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With over 14 years of experience in the landscape lighting industry, Ryan Lee reveals the secrets behind his success growing and exiting a multi million dollar landscape lighting company. Click one of the links below to check out the Lighting For Profits podcast, and discover how to go from overworked business operator, to 7 figure owner.

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Lighting for Profits Podcast with Aviv Ben-Abraham & Craig Batten

Aviv Ben-Abraham & Craig Batten - Insights from Lighting Experts

July 08, 202454 min read

Lighting for Profits - Episode 155

This week on the show we welcome Craig Batten, President of S4 Lights and S4 Decor, who brings over 25 years of experience in decorative and seasonal lighting, including the introduction of LEDs to the market & Aviv Ben-Abraham, an Account Executive with 20 years of experience, who excels in launching new territories, driving innovation, and integrating technology with design to enhance audience experiences.

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Episode Transcript

Ryan Lee discusses everything you need to know to start and grow a successful landscape business

Welcome to lighting for profits.

All Light, All Light. All Light.

Powered by Emery Allen.

Get rid of your excuses.

Your number one source for all things landscape lighting.

That's where the magic can happen. You can really scale a business.

We really had to show up for each other from lighting design, install, sales, and marketing.

You're a scaredy cat salesman, Kurt.

We discussed everything you need to know to start and grow a successful landscape lighting business.

What do you think a hippo has.

To do with your business, Ryan? Usually it's some weird childhood thing kicked your butt.

I think the key factor here is trust.

Here is your host, Ryan Lee.

Oh, light, all light. All light. Let's go. I'm fired up, you guys. It's gonna be an awesome show today. Listen, if you're looking to start or grow a landscape lighting business, or maybe even a holiday lighting business, or maybe even event lighting business, you're definitely in the right place. We are here to educate and motivate, to help you dominate. Got an awesome show lined up for you today. we've got s four, and I just found out what s four stands for, so stick around. We'll even tell you what s four stands for, but s four lights. We got craig batson aviv, ben abraham coming on in just a couple minutes, so make sure you stick around. actually, I never knew who these guys were until a few years ago, and then we found out we have a lot of mutual clients, and these guys are bragging on all these amazing products that these guys have and the service and support. So this is going to be an awesome episode. We're going to kind of peel back the onion and expose who s four really is. So I'm excited to have these guys on. I've been able to, get to know them a little bit at different events, trade shows, things like that, and, it's going to be awesome, so stick around for that. And, also, still begging, still pleading for those five star reviews. So if you have not yet, please go on to apple, go on to Spotify, hit the five stars, write something nice. I mean, if. If you have something nice to say, if you don't, you know what they say, don't say anything at all. So. But if you've, gotten some value out of the program, would really, really appreciate it. Also, just a couple of announcements. We've got, again, the members only. It's called secret Summit. Okay. It's coming up this summer here in Park City, Utah. It's going to be so epic, you guys. We've got some guest speakers, we've got some networking. We've got some masterminding going on. Anyone who's been to one of these events or any of our events, they know they're top notch. We take care of people and, they come back with a ton of value. So if you're, like, on the fence, like, should I join landscape lighting secrets? Yes. Now's the time, because you're going to want to come to this members only event. And right now, you have to be a member for the members only event. That's kind of how those things work, right? So, go to landscape lighting seekers. com, click start here, book a call with me. Watch that. Watch that thing. And then again, like, if you're just on the fence, like, you don't have to join, right? But we can talk about it and see if it's a good fit for you guys. So, secret summit coming up this summer. And if you're in landscape lighting secrets, make sure to get your ticket. it's going to be super epic. Also, of course, always want to thank Emory Allen, grateful for their, partnership. And, you know, nothing hurts a quality landscape lighting installed quite like flickering bulbs, a yellow fringe around the perimeter of the beam spread, or bulbs that burn out after a few on and off cycles. Don't jeopardize your customers experience by using a budget bulb, okay? If you're shopping for these cheap things at the local hardware store or on other online cheap sites, which I won't say, that's not, you're not getting what your clients deserve. You're not getting what your business deserves. So if, you want to go out of your way to provide a world class customer experience, just check out and choose Emery Allen. At the end of the day, it's what's on the inside that counts. And all you have to do, guys, is just email tom garyallen. com, and he will hook you up with discounted contractor pricing to help you get your account set up. And you also get 10% off your first order, so that's cool. And, I will say this. They've got their single, source led, which means you get a super clear, just a very nice light output with their product. And, remember, don't go to their website unless you want to. Just pay more than you need to, because we're hooking you up here. Just email tom g@emoryallen. com. mentioned you heard about him here on lighting for profits, and he's going to get you the hookup so again, you guys, we've got Mister Aviv coming on. We've got Craig Batten, having these guys on in just a few minutes. We're going to talk about holiday lighting. We're going to talk about even some low voltage. Low voltage holiday lighting. What? We're going to talk about, some architectural lighting. We're going to talk about some event lighting. They have lots of different things. and so you're going to get to know them. You're going to get to know their product, and, we're going to help you grow your business, at the same time.

A couple weeks ago, I posted a video on Facebook about pricing

So before we have them on, you know, a couple weeks ago, I posted a video and, it was actually a memory. You know, you get your memories on Facebook or whatever. And I just shared it on my Facebook. And it was so cool because it was actually this. It was like, during that week, it was four years previous that we had just launched landscape lighting secrets. And, if you haven't seen the video, go back and, like, search. Go look at my profile. And I had long hair. It, was my Covid hair. And, people were like, wait, what? Like, I just saw you. How'd your hair grow out? I was like, no, it was like a memory. It was from four years ago and I didn't have any gray hair, so that was cool. Now I do. And, it was just kind of cool to think, like, man, like, this is like, a lot has happened in the last four years. And, I kept that long hair for a while. I even, like, shaved my beard and just did this, like, gnarly mustache for about a year. but that has nothing to do with anything. I was just telling you that that video happened because that. The video, at the end of the video, I talked about pricing, okay? Like, and I gave some tips away on, like, here's how to make extra money right now. And it reminded me that, you know what? I used to talk a lot about pricing. And I think the reason I used to is because it's the easiest way to grow your business, okay? And I'm like, wait, why did I stop talking about pricing? And, maybe I didn't stop about. Stop talking about it, but I started talking about other things more. Let's. Let's put it that way. Well, just so happens that the other day I was talking to a client and, he actually is doing very well, okay? He's raised his price already. He's closing deals. He's doing the things that we teach inside landscape lighting secrets. He's doing over a million a year in landscape, lighting, and, but now he's a different person, he's a different company. He's got different experiences, okay? He's a transformed individual, and he's got to raise his price again. And he actually reminded me of that, okay? So it's like, now the, the. The mentee becomes the mentor, right? And, I wish someone would have told me this, guys, and I'm gonna. This could. This next, what, 123-4567 whatever this is. Seven words can't count and talk at the same time. These next seven words could change the rest of your life. Okay? You could be like, yeah, that was stupid. Or it could be like, oh, like, this is amazing, right? Price like, who you want to be. I think that's seven words. I don't know. Price like, who you want to be. Now, this. What that means is, like, whenever, like, this happens to everybody, when everyone gets started in the business, they like, yeah, you know, I can buy this light for, you know, $50. And if I just charge. If I charge, like, 200, that's, like, four times. Like, I'm gonna make a fortune. And, it's like, well, maybe today. That's true. Right? But, like. And then you're gonna wonder, like, well, I can't afford. Like, you're gonna call me and be like, well, I can't afford to join your coaching program. And then. And then, And then you're not gonna be able to afford to advertise, and then you're gonna be wondering why you don't have leads, right? And you're not gonna be able to afford to hire an office manager and a salesperson and do all these things because you didn't price like, who you want to be. So if you want to be a million dollar business, you need a price like a million dollar business, not like a $200,000 business. If you want to be a $5 million business, you need a price like a $5 million business. And honestly, you just have to do the math. This is how I've been able to help people. When they join landscape lighting secrets, they get almost an instant return on investment. And that's. That's not just a. Like, that's just. That's just the truth. Okay? So. And here's how it's done. I mean, if you're selling a lighting job and, you're having a hard time selling it at, like, $250 a light, well, then your problem isn't pricing your problem is your sales process. Okay. You're. You're either in front of the wrong person or you suck at sales. Like, those are, like, the two options. Because it's not pricing. I've got clients that. That are charging five, six, seven, $800 a light. Okay.

Walthy people don't care what something costs, okay?

It's not pricing. Right? If you're having a hard time selling a job at 16 grand, what would be the difference? If you added two grand and you just made it 18? It's not gonna get harder. Like, the problem is not the pricing, okay? And the problem is you just don't know how to build value. Okay? I learned this years ago, and hopefully this is a shortcut for you. Wealthy people, they honestly, they don't care what something costs. Like you think they do, because they're like, oh, that's more than we thought it was gonna be, or we're gonna get other quotes. Okay? But they didn't say that they care what it costs. They said something else, and you interpreted it that you think that they care about what something costs. The only thing they care about is what something's worth. Okay? This is the reason why people will spend $500,000 on a car, okay? If they were concerned about costs, they would never spend $500,000 on a car, because you can buy a car that works, that runs, that has a warranty, that has a steering wheel, four tires, airbags, windows, doors, all the stuff for, like, 2030 grand, okay? So if they cared what it cost, they would only buy those things. They want what it's worth. And what it's worth is different to everybody. Okay? Maybe someone, when they sit inside that half a million dollar car, how does it make them feel? What does it do to their self worth, okay? Worth value. These are different to everybody. And so don't assume that you know what something is worth for somebody else just because you wouldn't pay that kind of money for something. Okay?

Everyone today needs to raise their price by 10%, people. I don't care what stage you're at

So, let's talk about, like, simple guys. I'm not asking you to double your price yet, okay? Later on, I probably will. But right now, what if you just increased your price by 10%? Okay, let me share this with you, too. Most businesses fail because they run out of money, okay? It's just plain and simple. Like, there's a lot of other reasons that lead to that, but then they just run out of money. They're broke, they can't afford to be in business. So I'm going to be generous here and say the average landscape lighting business is making 20% margins. And to be honest. That's not the truth. Like, they're making less than that. They make, say, oh, I'm making 60, 70%. Well, after you pay your overhead, I'm talking net profit, not gross, okay? And if you're making more than 20%, that's okay. Like, there are people that are doing it. We've got clients that are making over 30%. But by the time you pay yourself and do everything, most businesses are not making 20%. But I'm going to be generous today and say that the average one is. Okay? So if the average one is making 20%, and we help you raise your price right now without signing up for anything, without investing anything, all I do is convince you that you're worth more, that your values more, and you raise your price by 10%. Guess what happens with that 10%. Okay, that 10% is gravy. It's just profit is just sitting there waiting for you to take it, okay? And so that 10% just happens to be just pure profit. So you literally just increased your bottom line by 50% because you were making 20%. You just increased it by ten. That's a 50% increase. Okay? This. This is the definition of leverage. Like, that's what leverage is. You make one move, you know, one input equals two, three, 4510 outputs. That's what this pricing game can do for your business, you guys. And I don't care what stage you're at. I don't care if you're already doing a million. I don't care if you just started. Doesn't matter. Everyone today needs to raise their price by 10%. Inflation alone is. Is taking over this 10%. Like, if you didn't raise your price by 30% over the last three years, you're not even keeping up, right? And so, do this today. Even if you're like. But last week, you told me to raise it by 20%. Now another ten. Yes, just do another ten. It's not. You're not gonna lose opportunity. Okay? It's 10%, people.

