4 Ways Electrical Contractors Avoid Callbacks

 In Design Build Construction

Callbacks. There’s nothing like them to suck the profits out of a project and damage your reputation for future projects at the same time. Fortunately, callbacks can be often be avoided.

These four tips will help you steer clear of callbacks and keep customers satisfied with their lighting:

Start with quality brands

Using poorly designed and low-quality lighting products will reduce upfront costs, but it won’t actually lower the total cost of a project. Instead, it may actually cause a project to cost more over a longer period of time, as the shoddy products necessitate frequent repairs.

The two hallmarks of quality design are that the lights serve their intended purpose well and respect you as the installing contractor. Well-designed lighting should make your job easier.

A good manufacturer knows time is money for you, so they’ll design pedestrian lighting that can be installed in less than 15 minutes, or has a tool-less installation process. Exterior lighting should have sealed optics, so you don’t have to fix the lights after the first rain. How about linear pendants that come to the jobsite prewired, so you never have to disassemble the fixtures to adding wiring, controls, or emergency lights?

Bring the lights under control

Energy savings are top-of-mind for many customers looking for an LED retrofit or new construction with LEDs. Dimming abilities and other control options like occupancy sensors and daylighting enhance energy savings, while also extending the already long lifespan of the lights and improving a building’s comfort and utility.

But, the wrong controls or an improper installation can mean all kinds of problems down the road, including flickering and “dimmable” LEDs that won’t dim. These issues will virtually guarantee unhappy customers and return visits to the site.

For example, phase-cut dimmer—designed for incandescent lamps—often don’t work with LEDs, because LEDs don’t draw enough power. Instead, use 0-10V dimmers or other dimmers designed for low power loads.

Whether it’s a simple dimmer or a centralized lighting control system, it’s crucial to work with the luminaire manufacturer before installation to ensure compatibility between the lights and the controls. Not all lights are created equally and the same goes for control. Your manufacturer can tell you if certain controls will work with their lights.

Questions to ask your lighting manufacturer:

  • What controls are compatible with their lights?
  • How many fixtures can go on one dimmer?
  • What’s the dimming range?

A conversation with the manufacturer beforehand can save you a callback later.

Be careful with value-engineering

Value-engineering has its place in construction projects—especially design build—but be careful with pushing it too far. You could easily value engineer yourself out of all profits from a job if poor quality lighting products necessitate frequent callbacks and replacement work.

Schedule callbacks

After you’ve taken all possible steps to avoid callbacks, the next thing to do is schedule them. That’s right, as soon as you finished a job, schedule a callback at an appropriate future time with your customers.

After everything you do to avoid callbacks, why in the world would you ever deliberately schedule a callback? Two reasons: your time management and your reputation.

If the customer knows you will be following up at a certain time, they’ll be less likely to call you with other issues and just save all the issues for when they know you’ll be by. One schedule trip at your convenience instead of multiple trips at inopportune times for you.

Plus, you boost your reputation for customer service. Proactive customer service is a rare commodity and will set you apart in a crowded industry.

When you schedule the callback will depend on the kinds of issues you tend to encounter on other callbacks and when they occur. For example, maybe external lighting projects tend to have water issues after the spring thaws and rains.


Getting installations right the first time means fewer costly callbacks, better reputations in the region and more repeat business from happy customers. It’s easier to keep existing clients than it is to get new customers, so anything you can do to keep your clients happy is money in the bank for you.

When contractors want the best long-term solutions, they opt for quality products from trusted manufacturers. As a leader in application-driven lighting innovation for more than 30 years, Amerlux has you covered! Learn more about Amerlux’s Value Line of lighting solutions for design-build construction.

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