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Press & Awards

Check back here often for the latest news on our new product releases, awards, recognitions, and other exciting achievements.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #72: An Industry Q&A With Mike Teolis

Better lighting = Better sleep patterns = Better health

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mike Teolis. Recorded live on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Mike Teolis

Mike’s industry experience stems back to ‘92 where he began in audio-visual sales and ascended to a VP sales/marketing position. Mike helped lead the small regional audio-visual company to become Canada’s largest integrator firm with 11 offices and 225 employees.

In 2008, Mike and his partner Maurice Gaudio founded GAV MGMT, a Montreal-based Residential integration company that in 2012 brought to market a low voltage lighting solution that would complement other audio/video low voltage technologies offered by the company.

In 2016, Teolis and Gaudio launched Colorbeam Lighting to bring low voltage lighting solutions to the North American AV channel. Colorbeam Lighting is a lifestyle and wellness-focused lighting solutions company.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Mike Teolis

  • Reasons for AV integrators to get into low voltage lighting 
  • What human-centric lighting and how it benefits people
  • Trends in lighting in 2019
  • Lighting solutions offered by Colorbeam

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #71: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Bobby Dodge


Ron:  Hello everybody. Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged. This is episode 72. Today is Wednesday, April 17th. It's just a little bit after 1230. And I hope I'm coming to you and you're having a great day if you're live and if you're following us live or listening to us live or if you're on replay, I hope whatever day or time it is, I hope you're having a wonderful day. Exciting guests today we have a Mike TLS from Color Beam. I ran into Mike and his, his business partner Maricio at the recent Pro Source event in Nashville. And I asked him right there if he'd be willing to come on to our show and spend a little bit of time with our audience talking about lighting control and he said he'd be happy to join us. So happy we were able to get that scheduled and get that going. Before I bring Mike in, let me just check our technology real quick and make sure that we are in fact streaming. And that technology is behaving. So just bear with me as I check that real quick here. Oh, let me update my, refresh my Facebook page. Let's see if it's working and perhaps there we are. We're live. Alright, Chris says hello. What's up Chris? All right, let me bring in our guest today. So here we go. Let me take the artwork off the screen. Mike, how are you sir?

Mike: I'm doing very well, Ron. Thanks for having me now.

Ron:  Likewise, thank you for, I know you're a busy man. You're traveling the country and spreading the good word about lighting control. So I appreciate you carving out a little bit of time for me.

Mike: Well, thank you for that small correction. We're not in the lighting control business. We are everything, but we're not a lighting control where we're the fixture manufacturer, which is bringing the ability to not only do lighting control, which integrators are already doing, but to now add the Fisher component to the lighting package.

Ron:  I stand corrected.

Mike: Sorry about that. Just wanted to make sure.

"LED lighting and fixtures and the fixture business and the led lighting business. From our perspective as a marketing agency serving the industry, we see this topic coming up at an accelerated rate and it's coming at us and from all directions."

Ron:  No, that's okay. I have you here. I mean led lighting and fixtures and the fixture business and the led lighting business. You know, from our perspective as a marketing agency serving the industry, we see this topic coming up at an accelerated rate and it's coming at us and from all directions. And your name, your company's name is is in the headlines all the time. And so I, I thought it would be awesome to get you on here and learn more about you and your company for sure. So, yeah, apologies for misstating you as a lighting controls company rather you're a..

Mike: There's a lot of those guys. We work with them, but we're not a lighting control company per se.

Ron:  Got it. Understood. Well, if we could start, Mike, with a little bit of your background and I know that you have a background as an integrator and I always like to, to understand all the fun and fascinating people that make up our industry. So if you don't mind, if we could maybe talk a little bit about that.

"Everyone has a story as to why they ended up in the AV world. And a lot of it is by mistake or no one ever grows up saying, I want to be an AV business."

Mike: Sure. If we're going by the bio that I submitted. Everyone has a story as to why they ended up in the AV world. And a lot of it is by mistake or no one ever grows up saying, I want to be an AV business. So I graduated from McGill University in Montreal a few years back and with the ambitions to be in banking and stockbroker, and that's what my background is. And I guess in the early days of being in banking, I realized that it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be at the time as a, as a young kid just out of university. And I ran into a gentleman that I hadn't seen in 20 some odd years that had coached me in hockey when I was probably five, six years old. And he asked me what I was doing and I said, well, I'm working for the bank. He says, you like it? I said, no, not really. He says, well, I have a small AV company that that could use a sales guy. And quite frankly, at the time I didn't know what the AV industry was and they were selling really what was at the forefront of the LCD panel technology that sat on top of an overhead projector. And I don't know if you're old enough to remember that Ron.

