Tom Kraeutler: This is The Money Pit’s top products podcast coming to you from the 2015 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
Leslie Segrete: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Tom Kraeutler: We love this show because it’s kind of like … We called it a fashion show for home improvement earlier today, Leslie.
Leslie Segrete: I guess everybody’s brought out their finest.
Tom Kraeutler: Exactly. Their finest tools though. With us to talk about that right now is Steve Walters. Now Steve works for Mr. Beams. Mr. Beams is a lighting manufacturer.
Leslie Segrete: Makes sense.
Tom Kraeutler: The kind of lighting that you carry around in your hand or in your glovebox or in your pocket. Flashlights.
Steve Walters: Yeah. With our flashlights, not only can they be carried around, but you can install them absolutely anywhere, and add lighting somewhere you don’t want to add wiring or pay for an electrician.
Tom Kraeutler: Now the technology with flashlights has come so far and so fast from the small standard incandescent bulb that we all grew up with to LEDs. The advent of LED technology is it gets better and better and better. It’s really giving us more wattage, more brightness, than ever before with less power. That’s really done a lot for your industry.
Steve Walters: Yeah, absolutely. With Mr. Beams, all of our lights are motion-sensing and battery-operated. Now, because they’re LED, we’re able to get at least one year of battery life with all of our lights. Every customer, they may have the question, “Well, how long is it going to last? How long with it take until I need to replace the batteries?” And once we give them that year, some light clicks, and they want to buy our lights.
Tom Kraeutler: Let’s talk about some of your newest products. Are you going on anything specifically at the hardware show?
Steve Walters: Yes. This hardware show, we’re actually debuting …
Leslie Segrete: Something in your bag just lit up by the way. That is hysterical.
Steve Walters: Yeah. That’s what happens when you sell lights. With Mr. Beams, we have our new netbright technology. It’s a two pack of LED lights that are motion-sensing spotlights. When one’s activated, it’ll send a signal to every other light that’s on the same frequency.
Tom Kraeutler: Oh, that’s cool.
Leslie Segrete: Oh, that’s fantastic.
Steve Walters: They’ll all activate so you’re able to have a secure perimeter of lighting.
Tom Kraeutler: Right.
Steve Walters: Much more cost-effective than wiring your entire house, property.
Tom Kraeutler: That would really freak out anybody that’s sneaking up to your house. Right? Not only does the light that’s in front of them go on, but all of the lights around the house go on.
Leslie Segrete: Yeah, but also think about it as a homeowner. You’re walking from your car to the back of the house if the first one trips on then boom, boom, boom, you’ve got a well-lit walkway.
Tom Kraeutler: Now, do they have to physically see each other to come on?
Steve Walters: No. As long as they’re within 150 feet, it’ll send an RF signal to the other lights.
Leslie Segrete: Boy, it is bright.
Tom Kraeutler: It’s really bright. Yeah. Now, how long with the batteries last on these?
Steve Walters: For these, were designed to at least have one year of battery life.
Tom Kraeutler: Wow.
Leslie Segrete: When you’re saying one year is that if they were on consistently 24 hours 7 days a week or …
Steve Walters: No. With something that’s battery-operated, obviously there’s a limited amount of life. With these, we design our lights to have at least 35 to 3600 activations.
Leslie Segrete: In it’s battery cycle.
Steve Walters: Yeah, right, correct. As long as you’re in front of it and moving it’ll stay on, but as soon as you leave each light has a different auto shut-off timer that will then turn the light off to conserve battery life.
Tom Kraeutler: Okay.
Leslie Segrete: That’s fantastic.
Tom Kraeutler: What kind of batteries do these take?
Steve Walters: Standard alkalines. Some of our lights have D’s, some have C’s, some are double A’s and triple A’s.
Tom Kraeutler: Huh.
Leslie Segrete: Because of the LED technology, will you ever need to replace the bulb on these?