Use math to win this game. It's so simple. Let's say you're a small business

Okay, now, here's what's cool, guys. I want to just show you, like, how, like, you just use math to win this game. It's so simple. Let's say you're a small business, and you're like, yeah, he's right. I'm charging 250 a light now. I'm just trying to. I'm just trying to get you to do 10%. So that's only $25. Okay? So if I can convince you to raise your price by $25 per light, we're going to show you how much money you're going to make now. You're like, well, I don't price by the light, and I've got a really complicated spreadsheet and I like to take forever to do my quotes and yada, yada, yada, who cares? I don't care how you do your pricing right now. I'm not telling you how to do that. I'm just telling you that if you go do a quote today and it has 20 lights, then you're going to raise your price by 25 times 20. Okay? You're going to make an extra $500. If it has 100 lights, you're going to make an extra $2,500. Like, that's all I'm saying. Okay, so if you do that, and let's say you just sell a thousand lights in the next twelve months, which in the landscape lighting world is not that much, that's literally like a two $300,000 business. Okay? So some of you are gonna make way more than this, but if you raise it by $25 and you go do a thousand lights in the next twelve months, you just made 25,000 extra dollars for nothing. Like, you didn't even pay me anything. Maybe I should put my venmo here. Like, you could, you can send me donations. but that's not what I'm looking for, guys. I'm, trying to help you make money so that you can afford to, to come work with us, so that you can afford to invest in advertising, so you can afford to invest in yourself, to afford to grow your company. This is the easiest way to do this, okay? There's other strategies we teach around sales and, and getting the ideal client avatar and getting in front of the right people and all this other stuff. But like, just start with this, okay? Just go make a free extra $25,000 and then invest it back into something that's going to help you get to that next level. So, that's pretty much it. You know, I could give you the exact script I use for my whole sales process, the pricing, everything. I could give you that right now. But you know why I'm not going to? It most likely won't work? Because this is a free podcast, okay? And if there's something that happens psychologically when you get free advice, you're not as likely. You might try it, okay, maybe you're like, okay, I'm going to try as 10% right now, right? And I'm, and I give you the script and maybe you go 2030, 40, 50%, maybe double your price, right? But you don't take it serious enough so that when you go try it, and maybe it doesn't work. Like, I give you the exact script, and then the first time it doesn't work, you give up because it was just free advice. Maybe I don't even know what I'm talking about. Like, all these thoughts go into your mind, right? But when you pay for it, you're much more likely to make sure it works because you don't want to get ripped off. You don't want to, huh? Make. You don't want to make a bad decision, right? And so you try it once, it doesn't work. You try it again. Try it again. Try it again. You. You change things, okay? You pivot and you figure out how to make it work. Maybe you said it the wrong way. Out of order, too fast, too slow, wrong time, right? There's all these things that come into play. So, when you pay for something, you make sure it works. And what's cool is when you join a community, you're surrounding yourself with others who are also implementing the same thing. So you're much less likely to give up. You're given confidence, you're given a team to, like, cheer you on with that. So, But even if you don't join, I'm just telling you right now, just raise your price by 10%. You're gonna make an extra 25 grand. if you go more, there's 50k, you know, raise it by $50. There's 50k. If you, do that 2000 lights and raise it by 50, that's literally $100,000. So don't tell me you can't afford to join my coaching program after I helped you make another 100 grand.

All right, guys, enough about me. I'm begging you to take my advice and implement these strategies

All right, guys, enough about me. I just had that on my mind because I saw this crazy video with me with long hair talking about pricing. I had this conversation with my client just fresh in my mind and I'm like, you know what? We're going to talk more about pricing. We're going to talk more about sales, we're going to talk more about the stuff that gets me fired up, because this is awesome. This is the easiest way to succeed, okay? And I'm trying to help you guys out. I'm begging you to take my advice and implement these strategies so that you guys can get what you want, okay? Everyone's got different goals, but we all want freedom, okay? So that's going to help you get closer to freedom.

Alright, guys, I think it's time. Let's get pumped up

Alright, guys, I think it's time. let me know. I'm excited. Let's. Let's get the music going. Let's get pumped up. Where's the button? I can't find it. It's. It's somewhere. Here it is. Let's go.

Mister Craig Batten and aviv Ben Abraham on the show

Welcome to the show, Mister Craig Batten and aviv Ben Abraham. What's up, guys?

Hello.

Hello. Hi. how are you?

Hey, thanks so much for m being on here, guys. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day.

Absolutely. Thank you for having us.

Thank you. It's great to see you.

Heck, yeah, man. It's a long time coming, isn't it?

Yeah, it sure is. Yes.

I should send you a picture of mine with long hair once.

I thought you were born bald. We should. Yeah, we should do that. Why don't you guys send that over? We'll post it on the, show notes after or something.

Yeah. That'll really be interesting, isn't it? There's some old photos.

It is kind of cool when you look, when you meet people and then you, like, see their photo from, like, 30 years ago, you're like, wait, that literally was you. Like, that's crazy.

That is true. So, so true. I used to have long hair, actually, when I had hair.

Like, what. What is long hair? Like to the shoulders?

It was to my shoulders in high school. Yeah.

Nice. That's awesome.

Yeah, my shoulder as well. And I also have curly hair, so you know, how, like, to. To grow up a curly hair is like a nightmare.

Dude. We got to see that. That's totally, like, eighties rock band style. I've got a vision of that right now.

Absolutely.

Sure.

Well, I'm excited to have you guys on. I guess, you know, maybe.

S four lights started in 2009 and has been in business for 15 years

Let's start with you, Craig. I guess. Tell us a little bit about how s four started, why you started it, and, when you started it.

Okay. Sure. I'd love to discuss it, actually. So, s four has been in business now for 15 years. we started back in, 2009. It was a really great time way back then to, start a business, but we decided to go out there. Ah, there were six of us who started s four, and, a number of us were refugees from GKI Bethlehem lighting. So GkI Bethlehem was pretty big commercial, lighting company. They still do some business today with people like QVC, but at that time, they were, for sure, the leader in commercial, decorative lighting industry. And they have provided today's industry with many people who, Who are colleagues of mine and who came through the ranks of GkI Bethlehem. So, there were a couple buyouts, in, sales of GkI Bethlehem. And there were a few of us who thought that we could do it a little bit better. So we left in 2009, started, seasons four incorporated. we do business as s four lights. that is what s four means, Brian.

I just learned that. I was like, wait, s four? I just thought you just, like, were like, well, let's pick a letter and pick a number. But now we know it's four seasons, so, yeah, most, you know, a lot of lighting companies are just like s one s. You guys are literally four times better than the s one, sir.

Well, thank you so much. We'd like to say so ourselves. Yeah. So.

But I do think it's cool because your line does reflect that. I mean, you've got kind of all four seasons of the, the spectrum there.

We certainly try to in the way the, that our business has been evolving with all sorts of new type of installation companies coming in. They're lending us to, a less seasonal and more year round type business, from bistro lighting to, just using holiday lights, for weddings, string lights for, you know, tree wraps and canopies and stuff like that throughout the year. it's a lot less seasonal than what it used to be.

Yeah.

yeah, for sure. So anyway, s four lite started way back there in 2009. There were six of us. there are two now. So, we either replaced or retired the other four. And it, leaves Jason Loomis and myself. I'm the president. Jason Loomis is the, vice president of product development. I handle more of the operation side of the company where Jason is like the mad scientist and he and his crew, and they're always developing new items, putting stuff together. just trying to build a better mousetrap, try to make product, ah, easier to use, faster, easier, better quality. it's kind of what we do there.

Okay, awesome.

Yeah, yeah.

Very cool.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and when you came onto the scene

So, and, Aviv, tell us a little bit about yourself and when you came onto the scene.

Yeah, so I'm basically came, to the US around the same time that Craig started s four without even knowing about s four. What is Christmas? And, I came up as a startup company here. we done in lighting, both my family, we had to establish the us operation and all of this. And basically the turn to led was, did not work well with the light that we were working on. We was working like more the HID big bulb that you can see, in car dealership Costco and things like this, the old, old barbs. So the move to Libd was not that successful, to us. So I done a few other stuff, and, you know, accidentally one day, I got a friendly call from John Mark, which today is the, actually just joined s four, is the national sales manager in s four. A friendly call. And that friendly call, not related to s four, but that friendly call came up to basically join s four and, start and open the, west coast, operation. So that was a, you know, accidentally a good move.

When was that? When did you join the team?

I joined the team, 2019, something like this.

Okay. Okay, cool.

Yes.

Aviv: Starting working with s four was a big challenge

So you've been there about five years. What, aviv? What have you most liked about working at s four? Craig. Craig told me to ask that. We're doing, like, a little, interview thing.

Well, starting working with s four was a big, you know, a big challenge. You can hear from my accents, right. I didn't know nothing about Christmas, so that by, itself was, strange. But no, it's, working with s four, first of all, you know, it's the technology and the people and the unique things that they are doing. It's not only by lighting up a Christmas tree. Especially when I started, the first thing they showed me was the pixel pilot. Like, I coming from control system and lights and things like this. So it was fascinating. And then from there, it started diverse networking and business and people. And you deal with, one day, you running on the job site to install lights on a tree in the same day. After this, you go for, you know, to walk on a stage, to put some lights on the stage in the show in Las Vegas. Ah, you're working with designers, installers, landscaping, you name it, and I love it. For me, it's, the most intriguing thing ever.

Awesome, man. Well, you bring a awesome personality to the company. I know. Just everyone I know that knows you speaks very highly of you. Every time I run into, you're always smiling. tell us about your background. Where is your accent from? Because when I talk to you, I always like it. I go into this, thing, and I pretend like we are speaking francaise. And I go, oh, yes, I speak French. I influenced. And we try to get other people to speak. Right, but where. What is your background? Tell everyone where you are.

So that french accent actually will be our john. Mark is from Canada. so he's the french guy. But, I'm from Israel. A lot of people are somehow related that accent. But I don't know, nothing in France.

That's so awesome because you and I, we speak the same amount of French. We just do the accent. We don't speak French, but we sound like we speak French, but we don't, we. That's so awesome.

But yes, I came from Israel. My background is engineering. And when I came here, I was, I was, you know, started in Israel in a lighting start appliant company doing like what's called back then, electronical balance that can control from computer. We install, ah, you know, ah, we installed in a, let's say in Costco. You know, that's a big name. A system that you can manage your light, setting from the computer, save time of energy, give, better lumens and things like this. So that's, that was definitely new to connect control into lighting. Today we do it, quite easily in creating amazing show. But back then it was quite new. And so when I came here, I just came as a, you know, building the operation and the technical sides. I've not even been, doing, let's say, sales or something like this. But I always started new businesses, started new territory, you know, starting film from scratch and, making things that role. So that was my background. And, Samoan s four lights, it all came together. Sales, building the territory, building the business and things like this. So it's exciting.

I love it. Yeah, I mean, you just put my accent to shame. You know, you're the only guy that, that I know that has a better french accent than me that doesn't speak French. So congratulations. So good.

