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To all the Lighting professionals out there. How to seal the deal?


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#1 phenix

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 10:32 PM

To all the Lighting professionals out there.

When you have a customer who show a little interest in a lighting option like Jetstream how do you seal the deal. What are the selling points you talk to them about. How to justify the extra money it costs for the system? They ask how much energy will it save. They always bring up CFLs, and not being able to dim them. And about how the incandescent light might not be around by 2012 because of going green. They ask how much energy will it save. Does it mean if they're asking these questions they are not interested?

#2 AnthonyZ

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:42 PM

Does it mean if they're asking these questions they are not interested?

If they're asking question, they're interested. There are other "angles" to take such as the passive security (this is directed to HER) and ease of use, like turning off all lights from one location (this is directed to HIM). As they teach in Lutron's BURST training, some 70'ish% of disposable income decisions are made by HER. If you're going to discuss "green" applications, don't spew what I call "Green Diarrhea". It's rampant and it can be dishonest (there is TONS of info online to educate yourself with. I'd, selfishly, recommend starting here and here ). I have considerably more "experience" to share but, I'm super tired and probably full of it anyways...

#3 phenix

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:35 AM

Thanks Anthony


Good articles!

#4 BKLLC

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 09:47 PM

Its really about convenience, security and impressing your friends... Most people that buy these systems or go for these projects have enough money that they really don't have to worry about lighting energy costs. CFL's are a government boondoggle, they don't last as long as advertised, are a poor choice where you need light quickly for a short period of time (especially in cold places)and really don't dim well if at all. Incandescents will be around long enough to get us to the better solution which are dimmable LED's. Dimmed incandescents often use about the same power as full brightness CFL's and in most cases the CFL's are giving you more light than you want or need. CFL's are good for business where you have 75 bulbs, fixed brightness and in a shopping area.

When talking to them don't entertain or go on and on about what you beleive to be nonsense... correct their impression with your own strong opinions and reasonable explanations... BE THE EXPERT!

Most people who are old enough to understand what a pain it is to manage lighting outside and all over a big house will understand how great it is to hit a button in the bedroom at light up the whole house or to hit one button on the way out... Sometimes its a good idea to take the potential customer to another customers house (a happy one) and let them get both positive re-enforcement about there pending decision or to see someone else's system in action.

Even people who are just trying to be GREEN are willing to take it step by step and recognize that the technology to do that is evolving. Just dimmers AND turning things off when not needed (automatically) is enough for now.

Brian

Edited by BKLLC, 05 May 2009 - 09:49 PM.


#5 AnthonyZ

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:42 PM

Its really about convenience, security and impressing your friends... Most people that buy these systems or go for these projects have enough money that they really don't have to worry about lighting energy costs. CFL's are a government boondoggle, they don't last as long as advertised, are a poor choice where you need light quickly for a short period of time (especially in cold places)and really don't dim well if at all. Incandescents will be around long enough to get us to the better solution which are dimmable LED's. Dimmed incandescents often use about the same power as full brightness CFL's and in most cases the CFL's are giving you more light than you want or need. CFL's are good for business where you have 75 bulbs, fixed brightness and in a shopping area.

When talking to them don't entertain or go on and on about what you beleive to be nonsense... correct their impression with your own strong opinions and reasonable explanations... BE THE EXPERT!

Even people who are just trying to be GREEN are willing to take it step by step and recognize that the technology to do that is evolving. Just dimmers AND turning things off when not needed (automatically) is enough for now.

Brian

I'm gonna take issue with a few of your statements, BKLLC.

One, CFL's are hardly government boondoggle. The massive adoption rate has been market driven from day one. Governments (such as Australia and California) have LAGGED behind consumers spending habits when it comes to CFL's. Don't take that the wrong way. I disagree with those two example's pushes to ban incandescents. I like and use dimmed incandescents in both my own home and in my clients (as well as halogen, CFL's, LED and low voltage).

Two, if CFL's been shown to last some eight times longer than a comparable incandescent, what makes you say they don't last as long as advertised. If you mean the advertising of the manufacturers, rather than studies, shame on you. Since when do you have reason to believe the claims of ANY vendor?

Three, your claim that dimmed incandescents match the savings of a CFL, you've been listening to Lutron's propaganda. There are savings to be had via the use of dimmers but, it's a NONLINEAR relationship. In order to match the average 25% compared power usage of CFL's (I'm tracking at 22% in my own home) you would need to keep the dimmer at approx. 15% output. That's hardly comparable and likely not a "standard" lighting level.

Four, you claim that CFL's generally output "more light than you want or need". That is as subjective a statement as I have ever read. Not to mention that CFL's are both dimmable and can be down rated for lower out put (and consequently, even higher savings).

Five, you claim, "Most people that buy these systems or go for these projects have enough money that they really don't have to worry about lighting energy costs." Wow, that is simply not the experience I have had in working in this industry for the last 8-10 years. Yes, many of my clients are super wealthy. Like own a helicopter wealthy. They also happen to tend to be smart, thrifty and progressive thinkers who are specifically looking to utilize technology to both their's and their wallet's benefits. The understand that ROI is difficult to quantify with HA but, they also benefit from feeling good about "doing the right thing". I've never had a client mention to me that they don't care about their utility costs. Conversely, we tend to focus on many of the ways that conservation can be affected via technology. Hell, that's my job. Of course, many of those benefits are shot all to hell by the ubiquitous AV systems that go hand in hand with HA...e with your statements...

