Landscape Lighting Must Be So Easy: Importance of Education


You know, there are contractors who just add landscape lighting on to their existing landscape or irrigation business as an afterthought. I mean, how hard can it be, right? What’s the big deal?  A quick seminar from a lighting supply salesperson, a light here, a light there, run a few lines, plug ‘em in, and away we go. So wrong.

Consider this the high school diploma of outdoor lighting—enough background to have an idea, but still in need of further study to become a professional.  Outdoor lighting is like any other field: the basics may be easy to understand, but to do it well takes education, experience, and talent. Training and experience really do count for something!

And the folks at AOLP (Association for Outdoor Lighting Professionals) agree with me. That’s why they have created certifications. Different states have different standards for outdoor lighting installers, and they aren’t typically very high. So in order to set the true professionals apart from the unskilled dabblers, AOLP has two professional certifications:

CLVLT (Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician):

This certification requires passing a written test and seven 30 minute hands-on labs. Sort of the Bachelor’s degree of outdoor lighting.

COLD (Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer):

A higher level of certification for outdoor lighting design. It is a 4-year program that requires critiquing by peers, refines the designer’s style, and increases his or her knowledge. The design is unique to the designer, but there are universal principles that govern what we do. The program also addresses environmental and regulatory concerns for our industry. Consider this a Master’s degree in outdoor lighting.

Guess what?

Southern Lights has both certifications! In fact, we have more certifications than anyone else in North Carolina! And we keep up our knowledge by reading, attending the annual conference, and networking with other designers to keep up with trends, regulations, safety and environmental concerns. Our field is experiencing growth and change at a fantastic rate, so we want to make sure it’s done right.

If you want outdoor lighting done right, call Southern Lights of NC! Over 20 years in business, and the certifications to prove our dedication to the field mean you’ll get a quality job done by a professional with a warranty to back it up.

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