Start Planning Early to Capitalize on Holiday Lighting Services

By Roger Ramsey on January 25, 2021 in Blog1 Comment

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As contractors complete their holiday lighting take down projects and pack everything up for the season, now is the time to begin planning for 2021.

Projections for the upcoming season suggest the green industry will see another strong year for holiday lighting sales and services. People working from home are expected to continue “cocooning,” meaning they are heavily investing in their home upgrades and outdoor living spaces because they’re spending so much more time at home.

Whether you have years of experience with holiday lighting installs or you’re new to the idea, start planning early in order to get the most out of the upcoming season. Click here to watch a previously recorded Q&A interview with a 20-year veteran of holiday lighting in the Atlanta, GA, market for in-depth information about keeping your employees busy and creating more seasonal revenue with holiday lighting services.

Here are four questions we typically receive with information to help you get the most out of selling lights and offering holiday lighting services this year.

Why should I start planning for the holiday lighting season now?

While holiday lighting services are an exciting, fun, easy-to-embrace offering for green industry professionals, there are several steps to follow ahead of time in order to be prepared for the upcoming season.

In the past, we’ve covered how to add holiday lighting as a service, and those step-by-step instructions will prepare you for requests later in the year. If you start to set up your service offering now, you’ll have time to train your crew, set up storage areas, purchase necessary equipment and talk up your holiday lighting service to your clients.

Will costs be going up for holiday lights in 2021?

It’s probable that there will be cost increases for several reasons: demand for holiday lighting is going up, the cost of materials like plastic and copper are increasing and freight costs are increasing as well.

But do not let this keep you from offering holiday lighting services! By beginning to plan now, you can position yourself and your team to take advantage of the expected increase in demand for holiday lights this year.

Can I buy holiday lighting myself directly from manufacturers?

Now is the time of year when importers are targeting contractors and installers for direct sell opportunities. Although lower pricing can be found by going that route, manufacturers have strict payment schedules, often requiring a down payment of 10-15% at the time of purchase with a secondary payment due when the product ships in June or July. This means you’re paying for product up front and your capital is tied up throughout the year.

While freight costs might be covered once a significant order size is reached, for example $5,000 worth of product, contractors would be required to pay the freight costs on any returns, and in many cases the manufacturer will not cancel or modify the order. If they do allow modifications, there is a restocking fee which could be as much as 20-25%.

It’s likely that orders placed during the season would have much higher costs, making it more difficult to make a profit. Also, warranty fulfillment and in-season product availability can be difficult to access if you don’t have local support. Working with a distributor minimizes these risks, giving you flexibility as well as peace of mind.

What types of holiday lighting products are customers looking for?

When it comes to customers’ favorite colors, the vast majority of homeowners are perfectly happy with warm, white-emulating classic incandescent bulbs. Cool white and traditional red bulbs battle for second place.

Holiday lighting products can vary greatly, but your top 8-10 items will account for over 90% of annual sales, making holiday lighting options a tight product offering with a quick learning curve when it comes to installation and take down.

With this past season fresh on everyone’s mind, now is the time to begin planning for upcoming holiday lighting opportunities. To learn more, click here to watch the recorded Q&A interview with a 20-year veteran of holiday lighting services in the Atlanta, GA, market.

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Roger Ramsey
Roger Ramsey serves as Outdoor Living Products Manager at Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply. He can be reached at

One Response to Start Planning Early to Capitalize on Holiday Lighting Services

  1. Ted Pendlebury January 26, 2021 at 5:04 pm #

    If I offered this service, I’d start right now, while memory of last season’s lights is fresh in mind.

    I’d use EDDM postcards to target those in your geographic area. Show photos of 2 homes. One “homeowner-done” and one professionally done. Urge them to subscribe to your emails, maybe call for estimate, or ?? Offer them an incentive to do so, as well as an incentive (later) to have you put the lights up early, to even out your work level.

    If they were a little envious of the neighbors’ lighting last season, they may be willing, if not likely, to go all out. But start now, and keep in touch through the year.

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