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Article by Bernie Granier

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by starry night, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872


    So I remember seeing this thread a week or two ago here in this forum. But then I got caught up with something else and forgot all about it.

    Fast forward to this morning. I was taking a break from the rain and going through my landscape trade magazines. I picked up Lawn & Landscape and started reading threw it. Then all of a sudden I was reading your article! I was like, "Whoa! I know this guy! I've got pictures with this guy! This must be that article I read about on Lawnsite!"

    Very cool, Bernie! Quite a nice feature article!

    A lot of what you said in the article is what we talked about a little last time we met for dinner there in Phoenix. I don't disagree with any of it. But I'm not sure the way you run or envision your lighting company is exactly always the best or only way to do it. The vast majority of the lighting we do comes from all of the landscape construction jobs we do. They go hand and hand. We're not a 'bulk lighting installer' as you describe it. But we're also not quite the custom high end lighting designer that you describe in the article. And yet it's been a very successful business for us. One that is growing more than almost any other service we provide.

    The other thing is that we have a few limiting factors here. One, there aren't many properties in the area I live in that are anywhere near as nice as the ones in your photos. The majority of people we work for just don't have homes that would justify quite that nice of a lighting system. Two, outdoor living isn't nearly as big here as it is in warmer states, since you can't even do anything in your yard for 7 or 8 months of every year. So lighting isn't quite as big of a deal here as it obviously is in warmer states. Evidenced by the fact that whenever I travel to Palm Springs, San Diego, or Phoenix I always notice that lighting is WAY more prominent in residential neighborhoods there than it is here.

    Not to say that it's not possible for me to create a whole second company, like you have, and market that company as a high end lighting designer, etc. It's just to say that I don't want to mess with all that. We're pretty happy just installing lighting along with our landscapes and it's been a profitable part of the business. So I'm happy with the way we do it.

    Anyway, great article and great points throughout. I think we lay somewhere in between bulk lighting designer and what you describe.

    Any chance I'll be seeing you in Costa Rica in Jan-Feb. next year? Maybe we can discuss this all more over a Margarita! :)
  2. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    Thanks, Jim.

    Honestly, I doubt I'll sell enough new work to qualify for the trip next year. Being that I don't need to sell any lighting to keep the lights on, I've been really bad (or good, depending on who you are) about cherry picking only the jobs I want. That means I'm only doing 4 - 6 jobs a year but they're jobs I thoroughly enjoy.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Nice. Well, that's a good position to be in. I'm not 100% sure we'll be going. But I'm hoping so. I don't even know what our Kichler points look like right now. My rep. is looking into it for me. I'm thinking that based on last year's sales plus this year's sales we may have enough. I'll know more in the next day or two. Then, if we're anywhere close, I'm going to sign up for it. I love trips to sunny places in the winter. Even if I have to pitch in for part of it, we'll likely go. I can't stand being in Oregon most of the time. But the winter times are especially depressing here. So these little getaways that our suppliers and manufacturers take us on are something I always love. Just got back from an amazing Caribbean cruise with Rain Bird a month ago. We had enough points that we even got to take our 3 kids and my father in law. That was such a nice break. But I always come back wanting more!

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