The One Switch Vari-Just Troffer

Looking to upgrade the lighting in your commercial lighting, industrial lighting, retail lighting, warehouse lighting and classroom lighting applications or perhaps in a garage, utility room, or basement with dropped ceilings?

START Lighting’s two by four (2’ x 4’) and two by two (2’ x 2’) volumetric troffers are a perfect solution. And since they have START’s Vari-Just technology matching colors and/or wattages is a snap. All you need to do is flick a switch to control the color or change the wattage.

For contractors and property managers, this is the technology, and the product, that ensures your job is done right every time and that there is no error in selecting the right product for the install. We’ve designed our Vari-Just products to provide you the flexibility to make changes on the jobsite.

Last month we shared why we came up with Vari-Just. The basic reason? We wanted to make it a fixture that made field installation simple.

And the simple also extends to inventory and ordering. Now property managers, contractors and distributors only need to order, or stock, one item that can do the job of many.

Solving the CCT Lamp Challenge

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 needed to stock.

Early on, START Lighting worked on the wide band solution, allowing either 120v or 277v incoming voltage with a single lamp. We got that to work, and were off to the races. Now distributors, contractors, and end-users can focus on stocking / ordering from three different lamps instead of six (three color temperatures for 120v and three for 277v) since our lamps could handle 120v AND 277v.

START Lighting Vari-Just VolumetricTroffer

We introduced our first Vari-Just Troffer earlier this year. Our goal was to replicate the success of the Vari-Just LED Panel and put the technology into a troffer. Our goal was one wattage option and three separate CCT’s (3000OK, 4000OK, 5000OK).

Just light the Vari-Just LED Panel, we designed the Vari-Just Volumetric Troffer to handle the various wattages and CCT’s by flipping a switch to save you money (inventory investment for distributors, time for contractors and a product comparable priced to single function products that are in the market.)

This is how we are expanding our Vari-JustTM platform. One switch for color and one for wattage. All to make lighting installs simple for you.

Literally flip two switches on the fixture, and you have what you need! A fixture that can be adapted to address six variations.

One switch controls wattage. One controls color temperature.

The switches are located on the driver housing and are preset prior to installation (either at the factory or adjusted by the contractor on-site before install).

For both contractors and distributors, 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 3000OK and 3500OK are close together on the temperature spectrum, we have always manufactured in 3000OK, 4000OK, 5000OK, with the tuning capabilities. At customer requests, we’ve now added a 3500OK option.

START Lighting Vari-Just Volumetric Troffer’s versatility of the adjustments makes our 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.

For contractors this means always having the right panels and 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, making START’s Volumetric Troffer your cost-effective (material and labor) troffer solution.

Call us and ask us about your application.

START Lighting

LED Panels and Troffers that Save Time AND Money

Do you remember the early days of LED? Back when the average CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) was +/- 1000o?   When you had to choose between Cool White or Warm White!

Or, if you are a distributor, you had to stock multiple manufacturers, and items from each manufacturer, to ensure you had all of the CCT’s that a supplier offered?

What this essentially meant was that there were different definitions of white? Not just the typical three of 3000OK, 4000OK and 5000OK but multiple versions that approximated each of these!

In all seriousness, when LED’s were new, 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.

Providing customer with all of these choices and it was a wonder we could convince anyone to stock, specify, or sell the product let alone get a customer to buy the correct LED for their application and ensure they were satisfied. It became a running joke of “what is the color of light … yellow, white or shades of white?”

Solving the CCT Lamp Challenge

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 needed to stock.

Early on, START Lighting worked on the wide band solution, allowing either 120v or 277v incoming voltage with a single lamp. We got that to work, and were off to the races.  Now distributors, contractors, and end-users can focus on stocking / ordering from three different lamps instead of six (three color temperatures for 120v and three for 277v) since our lamps could handle 120v AND 277v.

Vari-Just, CCT and Wattage Adjustment for Flat Panels

START Lighting Vari-Just Flat PanelWe introduced our first LED Flat Panel four years ago, and approached it the same way.  Our goal was one wattage option and three separate CCT’s (3000OK, 4000OK, 5000OK).

