Excellence in Quality, Customer Service, and Adaptability
Safety lighting and work lights have been evolving for years and will continue to evolve as new technologies are developed. You may still remember the days when safety lighting consisted of an incandescent or halogen bulb in a chrome base with a colored glass or plastic lens and a mirror that rotated around the light source to give the warning flash. This type of light was often referred to as the “bubble gum” light. Early light bars were made in a very similar manner. But as vehicles added more lights, they encountered many power issues since the lights took a tremendous electrical drain. Vehicle owners wanted more visible safety lighting but could not keep up with the ever-increasing power demand that the old-style lights required.
Today, technology has improved so that vehicles can have multiple lights with significantly less amperage draw than the predecessor light. High-powered LEDs have made equipping a vehicle with safety lights and work lights very practical because of the low power draw. It’s very common to see vehicles with multiple strobes and work lights all running at the same time. This is very important for safety at the scene of the job. It is much safer when the work area has proper lighting and nearby traffic can see the warning lights to know to slow down and move over to protect the workers at the scene.
As technology improves, the demand for auxiliary safety lighting and better work lights has increased significantly. The rising demand for this type of lighting can also be attributed to the decline in price on LED lights in the last 10 years. There is an abundance of selection when it comes to brightness, style, size, and functions of the newer safety lights and work lights. Because of this high demand and the almost infinite selection of lights, we are noticing a continuously growing number of distributors and manufacturers in the lighting industry.
A vast number of companies are entering the auxiliary lighting market because of the lights’ increasing popularity. There are several companies that have been in business for many years and are well known in the industry for their high-quality standards. On the flip side, there is an increasing number of individuals who sell exclusively online through auction sites. They are almost always able to beat conventional sources in price due to little overhead and needing little to no staff, because when you sell online you rarely have to deal with the customer directly. As an end user, buying online can sometimes be a gamble. Many of these sites have great products, but many of them are also selling product that isn’t properly quality-control checked. You may be getting a rock-bottom price, but what quality are you getting? The best bet when buying auxiliary lighting is to do a little research before you buy. Who do I contact if I have a problem? Does this brand have good quality? What’s the warranty policy? Does the product have a low-price sticker but higher incidental costs?
I have been to hundreds of trade shows in my 26 years with Custer Products. I am continuously hearing from our customers about inferior products in the marketplace that are almost identical to the high-quality product. It’s not uncommon for people to come up to me with items that look almost exactly like the products I sell but have problems. Most times, these “knock offs” do a great job of matching the physical appearance but do a very poor job of matching the quality of trusted manufacturers. I also get many requests to “match the price” of online auctions. It’s not possible for me to sell my high-quality product to match the price of a poorly made item. We’d be out of business! That would be like asking a car dealership to buy a loaded model for the same price as a basic model. They may appear the same on the outside, but one is a lot better! You get my point. There are many good manufacturers and distributors in the industry, and if you are looking to purchase auxiliary lighting, I’d suggest giving them a call instead of purchasing from someone you don’t know online.
As mentioned before, Custer Products has been in business for 26 years. A huge reason that we’ve been able to stay in business and thrive among all of the competition is our excellent customer-service team. We pride ourselves in bending over backwards to meet our customers needs, and when you call Custer, you will always be greeted by a real person, ready to help you with whatever you need. Custer will never be one of those companies with an automated system that tells you “Your call is very important to us,” because your call actually IS very important to us, which is why we will always answer your call (within business hours, of course!).
Another factor that sets Custer apart from its competition is that we always stand behind our product. As high quality as our products are, there are occasionally defects. We make it as easy and painless as possible for our customers to address warranty issues. As mentioned before, if you call us, we will answer the phone, and we will take care of you. When you buy online, are you getting a warranty with that low price? Who will you call when your light stops working? When you buy from Custer, you can buy with confidence, knowing that if anything goes wrong with your light, you will be taken care of.
Along with excellent customer service and a no-hassle return policy, Custer Products also stands out when it comes to the most important aspect: lights! We are continuously putting new lighting products in our line as technology progresses. One of our newest products is our new wireless Light Duty Tow Light or the LDTL for short. This 23” light bar is the newest addition to our wireless lightbar line. All of our wireless light bars contain auto-grade circuitry and are individually serialized to prevent cross-talk
between bars. We manufacture the LDTL along with all of our wireless light bars right here at our facility in Massillon, Ohio.
Other new products include our 56” Amber/White rooftop lightbar with over 30 flash patterns and our 22-watt slim LED work light, both of which were great sellers in 2018. Along with the LDTL mentioned above, we’ve also added a 36” wireless light bar with amber/white strobes, which was one of our top selling wireless light bars in 2018.
Custer always seeks to find products that are unique, like our new Build-a-Bar. The Build-a-Bars can be purchased in flood and/or spot, and can connect together both horizontally and vertically to create your own unique light bar. Custer also carries rock lights that can pair with an app on your phone to change the color of the lights and make them flash to your favorite music.
We are also continuously looking for opportunities to improve our current products. Our 36-watt, 72-watt and 120-watt work light bars now come with both the “L” shaped brackets and adjustable brackets that can move to easily fit the customer’s mounting needs. We’ve also added a new enhancement to our Agricultural kits that meet the ASAE S279 lighting standards and have enhanced brake and turn functions.
Finally, Custer Products takes pride in our ability to adapt to change. It’s important to adapt with technology, but it’s also imperative to grow from a business standpoint. Custer has grown its staff significantly in the last several years and after 25 years at our facility in North Canton, Ohio, Custer Products made the decision to move to Massillon, Ohio in August of 2018. The transition went smoothly, and we have had increased sales and a positive response from the local community. ◆