Steve Walters: No. All of our lights, we state that it’s a 20 to 25 year life on LED. In 20 to 25 years who knows where lighting will be. There’s no need for replacement.
Leslie Segrete: Lighting will be floating around the perimeter of your house.
Tom Kraeutler: It’ll follow you around wherever you go.
Leslie Segrete: Doing whatever you need it to.
Tom Kraeutler: Now, what happens in the winter when you get subzero temperatures? Does that shorten the battery life on these?
Steve Walters: It will weaken the battery life a little bit, but we’ve tested our lights up to negative 15 degrees and they still operate pretty well.
Leslie Segrete: At that point you should not be outside.
Steve Walters: That’s correct. The light will dim a little bit.
Tom Kraeutler: Right.
Steve Walters: But once Spring comes, fully functioning again.
Tom Kraeutler: Does it give you an alert when the batteries at a low level and needs to be replaced?
Steve Walters: Yes. All of our lights, they’ll stay on for an extended period of time until they’re dim. Then eventually do die.
Tom Kraeutler: Until they’re dead.
Leslie Segrete: Now, you had mentioned that they’ll speak to each other if they’re on the same frequency. Is that something that you set them to or do you purchase a kit that has four that are already on the same frequency? How does that work?
Steve Walters: Well, the lights are on frequency only our netbright lights, which is this one right here.
Leslie Segrete: The one that turned on in your bag that you’re holding.
Steve Walters: Yeah. The come preset on a frequency.
Leslie Segrete: Okay.
Steve Walters: They’ll come in one or two packs. Pretty much everything when you initially get it on that frequency and then the use can then choose if they want to set it to a different frequency.
Leslie Segrete: So they can extend how many lights are on that same frequency, too.
Steve Walters: Yeah. Each frequency can actually have 50 lights on it.
Leslie Segrete: That’s fantastic.
Tom Kraeutler: Wow, 50 lights.
Steve Walters: There’s four frequencies on each light, so you have have 200 lights all operating.
Leslie Segrete: I will shine them all at my neighbor’s house.
Tom Kraeutler: Now, these netbright lights that you brought with us today … This is obviously designed to be mounted. What other technology do you see netbright being used for? What other designs of lights would you see this being used for?
Steve Walters: We were definitely pushing netbright a little bit further. We think there’s a great play for pathlights, for nightlights, internal applications where if you have a dark hallway you want to light up one then boom they all come on.
Tom Kraeutler: Yeah.
Steve Walters: Then the same with pathlights. You have a long driveway you want to get up to your house.
Tom Kraeutler: I like that because it’s going to be more reliable than solar lights which are pretty but they don’t seem to last too long.
Leslie Segrete: Well, it’s at variables to brightness and the length of time it stays on.
Tom Kraeutler: Then you have hardwired lights which are expensive, so this is a great middle ground.
Steve Walters: Yeah. Because it is that middle ground that’s how we’re defining our own category and that’s what’s drawing people to us.
Leslie Segrete: What about under cabinet lighting or …
Steve Walters: We have under cabinet lighting.
Leslie Segrete: See? We are on the same page.
Tom Kraeutler: You’re right.
Steve Walters: You should come work for us.
Leslie Segrete: Later. Okay.
Tom Kraeutler: We have great jobs. Steve Walters from Mr. Beams. This is great. Thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit podcast as the National Hardware Show and cluing us in on the new products with netbright technology. Really smart. I do think that of all the products that we see getting smarter and smarter and smarter, this is just another great example of that.
Leslie Segrete: It’s fantastic. The light configuration on them is almost like a little smiley face being like, “Ha, ha. I’m smarter than you.”
Tom Kraeutler: Steve, thanks so much.
Steve Walters: Thanks for having me, Tom.
Tom Kraeutler: You want more information you go where? MrBeams.com?
Steve Walters: Yep. MrBeams.com.
Tom Kraeutler: All right. There you have it. MrBeams.com.