Craig: Maybe it's around quality control when buying from contractors

Craig, you know, I feel like you guys have some things, you know, when you started, you want to do some things different, maybe talk about some of those things. that you feel like you do different than what you had experienced in the past. Maybe it's around quality control. I know, I don't know, there's, there's a lot of different ways you can kind of answer this, I realize, but, you know, as a, as a contractor, when we're buying things, like, a lot of times, like, I don't know, like, why, why would I buy from you? And, like, doesn't everyone have quality control? And like, I don't know, maybe kind of speak to the contractor here on what, what things you guys do different, surely.

yeah, I would, I can definitely do that. The, one of the major things that we do differently is we work with our partners and we provide them a recipe. We don't go to factories and just buy product off of the shelf or product directly on what they offer. We go to them with what we want to build and work and collaborate with them to build a product and bring it to market so it meets the needs of the professional decorator. So when I was even doing some research for this show, I took a look, I went back and I looked at our first catalog and our tagline, then, and it is now is the professional's choice. So we're seasons four, the professionals choice. So even from the beginning, we're trying to design a product that might be, or it won't be the most, the least expensive product on the market, but it will be something that is a value that can go into a professional job and people can stand behind it and it'll last. it's not about, really the cost of the product, it's about the cost of the time, especially in holiday lighting, when the season is so short. it's super important that product works, it stays on, and you don't have to make service calls. that's where all the profit goes. It's not on $0.05 on a bulb or $0.50 on a light string. if that product performs and performs better than others, it's definitely worth the difference in price.

Got it. Hey, I did. I forgot to clarify my whole price speech. That was for the designers and contractors, not the manufacturers and distributors.

All of our product is looked at before it gets loaded on a container

Okay, well, I was going to take that and say, since we're raising our prices 10% right after this show here.

I represent the people. Okay. Like, just forget everything you've heard from me.

Okay?

Okay. I was listening. Raise your prices 10%.

So, we're already starting to get canceled.

Kidding. So, some of the things that we've done, I guess to, get our recipe out there, back in 2017, we opened up s four china. s four china is our office with our own staff that, is in Foshan, China. It's amidst all of the major lighting, decorative lighting factories that are there in China. And then most of those factories have now branched out to places like Cambodia or Vietnam, but the base is still in south China. So we have a team of about twelve people there, a couple engineers, veterans, of the industry from manufacturing standpoint. And they take our product and, go to the factories, make sure that the factories are building to our specification, into our recipe. They do quality control checks. All of our product is looked at before it gets loaded on a container. because once it's loaded on a container and arrives here in the United States, it's usually too late. It's too late to fix a problem. So if there is a problem, something as simple as maybe a typo in packaging, the details, their job is to go through the details and make sure that product's right before it leaves China or Vietnam or Cambodia or wherever it's coming from at this point. So, they travel all throughout Asia to, ensure that our product is being made to the specifications that we want them to be made. some of the things that we've learned really, in all of this is factories cheat. They cheat all the time. So if there are situations where, they can use a less expensive component and maybe you won't know about it, they very rarely tell you about it. They just, put it into the product and potentially you never notice, potentially you have a problem. So our team is trained to check the whole supply chain. Most lighting factories are really just assembly factories, so they're buying the raw materials from numerous different places. And one could imagine, if you're a manufacturer, maybe you can't get this component from this one factory and you have to buy it from another factory. And it's a, could be a different quality level. that kind of stuff gets slid in, gets molded over, and nobody knows the difference until you have product failure down the road. So, their design or their train in order to try, to keep, that to, as non existent as possible.

Yeah, that's very cool. I feel like, at some point in every contractor's career, they're tempted to be like, you know, especially when the volume starts to go higher. I could just do this myself. Like I, you know, they get an email, like, we get a direct message from someone in China, we're a factory, we can make this stuff for you. Gosh, I don't know. I get nightmares when I, when I think of that stuff because I know what goes into some of this stuff. And especially with the advancement of technology and LEd and everything else, it's like not all leds are created equal. And then people all say, oh, all the, all leds are coming from the same place. Well, maybe the chip, you know, but like, there's a lot of stuff that goes into it. Like you said, like manufacturing isn't that you make every single piece. You're sourcing a lot of stuff, assembling, building. There's just so much that goes into it. So I think the more that you guys can do that the less we have to worry about and then it's like, heck, I'd gladly, whatever. I don't care what your guys are making like, I don't want to deal with the headache, you know?

Well sure. we try to be reasonable, but you're absolutely right. you could take two led light strings, from two totally different vendors and put them on the table and plug them in brand new and they will look the same. But the proof is in the pudding is what those light strings look like after they have 1000 hours, 2000 hours, 3000 hours on them, Lumen degradation, how well the product holds up, how it holds up against gfis, current leakage. There's many, many different aspects of it and they're definitely not all the same.

Right.

yeah. One of the side businesses that both Jason and I have is actually an led factory. We do make our own. we are a supplier, we have, our company is a supplier to s four lights. So we can go through, you know, all of the raw material components and there are lots of ways to shave off a couple pennies here, couple pennies there, that kind of thing. It just totally adds up. And it's done on a regular basis.

Yeah. Very cool. well that I appreciate you sharing that.

Craig: Aviv, you deal with a lot of contractors

Aviv, maybe talk to me a little bit about. And maybe I'm wrong, but I don't know that, Craig, you're in the field as much. You could answer this too, but I feel like, aviv, you're dealing with a lot of contractors. Are there some common things that you see them struggling with? maybe when they're just getting started or even after they start using your product? Like are there some common problems that you guys are able to help, your customers make it through?

Yes. I will start maybe with the most funny one. Right. A lot of guys, especially like landscaping that used to go and buy, I don't know, the lighting, retail store, something like this, the installing our lights. And the first question I'm getting after the install, the light, it's too bright. So yeah, we can up with a dimmer even for just those questions.

That's crazy.

but I will say m first you look some of our product. Maybe people will be intimidated because there's many components in many parts. So there's a learning curve. on some of them, for example, you could get the light strands. But then if you go to landscaping, you need to connect it to landscaping. So you need the power supply and what power supply to use and how many I can do on a power supply. So a lot of small technical questions, which we are all the time there to help 24/7 through all options of text, email and phone calls. Believe me, I got everything. But once, they get it, it totally makes sense. It makes it so easy to install, to plan, and, you know, multiply whatever you add and add on to ia installation you already done. So once you understand how the infrastructure is working and how the power is being, ah, transmitted, once you get that, it's becoming so easy and user friendly. So.

Got it. Okay, cool.

A lot of our clients are going out of line voltage and into low voltage

And then how about kind of on the flip side, what are some common things that you see some common denominators, your most successful clients doing as you meet with them?

Most. I do not understand why most.

I mean, you could, maybe I could.

Help you on that one. Yeah, I see a lot of our really successful clients, going out of line voltage and into low voltage, 24 volts product. there's a lot of advantages to it. One specifically being a, ah, safe current. Right. So it's good around water features. It's good where children might be around if you have people that are actually touching lights, might be near moisture, if there's any chance of a shock. 20, ah, 4 volts, much safer. It actually, it runs longer. The leds aren't driven at as high of a drive current. They're still the same brightness, but they'll last longer. So low voltage, lights, 24 volts on average, will last longer than one, hundred 20 volts lights. And if you properly waterproof the, infrastructure, they won't trip a GFI, which is really key.

That's huge.

yeah. the power supplies are all isolating. So a GFI doesn't actually detect all of the light string, all the potential leakage in a light string. It just is detecting the plug between the power supply and the actual, the actual plug. So, ah, yeah.

Adding to that now, I will say the most successful customers that we have, customers that, not intimidate from the new technologies that we are bringing. And I'll give an example. We brought a, couple of, I think, during COVID and everything. we brought like, what's called an NXG strands, a next generation strand. And as we moved from molded construction into epoxy field construction, everyone wants more information. I would love to give him, but this is, so it's still high voltage, not low voltage, but is a very bulletproof strand. And those customers were not intimidated and jump on it immediately as we released it to the market because they trust us. They know our engineering capabilities and what goes behind those products. I have a customer that used to have a guy during the season, sleeping in hotel next to his high end customers. And as you said before, customer that doesn't care about the money, they care about the value. And this is why he was the only one who put a 24/7 guy there that if it's tripped during the m, during the, you know, the two weeks of holiday, you have a guy immediately fix it. This guy, after he put those lights, removed this guy from the, you know, from this task, which, is talking about how money saved by using those lights. Right. So I would say customers that understand and believe and goes without what we do in terms of engineering of our products, they are very successful and saving tons of money at the end of the day.

Yeah, no, that's great. I think it's so true. I mean, we get kind of stuck in our own rut. You know, like we get comfortable with things. And so then it's like, man, is it new? And, and sometimes there's hesitation, like, well, it's new. Like, is it gonna fail? You know? and so there's, there's a lot of reasons why, you know, people don't, aren't willing to experiment with technology, but yeah, if you can expand, it's going to expand your potential for clients and, and you know, maybe you're telling someone something about something new that no one else has. They're going to be more likely to trust you, that you're more educated and, and can provide a better experience. So I agree with that.

Yeah. One of the obstacles that we encounter with, with low voltage lighting is the thought process that needs to go into the layout. Since we're dealing with holiday lights and decorative lights, generally, it's pretty thin wire product, you know, 20 gauge, 22 gauge, even 24 gauge in some situations. So you run into issues with voltage drop and it's all about laying the system out and building the infrastructure so you don't encounter the voltage drop or you don't encounter as much voltage drop. it just takes a little bit more thought going into it and the outcome ends up being a more robust and foolproof system that really doesn't break down nearly as quickly as a line voltage system.

What are some distances that you can run low voltage bulbs using Versaline

Let's talk about voltage drop a little bit. What are some distances that you can run either c nine s or minis using, the low voltage product?

20, four volt dc you can run, ah, c 9200ft. so you could do 200 bulbs at twelve inch spacing. Twelve inch spacing, pretty much, yeah, if you want. 200ft is pretty much the, limit for 18 gauge.

Okay.

c bulbs, if you have less bulbs, so longer spacing, you could probably go a little bit further. But generally for c bulbs you're looking at about 200ft.

Okay.

Which is the average home. Actually, it's more than the average home.

Yeah. Very cool.

So off of a single power supply, in addition, there's ways to tap into it very easily. And you can hang some minis, you can, you can mix product, pretty easily with it.

Is that, is that different than your tap and go product? That tap? That actually go. I thought you had a product as well that goes into like the twelve volt ac stuff, is that right?

Yeah, we actually have two, we have tap and go, which is the simpler of the two for landscape lighting. So tap and go is simply you just tap it into either twelve or 24 volts ac and you run light strings. We just have light strings. So it's very simple if you want to get into our versaline product family, which is the, the strings themselves are the lightest fixtures themselves are 24 volts dc. You either use, what we call a landscape power adapter would be considered a power conditioner. And that would take anywhere, take a voltage range from twelve to 24 volts ac and then output the dc current to drive the, to drive the led lights, the decorative lights, they're all driven on a dc current versus ac current.

Is there a reason you would use one of those over the other?

it all depends on what you want to do. If, if you're just looking at maybe lighting up an accent tree and your low voltage system is right there and maybe you don't have a plug. you don't have 120 volts plug available. You just tap it in, you know, connect five or ten strings of lights on and you know, just run the tree. Now if you want to do maybe more of an elaborate lighting system where it could be trees, shrubs or other pieces, then, that would be where you would want to use the versaline system because the product selection is a lot more vast.

Okay.

