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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I gotta tell you, I am developing a love/hate relationship with my demo kit. the more I use it, the more jobs I get, which i am thrilled to say i have picked up 3 landscape light jobs in the past week, after doing 6 demo's. after a dead time of a month, I am happy to be doing at least part time lighting work again before the big christmas light work starts September 15.

my love hate thing goes like this- I love having 4 75 ft runs of multi-plug cord, 20 brass mr-16 uplights, 5 deck lights with clamps, 2 600 watt trans, and a few paths and a few extension cords. really everything you need for a decent medium home demo.

my hate thing is weight. I have maxed out 2 very large ice chests on wheels w/ collapsable handles ( like luggage) , and I keep the paths and deck lights in a seperate box. each ice chest easily weighs 65-75 lbs, and I am tired of loading and unloading these things in the back of my truck.

I know that firefly does awesome demo's, and probably easily doubles the weight of mine, but I am also curious about the rest of you guys- what do you bring and how do you lug it around? how much time do you give yourself to setup, bid and load back up a demo? I am taking about 35-45 minutes to setup, 15-20 to write out and bid, and 20-25 minutes to load up and go home. all by myself. some demo's take longer if the customer wants me to move around lights, but a single demo typically takes me from 7:30 pm leave house time to around 9:30-10:30 get back home time at this time of year. February is much easier as you can get there at 4:30 pm and be back home by 6:30 pm. let me know if my experience is normal, or what you guys are doing different.
 

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The entire bed of my truck is a giant demo kit. I keep 4 840 transformers in the little stanley boxes with wheels. I have about 25-30 assorted brass fixtures and 60 or so well lights in groups of 4. I have a couple extension cords and a couple path lights with 24" stems. I also have it on a pull out bed so I can pull the whole thing out and get to all the stuff.

The time you listed is about right. I usually use about 12-20 lights depending on the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dang james, you carry an entire notebook ? I just carry 2 sheets. I know you've reached celebrity status for lighting, so the demo is not for you. I'm there on Christmas lights, but it will take me a few years on landscape lights. until then, demo, demo, demo !
 

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I have the cast demo kit. It is heavy and PITA to setup. But I find myself just meeting the victim and they normally take my word. But once they call me they have seen my work, or they have been refered by a previous victim. I"m getting like James I just bring a notepad or whip out the Iphone. I'm a really KISS when giving a price.
 

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Ha, I don't even need two sheets of paper. I just show up on the doorstep and they fall at my feet! Ok...well maybe not yet, I still have to demo like a mad dog to generate interest. It is then easy to upsell. We have a funny market here and my company is new to the game so I have to "buy" my credibility with blood, sweat and tears. Hopefully someday people will start giving me referral business so that people will start trusting in my abilities without always questioning my prices. Ahhhh....a guy can dream can't he.
 

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I have left the demo for a week then go back and pick it up. That has worked good as well. I will also use my gut feeling IF I charge them or not. Now I know that will open a can of worms.
 

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I have the cast demo kit. It is heavy and PITA to setup. But I find myself just meeting the victim and they normally take my word. But once they call me they have seen my work, or they have been refered by a previous victim. I"m getting like James I just bring a notepad or whip out the Iphone. I'm a really KISS when giving a price.
Man, will you stop referring to your customers as victims? This is the second time I've seen you do this, and it really bothers me! Not only are you giving yourself a bad name, you are potentially discrediting all of us by possibly making readers believe we share in your discription of them. STOP IT!
 

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I agree with Chris, I really don't like the idea of calling a client a victim unless you really are making them victims by not giving them their monies worth and ripping them off in which case they would be victims. I'm sure you're just joking but this is a public forum and you don't know how a potential client might look at it, especially if they just got a proposal for $20k worth of lighting.
 

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I have to "buy" my credibility with blood, sweat and tears.
Amen! Takes me 2-3 hours to set up. I am now bringing some LED's on batteries for quick "let's see this illuminated, too."

