The oohs-and-ahhs of holiday lighting – watching clients’ faces light up as brightly as their new displays – is what really does it for Jeff Krall, president of American Holiday Lights in Woodridge, Illinois. It’s a feel-good service, and considered a luxury. Holiday lighting is also a year-round business for his team, and it includes installing permanent lights that can be customized with the tap of an app to change color and effect for every season and special occasion. (That includes rooting on your favorite sports team with lights in coordinating colors.)
“It’s so fun to see how these projects turn out and how happy people are with them – that’s the biggest joy,” Krall says. “This is what my guys do year-round,” he says, adding that every year, the holiday lighting business “keeps getting bigger.”
Selling the service.
What Krall will say is, seeing is believing – and buying. American Holiday Lights uses visuals during sales visits to show people how their lighting ideas can look in real life. Technicians are equipped technology to make that happen. “If you say, ‘I want roofline lights, some mini lights in the bushes and garland,’ we go back to our vehicle and we have computers and printers in the car,” he says. “We take a picture of your house and overlay what you want on the house. Within 10 minutes, we can show you a picture of what it would look like.”
The picture sells the service.
“People’s reactions when you come back inside and everything they told you they want is pictured on their house – they can see what the project will look like, and it makes a huge difference,” Krall says.
American Holiday Lights offers a 24-hour response time guarantee. “If you notice a strand or even one light is out, you can call the office and we have dedicated crews during the busy season to are waiting for those calls,” he says.
A technician will come to the house within 24 hours of the call. “You’re paying top dollar to have this service done and you want to set it and forget it,” he says.
Holiday lighting has come a long way since Krall began in the industry. For one, permanent displays can take the seasonality out of the service. Rather than putting up holiday lights in fall and taking them down in the New Year, clients can opt for 12 months of color they can control. And, Krall’s crews can install those permanent displays during the “off-season,” which keeps the company’s schedule full. Also, lighting is getting more sophisticated, with RGB technology, Krall says.
Roofline lights, lit wreaths and garland, can be controlled on a customer’s mobile device. “We can put up lights where you hold your phone up to your house and it scans every single lightbulb and you can change the light color,” he says. Imagine a candy cane effect illuminating the front year. “It’s pretty cool.”
With permanent lighting, Krall says, “The possibilities are endless.