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JConner
11-28-2009, 01:54 AM
I am thinking about getting into Christmas light installation this year i don't know if it is to late. I would like any advice that you guys could give me. For starters were do you guys get your lights from. I first looked into Bright Ideas but very exspensive. Defiantly not for my customer base
Thanks in advanced for the help

addictedtolandscaping
11-28-2009, 06:35 AM
Hello:

I did the same thing this year, this is my first. I personally went with Holiday Bright Lights. There are a few on here that are Holiday Bright Lights, a few that are Christmas Decor, and a few that where a couple different hats with a couple of the manufacturers as well as a few Brite Ideas guys and gals.

What did it for me with my decision, I read and re read this forum, then I asked the question just like you are. I did research, got info from all of the big three, and I was really impressed with the follow up I got from HBL and after talking with Mike on the phone several times, talking on here with Dave, Bryan and a couple others, I decided to go for it. I had several issues occur this year, and was having trouble justifying dropping 3500 for the membership, especially since this is a trade that did not exist here until I took it on. There is a Decor guy registered in the remote area, but I can't find anything about him anywhere. Any how. I flew out to Omaha for the June training class, and when I got my hands on the products, I was blown away. Example being, I brought in a case of battery operated wreaths for my trailer, I lit one up last night, it is all LED has red berries that are actually LEDs as well as white LED. The lights operate on independent switches, and have the ability to burn steady or twinkle, there is a timer built into the power pack or you can run them steady. I am ordering another case later as I am so impressed with it, a friend of mine saw it, and told me she wants one, not how much, just I want one. And the foliage looks real. Each time I take the four foot mixed noble wreath out at a customers house to show them, I have yet to meet one that wasn't amazed. the warranty for HBL is second to none; 3 years manufacturer, that is better than I got on my truck.

Now, when I was in Omaha, I also stopped at Brite Ideas the day I flew home and to make a long story short, when I was able to examine the product, I was convinced I had definitely made the right decision. Take the light links for example, they ratchet into place (the vertical portions) and will hang perfectly regardless of the pitch you are going up or down, the linkable not so much, they are in a fixed position. Brite ideas does have more character type figures such as a Santa playing gold that actually swings the club and the ball appears to move. HBL is coming out with products like this, but not to this extent yet.

Personnel wise, the gentleman I spoke with at Brite Ideas was friendly enough, but didn't seem to really know his product. I have spoken with Mike at HBL I couldn't tell you how many times, I have spoken with him at 930 at night my time. I put an order in that will ship this week, and when he reviewed it, a flag went up, he sent me an email with his thought, I contacted the customer and we upgraded the product. If I had ordered the piece she originally requested, in the end I would have looked like a fool. Mike caught it and saved my butt. Originally it was a 4.5' Noble Fir actually 2 of them, and after talking with him and contacting the customer, we will be installing 2 7' white pine, potted presentation. These are going at my regional AAA office, and the lady already told me she wants to expand on the lighting next year, she never knew a service like this existed.

Any how, I could go on and on. The best advise I have, read and re read this forum. Pay particular attention to Dave, TurfHokie and HotRod - not meaning to take away from the other experienced guys here. Take pride in what you are doing, use real product, not big box stores, and charge appropriately. You may be to late this year, but are in great shape to have info and your ducks in a row for next.

Good luck and welcome aboard.

Toy2
11-28-2009, 11:08 AM
The homes I do install pick the lights and buy them, yes Walmart brand, but they are told they get what they pay for, I just install.

I make notes of what they want and then add some touches of my own, extra lights, colored bulbs in the mailbox light, etc.....