A lot more product. and you could just tie into that with its own power supply and then it opens up our whole versa line. Product line and its infrastructure to, you know, to decorate with.

Okay, very cool. Yeah.

A lot of things to this effect, if I may. So basically the top and go is just trend as Craig said. So it's like you do some shreds, more trees and things like this for the holiday. Right. But once we added the twelve in the landscaping power adapter transfer to 24 volts, that's enabled us to connect everything from the Versaline family. And by that, if we're taking the best combination is to take that twelve volt landscaping power supply and the 24 volts eround multi seasonal we call it everlasting expandable strengths. So those are go for a multi seasonal e round. And that's added a lot of added value, especially in the landscaping community. And with that all the rest of the versaline, ah, things can come, you can connect to the landscaping or whatever, more like decorative stuff. so you can create some more nice area and add to your design for the garden.

So yeah, very cool. Well I'm glad you brought that up too because especially when you start, you know when you start, especially in our world, landscape lighting, it's just usually residential. But then all sudden someone owns a, or is having a wedding or I, or a wedding venue calls you, there's events and stuff like that. And so then they're like well man, we love these minis on these trees. Can, can we keep them up year round? And a lot of people were like, sure, but you know they don't, I don't. Whether they don't know or they don't want to know, like a lot of that stuff's not rated to be up year round. So you guys have that product that's rated for that and it has the expandable. I don't know what it is. It's a it's a rubber bandish type thing that allows it to grow with the with the tree. Right? I.

Yes, yes actually it does. it's a band that's in between the bulbs that actually allows the spacing to go from four inch spacing to six inch spacing. So the light strand can actually stretch. if it's a 25 foot light strand it can stretch 10%. So it'll last a few years on a tree. we've seen some real disasters to landscape trees, where people have put light strings on them and the tree grows around. The light string can choke the tree. It can tattoo the tree, really. There's ah, a lot of marks, permanent marks that can go onto a tree if it's not properly cared for. So this everlast strings expandable everlastings product has proven itself to be very helpful in regards to that and the health of the tree.

Yeah, I love it. Another product you guys have, one of our mutual clients, Chris, is, like, always. He's always like, dude, these are the best things ever. And it's pretty genius because, you know, you get to, you get those projects where, like, people, want their tree wrapped or whatever, and it's like, well, we can do that, but it's literally $25,000 to light that tree like you want it. And you've got, like, an architectural series, which you can use on the. On architectural or even on trees, but those, you know, you got your color beam. The large part of the big Bertha is basically an RGB flood. Right? And you put those out, and they're just so dense. Like, the saturation is awesome. They. They light a lot of area, and it takes, what, five minutes to set up? And, highly profitable at that point. You know, you buy it once and lease it out every, every year after that. So that's also a very cool product. I think you guys have.

Yes, it's proven itself to be really, really. It's a good item. a lot of people use them in conjunction with tree wraps. Maybe you do every other tree, or you wrap the trunk of the tree and you illuminate the canopy of the tree. There's a lot of ways to be creative about it. Maybe it's not a tree. Maybe it's a building or a water tower or who knows? Really, really doesn't matter. But there's a good selection of that product. They're good on their own.

All DMX compatible lights can go into any type of lighting show

Just plug them in. Some of them have remote controls. Some of them have buttons on them, but all of them are all DMX compatible, and they can go into any type of lighting show, which then could be an accent to anything. So you're able to control all of those lights, too, with just a little bit of added components.

That's awesome. Yeah, I'm. I just keep. I literally keep forgetting. But I want to get some for my house. I want. I want my neighbors to complain that the lights are too bright, because they're. They're awesome. So I definitely am going to get some for the front and back of my house.

That would be great. You can dim them, too, if you need.

No, no, we don't.

No, no, no.

My normal landscape lighting. Yeah, we dial that in. We make it, like, just perfect. But this, I want it bright. Like it's the holidays. I want to. If we're doing a party, I want it bright. So that's, a good product.

It really is. And we've really, grown that category. Kind of feel that we have small ones all the way up to rather large ones, too. So you can, you can illuminate landscape trees or you can do trees that are over 100ft tall easily.

And do you guys have the battery powered ones for weddings and things like that?

We, do have a small selection of them. Just a, rechargeable, battery operated parlight. Yes. For any type of wedding venue or like lecture event and anything like that, certainly.

Okay, that's cool.

So what's next? Is there anything you guys are working on with technology

So what's next? Is there anything you guys are working on? Like, or is there anything you're concerned about or excited about with technology? You know, like, tell us. Give us some. Give us a tease.

Go ahead, Aviv, tease them a little bit. We've always got something in our bag of tricks, so there's a laundry list of stuff. But, let Aveef talk about what he feels is the, is the best thing on the horizon.

Yeah. I don't know, Craig and share after this secret, development that's coming, right. But, we definitely expanding outside of the holiday and Christmas world. Right. So if you look at, what we bring into the market is expanding to now we have, a line that could go and fall, spring.

Right.

With some nice butterfly, or flowers on shapes like this that you can put in. I, would say commercial and more commercial places and feel like this can go five, six foot, a big flower. And I think with that, beautiful. With that, that we really looked into the color saturation of it. And daytime and nighttime, it will look the same. So if I'll take a, yellow butterfly. And the yellow butterfly will be yellow the day and the night as well. And how we do it, definitely. We can love to share and show how, what we've done with the strands and what we've done with the structure itself. We bring in, some, what, cold books, what, you know, those are, grass planted thing that put in for wedding or hotel or thing like this with some lights inside. So if you go in and look at our website, you will see you can find thing there for like almost any event, any holiday, and we trying to grow that size and always bring a good technology with a good design factor. We want the thing to look nice to looks beautiful to create something additional outside of just bringing the light. So.

Yeah, very cool. I think, most people don't realize because they do, they. Most people are afraid of price. They're just like, okay, I got to do this quote, I got to get as low as possible. But, you know, when you give people possibilities, it does a couple different things. So maybe, maybe they call you just for. To, like, wrap the trunks of the trees or whatever, and you should for sure just offer them that. But then what if you're like, hey, while I'm here, I don't know if you know this, but, like, I'm a designer. Like, I know what I'm doing. I'm a professional. And we've got way better ideas than just wrapping those trees. You know, like, we could, you know, are you open ideas? And then it's like, hey, we could do this. Do you guys like this?

Oh. No, we don't like that. What about this? We could do this. And then when you show them all this stuff, it does a couple things. Number one, it shows that you actually know more than they do, which you should. Right. it gives them an opportunity to say no. And a lot of people don't know this, but, like, you need people to say no because they're going to say no at some point. So let them say no to, like, the Macdaddy approach and then get them something in the middle. So, like, here's you give them what they want. We're going to wrap the trees or whatever, the trunks. But then we could do crazy, or we could do the trunks and then just a couple of things here. And I think the more educated you can become on products and offerings and different things, just to throw things out as ideas, it's just going to help grow your business. And if you just upsell one thing on every project, think about the growth that that's going to have on a small business, you know?

Absolutely. For me, no, is, usually the best yes I can get. Because a lot of those cars, especially when you have rides variety, a lot of those customers, they think, you know, they vaguely know what they want, right. And when you show them and they will say no, and you have a lot more option and more design and more aspect to see it's open a conversation. And suddenly they get better understanding of what they need. And then eventually you can pinpoint on your catalog and the offering. Actually, yes, this one is what I need. Right. So true.

Yeah. They don't know what they don't know. They think they got an idea. And it's like, it's up to us as professionals to educate them on what the possibilities are so that they can then finally decide, you know, you're right. I was thinking, I just wanted this I didn't even know that you had these 10 million other things. Like let's consider something else.

Absolutely.

by all means. having ah, as a, as a professional in the marketplace going out with something that your competition doesn't do or being known for the great, being the great light designer or the best Christmas light installer in the market by doing different things and using better product and product that looks better.

Absolutely.

We manufacture all of our RGB trees right here in the United States

well, I guess as we wrap up here, I want to do a couple things. One, did we miss anything? Is there anything else you guys want to share with the world? before we wrap up, maybe one last little piece?

We also have another division that sets us apart that's called s four decorous. A couple years ago, back in 2021, Jason and I expanded s four lights to build decor items. So we have a domestic factory. we make pre lit foliage, steel, structures, aluminum structures, fabrication. we build that stuff out of Oregon, Lebanon, Oregon. And we take our lighting solutions, we bring them into our main distribution center in Virginia. But then we share all those solutions with our decor facility. And we manufacture tower trees right here in the United States. we make them anywhere from about 12ft tall all the way up to over 100ft tall. So it's where we build our pixel pine trees, all of our RGB trees, a lot of structures, tunnels, pool trees, fountains. So full factory aluminum fabrication, powder coating, the whole bit. So we kind of take all of those components that we have and turn it into works of art.

Very cool. Yeah, that's cool.

Yeah.

Yeah. I will add also, if I may. I will there. So that the industry is changing right now is all the RGB coming in and people want multi seasonal and a lot, a lot of changes going on. So I would say we bring, you know, go out there, bring those beautiful project beautiful requests, whatever you need. Don't be intimidated because we have a huge behind, craig and I. We have a huge team that like, we have engineers that do amazing stuff with all the control. It's like, I don't think there's none like this in the industry. we have you know, a good staff. Good, good. Ah, operation team. We're doing everything from designing and working on the chip all the way to large installation with huge, you know, control and network things. So we are out there to help and support. So just bring those things because we love to be part of it.

Love it now that's awesome.

You can use a promo code to get 20% off your order

Well, you guys were generous enough to do a promo code. So if people want to. Want to check out, some s four product, what's the deal? What do they do? How do they do it?

all you have to do is go to our website, s four lights. com. if you're already a customer, you can use a promo code. Just log in. Promo code is litwithly 20. We'll, give you a 20% discount.

Nice.

If you're not a customer, you should be. So let's get you set up. So set up a new account with us and use that promo code. we'll get you 20% off your order, too. So it's, lit with Lee 20, and, 20. Like it. Yeah, we did it just for you, Ryan. So we were just joking. Decided not to raise our prices 10% before we give you 20 off.

Yeah, exactly.

Straight up. Good deal. So it's, 20% off, and we'll get you going on some of our products. Feel free to reach out to us. We have about a dozen salespeople throughout the country. many of you know who they are. If not, we can put you in touch with them, and, we'd love to work on some projects with you.

Okay. I love it, guys.

S four lights. com promo code lit with Lee 20. And get 20% off

All right, so check them out. S four lights. com. promo code lit with Lee 20. And get 20% off. So very cool. I appreciate you guys doing that for the, the community here.

Absolutely.

Well, I've enjoyed having you guys on. I really appreciate you guys taking time out of your day. Thanks, for sharing some. Some gold with us, and, you know, keep in touch. Let us know if we can do anything for you over here. And, everybody else also, thanks for being here. Hope everyone has an awesome week. Thanks, guys.

Thank you so much. Take care.

All right. Take it easy.

All right, bye bye. Thanks.

All right, guys, check them out. S fourlights. com. thank you to Emory Allen, Tom Garber, his whole family. They're awesome. See you guys. S fourlights. com lit with Lee 20.


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Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee has started and grew a multi-million dollar landscape lighting company in Fort Worth, TX. In 2019 he sold his lighting business and founded the world's only coaching program dedicated to helping other grow their landscape lighting business. He is an expert at helping lighting contractors double their profits by helping them increase their number of qualified leads, close more deals, and increase their price. If you're interested in growing your landscape lighting business or want help adding a lighting division to your business, then reach out and request a free strategy session today.

