To introduce and sell lighting design to his customers, electrician Phil Blosser created a "lighting lab" in Blosser Electric's expanded Telford, Pa., office space. Installed in the lab's two rooms are an array of lights and enough furniture to simulate a living room, dining room, kitchen, or conference room.

Rather than just talking about lighting design basics, Blosser actually demonstrates to customers how accent, task, and ambient lighting schemes can improve on traditional designs. "I always had this dream," he says, "that I could literally show people what it would look like if you lit a room in different ways."

Blosser says the lab functions as both showroom and classroom, educating customers about their options and speeding the decision-making process.

At the end of a consultation or on a second visit, Blosser up-sells by demonstrating lighting control options and extras like toekick and backsplash lights. "There are lights everywhere, in every little nook and cranny, so I can show people innovative things they can do," he says.

Outfitted with Corian countertops, York cabinets, and other name-brand products, the lab also helps Blosser market himself to small contractors, who can use the space as a showroom and meeting place. "It's been a good drawing card and firms up that team approach," he says.