Good luck to you, just watch your "a" on roofs and using ladders....:laugh:

David Gretzmier
11-29-2009, 01:05 AM
I would say it is a bit late to try and get into it deep this year, but I would consider hanging customer and wal-mart/home depot lights this year for a few homes to kind of get your feet wet. decorating two or three houses is excellent training for next year. learning ladders, roof crambling, volts/amps, clips, bulbs, cording, timers, etc, all will make next year much easier when you decide how you really want to do this.

get some yard signs made locally that say Christmas Lights installed and get paid to learn some key things this year.

good luck

Toy2
11-29-2009, 12:54 PM
I would say it is a bit late to try and get into it deep this year, but I would consider hanging customer and wal-mart/home depot lights this year for a few homes to kind of get your feet wet. decorating two or three houses is excellent training for next year. learning ladders, roof crambling, volts/amps, clips, bulbs, cording, timers, etc, all will make next year much easier when you decide how you really want to do this.

get some yard signs made locally that say Christmas Lights installed and get paid to learn some key things this year.

good luckGreat idea, plus some tips: use good ladders, I have an extension ladder, a 4'6' 8' step ladders, makes life easier......plus I got some cheap aprons from HD to hold my clips, knife, tape, wire ties....never fails your up on a roof and need something, saves time......plus great shoes with traction...........be safe...

Use a good tape to seal your connections, and don't overload one section or you will blow your lights....

David Gretzmier
11-29-2009, 10:50 PM
another item on roofs that serves the same purpose as an apron is available at the sporting goods department at Walmart-those bicicle fanny pack things with drink bottles for 10 bucks. they have two zippered compartments and we take out the bottles for 2 more compartments. the zippers really hold in your stuff while you scramble on roofs.

JConner
12-01-2009, 02:44 AM
This is really great to have so many people that are willing to help. I did think it was going to be to late to start full throttle this year but I do like the idea of just hanging cheap lights this year to help me understand things. I don't think i will be able to afford to drop 3500 on a membership next year either. There are 2 relatively big companies that are doing Christmas lights in the two counties I am servicing so I think it might be something worth trying out but I wanted to get some advise from the pros first thanks alot. If i can get anything this year I will post pics so I can get some critique. Thanks again

David Gretzmier
12-02-2009, 02:13 AM
I would see now if the two big companies offer what HBL does. ask a friend to get a bid from each of them now and look over thier bid forms and catalogs. the 3500 buck investment may allow you to look better, have a better looking bid presentation, and have a better product than the two competitors you currently have. and trust me, if you have the right population, you can with the right marketing make that 3500 back with a few good customers.

The Garland, links, wreaths, luninaries, catalogs, all from HBL truly seperate me from the c-9 guys. but I do hang alot of c-9s, just at a profitable price.

addictedtolandscaping
12-02-2009, 06:17 AM
Got a call for a 2 part strip mall. Wants to do LED. Hey Bryan I know you are the LED guy, what do you think. Can you give me an idea of where I should be up here with them. C-9 I am doing 1st year at 5.25, truly hadn't given much thought about the LED.

hotrod1965
12-02-2009, 12:33 PM
Well, I rent all my stuff, so my pricing structure is going to be different. I'm at $5-6, but it's every year.

Using LED is going to add about $1 to your costs. So maybe you would have to be $6.25 to $7 fist year? But you are also going to have less power requirement, and easiet time putting them up.... etc.

turf hokie
12-02-2009, 08:40 PM
Well, I rent all my stuff, so my pricing structure is going to be different. I'm at $5-6, but it's every year.

Using LED is going to add about $1 to your costs. So maybe you would have to be $6.25 to $7 fist year? But you are also going to have less power requirement, and easiet time putting them up.... etc.

Ditto, sorry not any more help on this one.

JConner
12-06-2009, 05:59 PM
Ok I just got my First Christmas light job. I am just hanging my customers lights. 130 feet of icecicles off of gutters,10 feet of lights on two little cypress trees and 20 feet around the front door. Put up and take down. I was wondering what do you guys think i should charge. Per foot or hour i think about 5-6 hours tops. thanks for any help. It would be nice if i can get some info tonight she wants to have it done by Wednesday and i would like to have it done tomorrow.

addictedtolandscaping
12-06-2009, 06:10 PM
I would go hourly, that way you are sure to get paid if it takes you longer. You may end up losing a little bit, but the Wal-Mart iciles are a real pita to rehang. I am in the middle of doing one right now. THe only reason I am doing it is they are changing over to light links next year. Be ready for some sincere annoyance, also do not try to repair those things, just get new ones if they don't work or you wll be there forever and a day. My experiences any how. Good luck.

onebreezer
12-06-2009, 07:45 PM
First of all on the HBL membership. You can go with the least expensive plan to get in if the mid priced plan is too much. You just won't get product. You can then order product as you sell it. That way when you sell it you get half the total job cost up front so the customer is paying all your product and labor costs up front.
As to c9 sales mark up about 3 and a half times the product costs? I just sold my first c9 job.

turf hokie
12-06-2009, 08:42 PM
As to c9 sales mark up about 3 and a half times the product costs? I just sold my first c9 job.

