astronomical news??

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    I'm still using the Nightscaping stainless steel aube-based timers, and it gets expensive.

    Anyone hear of any manu putting an astro in their trans yet?? Or something better than the intermattic with the watch batteries?? The batteries don't recharge and die too easy if power is cut off.
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I am done with timers.... Im a UPB guy now and loving it.

    Mike, you can always make your own timer set up using the standalone Aube Timer, a 2-Gang PVC weatherproof switch box, a 2 Gang Weatherproof-while-in-use cover (Intermatic), a decora or duplex receptacle, and a grounded pigtail.

    However, after you procure all those materials, and account for your time to assemble them, I would suspect that you will be coming pretty darned close to the cost of the unit you are using now... and it wont look nearly as impressive.

    Ultimately you need to stop worrying about the cost of the components (steak) and start selling the sizzle. A few bucks more for a good controller is not going to be the deal breaker on a sale.

    Today was a good day, 2 large systems contracted, both are new clients who have "heard good things". We are now fully booked out to 3rd week of September with 19 projects contracted. Sales are through the roof and the phone keeps on ringing! I am bringing on another installer next week. We have already outsold 2007 and Im not stopping for anything!

    When asked today to see some "samples" of the products that I was going to install I simply let the client know that I don't sell fixtures, I sell afterdark outdoor living environments and that I only use the best materials available. That was good enough for him. Amazing how people really don't want to know about all the techno-data, they just want things to work and look great.

    Have a great day!

    (anyone spare a fully trained installer? :) )
  3. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    UPB is fine and dandy if you are in a market with little to no competitors. In a market saturated with contractors, however, a lot of people will have more than one bid on hand for their project. For me, I'm usually a little more expensive than the rest as it is because of experience and design quality. Putting UPB in the mix without an alternative will just make our bids exceedingly higher than the others. Can you see yourself, as a homeowner, paying 8k for a lighting job when you have three other proposals for 5-6k?
    Of course, if you have the customer's ear long enough to explain the differences and issues then you might be able to win over some of them. But, as many have stated here, most customers don't care about the components (steak), they just want their home to sizzle at night. I think it is wise to have an alternative plan for those who don't want to pay the extra cost for the bells and whistles, and it would be nice if there were a reliable timer to accomplish this.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Ok Chris, I can see your point somewhat. Its not like I dont have competition here you know! There are many excellent lighting companies in the surrounding area that can and do install great lighting systems right next door to my clients.

    I guess my point is that you have to SELL the benefits of the control systems to your clients. Don't look at UPB and other such enhancements as something that makes your systems more expensive and less competitive, instead you should be SELLING the clients on it, and allowing your professional experience to shine through, offering a unique and remarkable product and service mix that your "competition" does not.

    Will this technique win 100% of the jobs every day? No of course not, there will always be those who are value oriented and that is just fine. However, if you want to position your business and service as the head of the pack, to be the leading innovator in the market, and gain that reputation, then you are going to have to offer the market something more, and something better then the rest of the pack.... And that is going to come at a higher price... and I am certain that the good people of Florida understand that as much as anyone.

    Give it some thought Chris.... including UPB controls is just one way in which you could continue to lead the pack in your market, providing you with a competitive edge over the others.

    The glass is half full!
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    Often times I offer the advanced control system as an upgrade and when I do I am sure to offer to incorperate and balance thier existing lights both inside and out into the system.

    Multi transformer jobs get a upb regardless. Its just built into my price.
  6. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    I offer it, and I use it when I can. I was simply stating that I too would like to have a quality, reliable digital astro timer that could be used in case the customer didn't want the upgrade.
    As far as the Floridians go, right now they all have their pocket books on lock down regardless of the price.
  7. worx

    worx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I'll second that Chris!!!! (pocket book lock down)

  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    i guess I have wishful thinking as well on a good timer. I use the intermatic digital with the larger aa batteries and they seem to last about 2 years. I use this in combo with the included photo cell or an external built photo-cell box, and it solves most of my problems. Set the digital to only work from 5:30 pm to 12:30 am and the system only works from dark to 12:30, no matter when dark is. If these folks have issues with photo-cells at 3 different transformers coming on at 35 minutes apart, then I use the sylvania below for a sunset On time set to dark to dusk, with a digital to shut it off at a certain time. sounds complicated, but actually easy in practice, and at 45 bucks for both total cost, not too bad per trans. Folks that want it on all night, just use the sylvania.

    Sylvania makes a digital timer,AA Batteries, that will determine sunset/ON time by your zip code, AND will set time by radio frequency in the air BUT then only will let you set a number of hours the system is then on after sunset. so setting it for 4 hours on after sunset is great in June, but then silly in December.
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    David can you post more info on this Sylvania timer? Maybe a picture and part number. Thanks.
  10. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

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