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Lighting for Profits Podcast with Aviv Ben-Abraham & Craig Batten

Aviv Ben-Abraham & Craig Batten - Insights from Lighting Experts

July 08, 202454 min read

Lighting for Profits - Episode 155

This week on the show we welcome Craig Batten, President of S4 Lights and S4 Decor, who brings over 25 years of experience in decorative and seasonal lighting, including the introduction of LEDs to the market & Aviv Ben-Abraham, an Account Executive with 20 years of experience, who excels in launching new territories, driving innovation, and integrating technology with design to enhance audience experiences.

Listen to Episode Here

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Episode Transcript

Ryan Lee discusses everything you need to know to start and grow a successful landscape business

Welcome to lighting for profits.

All Light, All Light. All Light.

Powered by Emery Allen.

Get rid of your excuses.

Your number one source for all things landscape lighting.

That's where the magic can happen. You can really scale a business.

We really had to show up for each other from lighting design, install, sales, and marketing.

You're a scaredy cat salesman, Kurt.

We discussed everything you need to know to start and grow a successful landscape lighting business.

What do you think a hippo has.

To do with your business, Ryan? Usually it's some weird childhood thing kicked your butt.

I think the key factor here is trust.

Here is your host, Ryan Lee.

Oh, light, all light. All light. Let's go. I'm fired up, you guys. It's gonna be an awesome show today. Listen, if you're looking to start or grow a landscape lighting business, or maybe even a holiday lighting business, or maybe even event lighting business, you're definitely in the right place. We are here to educate and motivate, to help you dominate. Got an awesome show lined up for you today. we've got s four, and I just found out what s four stands for, so stick around. We'll even tell you what s four stands for, but s four lights. We got craig batson aviv, ben abraham coming on in just a couple minutes, so make sure you stick around. actually, I never knew who these guys were until a few years ago, and then we found out we have a lot of mutual clients, and these guys are bragging on all these amazing products that these guys have and the service and support. So this is going to be an awesome episode. We're going to kind of peel back the onion and expose who s four really is. So I'm excited to have these guys on. I've been able to, get to know them a little bit at different events, trade shows, things like that, and, it's going to be awesome, so stick around for that. And, also, still begging, still pleading for those five star reviews. So if you have not yet, please go on to apple, go on to Spotify, hit the five stars, write something nice. I mean, if. If you have something nice to say, if you don't, you know what they say, don't say anything at all. So. But if you've, gotten some value out of the program, would really, really appreciate it. Also, just a couple of announcements. We've got, again, the members only. It's called secret Summit. Okay. It's coming up this summer here in Park City, Utah. It's going to be so epic, you guys. We've got some guest speakers, we've got some networking. We've got some masterminding going on. Anyone who's been to one of these events or any of our events, they know they're top notch. We take care of people and, they come back with a ton of value. So if you're, like, on the fence, like, should I join landscape lighting secrets? Yes. Now's the time, because you're going to want to come to this members only event. And right now, you have to be a member for the members only event. That's kind of how those things work, right? So, go to landscape lighting seekers. com, click start here, book a call with me. Watch that. Watch that thing. And then again, like, if you're just on the fence, like, you don't have to join, right? But we can talk about it and see if it's a good fit for you guys. So, secret summit coming up this summer. And if you're in landscape lighting secrets, make sure to get your ticket. it's going to be super epic. Also, of course, always want to thank Emory Allen, grateful for their, partnership. And, you know, nothing hurts a quality landscape lighting installed quite like flickering bulbs, a yellow fringe around the perimeter of the beam spread, or bulbs that burn out after a few on and off cycles. Don't jeopardize your customers experience by using a budget bulb, okay? If you're shopping for these cheap things at the local hardware store or on other online cheap sites, which I won't say, that's not, you're not getting what your clients deserve. You're not getting what your business deserves. So if, you want to go out of your way to provide a world class customer experience, just check out and choose Emery Allen. At the end of the day, it's what's on the inside that counts. And all you have to do, guys, is just email tom garyallen. com, and he will hook you up with discounted contractor pricing to help you get your account set up. And you also get 10% off your first order, so that's cool. And, I will say this. They've got their single, source led, which means you get a super clear, just a very nice light output with their product. And, remember, don't go to their website unless you want to. Just pay more than you need to, because we're hooking you up here. Just email tom g@emoryallen. com. mentioned you heard about him here on lighting for profits, and he's going to get you the hookup so again, you guys, we've got Mister Aviv coming on. We've got Craig Batten, having these guys on in just a few minutes. We're going to talk about holiday lighting. We're going to talk about even some low voltage. Low voltage holiday lighting. What? We're going to talk about, some architectural lighting. We're going to talk about some event lighting. They have lots of different things. and so you're going to get to know them. You're going to get to know their product, and, we're going to help you grow your business, at the same time.

A couple weeks ago, I posted a video on Facebook about pricing

So before we have them on, you know, a couple weeks ago, I posted a video and, it was actually a memory. You know, you get your memories on Facebook or whatever. And I just shared it on my Facebook. And it was so cool because it was actually this. It was like, during that week, it was four years previous that we had just launched landscape lighting secrets. And, if you haven't seen the video, go back and, like, search. Go look at my profile. And I had long hair. It, was my Covid hair. And, people were like, wait, what? Like, I just saw you. How'd your hair grow out? I was like, no, it was like a memory. It was from four years ago and I didn't have any gray hair, so that was cool. Now I do. And, it was just kind of cool to think, like, man, like, this is like, a lot has happened in the last four years. And, I kept that long hair for a while. I even, like, shaved my beard and just did this, like, gnarly mustache for about a year. but that has nothing to do with anything. I was just telling you that that video happened because that. The video, at the end of the video, I talked about pricing, okay? Like, and I gave some tips away on, like, here's how to make extra money right now. And it reminded me that, you know what? I used to talk a lot about pricing. And I think the reason I used to is because it's the easiest way to grow your business, okay? And I'm like, wait, why did I stop talking about pricing? And, maybe I didn't stop about. Stop talking about it, but I started talking about other things more. Let's. Let's put it that way. Well, just so happens that the other day I was talking to a client and, he actually is doing very well, okay? He's raised his price already. He's closing deals. He's doing the things that we teach inside landscape lighting secrets. He's doing over a million a year in landscape, lighting, and, but now he's a different person, he's a different company. He's got different experiences, okay? He's a transformed individual, and he's got to raise his price again. And he actually reminded me of that, okay? So it's like, now the, the. The mentee becomes the mentor, right? And, I wish someone would have told me this, guys, and I'm gonna. This could. This next, what, 123-4567 whatever this is. Seven words can't count and talk at the same time. These next seven words could change the rest of your life. Okay? You could be like, yeah, that was stupid. Or it could be like, oh, like, this is amazing, right? Price like, who you want to be. I think that's seven words. I don't know. Price like, who you want to be. Now, this. What that means is, like, whenever, like, this happens to everybody, when everyone gets started in the business, they like, yeah, you know, I can buy this light for, you know, $50. And if I just charge. If I charge, like, 200, that's, like, four times. Like, I'm gonna make a fortune. And, it's like, well, maybe today. That's true. Right? But, like. And then you're gonna wonder, like, well, I can't afford. Like, you're gonna call me and be like, well, I can't afford to join your coaching program. And then. And then, And then you're not gonna be able to afford to advertise, and then you're gonna be wondering why you don't have leads, right? And you're not gonna be able to afford to hire an office manager and a salesperson and do all these things because you didn't price like, who you want to be. So if you want to be a million dollar business, you need a price like a million dollar business, not like a $200,000 business. If you want to be a $5 million business, you need a price like a $5 million business. And honestly, you just have to do the math. This is how I've been able to help people. When they join landscape lighting secrets, they get almost an instant return on investment. And that's. That's not just a. Like, that's just. That's just the truth. Okay? So. And here's how it's done. I mean, if you're selling a lighting job and, you're having a hard time selling it at, like, $250 a light, well, then your problem isn't pricing your problem is your sales process. Okay. You're. You're either in front of the wrong person or you suck at sales. Like, those are, like, the two options. Because it's not pricing. I've got clients that. That are charging five, six, seven, $800 a light. Okay.

Walthy people don't care what something costs, okay?

It's not pricing. Right? If you're having a hard time selling a job at 16 grand, what would be the difference? If you added two grand and you just made it 18? It's not gonna get harder. Like, the problem is not the pricing, okay? And the problem is you just don't know how to build value. Okay? I learned this years ago, and hopefully this is a shortcut for you. Wealthy people, they honestly, they don't care what something costs. Like you think they do, because they're like, oh, that's more than we thought it was gonna be, or we're gonna get other quotes. Okay? But they didn't say that they care what it costs. They said something else, and you interpreted it that you think that they care about what something costs. The only thing they care about is what something's worth. Okay? This is the reason why people will spend $500,000 on a car, okay? If they were concerned about costs, they would never spend $500,000 on a car, because you can buy a car that works, that runs, that has a warranty, that has a steering wheel, four tires, airbags, windows, doors, all the stuff for, like, 2030 grand, okay? So if they cared what it cost, they would only buy those things. They want what it's worth. And what it's worth is different to everybody. Okay? Maybe someone, when they sit inside that half a million dollar car, how does it make them feel? What does it do to their self worth, okay? Worth value. These are different to everybody. And so don't assume that you know what something is worth for somebody else just because you wouldn't pay that kind of money for something. Okay?

Everyone today needs to raise their price by 10%, people. I don't care what stage you're at

So, let's talk about, like, simple guys. I'm not asking you to double your price yet, okay? Later on, I probably will. But right now, what if you just increased your price by 10%? Okay, let me share this with you, too. Most businesses fail because they run out of money, okay? It's just plain and simple. Like, there's a lot of other reasons that lead to that, but then they just run out of money. They're broke, they can't afford to be in business. So I'm going to be generous here and say the average landscape lighting business is making 20% margins. And to be honest. That's not the truth. Like, they're making less than that. They make, say, oh, I'm making 60, 70%. Well, after you pay your overhead, I'm talking net profit, not gross, okay? And if you're making more than 20%, that's okay. Like, there are people that are doing it. We've got clients that are making over 30%. But by the time you pay yourself and do everything, most businesses are not making 20%. But I'm going to be generous today and say that the average one is. Okay? So if the average one is making 20%, and we help you raise your price right now without signing up for anything, without investing anything, all I do is convince you that you're worth more, that your values more, and you raise your price by 10%. Guess what happens with that 10%. Okay, that 10% is gravy. It's just profit is just sitting there waiting for you to take it, okay? And so that 10% just happens to be just pure profit. So you literally just increased your bottom line by 50% because you were making 20%. You just increased it by ten. That's a 50% increase. Okay? This. This is the definition of leverage. Like, that's what leverage is. You make one move, you know, one input equals two, three, 4510 outputs. That's what this pricing game can do for your business, you guys. And I don't care what stage you're at. I don't care if you're already doing a million. I don't care if you just started. Doesn't matter. Everyone today needs to raise their price by 10%. Inflation alone is. Is taking over this 10%. Like, if you didn't raise your price by 30% over the last three years, you're not even keeping up, right? And so, do this today. Even if you're like. But last week, you told me to raise it by 20%. Now another ten. Yes, just do another ten. It's not. You're not gonna lose opportunity. Okay? It's 10%, people.

