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NightScenes
12-15-2005, 07:18 PM
I am wondering if there are any other members of the LVLIA on this forum? It appears that there are contractors on this site that are truly interested in low voltage landscape lighting, and would probably benefit from the Low Voltage Lighting Institute of the Americas. You can find out more about them at www.lvlia.com . If anyone has any questions for me, go ahead and ask, I will do my best to answer. I am a member and I will be attending the conferance in February.

NY Landscape Lighting
12-15-2005, 07:40 PM
I have heard different opinions about Livia membership being worth it or not.
What are your opinions on the benefits of membership. Thinking about joining

NightScenes
12-15-2005, 08:14 PM
As I get to know the members of the LVLIA, I see that most of us are trying very hard to promote standards for the industry. I am a legislation commitee member and we meet every month by conferance call to discuss how we can get states to use our testing instead of requiring installers to have either a master electricians license (see Rhode Island) or a low voltage license that covers all low voltage systems under 24 volts (see New Mexico). States are really looking at the low voltage lighting industry and we are letting them know that we are setting standards that will insure safety for the public. The LVLIA has the ONLY NON PROFIT certification in the country. Please call them and visit the web site www.lvlia.com . The main reason for joining, I think, is that by supporting the lvlia, you will have a bigger voice in the government that is looking to regulate the industry. The more members, the bigger the voice. There is also the fact that the very best in the industry, including Janet Lennox Moyer, who is considered to be the very best is the world. Everyone in the industry should read her book, The Landscape Lighting Book. It is the "bible" of the industry. Do I think things could be better? Yes, but I believe the best way to fix things is to get under the hood and you can't do that from the outside. Join, get involved and show the industry that you are one of the best and your going to prove it by making the industry better!!

Dreams To Designs
12-16-2005, 07:58 AM
Paul, other than the legislative and certification benefits, what else does the LVLIA offer contractors and designers. There are many associations that take our money and fight for our rights, which is very important, but what are the tangible benefits? Do they offer local training, meetings, trade shows or conferences? What does your $175 per year get you?

Kirk

NightScenes
12-16-2005, 05:41 PM
They don't have local training as of yet. This organization has only been around for about 6 years now and is in it's infant stages. I have only been a member for 2 years, so I will try to be of as much help as possible. They have a trade show and conference every February in Scottsdale, AZ. That is also the time that they have their certification exam. I pulled this off of the LVLIA web site. It is a list of benefits.

Immediate Recognition in the Industry as a Professional because you belong to a Non Profit National Association & Landscape Lighting Industry.

Opportunity to network with and learn from large firms across the country which are Designers and Installers of Low Voltage Lighting Systems.

Expand your referral base. As a member of LVLIA® any consumer contacting LVLIA will be given your name as a professional contractor in their area of residence.

Receive a quarterly newsletter with informative articles written by other members of LVLIA.

Receive a Certificate of Membership in LVLIA along with copy ready LOGO for use in your brochures and on your letterhead.

Receive a beginners supply of LVLIA® brochures which you can include in your own company brochure.

Gain a voice in government affairs relating to the Low Voltage Lighting Industry and stay informed on issues that will affect your business.

Receive a comprehensive directory of LVLIA® members.

Have the ability to get involved and help to shape a rapidly growing and changing Low Voltage Lighting Industry. All of the Board of Directors and committees of LVLIA® are volunteers. We believe in the future of this industry and wish to expand and preserve the professionalism of our members. Getting involved will only give you greater benefits of LVLIA® and will better preserve your future.

They also have started an online forum. This is very new though, and there's not much on there yet. The main thing I would say is that it puts you in contact with the very best in the industry. These people uphold a standard and ethic that is raising the bar in this business.

