For some, a beautiful outdoor hot tub needs a few things: a deck, a cover and without a doubt, twinkling lights.
For those enticed by shiny objects, a hot tub surrounded by soft lighting can be like a beacon in the night, leading the path to the warm, watery oasis that is their backyard hot tub.
Hot tub retailers have several potential options when it comes to outdoor lighting products, but Jennifer Gannon, proprietor at BonaVista Pools, a Toronto, Canada-based retail store, has become a vocal advocate for the products and services offered by Netherlands-based outdoor lighting manufacturer in-lite.
“We love the European minimalism in their design,” Gannon says. “It’s a robust fixture with European design savvy. They’re stylish, they’re not cluttered and fussy.”
The manufacturer got its start in 1998, when a group of Dutch investors founded the company to create something more than just lighting; they wanted to create an experience. One of the founders, Ramon Pieters, who serves as the company’s president, felt those in North America would appreciate the company’s uniquely European aesthetic. “He believed that in-lite could change the way people thought about outdoor lighting,” says Courtney Chiasson, marketing manager for in-lite.
And nearly 25 years later, in-lite is thriving, providing numerous lighting options through an extensive dealer network, or directly through the company’s business-to-business website. According to Chiasson, the relationships the company has built with other businesses have become one of the keys to its longevity. One way in-lite strives to nurture its relationship with retailers is by ensuring that its people and products remain easy to work with. For Gannon, the effort hasn’t gone unnoticed. “They are one of the friendliest companies I’ve ever done business with,” she says.
Besides winning over retailers, Gannon knows winning over customers is most important.
“We’re a builder in Toronto and we have a retail store in the heart of the market that we serve,” Gannon says. “And so, what I find is that it ends up being sort of a handy location for a lot of the landscape trade who might not want to carry inventory.” This has meant that her business tends to work with the same landscape contractors consistently. It didn’t take long for her to notice what brand the contractors kept coming back for, and she has her suspicions as to why. “[in-lite’s products are] just built really well,” Gannon says. “So, they last a long time and they’re super low maintenance.”
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Often, Gannon observes, people will focus on lighting at the end of their project. “It’s like buying a gown to wear to a formal, and then deciding what jewelry you want to wear,” she says. “You usually get the jewelry closer to the event.” When that time comes, however, Gannon knows just what they’ll be asking for.
“I always think if landscapers endorse it, it’s because, like me, they don’t have time to be making callbacks for small, ineffective products,” she says. “I knew that that was a vote of confidence for the brand.”
Besides the product seeming to have won over landscapers in her area, what may be Gannon’s biggest reason for continuing to work with in-lite, are the people involved.
“They’re just a really innovative and adaptable company that understands their role is to make our life easier,” Gannon says, “not to be one of those things that you’re always wondering about.”
According to Chiasson, some of in-lite’s most popular products with consumers and retailers, are its recessed lights, spotlights and bollard lights. The recessed lights are meant to create a relaxed atmosphere, while offering ground-up safety by illuminating the sides of a hot tub. The spotlights light up the area around the hot tub, highlighting trees, plants, shrubs and nearby flowerbeds. And the bollard lights are intended to serve as statement lighting, by illuminating gardens, as well as the area surrounding a pool or hot tub.
In keeping with the company’s dedication to customer service, Chiasson recommends customers and retailers alike visit in-lite’s YouTube channel, which has an extensive collection of tutorial videos, which she says has “everything they need to get started with lighting.”
Gannon appreciates the readily available tutorials and other online resources provided by the company, noting that in-lite doesn’t expect the retailer or customer to be as knowledgeable about lighting as the company’s experts. “I just want to work with companies that make it their business to be lighting experts,” Gannon says, “making it easy for me to sell their lights.”