Jim Carlo, the founder of JR Motors RV & Marine, wanted more than basic interior and parking lot lighting for his new dealership building in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. He wanted a bright, welcoming showroom and a little dazzle—some color around the top of his building.
“I get an idea in my head, and I want to make it happen,” said Carlo.
He turned down the first design he was presented with. The look was downscale, and Carlo—a former custom home builder—disliked the fixtures the architect proposed. So Carlo turned to Art Diemer, Outside Sales Representative at Independent Electric Supply.
Diemer led Carlo to a variety of Keystone fixtures, including high bays for the service department, high bays and wraps for the showroom, area lights for the parking lot, and—most notably—the Mistik DMX Linear Wall Washer, which Diemer had seen at Lightfair in 2022. Mistik, Diemer believed, would be perfect for adding the exterior color Carlo had envisioned.
“I knew the customer was headed this direction,” Diemer recalled. “When I saw a prototype of Mistik, I knew it was the answer. It was the icing on the cake.”
The Solution from Keystone:
Carlo founded JR Motors, which specializes in RVs and boats, in 2017. When the dealership outgrew a rented building, Carlo drew up plans for a $7 million, 30,000-square-foot facility on 9 ½ acres abutting a local highway.
Tourist-friendly Lake Havasu City is known for its popular namesake lake, yearly balloon festival, and the reconstituted London Bridge, which had been brought to town from the UK in the late ‘60s. In the midst of these colorful attractions, Mistik would offer the new JR Motors RV & Marine some welcome exposure.
Carlo was familiar with Keystone through electrical contractor Andy Ganas, who would be handling the installation, as well as a relative in the lighting business. Both affirmed the company’s reputation for quality and service, cementing Carlo’s decision.
Carlo opted for Keystone round high bays in his shop area, and round high bays and wraps in his showroom. Amid exposed ductwork painted a bright red, the lighting gives the area an expansive, vivid ambience—a friendly first impression for visitors who come inside.
“We wanted it to look less industrial and to really pop,” said Carlo.
For the exterior, Mistik was a perfect fit, he added.
“I wanted people to drive down the highway and go, ‘Holy cow, there’s a dealership there.’ Mistik looked like it would grab everybody’s eye and attention,” he said.
Indeed, the Mistik DMX Wall Washer combines the beauty and range of RGBW light with the simplicity of Keystone’s SmartLoop Wireless lighting system to create easy-to-use, flexible, and vibrant specialty lighting. Ideal for architectural and landscape lighting, it allows everyone to bring the full spectrum of colors to any exterior.
Ganas, of 1 Arizona Electric, was tasked with setting up the lighting for the dealership, including installing and commissioning Mistik. Setting up the RGBW light, he said, was “much easier than everybody thought.”
In an unconventional use, the 195 fixtures were mounted directly on the building, creating a rim of neon-like accent lighting around the upper edge. Mistik is a plug-and-play system, so all Ganas had to do was plug in the fixtures, download the SmartLoop app to his smartphone, and use the intuitive app to commission the Bluetooth mesh-connected fixtures. Next, he used the app to set the color and with a few button taps, he was done.
And when Ganas needed help, Keystone experts were readily available.
“It was easy to download the app and to turn the fixtures on and off,” he said. “But to get them to where you can have them turn on and off at a certain time with the color you want, that was something I hadn’t done before.”
Keystone tech support in Pennsylvania responded immediately to his call.
“This was like 4:30, 5 o’clock at night [Arizona time], and I actually had two guys from Keystone helping me,” he said. “I’m a big fan of your response.” The entire system was ready within a few hours.
The parking lot fixtures have also provided exactly the light Carlo wanted. He has high praise for the company’s free outdoor lighting layout.
“For the parking lot, Keystone came to the rescue through Andy,” he said. “My background was residential, so I hadn’t done a lot of parking lots. Andy went to Keystone, which did a whole study, offering recommendations on where to position the lights so the lighting would be directed where we wanted it. I was really pleased with how that turned out.”
Right now, the dealership is using the wall washers only in blue. But Ganas, the electrician, has plans.
“Jim likes the blue, but I sent him all the pictures of the different colors, because I think what he’ll end up doing is changing them periodically. Once we get into it more, I think he’s going to start playing with that stuff,” he said.
In the meantime, the look has started a trend, he said. Ganas has had inquiries from other local businesses and imagines he’ll be installing a lot more of Mistik.
“It’s a new opportunity for me,” said Ganas. “As easy as it is, this solves a lot of issues with RGBW lighting. You can program almost any color people want just by using your phone.”
Carlo may have also given Lake Havasu City another tourist attraction. When Mistik was turned on, drivers craned their necks to view the line of blue light as they drove down Highway 95.
That was exactly the point, Carlo said. Even he’s been dazzled, he noted.
“The first time my wife and I drove out there after Andy lit them up, both our jaws were wide open,” he said. “It was beautiful.”
• Keystone Round High Bays (KT-RHLED150PS-12C-8CSB-VDIM-P)
• Keystone Wrap Fixtures (KT-WLED44PS-4-8CSA-VDIM)
• Keystone Area Lights (KT-ALED290PS-L2-OSA-NM-8CSB-VDIM-B)
• Mistik DMX Linear Wall Washer with SmartLoop controller (KT-WWLED12-L2A-M-RGBW-DMX, KT-WWLED24-L4A-M-RGBW-DMX)