How To Sell Lighting Controls (Part 2): Know The Application

May 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm  •  Posted in Company Profiles, Product Highlight, Uncategorized  •  0 Comments

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed a few important areas of focus when selling lighting controls: knowing your customer, zeroing in on relevant code, and drafting a basic energy audit to calculate savings. To make a strong case for controls, contractors should also understand the unique lighting needs of a few different types of spaces.

Whether your customer operates a restaurant or office building, lighting and controls should be tuned into the needs of the space. The system should also be easy to use and understand.

Article Contents:

In this post, we’ll take a look at a few unique lighting needs for restaurants, colleges and universities, healthcare facilities, and office buildings. (Hat tips to Matt Kurtz, Sales Director at Lutron, for the pointers.)


Beyond enhancing the customer experience, lighting controls reduce energy consumption. That’s a big draw for cost-conscious restaurateurs.

Good food, great conversation, and proper lighting go a long way towards creating a pleasant ambiance. If the lights dim too quickly between dinner and happy hour, for example, patrons may leave before the dessert menu hits the table. But with controls, light levels auto-adjust and slowly dim over the course of the evening; this creates a more comfortable atmosphere and encourages customers to stay for longer.

In the restaurant business, just like any business, efficiency is also a concern. With savings, efficiency, and brand identity in mind, Lutron worked with Red Robin to integrate the LCP128™ lighting control solution into its Saucon Valley, Pennsylvania restaurant.

Here’s how the system works:

  • All lighting circuits (switched and dimmed, interior and exterior) are combined into one simple, flexible system.
  • In the morning, the kitchen lights turn on and dining room lights stay off. So back-of-house staff can complete prep work without wasting energy by running the lights elsewhere.
  • Throughout the day, the lights dim based on the needs of the restaurant.

Overall, the lighting upgrade was a huge success. Red Robin appreciates how easy the system is to use, how discreet it is, and how little wall space it takes up. For Red Robin, fewer panels meant maximizing precious back-of-house space. Most importantly, the system enhances the ambiance of the restaurant.


The Bottom Line

To sell lighting controls to restaurants, focus on energy savings, efficiency, and ambiance.

Higher Education

For colleges and universities, good lighting saves money and attracts the next generation of students.

Along the way, the right lighting and controls should also meet code and create an environment that’s conducive to learning. Some campuses have upwards of 100 buildings, so the right lighting upgrade could deliver substantial energy savings. For campuses with inefficient lighting, that’s an easy win.

The Bottom Line

To sell lighting controls to colleges and universities, focus on energy savings and student comfort.


Healthcare facilities are concerned with saving energy, meeting code, and enhancing patient comfort and care.

Since many hospitals and facilities are run 24/7, the ability to dim lights is huge. Controls can also be adjusted to better suit sleep schedules and patient preferences. So efficient lighting controls may even increase patient comfort too.

Hospitals are also a great application for wireless lighting controls. Since contractors don’t need to knock down the overhead ceiling to install them, there’s less chance of introducing contaminants into areas that must remain sterile, like operating rooms.

The Bottom Line

To sell lighting controls within healthcare, zero in on savings, patient comfort, and ease of installation.


Office Buildings

Because of the powerful efficiency and output of LEDs, many office spaces are becoming overlit. In an office with too much light, employees might tire out faster and take more breaks.    

Older buildings tend to be darker, with fewer windows and lights per space. (Think windowless offices where nothing could thrive, plant nor human.) But with personal lighting controls, occupants can dim the light over their desks to create a comfortable and productive environment.

Workplace lighting design is also changing. Typically, we were lighting to the median age for each space. But as millennials join the workforce, individual lighting levels become more important. With Lutron’s Pico® or personalized lighting controls, you can light each space to suit the individuals working in it, so that’s one option to consider.

The Bottom Line

To sell lighting controls within an office space, lead in with cost savings and occupant productivity.

How can Graybar help?

Graybar is happy to help you choose the right controls for the job. If you need assistance with your lighting control project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Over To You

Join the conversation by leaving a comment below, or connecting with us on Twitter @GraybarESP or on Facebook.


Todd Reed, National Market ManagerAbout The Author
Todd Reed, National Market Manager

As National Market Manager at Graybar, Todd’s goal is to find the best products and solutions to help contractors work more efficiently, stay safe on the job, and win more productive and profitable business.

Sources & Credits

Lutron Case Study: Red Robin Restaurant

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