Ron:  But you know, I've read about it in history books, Mike.

Mike: So two days later I ended up leaving the bank and telling my dad that I was leaving banking to a cell led or LCD tablets at the time, so that thing go over well. But we ended up building going from a small million dollar company to building the, what became Canada's largest integrator, a 50 plus million dollar company with 11 offices across the country and over 250 employees. So that was the early part of my career. And subsequently my partner and I today founded our own AV company which was more focused in the residential space at the time. And the whole low voltage lighting technology that we brought to market today for the channel was intended for us as AV integrators. Back in the day, in the early, probably going back six, seven years ago when led was coming a little bit more prevalent to the market AV integrators, which is still the case today, are tasks with the control sign of, of lighting and that's all of the headaches and none of the revenue. Back seven years ago, it was even more difficult and more problematic to control led and the dimming curves and what was compatible with lighting, with wood fixtures between fixtures and control. So we said, Hey, if there was something that we could bring to market, there was one low voltage that allowed low voltage AV guys to sell lighting, which is not the case on lettuce unless it is a low voltage, then we could have something very different and very substantial to bring to the market and combine that with all the other low voltage technology that we were doing, whether it's audio, video security and so on. So one integration to another. And we came with the basis of what today is Color Beam. But the technology was actually invented and developed for us as integrators had success in it with the residential commercial space. And then we decided to found the color beam and bring the same opportunity to the AV channel in North America. So that's really what the whole big push of the industry is today. Now we have an opportunity to bring lighting and lighting fixtures to what integrators have been doing for many, many years, which is just lighting control. So a brand new revenue stream that is in a lot of cases is as big, if not bigger than the AV portion of what they're driving. And the reality is that you know, we call it the next wave of opportunity because there are so many downward pressures in the AV market for years and years. As long as I've been in the AV market, commoditization, pricing, erosion, too many competitors and the list goes on and on that this is really the next great opportunity. And as you can see in the next, in the last couple of years that is been the talk of the AV industry. Biometrics are creating their own lighting initiatives and we've been at the forefront of those discussions. So we're happy about that.

Ron:  No, I've got a bunch, I want to say a million questions, but I've got a bunch of questions for you. I do want to quickly acknowledge some of the people that are watching us live. Chris Gamble coming to us from UK and he just says, Hey Ron. Hey Chris, how you doing man? And and Liz, Liz says she's coming to us from San Diego and she looks forward to hearing more from Mike. I guess that means I should be quiet. She wants to hear from you, Mike. So Mike, my question is, when you guys, seven years ago to get into lighting fixtures specifically, did it start strictly as led lighting that you guys as a category decided that that was what you were going to develop a solution? And this is at the time when you were running or involved in management at the integration firm in Canada, correct?

Mike: No. At that time, back seven years ago, that's when we were, Morris and I were now owning our own integration company. So yeah, it was always based on, on led lighting cause I was really where, you know, probably seven to 10 years ago we started seeing led coming up. So the, the engineering, the design, the concepts were really based on led fixtures and light engines as we call them. But we really at the forefront of a couple of things. One was really the ability to tune light and when we talk about in the ability that is become the big thing in lighting today and that is being able to control the temperature of the whites. And that is really where lighting is going in general. The other thing that we were doing is driving colored fixtures. So not only did we have an application for tunability, which is what we talk about on a wellness and human centric lighting, a portion of our features and benefits, but really being able to transition space into something completely different by using color, which is more applicable in hospitality bars, restaurants. But even in residential space, when we're designing large houses, there's always a portion of the house that the customers aren't gonna want to convert it to something very unique and dynamic. It's probably the space where they're hosting dinner parties and gatherings and it could be indoor and outdoor lighting as well. So the colored aspect has a big portion of, of applications. But the tunability is really what ties into wellness and better sleep patterns, which talks to better health in general. We were really at the forefront of developing that technology before anyone was talking about that anywhere in the industry. So and that's in a nutshell, that is where lighting is going. If anyone has, is coming out with lighting to just turns on and off with a single color white, like it's been for a hundred years. You're not in the lighting industry anymore. So that's where lighting is going.

