Christmas lights

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by JConner, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. JConner

    JConner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 174

    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
     
  2. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  3. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,924

    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:
     
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    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
     
  5. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,924

    Great 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....
     
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    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.
     
  7. JConner

    JConner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 174

    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
     
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    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.
     
  9. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    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.
     
  10. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    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.
     

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