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Bean5912
10-14-2012, 10:32 PM
i know there are a million threads on here. i am a newb in the area of christmas lights , i am getting a lot of inquries about it. just like everyone else and anything else, we all start without the proper knowledge of how to do something. i learn very quickly and am looking for help from some other companies experienced in this in proper steps on how to properly provide this service. where to buy, how to price, how to repair and "cut and splice line and plugs". basically i know NOTHING, and am looking for links for those who have seen it all. i appreciate any help you can give. i tried to look up HBL but cant find the right link on the net to read up on the company. thanks guys

addictedtolandscaping
10-15-2012, 05:51 AM
The best thing you can do is take the time to read adn re read the topics in this thread. Some of the best possible answers to many different topics are contained here in.

As for HBL, you won't find them as HBL is no more. they reorganized the end of last year and are now Holidynamics.

Give a call out there and talk with Mike Marlow, he will aim you onto the right path.

Bean5912
10-15-2012, 07:05 AM
The best thing you can do is take the time to read adn re read the topics in this thread. Some of the best possible answers to many different topics are contained here in.

As for HBL, you won't find them as HBL is no more. they reorganized the end of last year and are now Holidynamics.

Give a call out there and talk with Mike Marlow, he will aim you onto the right path.

I know the forum is loaded , but when i search Christmas lights, there's over 30 pages and some thread titles don't even appear to be related. That's why I was just asking if there was one specific thread(s) that I can be pointed to. I want to do this all the right way , I already knew I have to add the extra insurance, now I'm looking into how to actually price the job in my market and custom make light strings etc.
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hotrod1965
10-15-2012, 07:06 PM
well, I would start by searching for more specific things. If there are certain answers you are looking for, just search for that.

TexasFire221
10-15-2012, 07:09 PM
I know the forum is loaded , but when i search Christmas lights, there's over 30 pages and some thread titles don't even appear to be related. That's why I was just asking if there was one specific thread(s) that I can be pointed to. I want to do this all the right way , I already knew I have to add the extra insurance, now I'm looking into how to actually price the job in my market and custom make light strings etc.
Posted via Mobile Device

Once you have the minimum required posts send me a private message and I will try and help you out any way I can. We were all in your shoes and know how it feels. If you private message me ill give you my number and we can chat.

Bean5912
10-15-2012, 07:19 PM
haha whats the required minimum posts? yes.. everyone was in my shoes at some point..we all have to start somewhere and ive always searched this site for answers and see you all are a great bunch of people and this site is a wealth of information. just trying to find it is the fun part =/ lol

addictedtolandscaping
10-15-2012, 07:23 PM
Pricing is gonna depend on your costs, not your market. The last thing you want to do is put a project together or several for that matter, only to find out in the end you didn't make any money, or even worse, you paid for part of it.

When you are searching, look specifically for anything wit Dave G or turfhokie attached to it, they share alot of information, and are the seasoned vets so to speak.

The learning curve is not as bad as you think. Some decisions you have to make from the get go though, are you gonna do specialized products such as Light Links, or stick with the c-9 and c-7 bracket. Personally, I love the light link design, but have never had any real success with them due to cost. you will see alot o reference to Mixed Noble, that is the Holidynamics line, it is just awesome stuff. Speaking of which, any luck with getting in touch with Mike??

Back to pricing, don't be afraid to walk away from a project that you aren't sure you will make money or at minimum cover your costs. I get alot of calls where people expect us to do a job for $250.-- Not gonna happen.

Bean5912
10-15-2012, 07:41 PM
as for the pricing... i know what my per man hour rate is with no equipment involved other then hand tools. which is also the going rate in my area.. what should one expect to make to not lose there ass? i googled christmas lights and found one local guy is advertising starter packages for 250.. i dont want to rape the customer and i dont want to take it in the arse... do you price a lighting job higher then a landscape install or sod job? am i making sense or no?

Bean5912
10-15-2012, 07:43 PM
as far as the lights, im not sure.. whichever is the easiest.. im testing the waters right now to see the demand in my area. I dont want to invest money all at once. i like to start small and upgrade and add as business demands it. i do utilize service magic and have had great success and great jobs in the 3 years ive had them.. i did notice they have a lead for christmas light installation.... i just am looking to get a little extra and informed in this market this year and hit it harder next. i dont have the time or finances to travel to omaha as i have a 5 month old...