Use math to win this game. It's so simple. Let's say you're a small business

Okay, now, here's what's cool, guys. I want to just show you, like, how, like, you just use math to win this game. It's so simple. Let's say you're a small business, and you're like, yeah, he's right. I'm charging 250 a light now. I'm just trying to. I'm just trying to get you to do 10%. So that's only $25. Okay? So if I can convince you to raise your price by $25 per light, we're going to show you how much money you're going to make now. You're like, well, I don't price by the light, and I've got a really complicated spreadsheet and I like to take forever to do my quotes and yada, yada, yada, who cares? I don't care how you do your pricing right now. I'm not telling you how to do that. I'm just telling you that if you go do a quote today and it has 20 lights, then you're going to raise your price by 25 times 20. Okay? You're going to make an extra $500. If it has 100 lights, you're going to make an extra $2,500. Like, that's all I'm saying. Okay, so if you do that, and let's say you just sell a thousand lights in the next twelve months, which in the landscape lighting world is not that much, that's literally like a two $300,000 business. Okay? So some of you are gonna make way more than this, but if you raise it by $25 and you go do a thousand lights in the next twelve months, you just made 25,000 extra dollars for nothing. Like, you didn't even pay me anything. Maybe I should put my venmo here. Like, you could, you can send me donations. but that's not what I'm looking for, guys. I'm, trying to help you make money so that you can afford to, to come work with us, so that you can afford to invest in advertising, so you can afford to invest in yourself, to afford to grow your company. This is the easiest way to do this, okay? There's other strategies we teach around sales and, and getting the ideal client avatar and getting in front of the right people and all this other stuff. But like, just start with this, okay? Just go make a free extra $25,000 and then invest it back into something that's going to help you get to that next level. So, that's pretty much it. You know, I could give you the exact script I use for my whole sales process, the pricing, everything. I could give you that right now. But you know why I'm not going to? It most likely won't work? Because this is a free podcast, okay? And if there's something that happens psychologically when you get free advice, you're not as likely. You might try it, okay, maybe you're like, okay, I'm going to try as 10% right now, right? And I'm, and I give you the script and maybe you go 2030, 40, 50%, maybe double your price, right? But you don't take it serious enough so that when you go try it, and maybe it doesn't work. Like, I give you the exact script, and then the first time it doesn't work, you give up because it was just free advice. Maybe I don't even know what I'm talking about. Like, all these thoughts go into your mind, right? But when you pay for it, you're much more likely to make sure it works because you don't want to get ripped off. You don't want to, huh? Make. You don't want to make a bad decision, right? And so you try it once, it doesn't work. You try it again. Try it again. Try it again. You. You change things, okay? You pivot and you figure out how to make it work. Maybe you said it the wrong way. Out of order, too fast, too slow, wrong time, right? There's all these things that come into play. So, when you pay for something, you make sure it works. And what's cool is when you join a community, you're surrounding yourself with others who are also implementing the same thing. So you're much less likely to give up. You're given confidence, you're given a team to, like, cheer you on with that. So, But even if you don't join, I'm just telling you right now, just raise your price by 10%. You're gonna make an extra 25 grand. if you go more, there's 50k, you know, raise it by $50. There's 50k. If you, do that 2000 lights and raise it by 50, that's literally $100,000. So don't tell me you can't afford to join my coaching program after I helped you make another 100 grand.

All right, guys, enough about me. I'm begging you to take my advice and implement these strategies

All right, guys, enough about me. I just had that on my mind because I saw this crazy video with me with long hair talking about pricing. I had this conversation with my client just fresh in my mind and I'm like, you know what? We're going to talk more about pricing. We're going to talk more about sales, we're going to talk more about the stuff that gets me fired up, because this is awesome. This is the easiest way to succeed, okay? And I'm trying to help you guys out. I'm begging you to take my advice and implement these strategies so that you guys can get what you want, okay? Everyone's got different goals, but we all want freedom, okay? So that's going to help you get closer to freedom.

Alright, guys, I think it's time. Let's get pumped up

Alright, guys, I think it's time. let me know. I'm excited. Let's. Let's get the music going. Let's get pumped up. Where's the button? I can't find it. It's. It's somewhere. Here it is. Let's go.

Mister Craig Batten and aviv Ben Abraham on the show

Welcome to the show, Mister Craig Batten and aviv Ben Abraham. What's up, guys?

Hello.

Hello. Hi. how are you?

Hey, thanks so much for m being on here, guys. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day.

Absolutely. Thank you for having us.

Thank you. It's great to see you.

Heck, yeah, man. It's a long time coming, isn't it?

Yeah, it sure is. Yes.

I should send you a picture of mine with long hair once.

I thought you were born bald. We should. Yeah, we should do that. Why don't you guys send that over? We'll post it on the, show notes after or something.

Yeah. That'll really be interesting, isn't it? There's some old photos.

It is kind of cool when you look, when you meet people and then you, like, see their photo from, like, 30 years ago, you're like, wait, that literally was you. Like, that's crazy.

That is true. So, so true. I used to have long hair, actually, when I had hair.

Like, what. What is long hair? Like to the shoulders?

It was to my shoulders in high school. Yeah.

Nice. That's awesome.

Yeah, my shoulder as well. And I also have curly hair, so you know, how, like, to. To grow up a curly hair is like a nightmare.

Dude. We got to see that. That's totally, like, eighties rock band style. I've got a vision of that right now.

Absolutely.

Sure.

Well, I'm excited to have you guys on. I guess, you know, maybe.

S four lights started in 2009 and has been in business for 15 years

Let's start with you, Craig. I guess. Tell us a little bit about how s four started, why you started it, and, when you started it.

Okay. Sure. I'd love to discuss it, actually. So, s four has been in business now for 15 years. we started back in, 2009. It was a really great time way back then to, start a business, but we decided to go out there. Ah, there were six of us who started s four, and, a number of us were refugees from GKI Bethlehem lighting. So GkI Bethlehem was pretty big commercial, lighting company. They still do some business today with people like QVC, but at that time, they were, for sure, the leader in commercial, decorative lighting industry. And they have provided today's industry with many people who, Who are colleagues of mine and who came through the ranks of GkI Bethlehem. So, there were a couple buyouts, in, sales of GkI Bethlehem. And there were a few of us who thought that we could do it a little bit better. So we left in 2009, started, seasons four incorporated. we do business as s four lights. that is what s four means, Brian.

I just learned that. I was like, wait, s four? I just thought you just, like, were like, well, let's pick a letter and pick a number. But now we know it's four seasons, so, yeah, most, you know, a lot of lighting companies are just like s one s. You guys are literally four times better than the s one, sir.

Well, thank you so much. We'd like to say so ourselves. Yeah. So.

But I do think it's cool because your line does reflect that. I mean, you've got kind of all four seasons of the, the spectrum there.

We certainly try to in the way the, that our business has been evolving with all sorts of new type of installation companies coming in. They're lending us to, a less seasonal and more year round type business, from bistro lighting to, just using holiday lights, for weddings, string lights for, you know, tree wraps and canopies and stuff like that throughout the year. it's a lot less seasonal than what it used to be.

Yeah.

yeah, for sure. So anyway, s four lite started way back there in 2009. There were six of us. there are two now. So, we either replaced or retired the other four. And it, leaves Jason Loomis and myself. I'm the president. Jason Loomis is the, vice president of product development. I handle more of the operation side of the company where Jason is like the mad scientist and he and his crew, and they're always developing new items, putting stuff together. just trying to build a better mousetrap, try to make product, ah, easier to use, faster, easier, better quality. it's kind of what we do there.

Okay, awesome.

Yeah, yeah.

Very cool.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and when you came onto the scene

So, and, Aviv, tell us a little bit about yourself and when you came onto the scene.

Yeah, so I'm basically came, to the US around the same time that Craig started s four without even knowing about s four. What is Christmas? And, I came up as a startup company here. we done in lighting, both my family, we had to establish the us operation and all of this. And basically the turn to led was, did not work well with the light that we were working on. We was working like more the HID big bulb that you can see, in car dealership Costco and things like this, the old, old barbs. So the move to Libd was not that successful, to us. So I done a few other stuff, and, you know, accidentally one day, I got a friendly call from John Mark, which today is the, actually just joined s four, is the national sales manager in s four. A friendly call. And that friendly call, not related to s four, but that friendly call came up to basically join s four and, start and open the, west coast, operation. So that was a, you know, accidentally a good move.

When was that? When did you join the team?

I joined the team, 2019, something like this.

Okay. Okay, cool.

Yes.

Aviv: Starting working with s four was a big challenge

So you've been there about five years. What, aviv? What have you most liked about working at s four? Craig. Craig told me to ask that. We're doing, like, a little, interview thing.

Well, starting working with s four was a big, you know, a big challenge. You can hear from my accents, right. I didn't know nothing about Christmas, so that by, itself was, strange. But no, it's, working with s four, first of all, you know, it's the technology and the people and the unique things that they are doing. It's not only by lighting up a Christmas tree. Especially when I started, the first thing they showed me was the pixel pilot. Like, I coming from control system and lights and things like this. So it was fascinating. And then from there, it started diverse networking and business and people. And you deal with, one day, you running on the job site to install lights on a tree in the same day. After this, you go for, you know, to walk on a stage, to put some lights on the stage in the show in Las Vegas. Ah, you're working with designers, installers, landscaping, you name it, and I love it. For me, it's, the most intriguing thing ever.

Awesome, man. Well, you bring a awesome personality to the company. I know. Just everyone I know that knows you speaks very highly of you. Every time I run into, you're always smiling. tell us about your background. Where is your accent from? Because when I talk to you, I always like it. I go into this, thing, and I pretend like we are speaking francaise. And I go, oh, yes, I speak French. I influenced. And we try to get other people to speak. Right, but where. What is your background? Tell everyone where you are.

So that french accent actually will be our john. Mark is from Canada. so he's the french guy. But, I'm from Israel. A lot of people are somehow related that accent. But I don't know, nothing in France.

That's so awesome because you and I, we speak the same amount of French. We just do the accent. We don't speak French, but we sound like we speak French, but we don't, we. That's so awesome.

But yes, I came from Israel. My background is engineering. And when I came here, I was, I was, you know, started in Israel in a lighting start appliant company doing like what's called back then, electronical balance that can control from computer. We install, ah, you know, ah, we installed in a, let's say in Costco. You know, that's a big name. A system that you can manage your light, setting from the computer, save time of energy, give, better lumens and things like this. So that's, that was definitely new to connect control into lighting. Today we do it, quite easily in creating amazing show. But back then it was quite new. And so when I came here, I just came as a, you know, building the operation and the technical sides. I've not even been, doing, let's say, sales or something like this. But I always started new businesses, started new territory, you know, starting film from scratch and, making things that role. So that was my background. And, Samoan s four lights, it all came together. Sales, building the territory, building the business and things like this. So it's exciting.

I love it. Yeah, I mean, you just put my accent to shame. You know, you're the only guy that, that I know that has a better french accent than me that doesn't speak French. So congratulations. So good.