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

Once we saw the fluctuations in wattage requirements, and of course CCT, our engineering group looked at the multiple sku’s and colors we were producing and also considered the number of skus that a distributor had to stock to serve their customers.

We determined the best way to handle the various wattages and CCT’s was to flip the switch to save money (inventory investment for distributors, time for contractors and a product comparable priced to single function products that are in the market.)

This was what sparked the idea for our Vari-JustTM platform, which we launched earlier this year.

Literally flip two switches on the fixture, and you have what you need! A fixture that can be adapted to address six variations.

One switch controls wattage.  One controls color temperature.

The switches are located on the driver housing and are preset prior to installation (either at the factory or adjusted by the contractor on-site before install).

For both contractors and distributors, 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 3000OK and 3500OK are close together on the temperature spectrum, we have always manufactured in 3000OK, 4000OK, 5000OK, with the tuning capabilities. At customer requests, we’ve now added a 3500OK option.

START Lighting Vari-Just LED TrofferThe 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.

For contractors this means always having the right panels and 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.

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.

START Lighting

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.

START Lighting

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.

 

linear T8 lamps

Relamping Warehouse Saves Money, Improves Lighting

If you’ve followed our blog, LinkedIn, or our  Press Releases, you know that we just moved into our new facility! As part of our agreement with the Building Owners, we provided and installed our products in the non-warehouse areas. I designed the lighting system to incorporate not only fixtures, but also controls. My goal was to take full advantage of  the floor to ceiling windows and our 300+ days of sunshine.

The end result is tremendous, incorporating the controls to maximize daylight harvesting, and the uber efficient LED system provides a peaceful and productive environment.  As I mentioned earlier, this didn’t include the warehouse. I was more focused with maximizing space in the warehouse and put the lighting design on the back burner.

I had an OEM partner in for a meeting this week, and as I gave him the tour I zeroed in on the lighting in the warehouse. When transitioning from theSTART Lighting Warehouse Pre Lighting office to the warehouse, its like a time warp, an orange glow from before the time of identifying lighting color with the Kelvin scale. The warehouse lighting is laid out in row after row of 2 lamp 4′ strips end to end, fortunately these had been updated to the newest technology in the 1990’s…T-8’s! I decided we needed to address the warehouse lighting immediately.

We decided to evaluate one area of the warehouse that START Lighting - After Relampinghas 24 of the 2 lamp 4′ fixtures. We took foot candle readings in 4 areas, the average f/c was 15.5. The fixtures were using 32 watt lamps and instant start ballasts consuming 68 watts per fixture, totaling 48 lamps and 1,632 watts for the are

Relamping / Delamping Saves Watts, Costs and Improves Lighting Quality

We decided to delamp and install our 20 watt LED Linear’s. We eliminated 30 lamps and dropped to 360 watts for the area. More importantly we raised the f/c level to an average of 18.3.

End result:

  • 62.5% less lamps
  • 78% less watts
  • 16% increase in f/c.

Not bad for a test, and it saved us the cost of removal and install of new fixtures.

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?

START Lighting Custom Solutions

Customize Your Lighting Project to its Completion

Not all lighting solutions are created equal. And they needn’t be, because not all lighting projects can support standard fixtures. You can only shim and squeeze so much before you must resign yourself to a certain design (all because it is the only one that fits). It becomes all too clear that customizing the solution in the beginning would have been much easier on the budget and project timeline.

But the need to customize lighting solutions can come at any time in a project. This means that a completely new lighting design or a retrofit project might arise, planned and unplanned. Either way, the ability to create a specialized solution can help achieve exactly the form and function you are needing.

Save Time and Money

Creating custom solutions means that mounting assembly headaches, wattage and color adjustments and lengthy time to market are hurdles of the past. START Lighting can build a lighting solution to fit your needs – to help you reduce your installation time as well as your labor costs. This is highly desirable over waiting until the project is complete, to only then discover that the lighting brightness is all wrong for the desired conditions. It is equivalent to doing the project twice (which means twice the budget).