I use 2 transformers and boxes of fixtures, and only 1 stanley roller. I need another roller.

I am now using the Firefly method: haul a bunch of stuff over thrown in boxes, use regular twist-on connectors, keep a spool of #12 handy, no short cuts.

I set up in daylight, return at night, with a fresh start.

Demo set-ups suck at 2-3 hours, especially in this ridiculous heat. I need to hire help, but I'm keeping expenses low.

I always make myself climb trees if applicable and hang a few by bungee cord, and do some pita stuff as if it's an install.
 

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Hey Mike what type of twist connectors do you use? The type of connectors that are on the cast use will not last. I have had issues with the hub that comes with the demo.

And yes Paul I am joking. But this is public forum if I choose to call them victims I will. What a homeowner reads here should have nothing to do with if you get a job or not. Remember you are selling your design and art.
 

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Thanks Mike. Ahhh....Misery loves company. My demo "kit", if you want to call it that consists of 2-600 watt transformers 2-300 watt transformers, about 35 mr 16 spots, 8 path lights, 25 par can or 'turd' lights as Eddie likes to call them, about 4 regular old t-3 floods and 6 underwater MR 16 spots. I keep a large storage container with me of various wattages and spreads of bulbs and a whole array of lenses. Not to mention also about 200 lbs or so of various 12-2 and 16/2 lengths of wire. It is not a fun proposition going to do a demo, but I do go prepared for just about anything.
 

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I gotta tell you, I am developing a love/hate relationship with my demo kit. the more I use it, the more jobs I get, which i am thrilled to say i have picked up 3 landscape light jobs in the past week, after doing 6 demo's. after a dead time of a month, I am happy to be doing at least part time lighting work again before the big christmas light work starts September 15.

my love hate thing goes like this- I love having 4 75 ft runs of multi-plug cord, 20 brass mr-16 uplights, 5 deck lights with clamps, 2 600 watt trans, and a few paths and a few extension cords. really everything you need for a decent medium home demo.

my hate thing is weight. I have maxed out 2 very large ice chests on wheels w/ collapsable handles ( like luggage) , and I keep the paths and deck lights in a seperate box. each ice chest easily weighs 65-75 lbs, and I am tired of loading and unloading these things in the back of my truck.

I know that firefly does awesome demo's, and probably easily doubles the weight of mine, but I am also curious about the rest of you guys- what do you bring and how do you lug it around? how much time do you give yourself to setup, bid and load back up a demo? I am taking about 35-45 minutes to setup, 15-20 to write out and bid, and 20-25 minutes to load up and go home. all by myself. some demo's take longer if the customer wants me to move around lights, but a single demo typically takes me from 7:30 pm leave house time to around 9:30-10:30 get back home time at this time of year. February is much easier as you can get there at 4:30 pm and be back home by 6:30 pm. let me know if my experience is normal, or what you guys are doing different.
when i do demos, it always takes me about 1 hr+ to set it up, cuz well im a designer and im never satisfied. But yeh one of my boxes (from unique) weighs in at over 100 pounds. bad times there. But hopefully before long i can stop using the demo kit as much. Thats when your known well.
 

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The twist-ons I use for demo's are regular non-direct-burial stuff. The red ones with the wings are best and cheap.

I bought the cool kwick clips like the ones Uneek uses in their demo kit (ignore my spelling, I have no working "cue" on my keypad). Only problem is that I keep cutting wire and making new connections, so I found it's easier to just cut-and-nut when hooking up demo's.

I laugh at my ultimate laziness--does anyone take the time to measure and tweak voltage at the lamp?? I just guestimate.

I'd like a system to gather/contain fixture wire that is easier than velcro straps.
 

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Thanks for the support Mike and Paul. I was beginning to feel all alone in this moronic discussion. If sleepyhead would check his PM we might be able to settle the dispute without reliving the Pete Scalia episode all over again.
 
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