Lumicrest enlightens art galleries and retailers, near and far
Partners David Geldart and Mieke Geldart have taken their online LED lighting businesses and created a Parkdale-neighbourhood storefront to help educate customers on how the complex system works.
A butcher who wants his meat to look appetizing; a gallery that wants an artist’s colours to be reflected as intended; a resident who doesn’t like how the furniture looks in her unit. Their lighting needs differ but all three have gone through Lumicrest to get the best LED lights for their environment.
Partners (in business and in life) David Geldart and Mieke Geldart explain that lighting is what impacts the colours you see and feel around you. (In the case of the resident, her newly installed lights had lacked red content.) David explains that few competitors focus on high colour rendering the way they do.
The Geldarts have been doing online sales for about eight years. It’s the brick-and-mortar storefront that’s new to them and with that comes a need to reach a new local audience. Towards that objective, they have signed on with the city’s Digital Main Street initiative.
Before Lumicrest, David worked in digital animation, special effects and web design for 20 years, but ultimately sought work with something “tangible and applicable to the real world.”
He had actually built the Lumicrest website for a client who then backed out of the business. The Geldarts took over and soon added a customizable WordPress WooCommerce plugin to facilitate online sales.
To help potential clients find them, David says they made good use of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and targeted Google ads. “We get significant traffic through Google AdWords,” he says. “Just for an experiment, we shut it off for a month and the phone stopped ringing. We turned it on and never turned it off again.”
But finding them is not enough, explains David. “Lighting seems fairly straightforward but it isn’t as straightforward as it seems…. LED lights bring up a lot of questions and people start looking into it but they don’t really understand.”
To that end, the Geldarts created YouTube videos using Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere to help clients understand basic lighting terminology, colour temperatures and how to determine the desired beam angles.
David says with stores like Home Depot, customers may only get one option and may not even be clear what it is they’re purchasing.
For that reason, Lumicrest started working directly with art galleries, for whom lighting is a key part of presentation. “If we could get art galleries on board who are very fussy about good lighting, we could demonstrate critical application,” says David.
Just over a year ago, the Geldarts decided to open up a store in Parkdale in order to have a space for customers to come in and engage with different lighting options and effects.
But how to let customers know they’re there? It’s not the sort of shop passersby might wander into and come out of with LED lights.
This is where Digital Main Street steps in. The Geldarts have signed on with the City of Toronto’s new initiative in order to connect with other businesses and those in need of their services, as well as to expand their fluency with certain digital tools that could boost local sales.
“We have a physical space where people can come and play and we want people to take advantage of that,” says David.
The Geldarts’ next steps are to expand their use of social media as well as to increase segmented email marketing using proprietary software. They’re also looking forward to sharing with potential customers digital representations of their environment under different lighting options using software called DIALux.
“Technology permeates everything we do.”