Holiday Lights - My Rookie Year

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by MowHouston, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Hello guys, been following and reading back on this forum as far as christmas lights go. Thought about it last year but ended up doing firewood. Sold the F150 and trailer and got a Ranger so that is out of the question this year.

    Aaaanyhow. I'm going to give holiday lighting a go this year. My grandfather has a lot of knowledge in installing lights and the electrical side of it. Gonna go visit him this weekend and have him show me what I need to know.

    Dont have a lot of startup money so I'll be playing most of this by ear.

    I actually got ahead of myself and already got an estimate lined up for Sept 13th. I'll be ordering some sample lights from somewhere so I can use them on my estimates. (not sure yet who I will use as a supplier).

    This guy just wants the front and sides done with white lights. I think he wants icicle lights. Not sure about the measurements yet. I do know he has a two story house. He said to give him a call a few days in advance so he can give my name to security at the front gate so I can get in (that sounds like good news).

    I havent figured out exactly how I am going to price it. I was thinking around $4.00/ft, and perhaps more for steep eaves. Feel free to chime in on your opinions, throw me some advice-bones and such.

    I hope to be prepared enough for this estimate and hopefully land it, and others for the season.

  2. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Holiday lite source is in Texas, I would set up an account with them. You will get product way faster that way!

    Messages: 1,851

    im interested in this as well. I have been debating doing it this season to keep the $ coming in
  4. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Same here but I'm not the one to sit around and just wait for it to happen. I'll take advice from folks that do it, learn some stuff and jump in it. I'll make some mistakes here and there but I'll make it through. Hopefully I'll do well. :D
  5. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Great, thanks a lot for the info. Any idea where in Texas? Do they have a website? I'll google it but just in case....
    Lubbock, Tx... answered my own question hehe.
  6. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    It's good to have a supplier close to you. It's also good to know of other suppliers that have what you need too.
  7. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Yeah I've been looking at tons of sites. I still really dont know what I'm doing so I dont know about -everything- that I need to be looking for.

    I do know I am going to order in some cord and bulbs both incandescent and LED so the customer can compare and choose what they want hands on.

    From there I just need to learn the electrical limits and see about clips, difference in wire gauge, extension cords, and tricks of the trade... I like stuff like this. My girlfriend isnt happy about this choice though :D
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I would steer him away from icicle lights unless they are from HBL, Brite Ideas, or the ones mounted on steel frames from Bethlehem/GKI. Those all look straight and are repairable. All the icicle lights you buy without steel frames are not repairable with a light testing unit. most are 150 and 200 light sets, and finding a loose bulb or failed shunt will drive you crazy. I'd consider selling him bulk C-9's, In addition to the cord being a 15 year life, they are easy to repair and making them straight is easy with the all-in-one clips from Litesource. I'm not sure what your market will bear, for sold, installed, taken down and stored in I am at 6.50 per foot for c-9's the first year, and the rehang price for next year and following is 3.25 per foot.
  9. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Yeah he said he has his own icicle lights that he hung last year but he said he is open to other possibilities. I've been trying to find a way to steer him away from them but I'm unsure as to how to do it yet. I'm hoping he will like the sample lights and perhaps I will bring some pictures of some clear c9's installed to give him an idea. I wish I could afford that landscape pro software :D it seems like it would help.

    Anyhow, thanks for the tips on the icicle lights. No way I'm gonna kill time troubleshooting those lights. Nasty.

    Are you storing your customer's lights in your own storage even though they bought them from you? Do you find that this is a better way to do it rather than "renting" them out? I havent totally figured out how I'm going to do that aspect either.
  10. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    I've got another question... I need to get some samples shipped to me pretty quickly.

    I'm not sure that I want to buy a 1000ft spool of c9 right away unless i know that this is going to work out. Would it be feasible to just order a 25ft strand and show off some multis and clear lights as well as the difference in incandescent and led c9s... Should I even waste my time showing the difference in incandescent and LED c9s?

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