website the best they could do? I didn't see any wholesale info but I sent them an email to inquire.

David Gretzmier
11-12-2011, 02:25 AM
guys, it is against forum rules to post what wholesale prices you pay. customers can read this forum. tools, trucks, and marketing pricing is fine, but on wholesale good prices, or stuff you sell in the course of your business please don't post specific prices. The Moderators will remove the pricing. thanks, dave g

CleanCut1
11-24-2011, 07:52 PM
Addicted - Thanks for the info. about the bows from Christmas Designers. My shipment came in yesteday and the bows look great.

addictedtolandscaping
11-25-2011, 07:04 AM
Very Welcome. I have brought in some of their LED, m-5's. The colored ones (blue in particular are amazing!) Instead of just one resistor, there are three, so the whole load is not blasting though just one. I have spent a fair amount of time on the phone with Jason the last few weeks. I am extremely interested in going further with them to say the least.

WE are dealing with a bunch of last minute BS here, so may put some signs out, and may not. Regardless, we added about 15K in new work this season with a large commercial project. The whole season so far has gone completely different than I had expected. Still 3 rehangs I haven't heard from, 2 are commercial, finally got the PO from the large project I have had since year 1 on Wednesday, that will start tomorrow. Then 2 more residential, and that is that unless something else comes up. Needless to say, I spent alot of money with one company this season and truthfully, my ROI has been a big goose egg. That money will go somewhere else next year.

Brett's Lawn Care
12-15-2011, 02:30 PM
In ordering for next year, I have always just bought 25 ft or so at a time, is it better to buy the 1000 ft roll and cut to length?
Posted via Mobile Device

addictedtolandscaping
12-15-2011, 08:02 PM
You can save a ton of money in the long run by ordering in large bulks quantity, you do not necessarily have to order 1000 lf, I do but not necessary. You can get bulk cord in as little as 100'. Having your cord in bulk enables you to custom fit your clients with exactly what they need, no extra to try to hide.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-15-2011, 09:37 PM
In ordering for next year, I have always just bought 25 ft or so at a time, is it better to buy the 1000 ft roll and cut to length?
Posted via Mobile Device

You can get a bulk roll for as little as $200 delivered and that puts your cost at 20 cents a foot. The All-In-One clips can be bought in box's of 500 for as little as six cents a clip.

Brett's Lawn Care
12-15-2011, 09:39 PM
The ones I keep looking at don't come with bulbs, or am I.wrong? Where do u get the bulbs or is there a place that they are that cheap with bulbs
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
12-15-2011, 10:43 PM
No bulbs is correct.

The places I found too late to use this year are www.bastiontech.com and www.ccbydara.com. Andrew is the sales guy at Bastion I talked to and they sound like a great source for LED lights and stringers because they actually manufacturer the stuff themselves and do the engineering. Their working on a C7 that will use about .2 watts but be 30% brighter. Their prices may be in the 70's on C7's.

Dara is a one woman show with lots of contacts who direct ships from hers suppliers. I think she will be in the low 80's on C7 LEDs as well which is a great price.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-16-2011, 07:15 PM
Andrew with Bastion Technologies sent me out a LED sample package with 9 different C9 colors and two different sets of 5mm's in blue and cool white. They have a three year warranty and excellent pricing. Email Andrew at andrew.c@bastiontech.com and get a price list. I think you will find the pricing is better then you have seen else where. The quality looks good and I plan to run the test lights 24/7 until next fall to see how they hold up. You can see the catalog but no pricing at http://www.bastiontech.com/docs/2011_bastioncatalog_holiday.pdf.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-16-2011, 07:25 PM
Andrew just emailed me this: One of the contractors that use our lights and installed them on a house in Florida. The family won ‘Best Christmas Lights” in America with our lights! Here are the links below:
http://gma.yahoo.com/video/househome-26594254/gma-lights-contest-winner-revealed-27618359.html used his lights and won

addictedtolandscaping
12-16-2011, 08:10 PM
John contacted me from Bastion as well. I like the way things sound, still waiting on the sample pack. They are also working on a different c-9 similiar to what you described for the c-7.

Christmas Designers is also doing a different c-9 as well, less draw and brighter. They just released a new stringer set this year also. I can tell you that their 5mm wide are amazing.

addictedtolandscaping
12-16-2011, 09:30 PM
For what it is worth. I put a new roll of c-9 cord in the truck today that I ordered from Christmas Designers. The one I am almost done with I got from Holiday LIght Source last year. Both are SPT1 and 1000' rolls. I paid a little more from Christmas Designers, but if you take into consideration the money I had to pay to get my order processed within a week by Holiday Light Source, I guess I paid the same. The quality of the Christmas Designers cord is well above Holiday Light Source. The sockets are almost twice as sturdy. I am confident to say that I have a new supplier for c-9 cord. Unfortunately even the rolls are heavier duty so they will not fit in the same spot on the truck, will have to address location in there at some point. Also, I bought 2 cases of blue incandescent mini from Holiday Light Source last year, 150 count. Every set had 2/3 of them out after 1 year. Straight into the trash they went. I have never experienced that with HBL - haven;t bought incandescent mini from anyone else. That is when I bought the blue LED from Christmas Designers, we used exactly the same amount of LED as we did incandescent in the clients trees, even with the major growth this year - about 7 feet in height and 2 in width for average per tree, we will most likely drop back a set in the trees next year. They don't look over done, but they sure are bright.