Ron:  You had mentioned the color side of led. And I think that's where until recent, and I could have the timing entirely wrong here, but I want to say maybe the last 18 months to 24 months, I've been hearing more about the tunable whites, the tunable lighting, you know, the circadian rhythm side or the wellness side of lighting. But a lot of what I had been seeing for years was the color side of LEDs or adding color in the spaces. And I'm going to throw up on the screen here or put up on the screen one of my clients and one of your clients. And let's see if I can get technology to behaviors if this works. Let's see here. There we go. Oh, it looks like it is not, you know, every now and then it gets stuck. But what I was gonna pull up is the Eagle Century project that was just featured in the technology designer, a website. And you know that Eagle Century is a great customer at One Firefly. And I followed them on social media and Corey and his team, you know, that this particular project that my audience may see here shortly if my, my screen cooperates. But this project has been all over social media. It was covered by CE pro. It's covered now by Technology Designer. Can you talk a little bit about, just for example, that particular project and maybe the way you've partnered with Eagle Century as an integrator that a lot of people watching probably have heard of or know?

Mike: And you know, Eagle Century is a great partner. Our best partner. Sure. Hats off to Corey and his team. They really saw an opportunity early on when we were just bringing that technology to market and understood the benefits and the features that they could bring to their customers. So they happened, the timing was right that Corey was working on obviously a large opportunity, a good relationship with the end user. He was able to con, not convince, but convey the features and benefits of color, beam lighting and it was a right customer who was looking for color and being able to enhance his home with color. So that's a probably somewhere between a 30 and a 35,000 square foot house, which is in, you know, probably 95% of the lighting fixtures in the house, indoor and outdoor or color beam. The whole infrastructure is low voltage. We're pulling cat cable from panels to the light fixtures, which is a whole value proposition for the integrator. The low voltage aspect of what we do is really the driving force behind integrators getting into the space. As I mentioned before, if this was line voltage, high voltage technology, which has been the case for a hundred years since the advent of lights that's what prevented V guys from getting into the space. So this particular project is 100% low voltage lighting powered and controlled over category six cable. The fixtures allow for temperature changes in with the whites. But really this customer loves the ability to transform his space in his house with color. It's just who the customer is. It's the market that he's in. It's just a perfect opportunity to bring that technology to the end user through an integrator who understood the company, the opportunity, that technology and just saw this as a natural evolution for Eagle Century as a company to get into lighting in a big way.

Ron:  What are you seeing is happening across the marketplace in terms of the adoption of getting into the comfort level? I want to say of integrators, about lighting and for being the providers of lighting fixtures into their projects.

Mike: We're still not there yet. I travel daily to convince integrators that this is a technology that they need to get into. It's a technology that's built for them. The whole infrastructure, you know, we say from our perspective and from color-based perspective, and we say that this was, you know, built by integrators for integrators because of our background as integrators. But you know, we still have far too many AV integrators that are still watching on the sidelines, not fully either understanding the simplicity of getting into this market. Obviously you have to be working with a manufacturer that not only supports you from a product perspective, but we do a lot of the design on the back end, which is really the driving force behind what we do with our integrators is, Hey, we're not expecting you to be lighting designers. That's a profession in itself. So our people at our end, are lighting designers, some of them are actually architects who are doing that lighting design aspect of the projects for integrators. Because we understand that, again, that's a profession in itself. But like everything else, there's early adopters, there's early adopters in the customers that we've sold the technology to. There's early adopters as far as the integrators that have understood this as a unbelievable opportunity to drive revenue and grow their businesses. But, and there's still a lot of integrators out there that are just not sure not sure of the technology or not sure how to go about it. And collectively, not just ourselves, but there's other you know, manufacturers out there and it will be more and more we're probably right in the middle of the education process and that education processes is speaking to integrators one at a time, explaining to them the opportunity, the product, the applications, and really how we're going to support them through sales process.

Ron:  The question that came in Chris is saying, is the product available in the UK and then additionally asks, do you need a control system or is there standalone control?

