Mulcrone & Associates to Represent START Lighting in northern IL, eastern WI, northwest IN, Upper Peninsula of MI

Englewood, CO, July 19, 2018: START Lighting is pleased to announce that Mulcrone & Associates as its new representative in northern Illinois (Chicagoland) and eastern / southern Wisconsin.

START, a commercial and industrial lighting manufacturer is known for designing and producing quality lighting fixtures while having the flexibility to modify fixtures to address customer needs and designing new fixtures to fit unique applications specific to customers, is selectively expanding its rep network.

Having worked with Jason Barbour, CEO of START Lighting, at another company, Mulcrone felt comfortable that Jason would be leading a quality company dedicated to supporting electrical manufacturer reps and their customers … electrical distributors.

While Mulcrone, like many electrical manufacturers’ reps, represents some other lighting lines, they saw some of START Lighting’s capabilities as a unique way to differentiate themselves and add value to their electrical distributors and the distributors’ customers.

The ability to modify products to meet customer needs and some of START’s unique products such as its Vari-JustTM troffers and panels with tunable CCT and adjustable power controls, as well as its Parking Garage Canopy Luminaire with its Kwik-Link feature to simplify installation attracted Mulcrone & Associates.

And recognizing that the Chicagoland market is very demanding, START and Mulcrone have decided to stage key products in Mulcrone’s distribution warehouse. The benefit being robust inventory to handle larger projects, and a regional ship point to cover the market.

Jon Efurd, president of Mulcrone & Associates said after meeting Jason at the company’s headquarters, “We were very impressed with START product quality and ingenuity. The company is flexible, responsive and has great lighting knowledge. Jason knows the lighting business AND values reps and distributors. Having this level of knowledge to support our distributors will enable us to bring new solutions to differentiate our distributors and help them solve their customers’ problems. We view this as true value engineering. We look forward to introducing START in the Chicago and Milwaukee markets.”

Said Jason Barbour, CEO of START, “Mulcrone & Associates is a dynamic and forward-thinking organization, the type of agency we want to be aligned with. They have strong product knowledge, are committed to supporting their distribution customers, and understand the needs of their large and diverse geography. Together I’m confident that we can bring value to the agency, its distributors and most importantly our joint customers.”

ABOUT MULCRONE & ASSOCIATES:

For over 47 years, the 17-person Mulcrone & Associates agency has served electrical distributors, contractors and the electrical needs of industrial and institutional accounts in northern Illinois; eastern Wisconsin, northwest Indiana and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The company also has a 40,000 sq foot warehouse in Wood Dale, IL. To learn more about Mulcrone & Associates go to https://www.mulcrone.com.

ABOUT START Lighting:

START Lighting manufactures high quality lighting fixtures for the commercial and industrial markets and is committed to selling through electrical and lighting distributors. Producing a broad line of standard and customized solutions, START Lighting provides innovative solutions to commercial and industrial lighting challenges. Through in-house design, engineering, modification and assembly capabilities, START can reduce product development time from months to weeks to modify and engineer custom-made lighting. To learn more and view our offering, visit www.start-lighting.com to download our catalog.

Robert Sterling Joins START Lighting as Sales Operations Manager

Englewood, CO, June 25, 2018: START Lighting is pleased to announce that Robert Sterling has joined START Lighting as a Sales Operations Manager focused on supporting START’s expanding rep network and serving the unique needs of contractors and facility / property management organizations.

Offering a comprehensive line of indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures designed to bring improved lighting to office buildings, apartment complexes, hospitals, schools, places of worship retail space and other commercial facilities, START marries energy efficiency with improved light quality and an innovative, modern design. This combination cost-effectively helps companies save money, improve security and enables a more productive workplace. Additionally, START’s in-house modification capabilities ensure that fixtures, and their mountings, are designed to fit each facility. Lighting fixtures can be modified to integrate sound, cameras, motion sensors and more.