Dreams To Designs
12-16-2005, 05:57 PM
Paul, I like their ideals, but if they aren't teaching it, who is? Other than the new forum and a once a year trade show & conference, how do you exchange ideas and learn this standard and ethics? Is the exam at the conference the only place and time you can achieve the certification? I read the web site and it looks great, but would appreciate any of your thoughts of the organization and it's benefits to your business. Have you seen results from the listed benefits?

Kirk

NightScenes
12-16-2005, 06:28 PM
Kirk, when you join, they send you the "Standards for the installation of low voltage landscape and architectural lighting systems". They also send you a code of ethics. Manufacture members like Kichler, Hadco and FXL are great at training people who want to learn how to install, maintain, and service low voltage lighting. I also talk to different members all the time on the phone or email. We discuss things like transformers, service contracts, lamps, etc.

The certification exam is only offered once a year, at this time. The exam is in 8 parts and takes awhile to do. There is a written section and 7 hands on sections. The examiners have to all come together to give the exam.

The results I've seen as being a member? I am one of only 8 members in the state of Texas. When clients here or see that I am a member of the LVLIA, they know that I am a true professional in my field and many have told me that it is one of the factors in their decision to hire me.

Dreams To Designs
12-16-2005, 07:03 PM
Paul is the "Standards for the installation of low voltage landscape and architectural lighting systems" a manual or technical reference compiled by the LVLIA®? Hopefully that Code of Ethics is something we should all be following as professionals. I have been to many of the seminars and found them to be educational but also a marketing pitch. That's important and helpful that there is a network among members.

What is the exam based on? I like the 7 to 1 ratio as hands on. I can see the logistical nightmare in getting everyone together, testers and testees. It's just tough to fly across the country to take a test,

You are lucky to be recognized as a professional due to your association. Around here, most don't care about what certification, affiliation or education you have, just when or how much. Those things just make us more money and better educated. Are you certified and are any of your staff certified?

Kirk

NightScenes
12-16-2005, 07:34 PM
Kirk, the "Standards" booklet is compiled by the LVLIA. It's table of contents includes areas such as;

Lighting designs and contracts
General specifications
Installation procedures
Materials
Trees and tree wiring procdures, etc.

I know what you mean about the "sales pitch seminars". There is also a manufacturer that offers a certification, but you have to use their materials. That pretty much means that if you go to their seminar and by their products, you will be certified.

I took the certification exam last year and did not pass!!! I am going to take it again in February, and this time I will pass!!

The hands on exam includes things like installation, service, troubleshooting, and design. There is also a 125 question written exam.

This test is designed to make sure that those who are certified, really know what they are doing. I have been an electrician for 15 years and thought I knew enough to pass their "little test". OOPPSS

Dreams To Designs
12-17-2005, 07:48 AM
Paul, I believe this field is going to grow tremendously and will need good representation. It sounds like the LVLIA is very serious about their role. I will definitely investigate and hopefully get the opportunity to speak with more members. I certainly appreciate you sharing all of this information and displaying your passion for a developing segment of the industry.

Kirk

NightScenes
12-17-2005, 10:33 AM
Kirk, any time. My # is 325-423-0653, and of course you can always email me at paul@night-scapesbyprg.com . I am always available for discussion on the topic of low voltage landscape lighting. I'm glad to see this forum here, helping people who want to advance the industry. One other site that you might want to visit is www.lowvolt.org . The guy who runs it seems to be a little self centered and believes he is the best of all time, but the site has alot of great information. He doesn't like the LVLIA but I found out he is upset that they didn't ask him to be a board member or something like that. I still think the site is probably the best on the web, and I have read every post.

Always happy to help,

SamIV
12-17-2005, 10:50 PM
Very much in favor of certification, but really don't have the time to fly to Arizona for testing. Just wish they could do this regionally.
Yea, Joe from lowvolt is not a big supporter of them. One of his quotes went something like this, "With a LVLIA certification and the proper change, you are duly certified to use a public pay phone." He seems like a very knowledgeable fellow. Have read every post myself. Just wish it was as well traveled as other green industry forums.
I don't do as many installs as I would like, and I see some very shoddy work done out there that I know I could have installed much more professionally. Truly don't know if certification would help me close any better. Don't believe peole here even know who LVLIA is. By the way I live in southern Louisiana and like Cast and their method of installation.

