The new Light Bulbs Etc.  showroom in Costa Mesa, CA, is only two blocks away from its old location, but in every other sense, the two stores are worlds apart.
“The new showroom is quite magnificent,” says President Melvyn Kahn. “There’s really nothing else like it.”
The new showroom offers lots more space – 12,000 square feet as opposed to 7,500 – which the store has put to good use displaying large amounts of product and creating lighting labs to help customers see the differences between various types of lighting.
“People can touch and experience [the lighting], which makes it easier for them to make decisions,” Kahn says. For instance, after seeing the difference toe-kick illumination can make in the kitchen lighting lab, Kahn says 75 percent of customers choose to add that feature. Another lighting lab shows how a flexible lighting scheme can alter a dining room space from a place to eat a quick meal on the run to a setting for an intimate dinner party.
“It’s like going from a Denny’s to a five-star restaurant,” Kahn says. “When people see the transition, their jaws drop. The same space just transforms with just paying attention to different elements and layers of lights.”
It’s the LED lighting lab, however, that has attracted the most attention, with LED fixtures tucked into niches to show the effects of different color spectrums. Kahn also strongly believes in showing a customer all of the available options, and thus will often show entire collections instead of just two or three fixtures.
“We show the whole family of everything so people can see all of the options,” Kahn says. “The reason we do this is because sometimes people don’t have the imagination to visualize it, and if you show someone a picture of the other fixtures, it’s not the same as seeing the actual fixture.”
Kahn says the customer response to the new showroom, which is in a highly visible location on a main thoroughfare, has been “absolutely phenomenal” since the January move, thanks in part to a mailing campaign to both potential and existing customers.