Moving from AC power to DC power has been a hot-button topic among electricians, politicians, and big businesses lately, and for good reason. Now that technology has advanced to a place where low-voltage DC power offers safe, efficient power distribution, it has opened up a lot of new business opportunities. During LumaStream’s CEDIA Expo TechTalk, Eric Higgs, founder of LumaStream, alongside Luis Rodriguez, president of WOW Media, talked about how integrators can take advantage of this new DC ecosystem and “own the ceiling” instead of simply doing speaker and TV installs.
In Rodriguez’s opinion, the key to making money on DC power conversion comes from lighting. “I want to own the [ceiling],” he says, “so now we wire all the lights, I do all the switches, and I don’t need any electricians.”
Not familiar with lighting? No worries, as LumaStream is set up to help out integrators. If your business doesn’t do a lot of light mapping or lighting design, LumaStream offers a service where it will take an integrator’s plans, create a lighting design, add specifications, and create a quote package. Then, if the integrator wins the project, LumaStream takes a small design fee, but if the integrator loses the bid, they don’t pay a dime.
“We’ve eliminated the risk and a lot of the fear of jumping into the lighting business and having to answer a lot of questions [integrators] may not know how to address. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible,” says Higgs.
Getting in the Door Earlier
Rodriguez stresses that lighting is more than just an additional service to provide customers, it offers a gateway to getting into an install sooner. By doing a lighting job, integrators are involved in a renovation or new install sooner, meaning the homeowner is less likely to look elsewhere for speaker and TV installs.
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It also works in reverse, where an integrator might be installing AV equipment and then be asked to tackle lighting. “In our company, we call it unearned revenue. Revenue we never expected. An unearned revenue is ‘Hey, I was in the house installing a TV on the wall and installing two speakers and by the way, now we’re doing lighting.’ We didn’t initially go in there for that,” says Rodriguez.
Also, in case you’re worried about slighting your friendly neighborhood electrician, these jobs don’t eliminate the need for one altogether. “It’s not about cutting [electricians] out of the picture, it’s about educating them,” comments Rodriguez, who says electricians often call and ask him to spec a house before additional electrical work is done.