Avery Enterprise installs holiday lights on homes


For Luke and Austin Avery, holiday light installation started out as a way to make a little extra money while they were in college. In 2021, they merged their side gig with the family’s construction business, Avery Enterprise. Now, holiday light installation is a full-time job for them during the holiday season.

Starting at $750, a crew from Avery Enterprise of Stow will go to customers’ homes to install holiday lighting displays custom-fit to homeowners’ specifications. The cost goes up based on how many linear feet of lights are required and what additional features the customer wants included, like tree or bush lighting.

On average, their jobs cost between $1,500 and $1,600. Light season starts in October, when they begin installing, and lasts until January, when they start taking displays down.

“We do our best to get them all down in January before you get those freeze/thaw cycles,” Luke said.

Luke Avery runs lights down a gable roof at a home in Hudson.

Decoration options range from the most simple designs to “straight Clark Griswold from ‘Christmas Vacation,'” according to Luke.

Getting in the spirit (in July!):Medina’s Christmas museum Castle Noel unveils new toy display

“Like I tell people, you can go as crazy as you want or as basic as you want,” said Luke. “Our website’s tailored to ask people what they’re looking for. We’ve got starting prices for everything on there so they can see, this is what bushes start at, this is what trees start at, this is where the house starts at.”

Customers can also call (330) 696-4081 for a quote, though the website is the better option, they said.

Customization options include stake lights along the driveway or sidewalks, light color, and installation on trees and bushes.

In college, the services the Averys offered were simple.

“It started really primitive,” Austin said. “We were more installing homeowners’ lights, stuff that they had, just pulling boxes out of their attic.”

How the holiday light installation business works

Their operation is more sophisticated now. They order materials in bulk from Lights at Wholesale in Utah, building light strands to fit the dimensions of a customer’s house. To ensure longevity they use LED bulbs, which are less of a drag on a home’s electrical system, reducing the chances of throwing a breaker.

Matt Conger of Avery Enterprises uses a hook to install holiday lights on a tree at a home in Hudson.

The digital age has made it easier to calculate the proportions of a job.

“We’ll basically take a picture of their house on (Google) Street View,” said Luke, “then use some scaling tools we have to scale up how many feet of lights we’re going to need … and then we’ll also overlay that in an image to send to the customer so they can see where the lights are going to be installed.”

A maintenance package is included with the price of the installation, which is why they only use their own lights.

Support local journalism:6 reasons why you should subscribe to the Akron Beacon Journal

Any failure in the system — wind blowing a light strand off the house, bulbs going out, broken ground stakes, damage to the wires — will be addressed promptly, they said.

“You’re paying top dollar for lights,” Austin said, “you want your lights to be on, you want them to work. And that’s why we also go out within 24 hours of service calls — to get everything up and running.”

When it’s time to start taking down displays, they’ll store the lights for their clients for use the next year, reducing the cost to the customer.

“Our subsequent year pricing decreases because we already have the lights all custom-cut and fit to your house,” said Luke. About half of their customers add more decorations the next year because of the reduced expense, he said.

How long does it take to put up holiday lights?

On a cold day in November, the crew was out putting lights on a house in Hudson. Their speed made a mockery of the average homeowner’s frustrations at putting up lights. In less than two hours, lights were strung along the front and sides of the house, the pillars wrapped, and some front bushes and trees draped.

The number of installations Avery Enterprise can complete in a day varies. On most days, two crews can be dispatched to various jobs. Occasionally three smaller crews do the work, Luke said. On average, they can knock out eight houses per day.

“It just depends on the size,” Austin said. “We have a couple farms we do … we’ll be out there for a half-day with both crews.”

When they hung lights at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, it took them three days.

Fathers and sons

Matthew Avery of Avery Enterprise talks about his sons and their idea to start a business of installing holiday lights at a light installation job at a home in Hudson.

Avery Enterprise was started by Matt Avery in 1996. Fence and deck building, and landscaping was its bread and butter in the beginning.

All three of Matt Avery’s sons, Luke, Austin and Jonny, work for the company. Luke and Austin worked for Avery Enterprise for extra cash while they were in high school.

After graduating from high school, Luke and Austin went to the University of Akron, earning bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering. While they were in college, they began installing holiday lights.

“The lights definitely started in probably 2014, just as something for us to do in the wintertime to make extra cash to pay for books, pay for school, pay for fun,” Luke said. They soon realized there was a niche market for holiday light installation.

Holiday landmark on the market:Oh Fudge! Cleveland’s iconic ‘A Christmas Story’ House up for sale

Last year’s season was the first time they officially merged their side gig with Avery Enterprise, making the decision to focus less on the construction aspect of the business and more on light installation.

Jonny graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in construction management, and now works with the family as well.

“I’ll tell you what, I think the funnest part is being able to work with —” Luke said, stopping for a moment to think. Austin picked up the thought.

“Work with family, absolutely,” he said. Luke continued from there.

“Yeah, my brothers, my dad; most people don’t get to say that about their job.”

Matt Conger of Avery Enterprise installs holiday lights on a bush at a home in Hudson.

Austin added that he enjoys being able to bring joy to people through the act of hanging lights.

“Everyone gets that little kid nostalgia feeling in their stomach when it comes to Christmas, and they get so giddy when they see their lights, so it’s super fun to do, it’s very rewarding,” he said.

Light installers, customers get into the holiday spirit

When it gets closer to winter break and kids are home from school during the installs, parents tell their children the crew climbing all over the house running lights are Santa’s elves, he said. Even the installers are susceptible to the holiday spirit.

Austin said they’ll revisit job sites after working all day, driving 20 minutes out of their way to a previous installation to see their work in the nighttime.

The connections they make with their recurring customers year after year is another perk of the job, they said. When it comes to the construction end of the business, you typically only talk to the client for the duration of the job, Austin said. When it comes to light installation, you see you customers on a more regular basis.

“Not that you’re talking to them every day, but man, when you do their lights three, four, five, eight seasons in a row, you get to know somebody a little bit more,” Luke said.

“Yeah,” said Austin, “you get a real personal relationship with your customers. It is nice.”

Contact reporter Derek Kreider at DKreider@Gannett.com

>>> ad: Check Out TODAY'S BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<
Originally Appeared Here