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Scott Franklin of Lumos Solar: “All of our products are designed to maximize solar power generation and are built to last”

The solar industry has been building momentum for the last decade, and now more than ever home builders are looking for environmentally friendly sources of energy without compromising on design. Unfortunately, solar historically doesn’t have a reputation for being “pretty” so what we’re doing at Lumos is taking the functionality of our proprietary solar products […]

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The solar industry has been building momentum for the last decade, and now more than ever home builders are looking for environmentally friendly sources of energy without compromising on design. Unfortunately, solar historically doesn’t have a reputation for being “pretty” so what we’re doing at Lumos is taking the functionality of our proprietary solar products and infusing cutting-edge design and architectural elements to change the perception of solar as an unattractive electrical appliance to an aesthetically beautiful design element. This, in turn, eliminates a few barriers that homebuilders have run into when considering solar as an alternative source of energy.


As a part of our series about “Homes Of The Future”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Franklin, Founder, President and CEO of Lumos Solar.

Scott Franklin is the Founder, President and CEO of Colorado-based Lumos Solar, a global leader in architectural solar. Lumos Solar lives at the intersection of solar, design and architecture and provides unmatched solar functionality and efficiency through aesthetically beautiful and cutting-edge architectural solutions. Before starting Lumos Solar, Scott was a professional rock climber, setting new standards for difficulty across the US and Europe with numerous first ascents.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

My background is in climbing. When I decided to leave college after my first year to climb full time, my mother was not just disappointed but thought I was crazy. I didn’t have any more of a plan than to figure out how to climb as much as I could. That passion opened some incredible doors for me, and I ended up becoming the first sponsored American climber, allowing me to travel and climb full time all over the US and Europe. In 1995, my wife and I started a climbing equipment business called Franklin Climbing Equipment. We started off by making the holds for indoor climbing gyms which were just starting to take off, and then later moved into soft goods geared for the new generation of sport climbers. We ended up selling Franklin Climbing Equipment to Black Diamond in 1999 which felt like the real-world equivalent of getting an MBA. From there, I started doing independent design work for some incredible companies like Petzl and Montrail, working from home in Colorado and traveling between China and France. In 2005, after spending the last 20 years in the climbing world, and with two little kids at home, I started asking myself what I was doing with my life and if I was doing everything I could to make a positive contribution to the world. I wanted to feel like I was putting my energy and drive into something that was making the world a better place. I knew I wanted to start a new business outside of the climbing world and join the world “at large” so did a reverse engineering exercise starting with the question “Is there a product where the more it is sold, the better for the world?” The answer I came up with was solar. Being a product designer, I came up with the idea to build freestanding, solar powered cabins that could be used for remote shelters for hunting, skiing, disaster relief, backyards, etc.… I decided to name the product and company “Lighthouse Solar”. At the end of the day, Lighthouse Solar ended up becoming an installation business and we never ended up doing anything with the original “Lighthouse” prototype. As solar installers, I immediately saw a need and opportunity for design improvements to the solar products that were available and decided to launch a new brand called “Lumos Solar” to build the products that we wanted to install. Today, we are continuing to refine those products with the goal of making the best solar products available.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Being from a small town in Colorado, it’s been pretty interesting (and super cool) to receive project inquiries from all over the world.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

In 2015, we were running two businesses: Lighthouse Solar, a solar installation business with multiple franchise offices across the nation, as well as Lumos Solar, a solar product business. The tipping point for us was when we decided to get out of the installation business and focus solely on Lumos. We have never looked back.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My wife, Gea Franklin has been there every step of the way. There is no one who has supported me as much and taught me so much about how to be a better person. Her strengths compliment mine and Lumos Solar wouldn’t be here today without her.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

I am a big reader and have definitely been influenced by books but ultimately, I think the thing that’s had the biggest impact on me is not a book, podcast or a talk, but an activity: climbing. Since I discovered climbing, it has been a huge passion of mine, and always will be, and the lessons I have learned from climbing have really been the lens I look at business through.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“There is no “there,” there is only the path and how well you tread upon it.”

This simple quote really captures an idea that I have found to be true in my own life which is that real satisfaction in life comes from living in the present moment. It is so easy to get caught up in the idea that once I do X, achieve Y, have Z, etc.… I will have “made it” and be happy.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Homebuilding in the US has grown tremendously. We’d love to hear about some of the new trends and techniques that are being used to build the homes of the future.

The solar industry has been building momentum for the last decade, and now more than ever home builders are looking for environmentally friendly sources of energy without compromising on design. Unfortunately, solar historically doesn’t have a reputation for being “pretty” so what we’re doing at Lumos is taking the functionality of our proprietary solar products and infusing cutting-edge design and architectural elements to change the perception of solar as an unattractive electrical appliance to an aesthetically beautiful design element. This, in turn, eliminates a few barriers that homebuilders have run into when considering solar as an alternative source of energy.

Can you share with us a few of the methods that are being used to make homes more sustainable and more water and energy efficient?

There are many ways a home can be sustainable and solar is one of the big ones. All of our products are designed to maximize solar power generation and are built to last.

There is a lot of talk about Smart Homes. Can you tell our readers a bit about what that is, what that looks like, and how that might help people?

Ultimately, smart homes are meant to make life easier for the homeowner. One of the biggest reasons people want a smart home is to be more energy efficient. Well, our products at Lumos are the perfect solution and can help home builders get one step closer to their goal.

Aside from Smart Homes, can you talk about other interesting tech innovations that are being incorporated into homes today?

Within the solar sphere, there’s endless possibilities with Lumos. For example, EVs are growing in popularity and our solar carports are a hot commodity. Also, with current guidelines and restrictions as a result of the pandemic, our SolarZone innovation is the perfect outdoor furniture answer to maintaining safe social distance while providing a comfortable, functional and great looking shaded seating area with charging capabilities.

For someone looking to invest in the real estate industry, are there exciting growth opportunities that you think people should look at more carefully?

As solar continues to grow in popularity, and the importance of protecting our planet and future generations continues to surge, people should look into investing in solar.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

As a society, we need to stop supporting and investing in fossil fuels, yesterday’s technology, and start supporting and investing in sustainable, renewable energy, today’s technology. We cannot afford to let the quarterly earnings of the public companies that are destroying the planet drive the decision-making process that guides how and where we get our energy. The health of our planet is more precious than any profits earned.

How can our readers follow you online?

To learn more about Lumos Solar, visit lumossolar.com and follow @LumosSolar on Twitter and Facebook and @theartofsolar on Instagram.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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