Sterling brings an extensive background in the finance, construction and property management industries. Robb was the General Manager for one of the largest Commercial Demolition companies in Denver and grew the business by establishing relationships with local General Contractors, Property Management Companies and Real Estate Professionals. After leaving the commercial demolition industry, and prior to joining Start Lighting, Robb served as a Vice President at Chase Bank, and as the Construction Manager at Steelwave (Leasing & Property Management), managing projects in both Colorado and Seattle.

Said Jason Barbour, CEO of START, “Rob’s unique background of understanding contractors and the needs of facility managers will enable us to further assist our reps in the development of customized solutions for their distributors and customers.”

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ABOUT START Lighting:

START Lighting manufactures high quality lighting fixtures for the commercial and industrial markets and is committed to selling through electrical and lighting distributors. Producing a broad line of standard and customized solutions, START Lighting provides innovative solutions to commercial and industrial lighting challenges. Through in-house design, engineering, modification and assembly capabilities, START can reduce product development time from months to weeks to modify and engineer custom-made lighting. To learn more and view our offering, visit www.start-lighting.com to download our catalog.

Save Time, Save Money…Vari-Just

From the early days of LED, back when the average (Correlated Color Temperature) was +/- 10000 or before that, when you had a wide variety of lamp colors, it was confusing, but you had to choose between Cool White or Warm White!

In all seriousness, when LED was a new thing, we as an industry (albeit much smaller) wrestled with the wild swings in CCT and at the time having to choose between 120v or 277v. Add all these choices together and it was a wonder we could convince anyone to stock, specify, or sell the product. It became a running joke of “what is the color of light … yellow, white or shades of white?”

Coming from the Electrical Distribution channel, we started to look for ways to make our products more customer friendly and reduce the number of sku’s a distributor would need to stock. Early on, we worked on the wide band solution, allowing both incoming voltage. We got that to work, and off to the races, now Distributors, Contractors, and End Users had to stock (three color temperatures for 120v and three for 277v)

We introduced our 1st Flat Panel 4 years ago, and approached it the same way on choice … one wattage option and 3 separate CCT’s.

To be expected as the demand grew, so did the variation on wattage for rebates. We’d have a Utility on the East Coast that would want a 30w 2×2 panel, and another on the West Coast that would want that in 25w!

Once we saw all the fluctuations in wattage requirements, and of course CCT, we looked internally at the multiple sku’s and colors we were producing, let alone what a Distributor had to stock.

We determined the best way to handle all the various wattages and CCT’s was to flip the switch to saving money, and this year we introduced the START Lighting Vari-JustTM Platform. Literally flip two switches on the fixture, and you have what you need!

One switch to control wattage. One to control color temperature.

The switches are located on the driver housing and are preset prior to installation. For both Contractor and Distributor, the commonality of the function on the panels and the troffers is a pre-fab time saver. Simply set the switches accordingly and connect them to the system.

As 3000k and 3500k were close together on the temperature spectrum, we have always manufactured in 3000/4000/5000k, with the tuning capabilities, we’ve now added a definitive 3500k option.

The versatility of the adjustments makes these panels and troffers great in offices, schools, government facilities, and healthcare applications.

For distributors this makes product selection easier and can reduce inventory skus, hence reducing inventory investment (which in the age of LEDs is good for a distributor.)

For contractors this means always having the right troffers on the job site. A simple flick of the switch ensures you have what you need, when you need it making jobs easier and faster to install … saving you time and money.

And since quality and creativity is our standard. There is no additional cost for this advanced functionality.

START Lighting offers two Vari-Just offerings:

2×2 Flat Panel or Volumetric Troffers:

Incoming Watts 30/35/40/45

  • CCT Tuning 3000/3500/4000/5000k

2×4 Flat Panel or Volumetric Troffers: (link to page in a separate window)

  • Incoming Watts 50/60/65/72
  • CCT Tuning 3000/3500/4000/5000k

Click here to learn more about Vari-Just Volumetric Troffers and here to learn about our Vari-Just Volumetric LED Flat Panels.

