Putting the Customer in Control

Valley Lighting's Remodeled Showroom Features Home Automation Display

Valley Lighting and Home Décor in Ansonia, Conn., recently launched a new showplace featuring an updated floor plan that lends itself to easier shopping and new vignettes. The showroom also features an expanded collection of furniture, décor, and home accents. In addition to all of these features, Valley Lighting is also incorporating the innovation of home automation into their showroom in the form of an interactive display. Recently, Frank Capasso, president of Valley Lighting, provided ALA with some insight into the process of incorporating home automation into the showroom.

1. Why did you decide to include a home automation section in the new showroom space?
We’ve always dabbled in some form of home automation or home control. Today’s emerging systems are much smarter, easier to implement and control, and really not that expensive, considering everything they can do. Now that smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous, the idea of being able to control your lights and other electric things in your home from anywhere in the world is something that appeals to many.

2. Does the display allow customers to interact with the products?
Yes, we have an iPad that is mounted to a wall display that lets the salespeople and the customers interact with the lights, play with scenes, check out the dimming functions, etc. Right now, we have the Legrand wireless system and the Lutron Caseta system on display and functioning in our showroom. So far, we have about 30 different lights that are connected to these wireless controls, and we will be expanding it to approximately 70 or 80 fixtures.

3. Did you implement additional training for showroom employees to learn more about the home automation products you’re selling?
Yes, we have done some preliminary training and we will be doing much more. I think one of the coolest things is that each sales team member can  have these wireless control apps on their own smartphones and demonstrate the technology to the customers, as well as play with it themselves.

4. What excites you about the home automation products available today? Do you feel this is the future of the industry?
It is truly amazing how much change the smartphone and apps have brought to our lives. The home automation products that are out today are very intuitive and very well integrated with the whole IOS and Android platform. My guess would be that somewhere in the not too distant future the fixtures themselves will already have the ability to integrate into those systems without the need to connect them to a separate device. With the advent of LED lighting and all the possible ways to control it with dimming, color tuning, warm dimming and color changing, the end user will have products that are highly adaptable to many different situations.

5. Do you feel this display will help your showroom sell more lighting products?
I think the ability to give the consumer a system with total control in the palm of their hand will cause them to look at lighting in a different way. For example, many consumers would like to be able to control their landscape lights via smartphone and with geo-fencing so they turn on automatically when they come home at night. A lot of people don’t have landscape lighting or path lighting but if they can easily control it, then it becomes more useful. We have a lot of homeowners who would love to have security lighting around the perimeter of their home. If you can give them an easy way to turn all those lights on with one button on the wall or on their smartphone, it becomes a more useful solution. When people start doing projects like that they become more future conscious and may decide to add or upgrade existing floodlights to LED floodlights.

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