Sam IV
Accent Outdoor Lighting

NightScenes
12-18-2005, 12:27 AM
Hi SamIV,
I have seen you on lowvolt.org alot. I am Paul from that forum. I believe the LVLIA has a long way to go, but everything has to start somewhere. Maybe if enough people join and become certified, the testing can be spread around. The LVLIA is also trying to work with the states to impliment the LVLIA exam at the state level.

I know that I would like to see some standards out there. I just ran accross a job that is using 6, 300 watt, hard wired transformers and they are all just laying on the ground. These are NOT direct bury transformers!! With work like this out there, people are going to get hurt and it will reflect on all of us.

NightScenes
01-04-2006, 08:45 PM
Has anyone checked into the LVLIA yet? I am thinking about putting my hat into ring as a director. We'll see, I still have about ten days to make up my mind. The web address is www.lvlia.com.

LandscapePro
01-05-2006, 07:27 PM
Paul, I made sure to read and read again every post in this thread. I did the same on your "Here to help" and "Seminar" threads.

Your effort to answer questions and help out with information is a noble one. I try and do the same on several forums scattered along the web for both homeowners and professionals as well.

As a Licensed Landscape Contractor I do lighting in some of my projects. It is not however, the primary focus of my business. It's rather a "value added" service for me.

If there are those wishing to specialize in this area, I say more power to each and everyone. Learn the trade, treat customers fairly, use sound business practices and make the best living possible. However, don't try and legislate your way into the Landscape Contracting trade.

I've visited the LVLIA web site and for those perhaps not familiar, the following info was cut from there and pasted here with regard to "Objectives and Goals":

From the LVLIA web site:

"To provide a strict Accreditation Program for becoming an Accredited Landscape Lighting Technician enabling those who achieve this accreditation to be regarded as the experts in the industry.

To educate the public through publications, advertisements, trade shows, work shops, and other means as to the benefits of using a Designer/Installer that is a member of LVLIA."

What these objectives boil down to is:

We want to make sure that low voltage lighting will require an ADDITIONAL license for Landscape Contractors to continue doing the work many are already doing.

We want to make sure that a representative of OUR association gets a seat on the Horticulture Commission of YOUR state and that OUR information is used for the ADDITIONAL testing required to gain a license. The STATE can keep the money. WE just want to make sure if you don't get the extra license you no longer can do the work.

We want YOU to pay X amount of dollars to join us and we'll make it easier for you to pass the test we're going to force on the landscape contracting industry. After all WE are going to write the test and see to it YOUR state requires you to pass it.

OUR goal is to raise the profits of OUR manufacturers, distributors, and member Designers/ Installers and gain political clout. Sure prices will go up for the consumer, but who cares WE will regulate the industry. Once WE get the legislation passed, YOU will have no choice but to follow the rules WE have placed into LAW.

This is the EXACT same BS the "irrigation association" is pulling all across the country. It was passed in Louisiana "in the dead of night" with ZERO input from the Landscape Contractors it would effect. Licensed Landscape Contractors were not even notified the proposed legislation was being discussed.

If you're a Landscape Contractor reading this I urge you to contact your Legislators and your fellow Landscape Contractors to make sure this is stopped in it's tracks.

The next step will be for the "Bufford Holly Association" to push for legislation and an additional license to use burfords in our installations.

Paul, this post is in no way a personal attack. I didn't intend it that way at all. I've just seen the effects of "associations" like the one you mentioned when left unchecked.

When you get to the meeting in February, let everyone know there's one heck of a fight coming before any of this is legislated into a law that I've got to deal with. The sad part is that the stinking lobbyists are going to get rich on both sides.