Click here to download our catalog or email START Lighting for more information

START Launches New Product Line

Denver, CO – START Lighting a leader in LED lighting fixture design recently launched new products in form, features and capabilities. The complete product line redesign is showcased at www.start-lighting.com and is available in a new catalog as well as a product overview to support inside salespeople.

Unique, new, offerings include:

  • Introduction of START’s Vari-JustTM line of 2’x2’ and 2’x4’ flat panels and troffers. The Vari-Just series features standardized CCT functionality and power adjustment capabilities. No longer do contractors need to be concerned about ordering the right color temperature or wattage. START’s fixtures can be easily adjusted at the point of installation. While an upgraded product, START has adopted Vari-Just as its standard offering and there is no increased cost versus traditional panels and troffers.
  • START’s Canopy Luminaire, designed for parking garages, features START’s Kwik-Link fixture connection. Contractors can wire a parking garage and then go back and quickly snap in the lens.
  • START expanded its high-bay offering and now offers its Hi-Performance Linear High Bay, its Silhouette II Series and its new Slimline Linear High Bay

The complete product line includes architecturally designed area / shoeboxes, canopy fixtures, downlights for commercial and residential retrofit applications, three types of high-bays, slimline flood lights, utility strip luminaire, led flat panels, volumetric troffers and wall packs for commercial and industrial applications.

Additionally, the company offers pre-fab lighting services, fixture modification capabilities for short-runs and a guaranteed quick turnaround time. START can also design commercial and industrial fixtures for customer-specific applications that may integrate controls, different drivers and lenses, cameras and more.

To learn more, visit www.start-lighting.com. To download or request the catalog go to www.start-lighting.com/resources.

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About START Lighting

START Lighting manufactures LED fixtures for the commercial and industrial lighting markets. Producing both off-the-shelf and engineered lighting solutions, START Lighting provides innovative solutions to commercial and industrial lighting challenges. By cutting product development time from months to as little as a week, START can produce custom-made lighting products quickly while still meeting rigorous performance and quality standards. To find out more, please www.start-lighting.com.

Biben Sales Becomes START Lighting’s Newest Rep

Englewood, CO, June 25, 2018: START Lighting is pleased to announce that Biben Sales is its new representative. Biben will represent START in Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

START, a commercial and industrial lighting manufacturer is known for designing and producing quality lighting fixtures while having the flexibility to modify fixtures to address customer needs and designing new fixtures to fit unique applications specific to customers, is selectively expanding its rep network.

The ability to modify products to meet customer needs and some of its unique products such as its Vari-JustTM troffers and panels as well as its Parking Garage Canopy Luminaire Kwik-Link Series attracted Biben to START. START recognizes that NEMRA agents have entered into the lighting market and may have lighting lines that are more “white goods” in nature but that they need a line that can be innovative, flexible and responsive to more challenging lighting needs.

According to Bob Tate, LC, Biben Sales’ VP End-user Sales at Biben Sales,Jason, and START Lighting, really do understand where this market is headed such as field selectable CCT’s on most fixtures, field selectable drive currents, various control options including cameras in lamps and PoE and providing fixture servicing options that transcend that which most manufacturers offer.” We represent some other lighting lines also but START filled a niche to make us different and a greater resource to our customers.” Both Bob and Tracy Niedrowski, Biben’s Manager of Lighting / Energy, evaluated START Lighting to determine the fit with Biben. Tracy’s ESCO and lighting layout expertise contributed to further understanding how START could benefit Biben’s customers.

Gene Biben, president of Biben Sales, led an in-depth due diligence process. In Gene’s words, “I was focused on what does Start Lighting do or have that will help us differentiate them to our distributors and end users? My team was impressed.”

Said Jason Barbour, CEO of START, “Biben Sales represents the epitome of the type of agency we want to be aligned with. They have strong lighting knowledge, are committed to supporting their distribution customers and understand the needs of their customers. Together I’m confident that we can bring value to the agency, its distributors and most importantly our joint customers.”

