In this episode of The MHP Broker’s ® Tips and Tricks, we chat with Matt Cohen of Gama Sonic Solar Lighting. The company produces top quality outdoor solar lighting solutions for mobile home parks and RV communities.
As always, this episode is hosted by Maxwell Baker, the co-founder of The MHP Broker ®, and brought to you by our proprietary Community Price Maximizer. Use our four-step system through which we’ll help you navigate, and guarantee you a higher price when you sell your mobile home or RV community.
Here Are Show Highlights:
Max highly recommends outdoor park and community lighting from Gama Sonic Solar Lighting. To find our how to contact Matt Cohen at Gama Sonic USA, just drop us a line at email@example.com or give me a call at 678-932-0200.
Power Quotes on This Episode From Guest Matt Cohen of Gama Sonic USA:
“Every year our engineers are creating, developing and manufacturing new lights after
listening to what customers want and need.” (1:13)
“They’re high quality products, not the cheap products that you buy in bulk at some of
these discount stores and things like that. These are the long–lasting five–year warranty
solar lights that people are loving and continuously buying more of.” (3:18)
“The LEDs, the photo cells, the solar panels, they have a lifespan of ten years, after
whichtime you’ll need to replace the head of the light, but the poles themselves will last
“They come on automatically, even in the winter months, when you have 14 hours of
“The higher up you go, the wider (but dimmer) the spread of light.” (8:18)
“If they contact me directly, I’m going to be able to work with them and give them better
pricing than they’ll be able to find on our website.” (10:27)
Hello and welcome to the mobile home park brokers tips and tricks. This is the podcast where we talk about mobile home park investing, because that’s what we’ve been involved in for the last decade. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Here’s your host, Maxwell Baker.
00:22 Maxwell Baker
Hey y’all welcome to another beautiful episode of The Mobile Home Park Brokers tips and tricks, podcast. As always, this episode is brought to you by the Community Price Maximizer. It is our proprietary system that will guarantee you a higher price when you show so we list your mobile home community with us. It is a four step process. Give us a call at 678-932-0200. And today I am pleased and excited to have Matt Cohen from Gama Sonic. Here on today’s episode. Welcome Matt. What’s going on man?
00:57 Matt Cohen
Hey, Max, thanks for having me. All is good.
00:58 Maxwell Baker
Awesome. Gama Sonic’s been around for a while. The owner is actually a fellow Strategic Coach participant that I’ve met a couple of times. Matt, tell me how long you’ve been with Gama Sonic, like you’ve been with him for quite some time, right?
01:13 Matt Cohen
Yeah, I started with Gama Sonic back in January of 2013. It’s been a good run so far. Gama Sonic has grown quite a bit since I started with the company and we’ve come out with a lot of new exciting commercial grade solar lights since that time. Every year our engineers are creating, developing and manufacturing new lights after listening to what customers wants and needs are.
Maxwell Baker 01:34
Nice man, and they’re from Israel, aren’t they? Is that where the family’s from is where everything is made or designed?
01:41 Matt Cohen
Yeah, they’re from Tel Aviv, Israel. Our engineers are based out of Tel Aviv, Israel.
Maxwell Baker 01:46
Very cool. As far as the greatest lesson you’ve learned while you’ve been at Gama Sonic, what do you think that’s been?
01:52 Matt Cohen
Well, I think right now, the greatest lesson I’ve learned is how to listen. You know, I’d like to understand what my customers are saying, what their wants and needs are first and foremost with regards to lighting, brightness, aesthetics, etc. So I’d like to understand before I want to be understood.
Maxwell Baker 02:10
Alright, cool and as far as what you’re learning now, over the last 12 months that Gama Sonic is adapting? What are those things, do you think they’ll learn over the last 12 months that could change where the direction could be? Or?
02:21 Matt Cohen
Well, actually, I’d say that what I’m learning right now is how to navigate the disruptions in the global supply chain. Things have been pretty crazy getting inventory reports. So it’s been challenging. I like to keep all my customers in the loop. Give them accurate eta as soon as I receive them. For the past few months, things have been constantly changing. So I’m constantly learning with regards to that and also something that I was taught at a very young age is that you learn your entire life, and you die at full. So in other words, you never stop learning. It’s an ongoing process that just never ends.
02:57 Maxwell Baker
Yeah, man. No, that’s a thing that we always tell our brokers here at the firm is fail fast, fail often, fail forward. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good way to do it because if you’re always trying to avoid failure, just to be comfortable, you’re not going to grow very quickly.
