February 1st, 2013
Does the lighting in your jewelry store really make a difference in sales? Experience? Ask any expert, and they would agree; absolutely. SouthernJewerlyNews.com affirmed this notion when they recently interviewed Howard Gurock of Econo-Lite Products, a division of Eco-Lite Products, a leading supplier of energy-efficient, product-enhancing lighting to beauty salons, art galleries, jewelry stores and eyewear retailers.
In the article, Gurock explains that jewelry store lighting is not a one-size-fits-all solution. ”Brighter is not necessarily better,” he is quoted in the article.
Below is the full interview with Howard Gurock. The original article was posted to SouthernJewelryNews.com.
Ask Howard Gurock of Econo-Lite how his company is different from other lighting suppliers and you’ll get an education in illuminating retail spaces. He’ll quickly tell you to choose a lighting partner, not just a lighting supplier. Gurock quips, “Possessing lighting knowledge without an understanding of design, retail environments or positive customer experiences is like possessing precious metals and stones without the ability to turn them into a product you can sell.”
In 2007, Howard Gurock and Jeffrey Gasman took over Econo-Lite which was established in 1982 by George Halvatzis. Known to many jewelers as the ‘King of Jewelry Lighting,’ George provided store owners with expertise in the latest jewelry lighting technologies. After his retirement, Howard and Jeff stayed true to the company’s reputation and continue to provide the jewelry industry with lighting products and a high level of customization few companies provide.
Econo-Lite’s close relationship with leading jewelry store designers (Artco, Store Design and Fixturing, Grid3), case manufacturers (Grice Showcase) and jewelry display companies (Pacific Northern) demonstrates their commitment to being more than just a lighting supplier. Gurock works with designers and case manufacturers to ensure their projects go smoothly, stating, “We have to talk to all parties involved because there is a great level of customization nowadays.”
Gurock is deeply involved with the technical side of lighting, specifically LED diode manufacturing which is the most important component used in LED lighting. Diodes are no bigger than the head on a pin, but they determine how warm or cool the emitted light is from an LED bulb. When he discovered that manufacturers were allowed classification deviations within single groups, and those deviations were perceptible to the human eye, he did what any good business owner would do – he went for custom diode production.
“With only a few LED diode manufacturers in the world that really produce a quality product, we decided to choose one of these manufacturers to produce our diodes custom made to our specifications,” Gurock said. “Manufacturers classify diodes into warm, neutral and cool according to the color they emit. But when the colors weren’t consistent within a classification we went the only route we could – custom.”
Creating a special diode (known in the industry as custom binned), requires a lot more testing, evaluating, re-testing and work, but Econo-Lite refused to sell inconsistent product, whether or not the solution was complicated.
Selling quality products is only one component of the business mix for Econo-Lite. Creating a custom lighting plan for each retailer is equally impressive in its offering. With so many variables affecting the lighting of a jewelry store, Gurock and Gasman decided they simply couldn’t offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to retailers.
“What most people don’t realize is that what works for one store doesn’t work for all. Most believe lighter and brighter is better, but it may not be the best solution for all jewelry,” Gurock explains. “If we put the brightest and whitest lights in a case and produce a look that cannot be replicated outside the case, then our jewelry partners are at risk of losing a sale, and that’s not acceptable to us.”
At no cost, Econo-Lite consults with the jeweler to gain insight into their retail environment and to evaluate the physical surroundings, including: how much natural light is available, what the layout of the store is like, what mix of products are being sold, what color is on the walls and in the display cases and the height of the ceiling. They may recommend one type of lighting for the cash wrap, a different type for the work benches and yet another for the showcases and wall displays.
Gurock explains how lighting becomes a part of the sales process: “First, lighting in the showcase must make the product catch the eye of the customer. Then you have to create a look that makes the customer want to see the product outside the case, and, last, the lighting outside the case needs to blend with the incase lighting to make the product look just as good above the glass as below it.”