Mike: We're key padlock to answer the second question first. We're keypad agnostic. So the whole premise of our company is we tie into, you know, as an integrator, you're selling Lutron Crestron control for and others you continue selling keypads. Yes, we are a standalone because you can control the entire house or the entire building on an app and not on an app, but on an iPad or a tablet or your phone. But in a residential application and you need a control, you need a keypad on every wall and every, you know, in every room. So yes, we can be standing alone more from a commercial standpoint where you may be just powering up an iPad on one wall of the restaurant or the whatever that facility is and control it in that meat, in that fashion. But from a residential standpoint, you're going to need a third party control system. And that's who we are as a company. We're not officially a distributed in the UK yet. There's, you know, we have looked at a couple of projects on a specific case by case basis, but we do expect to be doing something in a more official way probably before the end of this year with regards to Europe.

Ron:  And then Chris asked one follow up question. He says, is it POE? Power over ethernet?

Mike: Right? It's not officially POE because we don't utilize any network switches of any sort. We are powered directly from our, from our power supplies directly over a single cable to the fixtures themselves. So we bypass any network switches and so on. So we are low voltage, but technically we don't call ourselves POE.

Ron:  Got it. And then what will you be at CEDIA? Like where can everyone, just at a high level, obviously there's going to be some exposure that comes from people watching this or listening to the show or listening to the podcast what place people would see or learn more about Color Beam.

Mike: From a trade show perspective, we're at all the major ones. Definitely. See ya. We've been there every year since our inception. We're actually, our next major show is Light Fair, which is our first foray into an actual lighting show as opposed to an audiovisual show. We'll be doing Light Fair in Philadelphia in a couple of weeks or three weeks. I believe it towards the end of May. And we'll be at Infocom as well with details that I can't quite share yet cause there's things to follow. But the yes will be at all three of the major shows coming up.

Ron:  That's awesome. Can you put into your own words, Mike? Tunable lighting. Why is that a thing? Why is that becoming such a trend and specifically in our space?

"The ability to tune lights in a circadian weather rhythm application is basically the ability to match your indoor lighting to the sun's light and the temperature of the sun as it rises right through to its sunset."

Mike: So the whole reason behind tunability is to mimic the color of the sun. And really what we're, what met it with the researchers is showing is that because we're exposed to very white light throughout the day that melatonin is, should be being, should be triggered, which is actually what leads us to sleep is not happening because of this exposure to very bright white light. So the ability to tune lights in a circadian weather rhythm application is basically the ability to match your indoor lighting to the sun's light and the temperature of the sun as it rises right through to its sunset. And having the ability to match and mimic sunlight is what triggers later on during the day and into the evening melatonin. Without getting scientific on you, which leads you to say it's basically telling your brain to shut down and it's time to go to bed and having better sleep patterns leads to better health, which is everything that's been written and written about today is health being affected by sleep. So if we can help sleep by having better lighting than reflect sunlight, then we're accomplishing not only better sleep patterns but better health and that's the whole science behind and the whole value proposition between human-centric wellness lighting going forward.

Ron:  Do you see this type, this capability of tunable lighting or human-centric lighting? Do you see that one day this will be the normal, this will be what all lighting is at every demographic level or is this really only attainable for, you know, the wealthiest of society?

Mike: Absolutely. Within, I don't know what the, I'll put a five year tops, ten years that I don't think you'll have a light bulb or a light source. They won't be in one way, shape or form. Tunable changeable, controllable. Absolutely.

Ron:  No, that's fascinating. It's certainly great to see that you guys are out there leading the charge. What is top of mind for you? What has been any big announcements or big, your newest products? What are the hottest things that the marketplace is excited about?