Based on my material costs you would be selling yourself short with the C-9's. That math would work with other pieces but not C-9's IMHO.

Are you doing incandescent or LED?

Toy2
12-06-2009, 09:07 PM
Ok I just got my First Christmas light job. I am just hanging my customers lights. 130 feet of icecicles off of gutters,10 feet of lights on two little cypress trees and 20 feet around the front door. Put up and take down. I was wondering what do you guys think i should charge. Per foot or hour i think about 5-6 hours tops. thanks for any help. It would be nice if i can get some info tonight she wants to have it done by Wednesday and i would like to have it done tomorrow.
$150.00 is what I would charge around here, I'm having an issue right now where one house continues to trip the GFI, I've been there 6 times since the install, I do my installs as if I was doing my own house....I'm think the cords they provided have some type of nick causing my issues........:confused:

onebreezer
12-06-2009, 09:28 PM
Using led mini on shrubs and incond c9 on house. I am just going to walmart for the c9 instead of hbl. I think hbl is our of c9's

JConner
12-07-2009, 12:00 AM
ok i went there to day to talk to her in a bit more of detail and i told her 2 bucks a foot for put up and take down and she oked it. She also had two of those deer so i told her i would just set those up as well. I figured while i was there i would go ahead and do some work so. i set up the 2 deer and put up 5 9 foot sets and wrapped the 2 trees took me about an hour and a half so now i got 10 sets left i figure that will take me about 2 more hours. I also put in a dusk to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,dawn timers in as well. I also don't know if it was worth the time but i stretched out cords for power on the roof because the box says to only connect 5 sets together so i think i got it easy tomorrow i will take a pic when I'm done.

newmanfan
12-09-2009, 08:21 PM
We too looked at getting into to Christmas Lighting the past couple of years. After much searching, and looking for a vendor to work with, we chose Holiday Bright Lights. Everything started out well, but we ran into some problems, with shipping, post cards, being charged for product that wouldn't ship, etc. Now I can't even get a call back from the owner, Scott.

jrodgers
12-09-2009, 09:10 PM
Ok I have a question. If you can string so many LED sets together, why do they only come in 100ct sets? Actually I hope I'm not asking a stupid question, because I have only looked online a little bite. I am looking to replace the lights at my house which consists of approx. 20,000 minis (maybe more). I am getting tired of the power consumption. Not so much the money (its only 5 weeks or so) but having to run so many cords and tripping breakers and so on.... I have them on (5) 20 amp circuits with three hard wired timers.

hotrod1965
12-10-2009, 10:30 AM
I only use the 70ct sets... Far easier to work with smaller sets than dealing with a huge 400ct set of lights.


Ok I have a question. If you can string so many LED sets together, why do they only come in 100ct sets? Actually I hope I'm not asking a stupid question, because I have only looked online a little bite. I am looking to replace the lights at my house which consists of approx. 20,000 minis (maybe more). I am getting tired of the power consumption. Not so much the money (its only 5 weeks or so) but having to run so many cords and tripping breakers and so on.... I have them on (5) 20 amp circuits with three hard wired timers.

cameronderzack
12-13-2009, 02:00 PM
I don't know if this was mentioned as a good tool and I know of this for fire fighting.

If you get a top extension part of an extension ladder they make roof hooks so you can be on a slope of a roof easily. You'll never have to move the ladder once on the roof on that side and I can do a whole decent sized peak in less then 8 minutes

mike995
07-12-2010, 02:49 AM
For you guys that install Christmas lights for a fee,what do you charge for something like that?Maybe that could be something I get into this year.

David Gretzmier
07-14-2010, 02:04 AM
mike, read through a few pages of threads here, you will not regret the Christmas light education.