With all due respect...

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

NightScenes
01-06-2006, 12:29 AM
Hello Mike,

I'm glad you responded. I need to say that I am just a designer/installer. I am a contractor out there in the field every day and I am a member of the LVLIA. My opinion is just that, an opinion. I have done some research in the industry and see things that are pretty disturbing.

You may not be aware, but many states have either passed laws or are currently trying to pass laws to require licenses. While you may be fine right now, it may not be that way for long. Currently, in Rhode Island, you must hold an electricains license to install low voltage lighting!! Do you think you could pass that exam? How about the required time in the field? How much experience do you have under a master electrician? Florida is currently trying to come up with an exam for low voltage technicians, do you think that you should have to know things about how to wire a 3 phase wye transformer to install landscape lighting?

The LVLIA is trying to work with states to come up with a test that encompasses the installation and maintenance of lighting systems under 15 volts. These are systems in compliance with UL 1838. I don't think that a landscaper who installs some lighting should have to be a licensed electricain and I don't think he should have to know about wiring a fire alam system either. See Maine, which requires a low energy electricians license. This license covers everything under fifty volts. This means telephone, fire, cable and burgular alarms. Are those things pertinent to landscape lighting?

The states don't know where to fit this industry in and they are, in some cases, (Rhode Island) going to the extreme. There is only one organization out there that is at least trying to stem the tide.

I have included a list of states and their current requirements. As more people get into this business, the states are looking closer at the industry.

Louisiana: No requirement for licensure for low voltage lighting but need home improvement contractor licensure for over $7500 contracts. $50 fee/annual renewal.

Michigan: 338.887 Sec 7M / Pub Act 217: no licensing requirements. Permit Req / Mich rule part 8 (rule 80.19): inspection required.

Maine Limited electrician- low energy. 270 hours electrical education, 4000 hours experience. License- $100 fee for 2 years. Application fee- $25.

Minnesota Power Limited Technician license.

Rhode Island treats low voltage the same as high voltage. You must acquire a license, go through the journeyman category and then apply for a full license in 4 years.

Tennesee Any contracts over $25K require a state license. Testing is done by Experior and the exam is business law plus trade skills. Renewal 2 years.

Texas Less than 24 volts- no license required.

Utah No license required for less than 50 volts.

Vermont Installs for the residential market are exempt with no licensing requirements. For public buildings, a standard electrician's license if required.

Verginia For jobs up to $7500 a class "C" license is required. From $7500 to $70,000, a class "B" license is needed. Above $70,00, you need a class "A" license. Testing is done by PSI. The license is classified as a specialty license.

Washington Requires both a residential and commercial license. Must have 4000 hours experience to take the test. Can get a "training card" to journeyman under a licensed individual.

West Verginia Need a low voltage specialty license. Cost is $25. Renewal.
every year.

Wyoming Requires a limited lighting test which can be taken every other month. They use Experior and the cost is $85. You must have 3 years/4000 hours experience to take the test. License is good for 2 years.

So, I hope I have helped to inform all. I am just trying to put information out there for all to see and then do the research themselves. I am probably a little more involved than most on this site, since I only do lighting.

NightScenes
01-22-2006, 10:50 PM
Anybody else have some thoughts on this? Good thing, bad thing, don't care?

steveparrott
01-23-2006, 02:45 PM
I am also leary about a legislative approach that places undue burdens on contractors. I think a better approach for LVLIA might be to work with PLANET to further develop a certification through that organization. PLANET is a much more influential organization with chapters in nearly every region of the country. PLANET certification would carry a lot more weight (through their local chapters if a certification becomes required in a State). If legal battles need to fought they must be fought on local levels through state lobbyists at the behest of local contractors. We at CAST are currently working with the NJLCA to try to change NJ law.