ABOUT BIBEN SALES & ASSOCIATES:

Biben Sales is an Independent Manufacturer’s Representative firm serving the Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia and northern Virginia markets. The 25-person agency focuses on supporting the needs of electrical distributors in these markets as well as bringing innovative products and solutions to their customers. The company represents a number of electrical supply manufacturers and its recently formed lighting division is helping companies with new solutions to improving energy efficiency, productivity and enhanced lighting to their environments.

ABOUT START Lighting:

START Lighting manufactures high quality lighting fixtures for the commercial and industrial markets and is committed to selling through electrical and lighting distributors. Producing a broad line of standard and customized solutions, START Lighting provides innovative solutions to commercial and industrial lighting challenges. Through in-house design, engineering, modification and assembly capabilities, START can reduce product development time from months to weeks to modify and engineer custom-made lighting. To learn more and view our offering, visit www.start-lighting.com to download our catalog.

START Lighting Expands into Utah with SJ Porter & Associates

START Lighting is pleased to announce that SJ Porter & Associates is its new representative for the Utah market.

START, a commercial and industrial lighting manufacturer is known for designing and producing quality lighting fixtures and having the flexibility to modify fixtures to address customer needs to fit unique applications specific to customers, is expanding its reach into the Utah  and Intermountain markets.

Said Jason Barbour, CEO of START, “START Lighting is in a growth mode and actively seeking to expand its rep network. When I heard Steve was starting another agency I thought what a great time to get into the Intermountain market and with an experienced agent who knows the market. We have similar philosophies … treat the customer right. We’re looking forward to helping educate him, his team and the marketplace on the START Lighting difference and bringing new lighting solutions into the market.”

Steve Porter, former president of Porter-Brown and partner in Pinnacle Solutions, recently started SJ Porter & Associates, https://sjporter.com. Said Steve, “I’ve been a rep in the market for 20 years. Recognizing the growth of LEDs in the market I wanted to partner with a quality, fresh, manufacturer who is known for understanding lighting but also has an appreciation for the distribution channel. Jason and START impressed me from the beginning. They know the lighting space, are designing leading edge products and he is third generation distribution with experience at WESCO and Crescent. He understands each customers’ needs. We’re looking forward to helping START make a mark here in the Intermountain area.

ABOUT SJ Porter & ASSOCIATES:

SJ Porter & Associates, www.sjporter.com, is a premier independent sales agency in the intermountain area (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada) representing quality manufacturers of electrical, electronic and automation products and solutions.

ABOUT START Lighting:

START Lighting manufactures high quality lighting fixtures for the commercial and industrial markets and is committed to selling through electrical and lighting distributors. Producing a broad line of standard and customized engineering lighting solutions, START Lighting provides innovative solutions to commercial and industrial lighting challenges. To learn more and view our offering, visit www.start-lighting.com to download our catalog.

CET & Associates becomes START Lighting sales agent

START Lighting is pleased to announce that CET & Associates is its new representative for the Colorado and Wyoming Markets.

START, a commercial and industrial lighting manufacturer is known for designing and producing quality lighting fixtures while having the flexibility to modify fixtures to address customer needs and designing new fixtures to fit unique applications specific to customers, is selectively expanding its rep network.

Said Jason Barbour, CEO of START, “I’ve been in the Denver market for over 25 years, first starting in the electrical distribution industry and for the past 10 leading lighting manufacturers. I’ve known Tim Cuneo for over 20 years and he leads the most talented rep agency in the market. I’ve since met his team and they are extremely knowledgeable about the marketplace from distributors to end-users and contractors and the lighting specification market.  I’m excited about the opportunity of working with them to grow the market.”

Tim Cuneo, the president of CET, stated “We’ve been wanting to startegically expand our lighting offering and, after learning more about START and speaking with some of our key distributors, felt that this was a very good fit. My team felt START has a quality, comprehensive product offering, was very customer-oriented and could rapidly respond to our needs.  Having known Jason for many years I know he is a man of his word, believes in the rep model and understands distributor needs. He is also one of the most creative lighting management and salesperson I’ve ever met.  We look forward to growing the business with him and his team.”

