Low-Voltage and Electrical Skills Create Ideal Conditions for Delving into Central Vac

Las Vegas integrator with roots in electrical contracting expands into low-voltage and applies both practices to become a premiere Beam central vac dealer.

M&M Electric has followed a usual path to become one of the largest low-voltage companies in the rapidly growing Las Vegas market. Established in 1980 and focusing solely on electrical contracting work, the company soon made a strategic decision to expand into the low-voltage installation business. “We would go into electrical jobs and customers were starting to ask for alarm systems,” says M&M’s David Christensen, who oversees estimates and installations of custom electronics. “We started losing some of our electrical work to companies that also did low-voltage. The decision to start offering low-voltage was a no-brainer.”

M&M jumped into low-voltage full force, offering the gamut: prewire for alarm systems and surround-sound, lighting control, and Control4 home automation systems. The company employs about 100 people, 20 of which focus on low-voltage. In 2013 the company completed their low-voltage portfolio by adding Beam central vacuum systems. It was an ideal fit for the company, as they could draw from both their electrical and low-voltage skill sets. Christensen explains: “Central vac falls into the low-voltage contracting category, but because we also have a team of certified electricians we are able to run power to the intake valves in the walls. This is a huge bonus to the customer; they can power the beater brush of the vac by simply plugging the hose into the valve as they normally would.  Without electric to the valve, they would need to plug a cord into an AC outlet to power the brush.” It’s one less thing to plug in, which gives M&M an advantage over low-voltage contractors.

M&M also leverages the indoor air quality benefits of central vacs as a competitive advantage. “Many people move to the Las Vegas area to escape allergies and other indoor air quality issues that are more rampant other parts of the country,” Christensen explains. “We promote the IAQ features of Beam central vacs heavily in our showroom, and it’s helped us maintain a solid central vac business.” The working demo at the M&M showroom also helps dispel myths about central vacs systems. “People either love central vacs of they hate them,” Christensen continues. “The haters are usually those who have dealt with heavy hoses associated older central vac systems. The demo proves this and other stereotypes wrong.” The demo has helped convert non-believers to the point where one out of every four or five M&M customers decide to have their homes at least plumbed for a central vac system.

Having already established a strong base of builder customers through its electrical contracting roots, M&M has been able to provide its builder customers with a one-stop shop for electrical and low-voltage work. “We can consolidate our work to streamline the installation schedule, and deliver complete solutions that builders and homeowners want. Central vac systems from Beam central vacs completes the package.” 

About the Author

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Lisa Montgomery:

Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor of Electronic House. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in adding electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home.

Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what is on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books.

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