Mike: Well from a technology perspective, really the, our next generation of fixtures that we launched at CEDIA in September was really us going from a, an RGB light engine that was able to do white and color to our next generation of what we call tunable white. So the tuneable white fixtures do not do color, but they are a much higher lumen output. High CRI when we talked about CRI just a term that means color rendering index. And the closer that number is to a hundred means that the closer you are mimicking sunlight and the colors of an Apple that you'll, you know, you'll be outside at noon and that Apple is being reproduced in the random that it's actually supposed to be. So the higher the CRI, which in the industry you know, starts at about 70 and will reach 95 and above is really the quality of the lights that you're giving out, which will reproduce colors the way they were intended to be seen. So we are, everything that we just launched now is 95 plus CRI high lumen output, tunable white, which is really where our is heading because we play in that higher harder market space. So that was really the next generation of products. Subsequently to that we just announced a specific product which is called Venus Fixture, which was introduced in one of the magazines recently. And the value proposition to that is really the fact that it has all the feature sets that a designer would be looking in a fixture. It is the smallest aperture you can probably find. You're looking at about a two-inch trim with a one and a quarter ridge aperture. It's a tremulous fixture, which means that all you are seeing in the ceiling is that two-inch aperture, which is what designers are looking for. It's a thousand lumens. It's tunable, it's dimmable. But more importantly, it was designed, it's an inch and half thick. There's no electronics in this picture. All it is on the backside of this is an inch and a quarter heat sink. And the value proposition that ad is in high end markets like Florida some degree California, New York, where you've got these million dollar and more multimillion-dollar condos, apartments where builders don't want to give up ceiling space. They want the highest ceilings possible. So you'd have these multimillion-dollar condos with no ability to put quality recess lights in the ceiling and they end up having track lights and were basically bolted to the ceiling, would even maybe a wire running across, which we've all seen when we were, you know, in our apartments in university because that's, there was nothing else available. So now with less than two inches of ceiling space, we're able to give customers a very unique product that delivers all the high end benefits, high CRI, high lumen output, small aperture. It's really a very unique feature set. It really is Sada sought after by lighting designers, designers, and our high-end clients.

Ron:  And you just mud finish it. So you just fill up to the trim bezel?

Mike: Exactly. In the high-end market the tremulous fixture is really what, I'm not going to say it's always a sought after, but in a lot of cases it is that whole tremulous look. So this is a tremulous fixture as well. And one of the other propositions, I mean, people ask me all the time, well, what happens if you have to service it? Do you have to rip out the entire fixture, which is in some cases and other manufacturers that have something similar, that is the case. We engineered it that you can actually unscrew the aperture and the only thing that you would ever have to serve as the actual chips inside. So without having to remove the fixture out of the ceiling, you can actually service the only thing that would ever have to be service anyways. So that's a whole value proposition in itself.

Ron:  Yeah. This product Venus is new?

Mike: It's been shipping for a few months now and it's, some very high-end projects with it. They were designed probably a year back or it's probably still in all three to nine months away from being delivered. But it is a very sought after product right now.

Ron:  Yeah, that's exciting. And what was the stuff that you released at CEDIA? The tunable light? What? I'm on your products page.

Mike: Well, the tunable white is really just a technology in itself. This is just one product that dribble white, but the others are, you know, the TB series in the Bianca, which is basically replacing, we're not replacing in addition to the RGB fixtures and we still have these are just different sizes and different lumen outputs of a tunable white only fixture. So the same technology in the Venus, the Venus is just unique because of the specs of the fixture itself. But the technology and the tunable white and everything else is the same. And in everything that we're doing today from a fixture perspective. One of the things that we launched at CEDIA also that's important to note is everything that we're doing is focusing on the smallest footprint in the enclosure at the head end. The electronics to be able to drive as much as we can as far as footprint of lighting with the smallest footprint in the closet required. Because in a lot of applications, a wall spaces at a premium. So if you're doing a substantial project, the 35,000 square foot house in Las Vegas is a great example. Not every house has walls and walls and walls of available footprint to put these panels on. So we're trying to drive everything smaller and smaller. So they were requiring less and less wall space to drive more and more square footage of light, which is what we're trying to accomplish.

Ron:  And in terms of the go-to-market strategy, are you guys, do dealers set up a direct relationship with Colorbeam or did they buy through distribution or you have reps? Like what are all those mechanics in the marketplace?

Mike: So on the residential side, which is really the, the side of the business that we've been focused on for the last three years, our model is direct relationship with our integrators through rep firms. On the commercial side we'll be announcing something very shortly that's going to be a little bit different. But at the end of the day you know, for the residential purpose anyways, so our relationship is direct with the, with the channel. Now the channel in itself is very unique to us because we've chosen as of today and still today to exclusively go after the AV channel is our go-to channel for a couple reasons. One, it's where we come from. Two, the technology in itself requires the skill sets that AV integrators have always had. So the only thing that AV integrators don't necessarily have today is the ability to be in early enough in projects to spec lighting. However, that's changing because by having lighting and high-end lighting in their back pocket, they're now able to form relationships with specifiers that as an AV company, we've never had the ability to form before. AV has always been the last guys in. We've never had any value to specifiers, but now lighting brings something to them that is part of their profession. Lighting plays a huge part of being an architect, a lighting designer, designer. So now by AV having that as a solution and an exciting solution in the future of lighting as a solution, they're now able to form relationships with specifiers. Oh, and by the way, they're being brought in the projects two years ahead of time. Guys about why you need to get into this. That's just one of them. But if you're going to be in early for the lighting, who else would benefit by getting the AV package? It just makes sense that the guy who's in there who is now the all-encompassing low voltage integrator and that's really where we're pushing the AV channels and saying, Hey, you can't just be the AV guy anymore. You've gotta be everything low voltage. A lot of them have migrated to, you know, they've gone from AV to security to IT, but this is the next best or not the next best, the next great opportunity because it offers a low voltage solution add to what they're already doing. And that's what this is all about.