CET and AssociatesABOUT CET & ASSOCIATES:

CET & Associates is an Independent Manufacturer’s Representative firm serving the Colorado and Wyoming markets that specializes in offering unique products and solutions to the residential, commercial, and industrial construction sectors. CET specializes in helping distributors, their customers and engineers with infrastructure and lighting products.

START LightingABOUT START Lighting:

START Lighting manufactures high quality lighting fixtures for the commercial and industrial markets and is committed to selling through electrical and lighting distributors. Producing a broad line of standard and customized solutions, START Lighting provides innovative solutions to commercial and industrial lighting challenges. Through in-house design, engineering, modification and assembly capabilities, START can reduce product development time from months to weeks to modify and engineer custom-made lighting. To learn more and view our offering, visit www.start-lighting.com to download our catalog in the Resources section.

 

START Lighting Catalog

START Grows Again

START Lighting, a progressive, entrepreneurially-oriented commercial and industrial lighting company committed to supporting electrical and lighting distributors, recently consolidated three remote warehouses into one larger warehouse to support continued growth. The new space increases the company’s warehouse space by 150%, enabling it to further service distributor needs and ensure high fill rates. The company is now located at 14 Inverness Drive East Suite F-156, Englewood, CO 80112. The phone number, which did not change, is (866) 862-9352.

According to Jason Barbour, START Lighting’s CEO, “We needed to make the investment into the expanded space to support today’s growth and enable us to prepare for the next phase. Additionally, the added space provides us a dedicated area for fixture modification and additional office space to support our Engineered Lighting Solutions group.”

In conjunction with the expansion, START introducedSTART Lighting Catalog its first print catalog. This new, 48 page catalog covers 16 product categories. Said Barbour, “As a technology-oriented company driven to support the channel we initially wanted to place our product catalog online. While our website traffic is great we were having requests for a print catalog. Not to say that some are “old school”, but we want to serve all of our customers however they’d like to be served. I’m very proud of our catalog and the accompanying one-page product overview we produced.

The catalog and one-page overview are available in .pdf forms at on our website in the Resources section or can be requested by contacting Nicole Bagozzi, Director of Sales, at nbagozzi@start-lighting.com.

Healthy Distribution Channel

Let me put my biases aside, and write this from two perspectives. I sat on the electrical distributor side of the table for the majority of my career, I also took a gigantic leap of faith 10 years ago to be one of the first to introduce LED lighting to the market.

I’ve chosen a path for our company, and that is to sell and support one channel…..electrical distribution. Going back three generations in my family, this has always been a loyal, straight forward, honest, and talent rich channel. Electrical distributors and manufacturers have generally worked well together, the majority of the business written on both sides came from this alliance.

Perhaps the largest disruption in decades, LED lighting enters the market. I look back at the first 4 years in the LED business and view it as a time wherein I did more educating than any other single task. I made wild predictions that the traditional “Big 3” lamp companies would not remain on top, and that they’d experience massive change in the coming years. I was asked to participate on a panel at Lightfair several years ago, speaking to investment professionals with Piper Jaffray. The panel consisted of executives from Philips, GE, Sylvania….and me? I was the odd man in this scenario, and I was the lone man as I disagreed with their premises on almost every point. It was a lot of fun for me, and when time had ended, I spent another hour with the audience in the hallway answering questions and explaining why I thought the market would be dramatically different in 5 years. No need to elaborate here, we’ve all seen what has happened.

The general formula for a good relationship in the electrical distribution channel is balance. The manufacturer provides products and services at a consistent and fair price; the distributor provides the access to the channel for the manufacturers, through the product, service, pricing, and wide market coverage. Both sides rely on quality product, relationships, performance, continued growth, and most importantly profitability for both. This formula can only work with one intangible, trust.

