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Why You Should Use a Landscape Lighting Demo Kit

Outdoor lighting opens a different revenue stream and can be an easy way to upsell. Read more on the benefits of conducting outdoor lighting demos with SiteOne.

July 1, 2022

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Adding Heads to an Existing Irrigation Line

Outdoor lighting demos allow you to show architects, builders, and homeowners what outdoor lighting will look like on a property. With lighting, you can’t count on imagination- seeing is believing. This is different from the technical sale, where things are “essential” for programs to run, like sprinkler heads in irrigation. Lighting is visual and emotional; you are trying to change how someone sees their space. Demo kits will help you convey those emotions through the landscape and convert to sales.

 You can set up a demo for any outdoor space- the façade of a house or outdoor living area, or lighting for security purposes. According to the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing Services report, crimes are 21% less likely to occur near a well-lit home versus a dark one.

 The more knowledge you have on lighting, the more confident you will feel selling it, which will lead to more sales. Clients will view you as an expert. FX Luminaire, a leader in outdoor lighting, states that there is up to an 80% sale closure rate when conducting a nighttime demo. An outdoor lighting project averages $2,000- $4,500 or more in revenue. Additionally, the #2 outdoor feature homeowners want is new outdoor lighting, and 1 in 4 homeowners plan to add outdoor lighting in the next year. Capitalize on this trend and begin your lighting journey.

How to Get the Job

Begin while working on your current jobs. Engage with the homeowner and ask questions like:

      •    The design of your architecture is beautiful. Would you like to highlight it?
      •    What parts of the home do you enjoy most? 
      •    Where and how do you spend time outside?
          What is the most important feature of your property?

If possible, be sure to ask all stakeholders these questions as their priorities may be different and you’ll want to meet all needs and preferences when surveying the property. Use specific lighting language to establish yourself as an expert. Starting the conversation is the only way to begin. During your conversation, add comments on other aspects of the property, like how beautiful a tree is and how great it would look illuminated at night.

 While you can’t lay out landscape features like trees and ask customers for feedback, you can with landscape lighting, making it an extremely customizable opportunity for them and a great chance to upsell for you. Demos can also help you identify gaps before putting a lighting plan into place, which keeps you from having to add any fixtures (and subsequent costs) after the closing and reveal.

Things to Note

Be proactive–don’t lose the job to someone else because you didn’t start the conversation. Lighting demos can take a few hours to set up properly. The extra time spent on a lighting demo can seem tedious after a long day of work, especially since demos should happen around dusk, but they are a huge upsell opportunity. This is especially true in the winter months when business is quieter.

Make sure your demo kit has diverse fixtures for all needs before heading to the job. You shouldn’t need to set up the full house with a demo, especially if you are limited on time- you can focus on a section of the house. Comparing one side lit and the other without the demo lighting is a good strategy. 
No two homes are the same and neither are the lighting jobs, which allows for experimenting. Play with different levels of light as well as colors. Customize the experience, especially for customers on the fence. Color changing lights and outdoor sound systems make great add-ons.

It’s good practice to add two or three extra fixtures in quantity to each quote so you can have some flexibility. You can easily recover the cost, and it’s easy to miss a spot that could use a fixture during the job. It’s better to lose on the labor cost to make customers happy and potentially give referrals, especially when starting out. 

Things to have on hand for a safe and efficient demo:
     •    Extension cord in case power source is far away
     •    Hard-shell tool case to protect demo kit materials
     •    Controller with timer options for all-in-one lighting control
     •    Pre-cut lengths of wire for efficient set up and break down
     •    Throw rug to cover wiring in high traffic areas for safety

Reuse the plastic bags the fixtures come in to protect the fixtures over time.

Set Up and Demo

The first step in a demo is to find power and get things set up. Space your fixtures out based on your best design. Run wires and make connections at each fixture. Pre-adjust lights for optimum performance.

Demo times vary. They could be 15-20 minutes to do or an hour; this depends on the property. Set up during daylight, then adjust the fixtures at dusk to ensure they are facing the ideal locations and the effect is as desired. Turn off all lights and have the homeowners come out to the yard. Then, turn the lights on as they are watching for maximum effect. Walk the property after the big reveal and discuss the ambiance with clients–¬invite their opinions, as they may not agree with you. Do your best selling at sunset–the colors will make the home look inviting, and you can discuss changing the warmth and color of the lights as needed.

Make sure you leave the demo with the customers for at least two to three days, ideally over the weekend. At maximum, leave it with the customers a week. You’ll need to disassemble the demo when finished, so the customer feels like it is missing. Note that demo kit fixtures can be left in rain, but you should take precautions to secure your hard-shell tool case with any other fixtures not used out of the rain for longevity. 

Lighting Selling Points
Lighting helps customers extend their outdoor living space, while highlighting landscaping and décor. It’s also highly customizable, with many options for different shapes, sizes, and colors. You can make bold statements on sculptures or add soft mood lighting. 

Lighting also increases property value, as it adds dimension to the home and highlights its best features. The National Association of Home Builders states 90% of potential home buyers rated outdoor lighting as desirable or essential. It enhances curb appeal and improves safety, making it a win-win. 

Available at SiteOne
Get pre-assembled demo kits from your local branch. Additional fixtures can be added to your demo kits as your projects increase in scale and complexity. Demos are a simple way to start or enhance your lighting offerings. See what's included with a standard kit here. For more educational resources, visit  

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