Having said that, we should learn the lesson of the Irrigation Association that (I've heard) has developed a burdensome certification with questionable value in some regions. In many states all that's required is to write in Landscape Lighting as an exemption from electrical licensing requirements (such exemptions exist for other low voltage work) - no certifications needed. This is a much better option for contractors. Why be burdened with another law when it's not necessary?

NightScenes
01-23-2006, 05:25 PM
Steve,
I believe that we have made contact with PLANET and are checking with them to see what our options are.

Once again, and I guess maybe I'm not being articulate enough, we are not trying to add to the burdens of contractors by adding another certification. What we are trying to do is, keep the contractors from having to get a license that they don't need. I'm sure that if a contractor HAD

NightScenes
01-23-2006, 06:12 PM
Steve,
I believe that we have made contact with PLANET and are checking with them to see what our options are.

Once again, and I guess maybe I'm not being articulate enough, we are not trying to add to the burdens of contractors by adding another certification. What we are trying to do is, keep the contractors from having to get a license that they don't need. I'm sure that if a contractor MUST choose between getting an electricians license or a low voltage landscape lighting certification, he would choose the certification. States are now beginning to require either an electricians license or a "low voltage" license. A guy called me a couple of weeks ago and told me that he had just taken the required exam for a low voltage license and there was not even 1 question regarding low voltage landscape lighting. It covered fire alarms, security systems, telephone etc. So, even if he aces this exam he will be just as qualified to install low voltage landscape lighting as my mother-in-law.

Why not narrow the scope? Why not provide the states with an exam that covers low voltage landscape lighting? An exam that makes certain that technicians can install a low voltage landscape lighting system that is in full complience with UL1838?

If the states are going to require some kind of license or certification, lets make it relevent to the field that they are working in.

The LVLIA is not trying to add more of a burden to what contractors already have. They are trying to keep the contractors from having to do far more than they should have to by supplying an industry specific certification.

I hope I have explained this a little better. Please let me now if I can answer any questions.

NightScenes
01-23-2006, 06:24 PM
By the way, ask the guys in Florida about their new license requirements. The LVLIA tried to get in there and help, but we were too late. We did try to help though.

LandscapePro
01-23-2006, 11:19 PM
Hey Paul....

Glad to see some more discussion. I wish more would join in.

I'd love to see the "exception" route pushed. How bad did the Fl. guys get screwed?

PLANET has the numbers we were talking about, however, I lost ALL respect for that group when they threw in with the mower guys. The ALCA was doing fine without joining forces with an industry that has no regulation what so ever in most parts of the country. But then it was all about politics when it came down to it.

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

NightScenes
01-23-2006, 11:40 PM
Florida now requires a low voltage license that doesn't have a thing to do with landscape lighting. From what I have heard, the last test, no one passed. Could somebody tell my why someone who installs low voltage landscape lighting should know anything about fire alarms??? It just doesn't make any sense. Not one single question that has anything to do with lvl. Get ready guys, it's just starting.

LandscapePro
01-23-2006, 11:45 PM
I hear ya Paul. What kind of help are you guys getting from the manufacturers? THEY are the ones with the bucks....

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

NightScenes
01-23-2006, 11:52 PM
We'll see. There are a few manufacturers that are members. It sure would be nice if they start lining up. They sure could see their sales in the toilet pretty quick if too many states go this way. I don't do business with companies that are not members. I support those who support me and my industry.

LandscapePro
01-24-2006, 12:01 AM
Crack the whip!! You might also get in touch with the Mass Merchant guys. What would it do for their sales when even a homeowner had to hire an electrician to install systems.

Or have a LE sign off on 'em.

May not get to that point, but I'd bring it up. lol

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

steveparrott
01-24-2006, 10:59 AM
I think it's a great idea to develop a standardized low voltage landscape lighting licensing test that could be implemented where needed at the State level. (Still, a simple exemption would be better).

