4 Fixture Slump Part Three: Advanced Lighting Techniques

In Part Two of this series “How To Expand Beyond Your Typical Four-Fixture Routine” Central’s Director of Lighting, Glen Nyhuis gave solutions for getting ahead in the lighting industry and detailed some tips on how you can expand your offerings to include second story and niche lighting. In Part Three, Central dives even deeper with Glen into the next level with helpful information on Core Drilling and Best Practices for Second Story Lighting as we continue the question: “Are You Filling Your Canvas?”  

From Glen:

The topics that we are going to focus on in Part Three of the series, is core drilling to add accent lighting and best practices to conceal wiring in upper level lighting installations. Lighting the façade of a house or municipal building with “framing” or “washing” techniques is not complete unless you take it a step further and show the customers how you can completely fill the canvas for them!

Core Drilling

Core drilling is a great way to add accent lighting into various areas around a home or building. This installation method can be used in many configurations and within many types of materials such as decking, masonry and retaining walls, to list a few. This method also can be used in order to light pathways, driveways, outdoor/indoor spaces or as an up-light to highlight columns or other ornamental features on a property. Another great advantage of the versatility of core drilled lighting is that the core can be drilled in a vertical or horizontal direction to best accommodate both the type of lighting fixture and the intended use of that fixture.

Best Practices to Hide Wires on Upper Level Lighting Installations

Ideally, there should be minimal wiring visible after any lighting fixture is installed. In order to do so while installing lighting to the Upper Levels of a home or municipal building, take into account the surroundings of the lighting fixture. Use gutters, air vents, flashing, and soffits to hide wires. If necessary, wiring can also be run along a corner of an area in order to install the lighting fixture as flush as possible. Remember that every detail counts. It is worth taking the extra time to make sure that your wiring is hidden and aesthetically appealing as this leads to a better overall installation & impression on the customer.



Benefits of Learning Additional Techniques in Outdoor Lighting

Ground lighting is not sufficient to fully reach dormers, eves, areas over porches, columns, balconies, and more. Many contractors continue to choose either not to bid on these additional concepts for customers or to avoid the conversation all together. We get it! Simply this could be because you aren’t comfortable on a ladder, trained properly to wire so many different lights to a system, or you are still developing the confidence to walk a customer through the many new technologies available such as zoning and Wifi/Bluetooth color changing products to incorporate the upper levels. This is why Central is here to partner with you to grow your lighting expertise, and your business!


As mentioned in previous articles, remember there is a niche light for every situation. And this includes all those upper-level nooks and crannies. Lighting the second and even third stories of a building is a must-do if you want to fill your canvas and complete your portrait. Make sure to pick the correct fixture for the location. If you have questions about how to pick the right fixture, reach out to your Central rep or branch for help.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to help you get comfortable getting out of your 4 fixture slump and into the upper levels:

  • Attach fixtures to the home using the right technique for the material (stucco, shingles, brick, masonry, etc)
  • Attaching fixtures directly to gutters can help avoid customer hesitation with permanently attaching fixture
  • Beams of light should never point directly into windows
  • Wattage is important on second levels because smaller areas only require minimal wattage, as compared to grander areas down below
  • Fixture selection is very important

Being skilled and confident to light the second and third stories of a home or building helps separate you from the competition. This adds value to the property you are working on, as well as adding value in how your customers see you as a professional lighting installer. The good news is Central offer subject matter experts and training to give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle these steps. If you have large projects that need help our Lighting Director and Commercial Services team can work with you to develop a plan.


The team at Central is here to help you break that four-fixture rut while getting up to the second level of design and business in the lighting industry. Let us help you stand out from your competition and win this race. Rely on us to help you grow your business and profits. We can help train your team on the basics, teach new installation and design techniques, help you expand your product arsenal, win more jobs, and design service contracts for an annual/repeat income stream. Reach out to your local Central rep to get started or learn more!

About Glen

Glen Nyhuis has more than three decades in the landscape lighting business. He has worked both in the field installing and design landscape lighting, as well as on the distribution side. Beyond that, he has spent many years teaching and working with contractors on how to sell lighting to their customers. Whether it is a technical or design question, or helping source the right product for a special job, Glen is ready to help you make money and grow your business.