Craig: Maybe it's around quality control when buying from contractors

Craig, you know, I feel like you guys have some things, you know, when you started, you want to do some things different, maybe talk about some of those things. that you feel like you do different than what you had experienced in the past. Maybe it's around quality control. I know, I don't know, there's, there's a lot of different ways you can kind of answer this, I realize, but, you know, as a, as a contractor, when we're buying things, like, a lot of times, like, I don't know, like, why, why would I buy from you? And, like, doesn't everyone have quality control? And like, I don't know, maybe kind of speak to the contractor here on what, what things you guys do different, surely.

yeah, I would, I can definitely do that. The, one of the major things that we do differently is we work with our partners and we provide them a recipe. We don't go to factories and just buy product off of the shelf or product directly on what they offer. We go to them with what we want to build and work and collaborate with them to build a product and bring it to market so it meets the needs of the professional decorator. So when I was even doing some research for this show, I took a look, I went back and I looked at our first catalog and our tagline, then, and it is now is the professional's choice. So we're seasons four, the professionals choice. So even from the beginning, we're trying to design a product that might be, or it won't be the most, the least expensive product on the market, but it will be something that is a value that can go into a professional job and people can stand behind it and it'll last. it's not about, really the cost of the product, it's about the cost of the time, especially in holiday lighting, when the season is so short. it's super important that product works, it stays on, and you don't have to make service calls. that's where all the profit goes. It's not on $0.05 on a bulb or $0.50 on a light string. if that product performs and performs better than others, it's definitely worth the difference in price.

Got it. Hey, I did. I forgot to clarify my whole price speech. That was for the designers and contractors, not the manufacturers and distributors.

All of our product is looked at before it gets loaded on a container

Okay, well, I was going to take that and say, since we're raising our prices 10% right after this show here.

I represent the people. Okay. Like, just forget everything you've heard from me.

Okay?

Okay. I was listening. Raise your prices 10%.

So, we're already starting to get canceled.

Kidding. So, some of the things that we've done, I guess to, get our recipe out there, back in 2017, we opened up s four china. s four china is our office with our own staff that, is in Foshan, China. It's amidst all of the major lighting, decorative lighting factories that are there in China. And then most of those factories have now branched out to places like Cambodia or Vietnam, but the base is still in south China. So we have a team of about twelve people there, a couple engineers, veterans, of the industry from manufacturing standpoint. And they take our product and, go to the factories, make sure that the factories are building to our specification, into our recipe. They do quality control checks. All of our product is looked at before it gets loaded on a container. because once it's loaded on a container and arrives here in the United States, it's usually too late. It's too late to fix a problem. So if there is a problem, something as simple as maybe a typo in packaging, the details, their job is to go through the details and make sure that product's right before it leaves China or Vietnam or Cambodia or wherever it's coming from at this point. So, they travel all throughout Asia to, ensure that our product is being made to the specifications that we want them to be made. some of the things that we've learned really, in all of this is factories cheat. They cheat all the time. So if there are situations where, they can use a less expensive component and maybe you won't know about it, they very rarely tell you about it. They just, put it into the product and potentially you never notice, potentially you have a problem. So our team is trained to check the whole supply chain. Most lighting factories are really just assembly factories, so they're buying the raw materials from numerous different places. And one could imagine, if you're a manufacturer, maybe you can't get this component from this one factory and you have to buy it from another factory. And it's a, could be a different quality level. that kind of stuff gets slid in, gets molded over, and nobody knows the difference until you have product failure down the road. So, their design or their train in order to try, to keep, that to, as non existent as possible.

Yeah, that's very cool. I feel like, at some point in every contractor's career, they're tempted to be like, you know, especially when the volume starts to go higher. I could just do this myself. Like I, you know, they get an email, like, we get a direct message from someone in China, we're a factory, we can make this stuff for you. Gosh, I don't know. I get nightmares when I, when I think of that stuff because I know what goes into some of this stuff. And especially with the advancement of technology and LEd and everything else, it's like not all leds are created equal. And then people all say, oh, all the, all leds are coming from the same place. Well, maybe the chip, you know, but like, there's a lot of stuff that goes into it. Like you said, like manufacturing isn't that you make every single piece. You're sourcing a lot of stuff, assembling, building. There's just so much that goes into it. So I think the more that you guys can do that the less we have to worry about and then it's like, heck, I'd gladly, whatever. I don't care what your guys are making like, I don't want to deal with the headache, you know?

Well sure. we try to be reasonable, but you're absolutely right. you could take two led light strings, from two totally different vendors and put them on the table and plug them in brand new and they will look the same. But the proof is in the pudding is what those light strings look like after they have 1000 hours, 2000 hours, 3000 hours on them, Lumen degradation, how well the product holds up, how it holds up against gfis, current leakage. There's many, many different aspects of it and they're definitely not all the same.

Right.

yeah. One of the side businesses that both Jason and I have is actually an led factory. We do make our own. we are a supplier, we have, our company is a supplier to s four lights. So we can go through, you know, all of the raw material components and there are lots of ways to shave off a couple pennies here, couple pennies there, that kind of thing. It just totally adds up. And it's done on a regular basis.

Yeah. Very cool. well that I appreciate you sharing that.

Craig: Aviv, you deal with a lot of contractors

Aviv, maybe talk to me a little bit about. And maybe I'm wrong, but I don't know that, Craig, you're in the field as much. You could answer this too, but I feel like, aviv, you're dealing with a lot of contractors. Are there some common things that you see them struggling with? maybe when they're just getting started or even after they start using your product? Like are there some common problems that you guys are able to help, your customers make it through?

Yes. I will start maybe with the most funny one. Right. A lot of guys, especially like landscaping that used to go and buy, I don't know, the lighting, retail store, something like this, the installing our lights. And the first question I'm getting after the install, the light, it's too bright. So yeah, we can up with a dimmer even for just those questions.

That's crazy.

but I will say m first you look some of our product. Maybe people will be intimidated because there's many components in many parts. So there's a learning curve. on some of them, for example, you could get the light strands. But then if you go to landscaping, you need to connect it to landscaping. So you need the power supply and what power supply to use and how many I can do on a power supply. So a lot of small technical questions, which we are all the time there to help 24/7 through all options of text, email and phone calls. Believe me, I got everything. But once, they get it, it totally makes sense. It makes it so easy to install, to plan, and, you know, multiply whatever you add and add on to ia installation you already done. So once you understand how the infrastructure is working and how the power is being, ah, transmitted, once you get that, it's becoming so easy and user friendly. So.

Got it. Okay, cool.

A lot of our clients are going out of line voltage and into low voltage

And then how about kind of on the flip side, what are some common things that you see some common denominators, your most successful clients doing as you meet with them?

Most. I do not understand why most.

I mean, you could, maybe I could.

Help you on that one. Yeah, I see a lot of our really successful clients, going out of line voltage and into low voltage, 24 volts product. there's a lot of advantages to it. One specifically being a, ah, safe current. Right. So it's good around water features. It's good where children might be around if you have people that are actually touching lights, might be near moisture, if there's any chance of a shock. 20, ah, 4 volts, much safer. It actually, it runs longer. The leds aren't driven at as high of a drive current. They're still the same brightness, but they'll last longer. So low voltage, lights, 24 volts on average, will last longer than one, hundred 20 volts lights. And if you properly waterproof the, infrastructure, they won't trip a GFI, which is really key.

That's huge.

yeah. the power supplies are all isolating. So a GFI doesn't actually detect all of the light string, all the potential leakage in a light string. It just is detecting the plug between the power supply and the actual, the actual plug. So, ah, yeah.

Adding to that now, I will say the most successful customers that we have, customers that, not intimidate from the new technologies that we are bringing. And I'll give an example. We brought a, couple of, I think, during COVID and everything. we brought like, what's called an NXG strands, a next generation strand. And as we moved from molded construction into epoxy field construction, everyone wants more information. I would love to give him, but this is, so it's still high voltage, not low voltage, but is a very bulletproof strand. And those customers were not intimidated and jump on it immediately as we released it to the market because they trust us. They know our engineering capabilities and what goes behind those products. I have a customer that used to have a guy during the season, sleeping in hotel next to his high end customers. And as you said before, customer that doesn't care about the money, they care about the value. And this is why he was the only one who put a 24/7 guy there that if it's tripped during the m, during the, you know, the two weeks of holiday, you have a guy immediately fix it. This guy, after he put those lights, removed this guy from the, you know, from this task, which, is talking about how money saved by using those lights. Right. So I would say customers that understand and believe and goes without what we do in terms of engineering of our products, they are very successful and saving tons of money at the end of the day.

Yeah, no, that's great. I think it's so true. I mean, we get kind of stuck in our own rut. You know, like we get comfortable with things. And so then it's like, man, is it new? And, and sometimes there's hesitation, like, well, it's new. Like, is it gonna fail? You know? and so there's, there's a lot of reasons why, you know, people don't, aren't willing to experiment with technology, but yeah, if you can expand, it's going to expand your potential for clients and, and you know, maybe you're telling someone something about something new that no one else has. They're going to be more likely to trust you, that you're more educated and, and can provide a better experience. So I agree with that.

Yeah. One of the obstacles that we encounter with, with low voltage lighting is the thought process that needs to go into the layout. Since we're dealing with holiday lights and decorative lights, generally, it's pretty thin wire product, you know, 20 gauge, 22 gauge, even 24 gauge in some situations. So you run into issues with voltage drop and it's all about laying the system out and building the infrastructure so you don't encounter the voltage drop or you don't encounter as much voltage drop. it just takes a little bit more thought going into it and the outcome ends up being a more robust and foolproof system that really doesn't break down nearly as quickly as a line voltage system.

What are some distances that you can run low voltage bulbs using Versaline

Let's talk about voltage drop a little bit. What are some distances that you can run either c nine s or minis using, the low voltage product?

20, four volt dc you can run, ah, c 9200ft. so you could do 200 bulbs at twelve inch spacing. Twelve inch spacing, pretty much, yeah, if you want. 200ft is pretty much the, limit for 18 gauge.

Okay.

c bulbs, if you have less bulbs, so longer spacing, you could probably go a little bit further. But generally for c bulbs you're looking at about 200ft.

Okay.

Which is the average home. Actually, it's more than the average home.

Yeah. Very cool.

So off of a single power supply, in addition, there's ways to tap into it very easily. And you can hang some minis, you can, you can mix product, pretty easily with it.

Is that, is that different than your tap and go product? That tap? That actually go. I thought you had a product as well that goes into like the twelve volt ac stuff, is that right?

Yeah, we actually have two, we have tap and go, which is the simpler of the two for landscape lighting. So tap and go is simply you just tap it into either twelve or 24 volts ac and you run light strings. We just have light strings. So it's very simple if you want to get into our versaline product family, which is the, the strings themselves are the lightest fixtures themselves are 24 volts dc. You either use, what we call a landscape power adapter would be considered a power conditioner. And that would take anywhere, take a voltage range from twelve to 24 volts ac and then output the dc current to drive the, to drive the led lights, the decorative lights, they're all driven on a dc current versus ac current.

Is there a reason you would use one of those over the other?

it all depends on what you want to do. If, if you're just looking at maybe lighting up an accent tree and your low voltage system is right there and maybe you don't have a plug. you don't have 120 volts plug available. You just tap it in, you know, connect five or ten strings of lights on and you know, just run the tree. Now if you want to do maybe more of an elaborate lighting system where it could be trees, shrubs or other pieces, then, that would be where you would want to use the versaline system because the product selection is a lot more vast.

Okay.

A lot more product. and you could just tie into that with its own power supply and then it opens up our whole versa line. Product line and its infrastructure to, you know, to decorate with.

Okay, very cool. Yeah.

