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Upselling Accent Lights

Your Customer Will Be Happier with an
Integrated LED Accent over a Drop-in

Upselling Accent Lights

Your Customer Will Be Happier with an
Integrated LED Accent over a Drop-in Kichler Lighting

If your customer is leaning toward drop-in accent lights because of the low price point, help them to understand that there are other choices that, in the long run, may be better for them. This is an important opportunity to upsell – with benefits to you and your customer.

In terms of price, the closest alternative to a drop-in accent is Kichler Lighting’s 12V integrated LED accent, sometimes referred to as the Gen 1.5. If your customer can afford the price difference, the integrated accent is a better long-term value. Let’s explore why.

Kichler Lighting’s integrated LED accent light is highly engineered and sealed from the elements, which means it provides many years of reliable service – without bulb changing.

Drop-in accent fixtures, on the other hand, which are also referred to as “retrofits” or “fixture and lamp products,” may require attention after a few years, when the LED bulbs inside require changing. Not only Kichler Lighting but many other lighting manufacturers offer products of this type, with a similar MR16 LED bulb inside.

Check with your distributor, but in most cases the difference in price between drop-in and integrated accents is manageable and can be justified based on the upgrade in performance:

  • Longer performance life (with a longer warranty)
  • Better quality of light
  • No need to change the bulbs

These are all reasons to lead your customer toward the Kichler® 12V integrated LED accent which, over time, will bring greater satisfaction. Read more below about how these two types of products, which may look similar on the outside, are very different inside.

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See Kichler Lighting’s selection of 12v integrated accent fixtures  →

The Economical Choice Long-Lasting, with
Stunning Light Quality
Consists mainly of an MR16 bulb and a container for that bulb, not sealed from the environment Employs advanced engineering that seals the fixture from the elements, resulting in longer life
No thermal management Advanced thermal management, keeping heat away from the LED, resulting in longer life
Reduced lumens (not the full lumens, as indicated on the bulb’s box) Precise brightness (in lumens)
Some light quality issues, such as halos or scallops Uniform light from center to edge
Cut off beam spread Precise beam spread
Noticeable loss of brightness over a few years No noticeable loss of brightness during the warranty period
May have to replace the bulb after a few years No bulb replacement required
Limited warranty 10-year warranty

A downloadable PDF version of this graphic is available to use for sales or training purposes.


A drop-in accent light consists of mainly two things – a housing with a socket and a lightbulb, such as an MR16. The lightbulb box states how many lumens the bulb emits. However, that is not the number of lumens delivered from the fixture.
Once you drop the MR16 into the fixture, you may immediately lose lumens – as much as 20-30%. In addition, some of the beam spread will be cut off by the edge of the fixture housing.

So even if you have a well-conceived design for your customer, it will be difficult to realize that design with a drop-in product because the lumen output and beam spread angle may not be what you anticipate.

Further, the light quality itself may be uneven across the beam spread or distorted, with halos, or light and dark areas.

By contrast, Kichler Lighting’s integrated accent lights are designed with the very best optics – so you get an even distribution of light from center to edge. You also receive exactly the beam spread and lumens you were expecting.


With a drop-in accent light, there is limited engineering to control light quality, heat buildup or moisture. As a result, these fixtures get hot and wet inside, and the bulb will produce less light with time, eventually burning out.

Kichler Lighting’s integrated LED products are designed from the ground up to create the absolute optimum performance conditions. That means an entirely sealed environment – so no rain, dirt or other elements can get in. Further, advanced engineering pulls heat away from the LED, allowing a long life span for the integrated LED fixture.


Kichler Lighting’s integrated LED accent fixtures come with a 10-year warranty. That means at least 10 years of problem-free service. They also have surge protection (4,000kV). With drop-in accent lights, the customer’s experience will be quite different because these products do not have the same expected life, warranties or surge protection. With less engineering for thermal management, drop-in accent lights will dim with time. The MR16 LED bulb will decrease in brightness and, eventually, it will burn out, requiring the homeowner’s attention and yours.


As a professional, you are providing a lot more value to your customer – better light quality from day one and many more years of solid performance without the need for service. These benefits – and the superior engineering of the integrated accent light – definitely exceed the upsell costs. Your customer’s home and landscape will simply look better, and the reliable performance and longevity of the integrated accent fixtures will bring peace of mind to your customer.

One effective technique for upselling is to hand an integrated fixture to your customer and let them feel the weight of it. Then, explain to them that the product is heavy for a reason. There’s advanced technology inside that enables that fixture to produce uniform, quality light over a long period of time. That’s why Kichler Lighting can confidently offer a remarkable 10-year warranty on integrated LED accent fixtures.