Lighting control, as well as the various ways lighting can impact its surroundings, can be difficult for an integrator to discuss with customers without actually showing what products and systems can do.
But some integration firms’ showrooms have been outfitted strategically with lighting systems to help allow for the technology to speak for itself, like what Selah, Wash.-based e3 Solutions recently did using LumaStream. We spoke with e3 president Derek Karel and AV Division manager Scott Johnson about it.
Can you describe some of the areas of the showroom and technologies, and the ways in which different areas are enhanced/ accentuated by the lighting?
The showroom (Leading Force Energy and Design Center) is a product and design showroom with a primary focus on sustainability-based education, construction and products. The showroom has a variety of products and construction models that are centered around green building.
Two architects and general contractors are also a part of the team in addition to e3 Solutions. Education and training is held in our conference/training room, which provides for the ideal location to offer classes to professionals and the public, all with the touch of one button controlling the drop-down screen, projector, lighting and audio within the room.
As e3 Solutions is responsible for technology and integration, we wanted to make sure that some of the infrastructure of the showroom represented the newest and most innovative technology products and systems available to the clients. So with the need for some general lighting, task lighting, and retail lighting as well as storefront branding we turned to LumaStream. The LumaStream account executive was able to come up with a design that placed lighting in the most strategic areas.
These would demonstrate general and/or task lighting at the reception desk and offices, adjustable accent lighting focused at wall displays of products, pendant/task lighting over the design tables, cabinet accent lighting and variety of decorative sconce lights. For additional branding as well as show off some of the LumaStream product capabilities, we used color-changing accent lights for a color changing store front and ceiling to draw the attention of the downtown social scene.
With this first phase of the showroom, we have installed and displayed a variety of lighting types to assist in the design and sales process of our projects. We set up this system on a Control4 system and we are able to control the displayed lighting from a keypad or touchpad. We chose to run the offices on a more simple analog switching/ dimming control to demonstrate the ability to have basic control.
Can you explain some of the benefits of incorporating LumaStream?
The LumaStream DMX system simplifies the traditional dimming system. With the amount of fixtures and color changing channels, we were able to control all of the LumaStream using a DMX interface. With one DMX component compared to multiple Din Rail (dimming) Modules for traditional dimming we are able, through programming, to control the store and add various scenes into our display. The DMX module is a compact component that is capable of digitally controlling up to 512 DMX addresses/channels compared to a Din Rail (dimming) Module that typically only channels 6-8 loads each.
The infrastructure of the LumaStream system also allows for simple programming and scene changes. Another benefit is the infrastructure required for the lighting. Traditional systems require and control high-voltage wiring. LumaStream allows the use of 18awg/2-conductor shielded cable to take care of all facets of the system.
This allows for integrators to either work with or install themselves true low-voltage lighting. Another benefit is the low current consumption. LumaStream systems can be operated through a traditional UPS (uninterruptable power supply), basically a battery backup system for power outages.
In what markets are you finding the most success pitching and selling lighting systems? What do you find are the keys to selling it?
Our purpose is to represent a team of educated, committed building professionals that offer the best in healthy, energy efficient design, technology and construction practices. With the services we offer the LumaStream product is a natural fit, as lighting has traditionally been overlooked by integrators.
Being able to offer additional services to our new and existing client base is exciting. It creates additional revenue opportunities for e3 Solutions and promotes our green building philosophy. Most coordination takes place after lighting is selected and then the question of how do we control it comes up. With LumaStream being a low-voltage solution, we can now incorporate the product into the beginning phases of design and work with the architects and customers to create the ideal space for our commercial clients.
Small commercial spaces such as medical offices, strip malls, small offices, retail space and the ever-grow-ing food and beverage industry are benefiting from the product. LED lighting that uses minimal power and offers full control is a home run for the customers that visit our store. As the product set develops further, we feel we will be able to address the larger commercial markets. We believe that energy codes will eventually drive construction practices throughout the nation and we hope to not only continue learning but to educate and offer solutions.
How can selling lighting potentially add to your profit margin on a project?
Selling lighting is a market that tradition-ally has gone to the electrical contractor or a specialty contractor so there has never been a revenue stream in our projects. We would be limited to controls of lighting as it relates to everyday use, integration into various lighting scenes or interfaced lighting into audio/video solutions. By selling lighting, we are able to capture revenue associated with the product as well as design and installation labor. If changes are made or systems are expanded, we would also cap-ture that revenue. Another way is to offer service agreements for those interested where would maintain lights, make changes and ensure the system continued to func-tion as designed and installed.