03:13 Matt Cohen
03:14 Maxwell Baker
So tell me about these lights. Man. What are they made of? Or the LED like, what’s the story behind?
03:18 Matt Cohen
Yeah, so our commercial-grade solar lights that are installed in parks and communities all over the country are manufactured with powder-coated cast aluminium, mano crystalline solar panels integrated into tempered glass with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and SMD LEDs. So they’re high-quality products, not the cheap products that you buy in bulk at some of these discount stores or the depot’s or the cost goes and things like that. These are the long-lasting five-year warranty solar lights that people are loving and continuously buying more of.
03:56 Maxwell Baker
Nice. So they last about five years, or how long do they typically last?
04:00 Matt Cohen
Well actually the lifespan of the unit’s themselves are 10 years. The poles will last indefinitely. But the LEDs, the photo cells, the solar panels, they have a lifespan of 10 years, after which time you’ll need to replace the head of the light, but the poles themselves will last indefinitely.
04:18 Maxwell Baker
04:19 Matt Cohen
The batteries are all lithium-ion batteries and depending which model solar light the users is purchasing will determine the lifespan. We’ve got batteries that last three years, we’ve got other batteries that last five years. So it really just depends on the making the model,
04:36 Maxwell Baker
And what does it cost to swap out batteries? Are they expensive? Or what are they on?
04:39 Matt Cohen
Not really, our Imperial three has four lithium-ion batteries that are pre-installed in the head of the light and those batteries will last for three years before they need to be replaced at a cost of 25 bucks each. So each light costs 100 bucks every three years to replace the batteries.
04:58 Maxwell Baker
Okay, how do I know which solar lights that I should put in my community, like what’s the variable there that helps me choose?
05:03 Matt Cohen
Yeah, it really just depends on what kind of brightness and aesthetics you’re looking for. You know, we’ve got a lot of park owners that are wanting to install lights in front of each home. We’ve got park owners that are wanting to install actual streetlights and lights at the entrance way and lights to light up the signage at the entrance way. So, each light in each park is different. So what I’d like to do is go back to that, you know, understanding before I want to be understood mentality and figure out what they’re trying to achieve in their park as far as brightness. Are they looking for aesthetics? Are they looking for brightness? Are they looking for both? And then once I understand what they’re looking for, then I can make suggestions on what I feel is going to be the most appropriate choice for their lighting needs.
05:50 Maxwell Baker
Okay, nice. Nice. As far as installation, run me through the cost and how that all works.
05:56 Matt Cohen
Yeah, so all of our lights are installed into small concrete pads, concrete foundations. There’s no wiring, there’s no digging, there’s no trenching, there’s no electrical whatsoever. So finding either a handyman, a maintenance man or a general contractor, somebody that’s proficient in pouring concrete is paramount. That’s really the most challenging part, which is very simple. Once the concrete pad is poured, you just need to install the pole onto the pad, slide the solar light on top of the pole, tighten up the set screws turn the light on and as long as the light receives direct sunlight, you’re in business.
06:35 Maxwell Baker
06:36 Matt Cohen
The lights will last all night, from dusk till dawn, they come on automatically. Even in the winter months, when you have 14 hours of darkness. When you have cloudy days, the batteries will actually also hold a charge for up to four or five nights. So if you’ve got three or four, cloudy, rainy, snowy or overcast days, those batteries will hold a charge. So those nasty days that you had those nights, the light will still come on automatically when the sun goes down and stay on all night until the sun comes up even in the winter months.
07:06 Maxwell Baker
Wow. Okay, going back to the cost, like obviously, the contractor stuff is on y’all, the park owners that are listening here. But as far as the cost per light, and just the maintenance on it, what can people anticipate.
07:18 Matt Cohen
So our lights run between 300 and 900 for the lights, and our poles run from $175 to about $385 for the poles. So let’s for example, say that an owner wants to install a light in front of each home, the Imperial three with a 78 inch standard pole is $475. If they’re looking to install street lighting, are modern and our centennial solar lights on our 10 foot poles are $1,285. The same price, one is a little bit brighter than the other and covers a little bit wider spread of light on the ground. But they are the same price and all of which have a five year warranty.