A lot of things to this effect, if I may. So basically the top and go is just trend as Craig said. So it's like you do some shreds, more trees and things like this for the holiday. Right. But once we added the twelve in the landscaping power adapter transfer to 24 volts, that's enabled us to connect everything from the Versaline family. And by that, if we're taking the best combination is to take that twelve volt landscaping power supply and the 24 volts eround multi seasonal we call it everlasting expandable strengths. So those are go for a multi seasonal e round. And that's added a lot of added value, especially in the landscaping community. And with that all the rest of the versaline, ah, things can come, you can connect to the landscaping or whatever, more like decorative stuff. so you can create some more nice area and add to your design for the garden.

So yeah, very cool. Well I'm glad you brought that up too because especially when you start, you know when you start, especially in our world, landscape lighting, it's just usually residential. But then all sudden someone owns a, or is having a wedding or I, or a wedding venue calls you, there's events and stuff like that. And so then they're like well man, we love these minis on these trees. Can, can we keep them up year round? And a lot of people were like, sure, but you know they don't, I don't. Whether they don't know or they don't want to know, like a lot of that stuff's not rated to be up year round. So you guys have that product that's rated for that and it has the expandable. I don't know what it is. It's a it's a rubber bandish type thing that allows it to grow with the with the tree. Right? I.

Yes, yes actually it does. it's a band that's in between the bulbs that actually allows the spacing to go from four inch spacing to six inch spacing. So the light strand can actually stretch. if it's a 25 foot light strand it can stretch 10%. So it'll last a few years on a tree. we've seen some real disasters to landscape trees, where people have put light strings on them and the tree grows around. The light string can choke the tree. It can tattoo the tree, really. There's ah, a lot of marks, permanent marks that can go onto a tree if it's not properly cared for. So this everlast strings expandable everlastings product has proven itself to be very helpful in regards to that and the health of the tree.

Yeah, I love it. Another product you guys have, one of our mutual clients, Chris, is, like, always. He's always like, dude, these are the best things ever. And it's pretty genius because, you know, you get to, you get those projects where, like, people, want their tree wrapped or whatever, and it's like, well, we can do that, but it's literally $25,000 to light that tree like you want it. And you've got, like, an architectural series, which you can use on the. On architectural or even on trees, but those, you know, you got your color beam. The large part of the big Bertha is basically an RGB flood. Right? And you put those out, and they're just so dense. Like, the saturation is awesome. They. They light a lot of area, and it takes, what, five minutes to set up? And, highly profitable at that point. You know, you buy it once and lease it out every, every year after that. So that's also a very cool product. I think you guys have.

Yes, it's proven itself to be really, really. It's a good item. a lot of people use them in conjunction with tree wraps. Maybe you do every other tree, or you wrap the trunk of the tree and you illuminate the canopy of the tree. There's a lot of ways to be creative about it. Maybe it's not a tree. Maybe it's a building or a water tower or who knows? Really, really doesn't matter. But there's a good selection of that product. They're good on their own.

All DMX compatible lights can go into any type of lighting show

Just plug them in. Some of them have remote controls. Some of them have buttons on them, but all of them are all DMX compatible, and they can go into any type of lighting show, which then could be an accent to anything. So you're able to control all of those lights, too, with just a little bit of added components.

That's awesome. Yeah, I'm. I just keep. I literally keep forgetting. But I want to get some for my house. I want. I want my neighbors to complain that the lights are too bright, because they're. They're awesome. So I definitely am going to get some for the front and back of my house.

That would be great. You can dim them, too, if you need.

No, no, we don't.

No, no, no.

My normal landscape lighting. Yeah, we dial that in. We make it, like, just perfect. But this, I want it bright. Like it's the holidays. I want to. If we're doing a party, I want it bright. So that's, a good product.

It really is. And we've really, grown that category. Kind of feel that we have small ones all the way up to rather large ones, too. So you can, you can illuminate landscape trees or you can do trees that are over 100ft tall easily.

And do you guys have the battery powered ones for weddings and things like that?

We, do have a small selection of them. Just a, rechargeable, battery operated parlight. Yes. For any type of wedding venue or like lecture event and anything like that, certainly.

Okay, that's cool.

So what's next? Is there anything you guys are working on with technology

So what's next? Is there anything you guys are working on? Like, or is there anything you're concerned about or excited about with technology? You know, like, tell us. Give us some. Give us a tease.

Go ahead, Aviv, tease them a little bit. We've always got something in our bag of tricks, so there's a laundry list of stuff. But, let Aveef talk about what he feels is the, is the best thing on the horizon.

Yeah. I don't know, Craig and share after this secret, development that's coming, right. But, we definitely expanding outside of the holiday and Christmas world. Right. So if you look at, what we bring into the market is expanding to now we have, a line that could go and fall, spring.

Right.

With some nice butterfly, or flowers on shapes like this that you can put in. I, would say commercial and more commercial places and feel like this can go five, six foot, a big flower. And I think with that, beautiful. With that, that we really looked into the color saturation of it. And daytime and nighttime, it will look the same. So if I'll take a, yellow butterfly. And the yellow butterfly will be yellow the day and the night as well. And how we do it, definitely. We can love to share and show how, what we've done with the strands and what we've done with the structure itself. We bring in, some, what, cold books, what, you know, those are, grass planted thing that put in for wedding or hotel or thing like this with some lights inside. So if you go in and look at our website, you will see you can find thing there for like almost any event, any holiday, and we trying to grow that size and always bring a good technology with a good design factor. We want the thing to look nice to looks beautiful to create something additional outside of just bringing the light. So.

Yeah, very cool. I think, most people don't realize because they do, they. Most people are afraid of price. They're just like, okay, I got to do this quote, I got to get as low as possible. But, you know, when you give people possibilities, it does a couple different things. So maybe, maybe they call you just for. To, like, wrap the trunks of the trees or whatever, and you should for sure just offer them that. But then what if you're like, hey, while I'm here, I don't know if you know this, but, like, I'm a designer. Like, I know what I'm doing. I'm a professional. And we've got way better ideas than just wrapping those trees. You know, like, we could, you know, are you open ideas? And then it's like, hey, we could do this. Do you guys like this?

Oh. No, we don't like that. What about this? We could do this. And then when you show them all this stuff, it does a couple things. Number one, it shows that you actually know more than they do, which you should. Right. it gives them an opportunity to say no. And a lot of people don't know this, but, like, you need people to say no because they're going to say no at some point. So let them say no to, like, the Macdaddy approach and then get them something in the middle. So, like, here's you give them what they want. We're going to wrap the trees or whatever, the trunks. But then we could do crazy, or we could do the trunks and then just a couple of things here. And I think the more educated you can become on products and offerings and different things, just to throw things out as ideas, it's just going to help grow your business. And if you just upsell one thing on every project, think about the growth that that's going to have on a small business, you know?

Absolutely. For me, no, is, usually the best yes I can get. Because a lot of those cars, especially when you have rides variety, a lot of those customers, they think, you know, they vaguely know what they want, right. And when you show them and they will say no, and you have a lot more option and more design and more aspect to see it's open a conversation. And suddenly they get better understanding of what they need. And then eventually you can pinpoint on your catalog and the offering. Actually, yes, this one is what I need. Right. So true.

Yeah. They don't know what they don't know. They think they got an idea. And it's like, it's up to us as professionals to educate them on what the possibilities are so that they can then finally decide, you know, you're right. I was thinking, I just wanted this I didn't even know that you had these 10 million other things. Like let's consider something else.

Absolutely.

by all means. having ah, as a, as a professional in the marketplace going out with something that your competition doesn't do or being known for the great, being the great light designer or the best Christmas light installer in the market by doing different things and using better product and product that looks better.

Absolutely.

We manufacture all of our RGB trees right here in the United States

well, I guess as we wrap up here, I want to do a couple things. One, did we miss anything? Is there anything else you guys want to share with the world? before we wrap up, maybe one last little piece?

We also have another division that sets us apart that's called s four decorous. A couple years ago, back in 2021, Jason and I expanded s four lights to build decor items. So we have a domestic factory. we make pre lit foliage, steel, structures, aluminum structures, fabrication. we build that stuff out of Oregon, Lebanon, Oregon. And we take our lighting solutions, we bring them into our main distribution center in Virginia. But then we share all those solutions with our decor facility. And we manufacture tower trees right here in the United States. we make them anywhere from about 12ft tall all the way up to over 100ft tall. So it's where we build our pixel pine trees, all of our RGB trees, a lot of structures, tunnels, pool trees, fountains. So full factory aluminum fabrication, powder coating, the whole bit. So we kind of take all of those components that we have and turn it into works of art.

Very cool. Yeah, that's cool.

Yeah.

Yeah. I will add also, if I may. I will there. So that the industry is changing right now is all the RGB coming in and people want multi seasonal and a lot, a lot of changes going on. So I would say we bring, you know, go out there, bring those beautiful project beautiful requests, whatever you need. Don't be intimidated because we have a huge behind, craig and I. We have a huge team that like, we have engineers that do amazing stuff with all the control. It's like, I don't think there's none like this in the industry. we have you know, a good staff. Good, good. Ah, operation team. We're doing everything from designing and working on the chip all the way to large installation with huge, you know, control and network things. So we are out there to help and support. So just bring those things because we love to be part of it.

Love it now that's awesome.

You can use a promo code to get 20% off your order

Well, you guys were generous enough to do a promo code. So if people want to. Want to check out, some s four product, what's the deal? What do they do? How do they do it?

all you have to do is go to our website, s four lights. com. if you're already a customer, you can use a promo code. Just log in. Promo code is litwithly 20. We'll, give you a 20% discount.

Nice.

If you're not a customer, you should be. So let's get you set up. So set up a new account with us and use that promo code. we'll get you 20% off your order, too. So it's, lit with Lee 20, and, 20. Like it. Yeah, we did it just for you, Ryan. So we were just joking. Decided not to raise our prices 10% before we give you 20 off.

Yeah, exactly.

Straight up. Good deal. So it's, 20% off, and we'll get you going on some of our products. Feel free to reach out to us. We have about a dozen salespeople throughout the country. many of you know who they are. If not, we can put you in touch with them, and, we'd love to work on some projects with you.

Okay. I love it, guys.

S four lights. com promo code lit with Lee 20. And get 20% off

All right, so check them out. S four lights. com. promo code lit with Lee 20. And get 20% off. So very cool. I appreciate you guys doing that for the, the community here.

Absolutely.

Well, I've enjoyed having you guys on. I really appreciate you guys taking time out of your day. Thanks, for sharing some. Some gold with us, and, you know, keep in touch. Let us know if we can do anything for you over here. And, everybody else also, thanks for being here. Hope everyone has an awesome week. Thanks, guys.

Thank you so much. Take care.

All right. Take it easy.

All right, bye bye. Thanks.

All right, guys, check them out. S fourlights. com. thank you to Emory Allen, Tom Garber, his whole family. They're awesome. See you guys. S fourlights. com lit with Lee 20.


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Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee has started and grew a multi-million dollar landscape lighting company in Fort Worth, TX. In 2019 he sold his lighting business and founded the world's only coaching program dedicated to helping other grow their landscape lighting business. He is an expert at helping lighting contractors double their profits by helping them increase their number of qualified leads, close more deals, and increase their price. If you're interested in growing your landscape lighting business or want help adding a lighting division to your business, then reach out and request a free strategy session today.

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