CES Land O’ Lakes: Going big for an even bigger home
When a million-dollar home with a backyard the size of an airport runway needs lighting installed, there aren’t too many people who can say they’ve done something like this before.
Except Outside Sales Rep Jim Dahmer at CES Land O’ Lakes.
“I like doing the bigger homes,” he said. “Most of my customers are commercial, but when I do any specialty residential jobs, they’re usually the larger, million-dollar homes. I have Kurt Garrett, a general contractor for large custom homes, to thank for that. He likes to come to me because I take the time and always find the best stuff.”
And even besides the runway-sized yard and a home with a 7-figure price tag, there wasn’t much else normal about this custom lighting job.
“Zach from A-Z Lighting and I went to the home and we looked around the property to see what we were working with,” Dahmer said. “You could land an airplane in this guy’s backyard, but the more unusual part about this job was that this was the first time we were doing tape lighting outdoors.”
Outdoor tape lighting isn’t something you see all the time. Add in the features requested by the homeowners, such as dimming availability, and it makes this lighting job that much more challenging.
“We had to be very particular — from the sizing and the connection to the switches and the dimming features,” Jim explained. “You don’t want one of the connections to get wet and shut off the lights. If that happens, you’re going to have a hard replacement on your hands. Everything had to be exact.”
So how long does it take to make something like this perfect? For Jim, CES Land O’ Lakes, and Zach from A-Z Lighting, only a matter of months.
“We started in November, and it took about 6 months to do everything. That’s from finding the proper product to getting it installed,” he said.
That’s pretty quick, especially when you factor in some roofing issues, a complete halt of construction, some delayed shipping during the spring when COVID hit, and a shipping error of his own that Jim had to deal with.
“The biggest thing I learned is to always check the product when it comes in the door,” he said. “The track that the tape light lays in was half the size it was supposed to be. It was sitting on the shelf, and we were just waiting for the OK to go install it. An order got mixed up, and it took us about a week to get it corrected.”
When everything wrapped up, it was time for the big reveal, and Jim got a nice surprise as well.
“We went out there at night and the new homeowners saw their outdoor lighting. They had a huge smile on their face, saying that’s exactly what they wanted. You can’t ask for anything better than that,” Jim said. “Then, when Garrett said that he had three more he needed to do, that put a smile on my face.”