Lastly, a point that I do agree on is the future of LED lighting. There is little doubt that we are both right when we agree that it is by far and away the best lighting technology available and will only get better over time. I hope I don't come across like a jerk (although most people who know me would state point blank that I am). I just don't see eye to eye with the statements you made earlier...

#6 BKLLC

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 11:33 PM

We are both entitled to our opinions, no problem... Perhaps our clients are as different as our philosophies. The original writer brought up a number of points, like CFL's, that could be a 200 post thread on its own! I simply try to give a 20,000 foot, very practicle view. There are always exceptions... The approach he's using right now doesn't seem to be working so its time to try something new that he feels makes sense and that he can confidently sell. I prefer not to get into, what can seem at times, as heated exchanges between conflicting message posters.

Your comment "I hope I don't come across like a jerk" is not an issue for me and I certainly don't think you are one... Your just relating you experiance and approach..

Regards,

Brian

#7 AnthonyZ

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:17 AM

Cool, BKLLC. I agree that confidence is KEY. You're also very correct in your original post in telling him to "be the expert!".

#8 opie

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:17 AM

I have found the Home Lighting Control Alliance to be A good resource for information on lighting control. The learning center there has some white papers on lighting control and it's benefits. Just another tool to have in your bag.

Edited by opie, 06 May 2009 - 09:18 AM.


#9 AnthonyZ

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 01:52 PM

Opie, I followed the link and nearly puked. I just read this quote, "Lighting controls, in fact, are the only element of a home’s lighting—and the only home automation subsystem—that reduces instead of adds to the monthly electric bill.” from LiteTouch, Inc.'s Seth Atkinson, head of business development and chair of the Home Lighting Control Alliance's Sustainability Committee. Not only is this another example of "Green Diarrhea" (unadulterated bull$hit with a "green" spin) from yet another vendor but also clear evidence that Mr. Atkinson may have suffered brain trauma at some point.

#10 Squintz

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:15 PM

Any insight from you guys on using halogen bulbs or recommending them to your customers? (http://www.rd.com/18...ticle18268.html)

From my understanding they use less energy than incadecent bulbs yet a still dimable. Also, they are readily available.

#11 Steve

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:34 PM

That article explains it pretty well, a halogen is pretty much an incandescent with just a few tweaks. They are not any more energy efficient although they do give slightly more lumens per watt. But, 75 watts is 75 watts. All that said, I use only halogens in all my recessed fixtures (75W PAR30). My switches turn them on to 50% as standard which is usally plenty of light for standard activity. They can easily be raised for reading or whatever. I hate CFL's and I will stick with halogens until LEDs are a little better available and affordable since I need alot of them. But I'm also in the camp that LEDs are the future and while CFLs do have their place, they generally suck with major cons being mercury and dimming. It absolutely amazes me how CFLs are touted as being the 'green' answer but in reality they just change one problem for another. Yea, lets save some energy but at the same time contribute to the worlds toxicity and hazardous waste disposal issues, not to mention possible health affects from exposure to broken bulbs.

#12 AnthonyZ

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:13 PM

Steve, studies have shown conclusively that vastly more mercury is released by the burning of coal to power incandescents than the CFL's will ever present. That argument doesn't hold water. I was a long time CFL antagonist until I did my research on the whole picture. CFL's are not nearly as toxic as incandescents in the grand scheme of things.

#13 phenix

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:31 PM

Man I didn't mean to open a can of worms!!

#14 AnthonyZ

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:35 PM

In defense of the Home Lighting Control Alliance, I have been passing emails back and forth with Peter Hoagland (whose position I'm unsure of) and they have already contacted their web guy to remove the nonsensical quote I referenced earlier.

#15 opie

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:57 PM

Opie, I followed the link and nearly puked. I just read this quote, "Lighting controls, in fact, are the only element of a home’s lighting—and the only home automation subsystem—that reduces instead of adds to the monthly electric bill.” from LiteTouch, Inc.'s Seth Atkinson, head of business development and chair of the Home Lighting Control Alliance's Sustainability Committee. Not only is this another example of "Green Diarrhea" (unadulterated bull$hit with a "green" spin) from yet another vendor but also clear evidence that Mr. Atkinson may have suffered brain trauma at some point.


Anthony, Sorry to hear your not feeling well.

Follow the money...consider the source......yada yada yada....like any other source you have to sift through the bull to get to the information that is useful. I agree that Mr. Atkinson's statement is misleading at best. I have found some useful information on that site and that's why I shared it. As you have suggested to rookies in the past, I read as much as I can but have yet to find a source of information where I don't have to sift a little. Not saying I think this site is perfect and everything on it is true but it is a resource.

I am aware of your opinion (read your blog) that many selling "Green" need to take an Imodium and I wholeheartedly agree.

Should I post the Lutron Burst marketing...I mean training...materials? Since your not feeling well I won't push it.




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