It is a healthy process, that healthy distributors engage in often, and that is evaluating your suppliers. The basics of these evaluations cover a lot of data driven discussion, and not as often is there communication with the supplier. It’s common to review turns, service, sales, profit, product issues, warranty claims, ROI, etc. Note I did not include the intangible….trust. With all of the LED lighting suppliers that have sprung up over the last several years, it may seem as if it’s murky waters. Many times we’ll see distribution try “xyz” supplier this time. Next time it might be “abc” supplier, and again it maybe “123” supplier. But is there any review of these lines, wherein a cohesive bond and trust are fostered? My experience would tell me that while Salesperson Joe may like “abc” and Salesperson Diane may like “xyz”, the only time these lines are discussed is when something goes wrong. And many times “management” doesn’t even know what companies its salespeople are buying from. The so called “Manufacturer” may, or may not be available to talk when the problem occurs. He or She is off with a new Company (or calling on another distributor or maybe no longer in the job), and out of the loop. Now the problem is in the distributor’s hands, and it’s costing them money and damaging trust with their client.

So, should those lines be reviewed? Yes! It is vital that the distributor understand the basics of working with a “new” LED lighting manufacturer. As more and more Asian companies set up businesses in the U.S. selling LEDs (lamps and fixtures), understanding their approach to business is critical. They don’t follow the typical model, they are happy to sell it direct to your customer, sell it to your competitor down the street, or sell it to the end user. They don’t care or respect the model which has existed in the electrical channel for many decades. They are not going to change their “immediate sale” mentality to foster a long term partnership model.

Here are the five questions I’d ask any new “manufacturer” wanting to do business:

  1. How long have you been in business? – If the answer is less than 5+ years, I’d be concerned on how they plan to warrant their product for 10 years?
  2. Can you give me a list of distributors you have an active vendor status with? If they can’t produce any, that’s a red flag. I’ve had many LED companies ask me, “how can you afford the insurance that these distributors are asking for?”
  3. Do you go to market through manufacturer reps? If yes, ask the agents about the company and the positioning on their line card. If no, how do they market and support the distribution channel?
  4. What is your support structure? Who do we contact for sales, project management, quotations, technical support, and warranty claims? Most of these companies don’t have infrastructure built out to support distribution.
  5. Where is your manufacturing and/or warehouse located? If the answer is anything short of brick and mortar in the U.S., how can they supply and fulfill your orders?

Not all LED lighting companies are playing on the same field, as I mentioned previously.  Most don’t understand the role of distribution, or how to support it. These are the same companies selling on Amazon Business, E-bay, Build.com, etc. The key to success is trust, and if they aren’t squarely in your corner, then there is no way that trust can be built.

Perhaps you’ll give me a call and let me earn your trust?

NEMRA logo

START Lighting Becomes Member of NEMRA

Denver LED Lighting Manufacturer Becomes Approved Vendor for National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association; Opens Channel for New Business

DENVER, Colo. – (Sept. 26, 2016) – START Lighting, a Denver-based manufacturer of high-quality LED lighting products for the commercial electrical industry, today announced that they have been accepted for membership to NEMRA (National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association).

Founded in 1969, NEMRA is a global leader in promoting and developing independent reps as an indispensable channel to market for the electrical industry. The organization offers regional events and vetted databases that help manufacturers and independent agents connect and do business.

“We’re excited to join the NEMRA fold,” said Jason Barbour, START Lighting’s CEO. “Being a participating member of this esteemed organization gives us not only improved credibility and visibility in the industry, but a faster path to finding the right representative in the right regional market.”

“We are very pleased to have START Lighting as a new member of the NEMRA Manufacturers Group,” said Kenneth Hooper, president of NEMRA. “They join a growing list of lighting manufacturers who are benefitting from being a part of NEMRA and our network of professional representative firms.”

About START Lighting

START Lighting manufactures high quality LED products for the commercial electrical industry. Producing both off-the-shelf and customized solutions, START Lighting provides innovative solutions to commercial lighting challenges. By cutting product development time from months to as little as a week, we can produce custom-made lighting products faster than competitors while still meeting our rigorous performance and quality standards. To find out more, please visit www.start-lighting.com.