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Resources for learning

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by desertlights, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. desertlights

    desertlights LawnSite Member
    from NV
    Messages: 14

    I owned a small landscape co. in Indiana for 10 yrs. and now find myself in Nevada. Instead of starting a full service landscape business I hope to focus on landscape and architectural lighting exclusively. I am looking for suggestions on best resources to learn the business. I have registered for a "Lighting Fundamentals" class sponsored by Vista and have contacted AOLP re: the annual conference in Jan. I have ordered Janet Moyers book on lighting.

    I am also interested in basic business set up. Is it possible to operate as a "one man show'. If not, appropriate # of installers per job to install lights efficiently? Product recommendations? Anything unique about installing lights in a desert environment?

    I have enjoyed reading through this forum for the last week or so and appreciate any advice you can offer.
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Well no desert experience to offer you... but as for being a One Man Show, yes that is possible and I would even recommend it at first.

    I built my business this way, operating alone for a number of years. The clients really like hiring a 'hands on' contractor, and the pride in craftsmanship thing is really welcomed. Let the business develop and grow before you go and get locked into a lot of responsibility and overhead (employees.)

  3. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Messages: 276

    I do all of my installations personally and this works fine right now. I have the benefit of a brother who has some landscaping employees, so if I get in a big pinch I just use them.

    Another great resource is the book Nate Mullen of Unique Lighting wrote. Probably one of the best I've read so far because it gives good tips on sales and marketing specific to lighting, along with some good tips on design as well (although, I'm not a huge fan of well lights, and he is).

    Moyer's book is really good, and I always make sure to talk to customers about some of the design concepts she talks about (how the eye works in regards to light, etc.)

    Another thing I will recommend is offering a regular maintenance program... I didn't do this early on, and wish I had pushed it more then because it has become a great source of revenue that smooths things out in between large jobs...it also helps you up sell customers down the road and keeps your name in front of them for good top of mind awareness.

    Good luck! :drinkup:
  4. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Unique has completely sold out on Nates book The Landscape Lighting Resoure Manual. That means there is now over 10K copies of his book in circulation!!! We are re ordering more and will also be offering a E Book version soon!

    Contact me if you ever need any help launching your business DesertLights
  5. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Messages: 276

    thanks again joey for getting me one of those books.... i brushed up on some of the content which really helped me sell this 102 light job i got, of which i'm using 32 unique illuminator 6's and 4 unique transformers :drinkup:

    thats the other advice for you dessert, make sure you choose quality products, because slacking on this will eat you up... early on i used a lot of kichler rubber boot wells, and these things fill with water and burn out your bulbs REAL fast... i burned up hundreds of dollars on bulb replacements due to this.

    so far, i've not had a single bulb burn out on any unique product i've installed, and their stuff is truly top-notch...when i get to install these i'm one happy dude cause i know i'm gonna be issue-free.
  6. NiteTymeIlluminations

    NiteTymeIlluminations LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    I dont know if you have experience selling to people like architects and LAs but this has always been a part of the business not pursued enough. They get high end clients who love have things designed properly and the use of architectural grade material. Hevilite, Lumascape, Teka, BK, etc...if you can sell residentially the lines aforementioned and use these lines, which most people havent heard of, to the LAs or architects and their clients you'll do well. Dont just stick to the kichler's and uniques... I found that I have had my blinders on for 20 years now and I'm glad I now have international experience and international reps calling on me. There is the coolest stuff out there...dont be afraid to try it all...call factories and ask if they have local reps...partner up with the reps they may be able to help you out as well...and find a few good distributors but always try to work with the factory first if they will as they can contact the distributor or rep for you and help them help you...good luck!
  7. desertlights

    desertlights LawnSite Member
    from NV
    Messages: 14

    Thanks for all the responses. Has anybody attended the Janet Moyers 'Landscape Lighting Institute' in NY?
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    That is so awesome!!! Congrats and thanks for being such a supportive customer!! We truly appreciate your business and your efforts!!!!!!
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Tom Williams on here can tell you all about it. I have heard it is the best non manufacturer based hands on class offered in relation to Low Voltage Lighting. I would highly consider attending if you can do so.
  10. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    It is all booked up till next year.

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