Hiring teams of technical engineers, LED engineers and many other experts in the field of lighting has helped Econo-Lite carve out a niche in the jewelry industry, and with that tremendous success they found the next natural progression was to jump into the optical and beauty salon industries. Like jewelry retail, both present tremendous challenges when it comes to lighting, but Gurock and Gasman are nothing if not extremely business savvy.
“The salon industry is an extremely tight-knit group that posed significant problems when it came down to being the new lighting kid on the block,” Gurock recalled. “If you’re not connected in that industry there is no way to earn their trust. That’s why we partnered with the top hair color specialist in the industry, Beth Minardi, to create lighting specifically for salons. It took over a year of intense research and testing, but we proudly launched our Minardi Color Perfect Lighting line specifically designed to address the needs of hair salons, and we’ve helped reconstruct the way they light the retail area in the salons.”
But perhaps the best offer Econo-Lite makes is one of value. With a five year guarantee on their product and the free lighting analysis to customize a lighting plan per individual store, it easy to see how Gurock and Gasman have become the new ‘Kings of Lighting’ in the jewelry industry. After all, customization is king regardless of what industry you serve.
Visit Econo-Lite at www.econo-lite.com or call 800-345-9652 for a free consultation
May 16th, 2012
Econo-Lite Products, the jewelry lighting division of Eco-Lite Products, attended The Smart Jewelry Show at the Navy Pier in Chicago April 13-15 displaying their energy-efficient, product-enhancing lighting for jewelry stores.
A prominent theme of the 2012 show was ‘How to Properly Light a Jewelry Store.’ Howard Gurock, Co-President of Eco-Lite Products, was asked about the right and wrong way to make use of jewelry store lighting design.
There are several ways to illuminate a jewelry store and according to Gurock, diamonds and other gems react differently to particular sources of lighting. These distinct reactions can direct a customer’s attention to a desired area of a jewelry store or particular part of a product showcase.
In the interview Gurock says, “If you look for cheap deals or just assume the brightest lights are best, you’re likely to end up spending more in the long run or making your merchandise look poor.” Instead, Gurock suggests ‘lighting for diamonds’ adding, “If you light for diamonds, everything else will survive. If you light for everything else, your diamonds will die. So light for your diamonds.”
He also notes that brighter is not better and in most cases, LED lighting will create the most scintillation in diamonds. LED lights are also the most energy-efficient, using 40-80% less energy.
Good lights can be more expensive, but there are other areas where jewelry store owners can save. The best way to ensure dollars are being spent wisely, according to Gurock, is to talk to someone with expertise in lighting and ask them the best ways to be effectively and efficiently light a jewelry store.
To read the full interview on jewelry store lighting with Howard Gurock, please visit http://www.jewelry-lighting.com/20120516-jewelry-store-lighting-design-tips-from-an-expert/
May 16th, 2012
Written by Josh Wimmer for Smartjewelryshow.com
When it comes to lighting your store, don’t go it alone. If you look for cheap deals or just assume the brightest lights are best, you’re likely to end up spending more in the long run or making your merchandise look poor, said Econo-Lite‘s Howard Gurock at The SMART Show on Sunday. You’re better off working with a lighting expert who knows the jewelry industry.
In a Q&A with Larry Johnson of display maker Pacific Northern, Gurock shared some tips on how to make your lighting really shine:
Good lighting is expensive, sure, but trying to do it on the cheap is just money down the drain. “The best way to save money,” Gurock said, “is to talk to someone who has expertise in lighting and ask them where you could cut back.”
June 27th, 2011
The June 2011 edition of SALON TODAY featured its 2011 Salons of the Year. The process of selecting the winners started with SALON TODAY editors and designers reviewing each of the entries, then a panel of editors and art directors evaluated each entry in greater detail and chose a group of finalists. Thereafter, a panel of outside expert judges scrutinized and evaluated the salons scoring them in six different categories one of which was salon lighting.