Bean5912
10-15-2012, 07:45 PM
and i know that the money all depends on what the customer wants.. its like starting out landscaping.. your not sure what you should charge for mulch, or sod, or trimming.. i dont know what to charge a man hour to put stuff up... and take it down.. or replace if theres a problem.

TexasFire221
10-15-2012, 07:47 PM
If I were you first year I would stick with C-9's and some wreaths and garland. There are a few places here in Texas to buy bulk wire and bulbs from. That will limit your investment the first year and get your feet wet.

addictedtolandscaping
10-15-2012, 07:49 PM
They are an easy fix with c-7 and c-9, incandescant mini, but LED mini thats a whole nother world. Just starting out, I would stay with c-7 and c-9, easy up, easy down, looks nice, great variety.

As for traveling to Omaha, I think they are done with the classes for the year, I went, truthfully tons of information. It is far from cheap to fly out from here I understand that all to well.

I have gotten to the point, I don;t even bring the Light LInks up, unless they really exeplify that they want something dfferent than anyone else, just to much $ for the people I have dealt with so far as a whole. I am playing with the rental idea this year, so that will create another option.

TexasFire221
10-15-2012, 07:52 PM
and i know that the money all depends on what the customer wants.. its like starting out landscaping.. your not sure what you should charge for mulch, or sod, or trimming.. i dont know what to charge a man hour to put stuff up... and take it down.. or replace if theres a problem.

In C's you need to come up with a "per foot" price. Which includes product, timer, installation, take down, storage and probably a small amount for a built in service call if needed. This price will vary depending if you push incandescent or LED. With LED your price will be higher but your service calls will most likely be less and you runs will be longer.

hotrod1965
10-15-2012, 10:57 PM
I guess if I were just starting out, I wouldn't worry about having inventory on hand, just some demo lights. You can get product in 2-3 days.

But, if you are worried, my starter package would be:

-A few hundred warm white LED C9's
-A 1000' spool of spt-1 C9 wire with 12" spacing
- plugs for spt-1 wire
-Roof clips
-a couple cases of warm white 5mm 70L strands

This will be a simple start for you that most customers are going to want anyway. Start simple and build off of that, or you will end up pulling in too many directions. Stick with C9's for roof lines so everything is standardized in your shop. Same for 5mm style lights.


Being that you are new, I would build around using LED"s. We are just a few years away from not having incandescent bulbs, so you don't want to get stuck trying to service lights you can't get anymore. Plus you'll have less failures, less extension cords, less power requirements. All which will save you time and money.

David Gretzmier
10-16-2012, 08:47 PM
I have directed so many new folks to read the old threads, but I know it is a bit intimidating. there are 600 plus pages of threads, with probably 10-20 posts in each thread. so I can understand it is a bit overwhelming. but you need to dedicate 2 hours a night of reading each thread going back in time for the next 2 weeks. all the answers you will seek are about 24 hours of reading away.

I always try to encourage folks to get a list similar to hotrods and do the front of thier home and a friend or family member. clear c-9's, run the cords, timers, learn to put all the clips on the same side, etc.

It is way cheaper to buy a case of incan c-9s at a 1000 bulbs than a case of 500 led's, so maybe start there. 1000 ft spool of 12" spacing

I would get a 6 foot or m26 little giant ladder on ebay, that will do 80-90% of everything you need to do, and maybe a 32' or 40' extension ladder when you sell a job that needs it.

Bean5912
11-14-2012, 08:19 PM
finally had a chance to breathe with all the cleanups, ive had a bunch of calls on the lights already. one customer specifically wants the blue lights, and i am pushing the LED's as mentioned earlier. is it a no brainer to cut your own lines and splice on the plug ends? i just signed on with holidynamics and am pretty stoked about getting up and running and at least do a couple jobs this season to get my feet wet. im finding alot of people had a guy do roof lines on colonials including all peeks for a couple hundred dollars and dont like my pricing. i think its just everything.. everyone wants that 10 dollar an hr college kid. i saw someone on craigslist advertising fall cleanups for 25 an hr....:confused: