Recent research shows that landscape lighting is among the most in-demand outdoor technologies by homeowners, designers and realtors, but there’s much more to the exterior than just “landscaping” as potential integration spots. Outdoor lighting and audio specialist Coastal Source gives installers solutions to cover all areas of the exterior, and technical sales specialist Shay Brummer returns to the CE Pro Podcast to discuss that, as well as what the company showed during the recent HTSA Lightapalooza event.
Brummer began by talking about outdoor tech trends that he, dealers and others at Moorestown, N.J.-based Coastal Source are seeing now that we are heading into the warmer months.
“I feel like we’re starting to get into kind of the swing we saw during Covid, where people were not buying as many new homes right now and they’re starting to move into and renovate their existing homes and backyards – especially this time of year because they’re starting to get ready for the warm season when they can spend some time out there,” Brummer reports.
He explains that those projects, of course, can involve outdoor lighting and audio, which fit into a multitude of tech amenities and other options homeowners are visiting integrators to spend their investment. Coastal Source is helping its dealers to be better prepared for those conversations.
“Outdoor lighting and outdoor audio are among a bunch of other things that our customers sell – outdoor shades, some of them do water features and outdoor heaters, outdoor entertaining facets,” Brummer says.
“A lot of our dealers aren’t doing the water features and heaters themselves. So many have partnered with a landscape design company or outdoor contractor to refer each other, and they end up on a lot of the same jobs together providing kind of a package, if you will, to the dealer,” he adds.
When it comes to expanding integration business to outdoor zones, that’s part of the beauty – there’s a wide range of technology categories that can go together, and integrators can cultivate relationships with various trades.
Brummer says the features customers are requesting have expanded sales possibilities. There’s more to today’s outdoor spaces when you factor in lounging areas, kitchens, fire pits, patios, pools and other potential places to put audio, lighting and other tech.
“Really, that’s become the big trend – usually when people say ‘landscape lighting,’ you’re thinking strictly in the landscape. You’re thinking trees, bushes and pathways, where I usually refer to it as ‘outdoor lighting,’” Brummer says.
“Even our low-voltage lights that we make just like other manufacturers, you can install them on pergolas, some are rated to be installed in soffits, outdoor living areas,” he adds. “There’s a trend where there’s a lot of linear lighting that’s being added outside, and that’s something that as of now we don’t have but we see there are so many guys trying to be creative and do different things outdoors that haven’t been done in the past. A lot of small-scale marker-type lights going in the hardscape, where they’re not necessarily there to provide any real light output, more to mark a pathway or they’re there for ambiance.”
He says integrators are really figuring out they can light outdoor dining room tables, barbecue grills… in cities where high-rises have rooftop living spaces available to tenants, the conditions are also ripe for customers, Brummer adds. Think about things like sprucing up potted plants areas at night, and pergolas or other shade areas.
Find out more advice on selling outdoor lighting and audio, learn about the latest solutions, including the versatile Razor speaker, that Coastal Source showcased at Lightapalooza, booth discussions and education there for dealers plus more by watching (where you’ll see some gorgeous examples of exterior lighting) or downloading the full CE Pro Podcast episode above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.