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MY demo kit weighs...

7376 Views 66 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Mike M
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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I get the feeling Sleepyhead enjoys the freedom of expression he is able to exercise behind a mask of anonymity.
The best demo kit IMO is the one that Vista sells. Heavy duty rolling case. Portable transformer on a stand. Six uplights.

I picked up extra trailer connections at my local NAPA store and made up addiitonal pathlights and downlight demo samples.

My thought is, as far as the uplights go, it doesn't matter whose fixtures I use if I mainly want to demonstrate what the various lamps can do..

As far as the other fixtures I use , it's a mix of NS, FX, Vista and a handful of others.
My evenings are more valuable to me for other things than doing large scale demos. I don't use them to show the customer what the total finished job is going to look like.

If the customer doesn't "get it" with a handful of fixtures placed appropriately, then I'm not selling myself well enough.

I'll usually give them a couple choices when it comes to pathlight styles and effects... and I like to try out different wattages and beam spreads of uplights to get a feel in a particular situation.

I know that a white birch is going to reflect a lot more light than a redwood, or bricks will "soak up" more than a light colored stucco... But sometimes you run into a client that thinks that silhouetting the shrubs around the foundation, or uplighting lapped siding looks too "spooky"...

Sometimes it's an opportunity to weigh their expectations against what I can achieve or mine against what they can (or say they can) afford... better to know these things early on.

Did I count on the streetlight (that I didn't see in the daytime) filtering though the trees on the sideyard? How much do the neighbors' security lights hit the driveway from one side?

Often doing a demo reveals these and other factors that cause me to change the design I sketched out on a quick daytime visit.
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My Vista kit cost me less than half that Joey....

And I have a Stanley box and a Gatemouth bag for others...

I haven't seen your connectors Joey, but I used to use Radio Shack's solderless banana plugs, and they worked OK, but once I discovered these two pole trailer plugs I can't think of anything simpler or more reliable.
Just came across this Stanley box while looking for other Stanley products on the HD website for $80.

FatMax Mobile Work Station
Model 20800R

This workstation is 4 storage solutions in one. It includes a toolbox, part bins, portable tray and an oversized lower bin for larger items.

The patented tier cantilever multi-level rolling system allows for easy access to all 4 storage areas at the same time.

The workstation is made out of durable structural foam construction and has a telescopic handle for easy maneuvering.

Large, heavy duty rubber-coated 7" wheels for maximum stability
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demo kit envy :drinkup:

irrig8r I can see you side for not spending your evenings making as much money as someone say like uh... the lighting geek. of course I've been wrong before.
I'll raise my glass in honor of Tommy's artistic, technical and revenue producing abilities....:drinkup:

However, there are two distinct sides to my business.... And I'm sure glad I don't need to go out and do nighttime demos for sprinkler repair, troubleshooting and upgrade work.... :laugh:
I thought you meant a different Stanley box Mike. I hadn't seen this kind before.
Got a private message asking about the 2 pole trailer connector , so I thought I'd answer it where anyone interested could see...

It's Napa part #755-1598. They call it a " 2-flat electrical connector loop -12"... "

Cut it in half and you have two 6" M x F ends that you can attach to your fixture leads or lengths of cable (I used NS quarter ace connectors).

They're a perfect fit with the Vista demo kit connectors.
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