Ron:  I'm curious for the company, the integrators you have that are out driving this category driving your company, driving the category of LED fixtures, low voltage fixtures. Is there pushback from the electricians and or from the MEP firms that would need to utility stamp and approve a set of plans when they see lighting fixtures? And I say this because there's a number of companies now, yourself included in being a major player that are bringing these solutions to the marketplace. And I'm hearing of more and more projects going entirely low voltage for their lighting. And I'm just more curious than anything else. Is there a pushback at any level from say the historic or standard ways things were done in the past?

Mike: Well, there's obviously a push back from the electricians because they're seeing this as a huge threat. You know, we encourage AV guys to actually forge relationships with electricians. You know, one way of doing this is to push them aside. I prefer to, you know, to tell integrators that there's a great opportunity to form a relationship and take the value proposition that the electrician has a maybe being in early or earlier than you as an AV guy, but not necessarily having the skills and the competencies of deploying, which what is now digital lighting. They don't have the competencies, they've never done programming. Lighting today because of its digital nature is a completely different piece. It requires a whole different skillset though, the skillset that our AV channel has. So, you know, you can say that together. They're a perfect team. Not every AV company has an electrical side that has their business. Most electricians don't have an AV side or a competency in programming together. They make a unique team. And we'll see where that goes in general from pushback from the builders or anyone that's stabbing plans. This is you, ours. Anyways, everything that we do is UL listed. So there is actually no reason why this cannot be implemented in any project anywhere. Class to UL listed UL certified. There's no reason why this doesn't go in anywhere. So that is not an excuse to not forge ahead with low voltage lighting. As long as you're compliant, as long as you've got the right certifications, as long as the products that you're selling, whether that be Colorbeam or someone else, has the certifications that are required to meet local and state legislation.

Ron:  At a high level and to the extent that you can say anything about costs or margins to integrators, what is the profit opportunity for an integrator to figure this out, jump in, meet you guys and start doing business?

Mike: Well, without being, without being specific, I can say that the margin opportunity is as much, if not greater than anything they're doing in the AV space. And that's what we repeat day in and day out. So, well, not only from a margin, the margin opportunity is one thing, but it's the revenue opportunity. I mean, you've got to remember that if you're doing a whole house, you're not buying two fixtures. It's hundreds. It's thousands depending on the size of the project. You know, another thing that I always repeat to two AV integrators is that, you know, not every room requires AV, but I've yet the room walk into a room that doesn't have a light bulb. So when you look at the size of the lighting industry in general, it's probably one of the top ten industries, if not the top five industries in the world, the opportunity is immense. Some were small, some are great. We have landscape as an opportunity in itself. Our landscape lighting without even selling an indoor light bulb is an opportunity in itself. If you look at what AV manufacturers are doing, how many of them are putting more and more outdoor product in the marketplace? High-end audio, high-end video, multi-hundred thousand dollar AV screens and LED screens. Well, if our collective customers are spending that kind of money for outdoor AV gear and creating this unique space to be enjoyed, why would you not like that space better as opposed to having Christmas lights in your trees? So that in itself is an opportunity for our AV channel.

Ron:  I concur. By the way, I'm going to give Stephanie a shout out. Stephanie says lighting is such a versatile and beneficial feature, especially in residential spaces. Can't wait to see more of Color Beam in homes.

Mike: Cool, thank you. Definitely. That's pretty cool. Just to, I dunno how much time we have. One of the things that I get excited about from a lighting perspective, having been in movie, you know, there's not a whole lot in that gets people's attention or gets people excited or gets a wow factor anymore. But lighting is a very emotional thing. And when you have a well-lit home, when you have a well lit room it's an emotional thing. People go, you know we've had dealers sell whole home projects by doing nothing more than opening up one of our demo cases and showing a light that goes from red to blue to green and having the customer go, wow, that's cool. I want that in my house. So there's an emotional attachment to lighting and when you see the end results of a well-lit house versus that same house that's poorly lit. It's night and day and if we can get more customers realizing that, Hey, just spend a little bit more money on your lighting and maybe a little bit less on something else, you're going to create an incredible difference between a well and a poorly lit home and that's the education process.

