Going Beyond Lighting: Selling Wireless Controls For Building Automation

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June 22, 2016 at 8:57 pm  •  Posted in Construction, Product Highlight  •  0 Comments

Building owners and operators demand superior energy savings, control, and convenience. To address these needs, today’s wireless building controls are smarter, easier to install, and more intuitive than ever.

When it comes to controls, lighting is just the tip of the iceberg. Building automation is evolving. There’s all this emerging tech coming together, and that’s opening up new streams of revenue for contractors.

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Are you capitalizing on the demand for wireless controls? I caught up with Greg Rhoades, Marketing Director at Leviton, to talk through common objections, code changes, CIA-level encryption, and big retrofit opportunities. Here are a few tips to help you sell wireless controls.

Lead In With Lighting Controls

When you’re pitching wireless solutions, let your customer’s knowledge of lighting controls “light the way,” if you will.

Lighting controls are a logical entry point because they’re tangible. Their function is obvious and immediate. Their benefits stack up easily, too—improve energy use, increase safety, offer task-based lighting, and so on.

From there, it’s natural for customers to start asking, “What else can I do wirelessly?” This line of thinking paves the way for more sophisticated wireless controls beyond lighting.

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Demonstrate Ease Of Use

Before we discuss overcoming objections that your customers might have, let’s cover one of our own.

You used to have to pack your patience when it came to programming building controls. You had to have a laptop on site with the right software and recent updates and drivers. It didn’t hurt if you had a computer nerd handy too. It was tedious and laborious.

Thankfully, today’s wireless controls take the hassle out of programming with easy-to-learn, easy-to-use mobile apps. Making changes is as simple as logging in and adjusting as needed. That means faster installation and less time spent on-site.

Address Security Concerns 

Having security concerns around wireless controls is natural. Building owners and operators may worry that someone could break into their facility or tamper with equipment. But a lot of these fears are unfounded. 

Reputable manufacturers like Leviton offer wireless controls with the same military-grade encryption used by the CIA. To address misconceptions around security, build customer education into your pitch. 

 

To help you and your customers get up to speed—from pitch to installation—Leviton also offers extensive sales support and training materials.

Focus On Code

Now that your prospects are revved up about wireless controls, it’s time to remind them (and perhaps educate them) about the governing codes in their area.

Energy codes are driving a lot of this new tech, and that’s great news. Whether it’s Title 24, ASHRAE, IECC, or the new Design Lights Consortium (DLC) Networked Lighting Control Systems Specs (released last month), it’s your job to stay on top of changing energy codes.

Visit Leviton’s website for additional info on energy management codes.

Don’t Overlook Retrofits

Most of us focus on new, new, new. But don’t turn a blind eye to retrofits. For customers with older buildings, wireless controls are a no-brainer.

The “energy hogs” in older buildings can be controlled remotely now. That’s awesome when you think about how much power those devices put out. So your customers can manage their energy spend as much as possible, even for high-draw devices.

 

In the past, upgrades were hampered for safety and aesthetic reasons too. But with wireless controls, you don’t have to pull new wire or drag cables across the warehouse floor.

Plus, your customers don’t need to run around turning things off at night and then back on again the next day. (Mornings are for coffee. Am I right?)

Look At The Big Picture

People don’t necessarily want just lighting solutions. They want different pieces and parts that all work together in one overarching system, like Leviton’s Wireless Eco-System.

Specifically, Leviton’s Lumina RF product line isn’t just about energy savings for the customer or ease of installation for you—it’s about delivering a superior level of control. With Lumina RF, building owners and managers can:

  • Wirelessly and remotely control loads from a tablet or smartphone app—whether it’s lamps, fans, shades, pumps, or third-party window coverings
  • Manage their energy spend virtually anywhere—on the road, at home, on another jobsite, wherever
  • Set up text, email, or phone notifications that are triggered by events outside of listed parameters

For example, a customer who operates a cigar shop could face a serious threat to merchandise if temperature or humidity rises. If the owner is made aware of a temperature increase as it happens, they can get on it right away instead of waiting until the morning.

That level of control is very appealing.

Go Beyond One Location

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Know what’s even more powerful?  The ability for a franchisee or enterprise customer to manage all locations from a single web dashboard or app.  With Leviton Cloud Services, facility management can see a map of all connected locations and be alerted to specific alerts at each property.  Further, the cloud provides the ability to manage corporate-wide schedules and holidays, ensuring quick deployment across the world.

How can Graybar help?

For contractors, wireless controls offer a broad scope to sell. If you need assistance commissioning a job, feel free to lean on the Graybar or Leviton team.

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
DESIGNLIGHTS Consortium: Networked Lighting Control Systems Specification (Version 1.01)
Leviton: Energy Management Codes
California Energy Commission: Building Energy Efficiency Program
International Code Council: Overview of the IECC
ASHRAE

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