By Jon Stovall
On September 26, 2013
Name: Jon Stovall
Company: Energy Squad
As we learned at InfoComm 2013, control system
installations represent a significant source of revenue
for professional integrators, perhaps even more so than
ever before. One of the mainstays of commercial control
applications is lighting control. Integrators have access
to countless lighting control solutions—each with its own
unique application, end-user benefit, and opportunity for
profits—but they end up leaving money on the table by not
incorporating LED lighting into their portfolios.
Integrators have traditionally looked at bulbs and other
lighting as byproducts that aren’t worth the time to actively “sell”.
Part of that mindset is due to the fact that specifying, sourcing, and
installing incandescent and CFL bulbs never could stand alone as a
profitable revenue stream.
LED lighting eliminates those concerns and introduces a complete
shift in the custom installation industry’s approach to lighting control.
Rapid advancements in LED lighting technology have produced bulbs
that work with virtually all control systems—perhaps even better than
traditional bulbs—in addition to offering an integrator’s customers
energy and cost savings. The benefits built into LED bulbs carry a
higher price point, and their ease of installation offers a completely new
product category, which integrators can capitalize upon for impressive
So how can integrators add LED lighting into their sales mix? Let’s
think of a few key points:
Hey, What if I Told You...
If an integrator already has their foot in the door, mentioning the
benefits of LED lighting to customers is a natural segue. Obviously they
don’t need LED bulbs, but a short conversation about how upgrading
to LED bulbs in a residence
or commercial property could
reduce energy consumption
by as much as 80 percent will
almost always spark more
conversation on the subject.
Add in that the customer
will save time and money
on maintenance costs—the
average LED lifespan is
equivalent to approximately
20 incandescent bulbs. If
that doesn’t sell it, explain
how local utility companies
offer rebates and incentives
for “going green” and they
could end up paying next to
nothing for the bulbs, and
occasionally the system. Now you’ll have an LED lighting sale in the
All Bulbs Aren’t Created Equal
As technology evolves, product options expand. LED bulbs come in all
shapes, colors, and sizes, but, as is the case with most products, you
get what you pay for.
“Off-the-shelf” LED bulbs may lead to disappointment. They look
nothing like a traditional bulb and they also range in quality of color
and light output, leading to unhappy clients every time. Additionally,
many off-the-shelf bulbs will not work properly with control systems
because they lack true dimming capabilities.
In order to maximize the opportunities of LED lighting, it’s critical
that integrators properly specify and source the best possible bulbs for
each specific application.
It Takes One Integrator to Screw in a Light Bulb
By nature, the custom installation industry has always had a challenge
with pulling off the great demo. An integrator can’t walk into a client’s
business, rip out all of the speakers, and install a new multi-zone audio
system just to illustrate how it works in the hopes of a potential sale.
With LED lighting, integrators can literally screw in a light bulb and
show any customer how great it looks. It’s easy to point out how easily
they are immediately cutting energy consumption (read: saving money).
If the customer doesn’t like it, simply unscrew it and replace it with the
Keeping a great demo kit of LED lighting solutions is not only cost-effective
and easy to use for integrators, but we’ve found that it’s
almost always a deal-closer.
Jon Stovall is the co-founder of Energy Squad (www.energysquad.com), the custom
electronics industry’s first green tech distributor.