Hospitality Lighting Opportunities

by Matt D. Scott

You know me, I'm a high lighting control evangelist. I'm the guy who talks lighting control with everyone I meet. Because of this, dealers ask me all the time about ways in which I make money in this market, but what they are really asking is "How can I make money in this market?"

Well, if you've read my previous post "biz of lighting control", you should already have some ideas. I trust you have implemented some of those concepts. They're gold! I should have charged y’all for it! But I didn't, and guess what... I got another gold mine for you!

The hotel industry is a gigantic market all over North America. If you drive down any interstate, you can't miss the cluster of hotels around every little whistle-stop town and every big city. Hotels are everywhere. And guess what... Not all those hotels are brand new. A vast majority of these hotels are older buildings that are being updated all the time. In addition to all the new paint, wallpaper, and the new carpet, guess what else is new? The lighting! Yup, all kinds of new lighting is being installed in hotels all across the globe.

So what does this mean, you ask? Well, take for example the hotel I in which I recently ran an event. It is a hotel that has been around as long as I can remember and has had a few different renovations over the years. One of the past renovations included replacing all the incandescent bulbs in every pot-light (or high-hat if you’re American) in the hotel’s ballrooms with energy-efficient CFL bulbs. I love it! Well, kinda, but more on that in a minute. It’s great. Having replaced incandescents with CFL, the hotel should see considerable energy savings by switching.

Now, I’m not a big fan of CFLs and can’t stand the way they look and the light they cast. I’d much rather see some LEDs installed and specified, but in this example we’re talking about CFLs.

Herein lies our opportunity! When they switched to CFLs, it was probably the idea of someone in the front office who thought “Hey, we switch the bulbs, we save energy, we save money!” Good point, but what the CFL Switcher didn’t know is that all the dimmers that control the lighting in every ballroom aren’t capable of dimming CFL bulbs. What this means in practice is that you can’t really use the existing dimmers to control CFLs. Sure, you can turn them on and you can turn them off... but you can’t really dim them. You can slide that dimmer up and down but the light level doesn’t really change, the CFL bulbs just buzz a little louder the more you ‘dim’ them.

This is where we come in! Can we solve this problem? You know it! There are dimmers that are specifically designed to operate CFLs and give the hotel a level of control for their ballrooms that they currently don’t have. We have an opportunity here to connect with hotels like this in our cities and do what we do best! Provide lighting control solutions that solve our customers’ problems. So what’s the plan of attack:

1. Connect with hotel management about lighting upgrades that have been done or need to be done. Many hotels have done lighting upgrades and many hotels need to have lighting upgrades done. This is a large market segment that not only needs our services, but has a definite need of our lighting control abilities to be specific.

2. Teach hotel management about the differences between bulb types and their respective dimming technologies. Fully explain the options available to them and how they differ, from the most basic dimmers to full-on dimmer control modules. Most hotel ballrooms would benefit greatly from well-designed lighting scenes that users could operate with ease!

3. Provide the hotel management with a proposal that not only outlines the products that you will be providing and installing but also the lighting control scene that will be available to hotel staff and ballroom users.

4. Close the deal and install the perfect lighting control solution for the hotel. Watch as the hotel staff is able to properly prepare for any event, and ensure proper lighting levels are achieved every time!

This is an industry that will never go away and if you are able to provide a great service to the property, you will be able to build a great relationship with the property that can reap great benefits down the road. All because they wanted to save some energy and installed some CFLs... and all you have to do is help them dim those CFLs properly.

May your future be bright and your lights dim!


Matt D. Scott is the president and founder of OMEGA Audio Video, in London, Ontario. Matt had his first encounter with Pro-Audio at age 6 when a PA loudspeaker fell, cracking his head, and leaving a scar to this day. After mopping up the blood, Matt started his AV career and has been working in Pro AV, Commercial AV, and Residential AV ever since. Matt loves the industry and all things tech! A self-professed TechHead, Matt shares his opinions on social media, local radio, on omegaaudiovideo.com, on mattdscott.com, and through various publications.