One-Size-Fits all No More

Standard fixtures offer but a limited range of lighting options. START Lighting can offer Intelligent Control Solutions that allow you to adjust light levels and modify conditions to your specifications. Custom LED lamp modifications are also available in terms of Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), wattage, lighting color, drivers, lumen output, input wattage, lighting spectrum, Ingress Protection Rating (IP Rating) and Color Rendering Index (CRI).

Customization can include: a need for more natural light, hue, or vividness, which can be solved through CRI adjustment; or an input wattage modification due to a retrofit; or safety adjustments to enclosures to certify specific environmental protection levels.

Other custom LED lighting fixture considerations are indoor and outdoor lighting designs. Each of these have different operational requirements and protection standards. Harsh outside conditions can wreak havoc on housings, enclosures and mounts. START Lighting offers adjustments to their fixtures—making them highly shock and water-resistant.

Mounting

Another common area for customization concerns mounting. From the desire to match previously or currently mounted housings and fixtures, to limited functional space, specialized mounting assemblies help ensure uniformity and secure installation.

When Adequate Doesn’t Cut it

Don’t settle for the lighting solution that just “fits” your needs. Instead, customize the design so form, fit and function are fully utilized and fully operational. The experts at START Lighting have the experience to assist with your flexible lighting needs. We can recommend, design and make a variety of fixture adjustments to meet your customization desires.

Ready to customize your designs in a construction or retrofit project? Visit the START Lighting Custom Services page and fill out the request form to get started.

NEMRA

NEMRA – A Tool for Accelerating Small Manufacturer Growth

The following post commenting on START Lighting joining NEMRA first appeared on ElectricalTrends.com, an important electrical distribution industry blog. It was authored by David Gordon, who started Electrical Trends and is President of Channel Marketing Group. View the original post here.

Earlier this week there was a press release announcing that a small, innovative and progressive LED lighting company, START Lighting, had recently joined NEMRA. Now normally a small manufacturer joining an association isn’t too noteworthy, and, quite frankly, it isn’t, but it brought to mind a few things:

  • That NEMRA agents, traditionally more supply-oriented, are getting more and more involved in lighting. While lighting agents may control the new construction market, we hear more and more that NEMRA agents are involved in the growth of the lighting industry as they are involved in the lighting renovation market. And while some distributors may not like this, they are also generating revenues at the ESCO level for manufacturers.
  • With so many lighting manufacturers in the industry, being number 94 on a lighting agent’s linecard unfortunately doesn’t capture any share of mind, which is what is necessary for generating revenue.
  • Many manufacturers feel that the NEMRA meeting is either THE or one of the key conferences of the year. It attracts over 1900 people and, most importantly, it is the sales meeting for many manufacturers. Any manufacturer of consequence attends as does a very high percent of the NEMRA rep members.
  • NEMRA essentially represents, and speaks, for the manufacturer sales organization as 80% of industry manufacturers represent at least 60% of industry sales (and increasing as some direct sales manufacturers have mixed in some reps in certain territories or aspects of their offering).
  • NEMRA offers reps, and manufacturers, the opportunity to network and discuss industry issues … and recommends solutions to some of the issues (POS, CRM connectivity, sales reporting, rep best practice sharing, etc)

But, back to START, they recognize that they need to network to quality reps and be participants in industry conversations while being exposed to industry initiatives that will help drive their business. In fact, the CEO, Jason Barbour said “NEMRA 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.”

And as a small company where investments are scrutinized for their ROI and joining associations are questioned as it relates to their value, START saw value in joining an association tied to driving revenue and supporting their sales organization … the people who connect to their customers.

Assuming a significant number of manufacturers become NEMRA members, this can have benefits for distributors as well as the reps.

  • The reps gain more access to lines
  • Distributors have more options of quality suppliers to be able to control their destiny as it relates to capturing lighting projects and profiting from them (presuming they pursue the business rather than solely quote it) and
  • NEMRA may be able to aggregate training, either from these suppliers or develop innovative training and marketing options that are co-funded by these companies, provide a networking environment for complementary companies.
  • Develop strategies to help reps pursue the elusive ESCO market and gain more insights into the renovation / remodel market so that they can add more value to their distributor channel partners.

For a small lighting manufacturer (and manufacturer in general), NEMRA can be the start for accelerating their growth.