Minardi Color Perfect Lighting by Eco-Lite Products, was installed throughout the entire salon, or in select areas such as the styling/color areas, in six of the top twenty 2011 Salons of the Year. These 2011 Salons of the Year winners were:
See photos of the SALON TODAY winning salons online.
Along with the famous Angus M Salon in Beverly Hills, CA, which was a 2010 Salon of the Year, the 2011 Salons of the Year now bring the total to seven Salons of the Year using Minardi Color Perfect Lighting.
World renowned colorist Beth Minardi was thrilled with the Minardi Color Perfect Lighting Salon winners. “SALON TODAY is a wonderful resource for serious salon professionals! We are so pleased that many of their SALON of the YEAR winners use MINARDI COLOR PERFECT LIGHTING. Great salons and great salon clients deserve nothing but the very best. And, when we can see EXACTLY what we are doing, we can deliver EXACTLY the results great colorists are expected to deliver. Let that great light shine on your beautiful color creations!”
Jeff Gasman, Co-President of Eco-Lite Products, observed that each of the six 2011 winners had a unique design that “incorporated our lighting into that design seamlessly. Not only did these salons create perfect environments for coloring and styling, they did it in an eco-friendly manner which will save them thousands of dollars a year in electrical costs.”
We work very closely with Salon Designers, Architects and owners in order to help turn their visions into reality, commented Howard Gurock, Co-President of Eco-Lite Products. Salon owners are realizing more and more that lighting is a critical element to a successful salon that cannot be ignored or put as the last line on the budget. Gurock, who was recently named to a panel of the Beauty Industry’s top experts, said that the advances in technology will “provide us with the ability to deliver salon lighting that is superior in tone and color at a fraction of the energy used in most salons today.”
March 25th, 2011
Eco-Lite Products along with Beth and Carmine Minardi are pleased to announce that the Minardi Color Perfect Lighting system is now lighting up 650 salons nationwide. The cutting edge salon lights were designed specifically for salons by world-renowned colorist Beth Minardi and celebrity stylist Carmine Minardi and are manufactured by Eco-Lite Products.
Beth Minardi is quoted, “I’m thrilled that 650 salons across America have turned on the lights – Minardi Color Perfect lights! I also work behind the chair every day, so I know how important it is to accurately see and evaluate the color and styles we create. ”
Upon launching in 2009, the lighting system quickly garnered industry-wide attention and won the prestigious International Beauty Industry Innovator Award at the 2009 and 2010 America’s Beauty Show®. Just two years later, salons across the country are raving about it and designers have begun specifying Minardi Color Perfect Lighting into their salon design plans as well.
Minardi Color Perfect lighting is comprised of three different fixtures each of which has a specific function for a salon. Salons can greatly benefit from using one or all three of the lights.
The task lights, which are a mere 18 watts and use state of the art LED technology, create a 3’ to 4’ circle of light around the stylists chair and project a perfect color making hair look the same both inside and outside of the salon.
The mirror light, which comes in two sizes and can be wall mounted or mounted to a ceiling in a pendant style, uses between 7 and 14 watts of power, is essential because it eliminates circles under the eyes while adding a warm glow to the skin and an overall healthy look to the complexion warmth to the skin. This is the light the client sees as they are sitting in the chair.
The ambient lighting provides general lighting for the salon. There are several energy efficient options all of which spread an even canopy of bright soothing light. Salons using fluorescent lighting that struggle with the shadows and poor color quality that fluorescents are known for as well as salons using the extremely hot and inefficient halogen lights will welcome the brilliance and tone that is emitted by the ambient lighting.
We are “… excited to see the growth of Minardi Color Perfect Lighting … our company, along with Beth and Carmine Minardi, spent countless hours designing, testing and modifying these lights until they produced the perfect balance of color, tone and power” said Howard Gurock, co-owner, Eco-Lite Products. “Salons across the country call us every day to thank us for helping to make their salons more successful and we take a lot of pride in knowing that in addition to helping the salons we are also helping the environment” said Jeff Gasman, co-owner, Eco-Lite Products.