By Shay Moser
As a new roofing business owner, Derek Forsgren set out to grow his company with an emerging product. He offered his customers permanent, color-changing lighting along with shingles and tiles. The concept has taken off in a big way.
His company offers permanent holiday and accent lighting. It’s an all-in-one system for residential and commercial use. Level 5 Lighting provides programmable and customizable permanent exterior LED lighting systems that can be used all year round for holidays, backyard entertainment, sporting events, as well as accent and security lighting. The permanent lights are customized to match the roofline and are nearly undetectable during the day.
“Brittany Burk, my sister, suggested I look into these permanent lights for my roofing company,” explains Forsgren. “I said OK, but I wasn’t gung-ho on it. And then she told me again, ‘You need to take a look at this.’”
Forsgren and Burk began researching lighting companies thanks to his sister’s nudges. Jellyfish Lighting, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, stood out for it’s standard of quality for being discreet from the street, energy-efficient, long-lasting, and maintenance-free.
The Only Jellyfish Lighting Authorized Dealer in Arizona
“Being able to hide the lights during the day and let them come out at night and be beautiful was important,” says Forsgren. So, he became the sole authorized dealer and installer of Jellyfish Lighting in Arizona. “They have the most discreet, powerful, and bright light on the market. The lights mount under home or building trim in a custom track color that encases all wires, so there are no exterior power supplies,” he says.
The brilliant, robust features also drew Forsgren to Jellyfish Lighting, which owns and manufactures the system in Utah. Weatherproof, bright three-diode lights are dimmable and use less than one watt per light at the most brilliant white. The controller is a modern Lenux based computer installed indoors that receives continual updates and is low voltage (rated for 25,000 hours, which is about 15 to 20 years of regular use). The computer and mobile app allow users to manage multiple colors, patterns, movements and effects, light levels, sections of lights, and even each light individually. Owners can also save several nightly and weekly timers and calendar events for holidays and other special occasions.
“They’re always updating the controller,” Forsgren says. “The new features or updates get automatically added to your computer.”
Jellyfish Lighting only had one way of installing their lights, but being a roofer, Forsgren created several ways to add Level 5 Lighting to Arizona’s stucco homes with flat roofs.
The ‘Level 5’ in Level 5 Lighting
Despite opening in June 2020 during Covid lockdown, with the first installation in September 2020, Level 5 Lighting has grown from a team trio — Forsgren, Burk, and Thomas Ferraro Jr. to 15 employees, including office administrators, certified lighting trainers, lighting installers, and sales representatives.
Initially, Jellyfish Lighting trained and certified Forsgren in Utah. Now Level 5 Lighting has leads who train employees to install the system. Lighting installers must be certified in 90 days, and the company doesn’t subcontract lighting installation. All lighting installers work for Level 5, eliminating scheduling delays and providing workers’ compensation. Typically, a two-person crew installs the lights in a day. For commercial properties, it can take three to four people.
“I’ve always believed that you can be successful if you give good service and take care of your customer,” Forsgren says. “Be honest about what you’re doing and answer any questions. If you don’t have the answer, that’s OK. Call them back when you have the answer.”
These business values are why a sales representative visits every new customer after they reserve Level 5 Lighting.
“Every house is a little bit different,” explains Forsgren. “Color is important. So, we make it a requirement to send out a sales rep on every appointment. First, we measure the whole house and discuss your needs and whether this is a good fit. Then we give an estimate on site.”
Level 5 Lighting also offers a three-year warranty on the system.
“We provide help with HOAs,” says Forsgren. “Some people will do it without permission. Others will ask and get permission. But the homeowner is responsible for it.”
Customers can also use Level 5 Lighting simply to brighten a boring backyard. “It’s a great application for backyard living, pergolas, and the environment,” Forsgren says. “We can even put Level 5 Lighting on block wall fences to light up a backyard area for playing cornhole or golf.”
Level 5 Lighting Shines Commercially, Out of State
Forsgren ‘s roofing and sales expertise has grown Level 5 Lighting onto more than homes and backyards. Apartment buildings and restaurants have installed Level 5 Lighting, and Forsgren recently tested adding lights to the front of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. In addition, the owners of Safford Copper Mine, located in Graham County, Arizona, and eight miles north of the city of Safford, want Level 5 Lighting to illuminate a 150-foot Christmas tree for the top of the mountain.
“The tree will have close to 6,000 LEDs,” says Forsgren. “I’m going through all the technical stuff to ensure it works. After that, I think we’ll be able to see it from space.
“I like new challenges, such as figuring out how to add lights to a different style house and coming up with solutions,” Forsgren says. In addition, we’re starting to get a lot more commercial applications, so that’s fun to figure out.”
Forsgren explains the “level 5” in Level 5 Lighting: “We want to get five stars every time we go out to a job from beginning to end. So, we have lots of good reviews, and people recommend us because of our service; we answer your questions and the phone.”
No wonder Level 5 Lighting has become the new Jellyfish Lighting authorized dealer for Nashville, planning to open three to five locations in the next one to three years.
Nashville homes are a lot different, says Forsgren. “They get snow, so the pitches on the roof must be a lot deeper. So, it’s a little more challenging.”
While Level 5 expands into Nashville, the lighting company is ramping up for its busiest month in October, when people are preparing for the holidays. Forsgren says they typically sell out by Halloween.
To receive a consultation from Level 5 Lighting, visit level5lighting.com or call 602-643-5922.
This content is sponsored by Level 5 Lighting.