"I've known integrators for many years that have been selling fixtures and have been laughing all the way to the bank in terms of the profit opportunity, but also all the other opportunities."

Ron:  I think lighting is such a fun category when integrators get comfortable. I mean I know they can make money. I've known integrators for many years that have been selling fixtures and have been laughing all the way to the bank in terms of the profit opportunity, but also all the other opportunities. You said just getting into projects early, sometimes monster years in advance, getting specified, becoming the go-to you know, solutions provider and you know every member of that family wants to talk about lighting. The interior designer wants to talk about lighting. The architect wants to talk about lighting.

Mike: Yeah. Well these days I feel like an evangelist more than anything else. It's just getting out there and saying, hey guys, from an AV perspective, that's part of my presentation every day is I'm not another lighting guy to say, you should get into this category. We're the guys that had success with a product that we developed for ourselves in a, in the space and then we're saying, Hey, you know, most AV guys have, I'm going to say all, but they all have the same competencies and skills and experience to get into this space. Why are some jumping in right away and others are a little bit more apprehensive? Well, there's reasons behind that, but we just got to do as well as we got to shake them loose. You've got to, you know, egg shakes them loose. That's what they do every day.

Ron:  Maybe they have their head in the sand and we need to pull it out of the sand and show them the light.

Mike: Show them the light. No pun intended, no pun intended.

Ron:  Mike, it's been a pleasure to have you on episode number 72 of Automation Unplugged. I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy day for this.

Mike: Appreciate it Ron, really had a fun time and we look forward to speaking to you soon.

Ron:  If folks watching or listening want to learn how to do business with Color Beam, where they want to meet you directly, what do you recommend? What's the best avenue?

Mike: Pick up the phone and call me directly or send me an email to make it easy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. And that'll get directed to me anyways. So any questions about becoming a Color Beam dealer or wanting to know a little bit more about the company? I'm happy to speak to you all.

Ron:  Awesome. And I'm going to flash that on the screen here. Give me one second. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Awesome. There we go. Folks on the screen, then This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. That's how you can get ahold of Mike and learn more about lighting fixtures because they are not a lighting controls company. Do not make that mistake when you call Mike.

Mike: Make sure you are absolutely right.

Ron:  My pleasure having you on sir. Talk to you soon.

Mike: You bet. Thanks.

Ron:  Alright folks, there you have it. As you can see, my video looks a little bit different. I had my camera one failed. That's why you always have backups. So this is camera two that I was able to took take over with earlier on in the show. So let me just put a couple of pieces of artwork up here. Let me show you. So here you can see show number 73 is going to be next week. I've got a really an amazing author and coach agenda entrepreneur guy named Brad Sugars and Brad Sugars is actually one of the most famous business coaches in the world. And he's going to be on our show. He's going to be here with us. It's very exciting. If you don't know the name Brad Sugars, Google it, check it out. He's written a bunches and bunches of books. We're going to be talking about one of his new books and that is just released and we're going to be talking about that next week. I think it's how to pull profits out of the hat or something to that effect. I'll get it right next week when I have Brad on. Sorry Brad, if you're watching. And so definitely tune in for that. If you have not already, please remember to go over to Instagram. Follow us. We're almost at 600 followers on Instagram which is exciting. If you've been watching and listening to lots of the shows, you'll see that every now and then I'll do a plug for people following us. You would simply go to And you'll land on One Firefly's page. Follow us. We try to put fun and interesting content there. And lastly, if you want to get in touch, visit our website and or give us a call. So there's a phone number on the screen and until next time have an awesome rest of your day and an awesome rest of your week, wherever you are coming from. Be well, and I'll talk to you soon.

Show Notes

Mike Treolis started with a background in brokerage and trading and landed in the AV industry in '92. After working in sales and founding a Montreal based Residential integration company in 2012, Mike and his partner Gaudio launched Colorbeam Lighting to bring low voltage lighting solutions to the North American AV channel in 2016.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing in the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and Links from the Interview:

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