07:59 Maxwell Baker
So really, it’s more about aesthetics versus usefulness on what kind of light you want because obviously the ones that are lower to the ground I mean, you can see them as you drive or walk by them. But the ones that are a little higher are going to have way more distance of what the light is going to be able to provide that pretty fair assumption.
08:18 Matt Cohen
Yeah, exactly, for example, or imperial three on a six and a half foot posts will give you a 15 foot diameter spread of light around the base of the pole so seven and a half feet in any direction underneath the pole. Our Centennial solar light on a 10 foot pole will give you a 40 foot diameter spread of light underneath the base of the pole in our Modern will give you a 48 foot diameter spread of light around the base of the pole all night long. So the higher up you go, the wider spread of light, but you don’t want to go higher than 10 feet. And one of the examples that I use with all of the park owners and the customers that I speak to, when I go to trade shows and do speaking engagements is that I take an example of using a flashlight. When you turn that flashlight on and you shine it down to your feet, and then you lift that flashlight up above your head, the spread of light gets wider, but it also gets dimmer. So there’s a max height that you want to go with our lights depending on which light you go with because you don’t want to lose that brightness on the ground. You want to have the diameter spread of light but you also want to harness the brightness of the lights as well. So it’s just not pretty in the sky.
09:32 Maxwell Baker
Okay, okay. We talked about the cloudy days here and how long they will last but as far as like warranty and cost for shipping. Can you kind of break that down for us?
09:40 Matt Cohen
Yep, we have a five-year warranty on all of our commercial lights and poles and shipping is free out of Atlanta, Georgia, anywhere in the continental US, so the lower 48.
Maxwell Baker 09:50
Nice. Okay. Well give us a little details on it, if they want to contact you, Matt.
09:55 Matt Cohen
Yeah, I appreciate that. Anybody out there listening would like more information they can call me my name is Matt Cohen and my number is area code 727-688-5030. They can also reach me by email, which is Matt@gamasonic.com.
10:18 Maxwell Baker
Yeah, nice and then you have a little special here that came through the podcast that you would give them a little bit of a discount if they contact you directly. What was that we talked about earlier about the website?
10:27 Matt Cohen
If they contact me directly, I’m going to be able to work with them and give them better pricing than they’ll be able to find on our website. So it would be important for them to contact me directly in order to give them that better pricing.
10:38 Maxwell Baker
So feel free to browse the website. But when you’re ready to pull the trigger, give Matt a call. He’s well known in the industry, and is very fair with pricing and both purchases I have witnessed it personally. So feel free to give him a call at that 727-688-5030 and take it from there. Hey, Matt, I appreciate you being on the show today. Do you have any other insights or comments before we wrap it up?
11:02 Matt Cohen
Max, I appreciate you having me. I think we covered a lot in a short amount of time. And again, I’m happy to answer any questions that any of your listeners have and look forward to speaking to everybody.
11:11 Maxwell Baker
Awesome. Thanks, Matt. Hey, before we wrap up, this episode is brought to you by the Community Price Maximizer. It is part of our proprietary system here at the mobile home park broker part of our four step process. And the solar lighting component here that Matt is showing is part of some of the improvements that you can do to help improve the value and pricing when you explicitly list your mobile home community or RV community with us. So give us a call. Happy to make an introduction outside if Matt, you don’t want to reach out to him and want to talk to me 678-932-0200 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again, Matt. We appreciate your time. Thanks for listening and let’s keep moving forward y’all
Matthew Cohen is the Director of Commercial Sales for Gama Sonic Solar Lighting and since 2013 has been educating industry professionals on commercial grade solar lighting and how the transition from electric and/or gas to Solar Lamp Post Lighting is effortless and cost effective.
Before joining Gama Sonic in January 2013, Matt was the Director of Franchise Sales and Development for a national hotel chain dating back to 2004 and led domestic and international business development with an emphasis on entering underdeveloped markets as well as maximizing existing market presence.
Currently, Gama Sonic is the leading manufacturer of high-quality solar pedestrian lamp post lighting in today’s industry and has been since 2001. Using SMD LEDs and patented cone reflector technology, Gama Sonic Solar Lamp Posts are providing a real solution in replacing traditional gas and electrical lamps with the same look, quality, and brightness that Parks, Communities, Municipalities and City Centers across the country including Canada have come to expect. Gama Sonic Solar Lamp Posts can be easily installed anywhere outdoors without any electrical wiring, trenching, or digging which saves time, money and reduces your carbon footprint by utilizing free renewable green energy harnessed by the sun.