My understanding was that LVLIA wanted to require their certification to be implemented into all states law. I think that would be an undue burden. If, however, LVLIA was willing to develop a written test (and manual) that could be taken for the sole purpose of getting legal, then I think that would have great value. Of course, the hands-on training would be lacking, but that would still be available for those who want to go the extra mile.

Let's not forget that the laws are in place primarily for safety reasons and the safety risk of low voltage lighting is negligible. I've done a thorough worldwide search of all OSHA and medical data base records for the past 20 years and have not found a single reported injury from any installation under 30 volts. There are really only a handful of safety precautions that should be learned by all landscape lighting installers and these can easily be learned by reading a small manual.

As a manufacturer, I'd be happy to jump in with LVLIA to help design and implement a written test but not to help put in place a certification that requires extensive travel, time and money. I think you'll find more manufacturers coming on board if LVLIA shifts it's focus away from requiring certification.

One final note, there really does need to be a local organization in every state to spearhead lobbying efforts to change laws. For example, we are working with the NJLCA because they recognize that it is primarily their membership, contractors, that need the laws changed. Local LCA (now PLANET) chapters have existing relationships (and budgets) to work with lobbyists. Make no mistake, changing laws is a time intensive and expensive task. PLANET is really the only organization that I know of that has the funds and membership to support these changes. Unfortunately, when I spoke with Tom Delaney of PLANET about this issue, he told me their legislative efforts are 100% devoted to the important immigration issues. But, there's still wiggle room at the local chapter level.

LandscapePro
01-24-2006, 11:45 AM
Steve,

To start with your final note first, what you state is the exact reason I detest the PLANET debacle. That group is hell-bent on providing cheap labor for the lawn service guys as opposed to pushing for standards in the Landscaping Industry. The Landscape Contractors Association has gained nothing from the "new" group and is finding that out quickly.

You're correct in that this battle will be fought on the State level. I'm not arguing with regard to the safety aspect. I also feel one needs to know what they're doing when dealing with any sort of electrical issue.

I'm just not going to roll over and take yet another license being required by the State. Period. The Irrigation Association pulled a fast one here in that regard with lots of help from a legislator with a LONG history of "tax and spend". I can assure you the LC's here won't get caught with our pants around our ankles again.

Thanks for your information about the OSHA and medical search.

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

steveparrott
01-24-2006, 12:24 PM
Landscape Pro,

Is there another group in your state that would organize legislative change?

NightScenes
01-24-2006, 07:59 PM
Steve, I don't know where you came up with the understanding that the LVLIA was trying to get states to require a certification. Did you ask any directors? As for an exemption, that won't happen, that's what the states already have and why they are looking to require some kind of license or certification.

The LVLIA currently has a written test that is 138 questions long and takes about an hour. The other portion of the exam is hands on and takes about 4 hours.

The electricians are the ones pushing for the licenses. The whole problem with that, and remember that I am an electrician, is that 95% of electricians don't even want to mess with low voltage!!

Let me make this as clear as I possibly can. The LVLIA is advocating the use of it's exam if the states are going to require any kind of license or certification.

This exam covers low voltage landscape lighting. That's it. No fire alarms and no 3 phase wye circuits.

What the LVLIA needs is numbers!!

Frog Lights, LLC
01-24-2006, 10:45 PM
Paul,
Sorry, no license for low voltage landscape lighting! Not now, not ever!
Worthless, unenforceable, and another source of state taxation ! Take a look at New Jersey's irrigation licenses. What a joke ! The IA said it will make the contractors more professional and protect them from unlicensed competition ,yeah, right! I like Rode Island, become a journeyman and then apply in 4 years! I think they should issue licenses for grass cutting and/or hanging of Christmas lights.
I actually agree with Steve, Planet is a better approach for education not legislation. As a manufacturer, I want to see this industry grow not be locked so tight that a new contractor who wants to try it has to think twice and walk away.

NightScenes
01-24-2006, 10:50 PM
Noel, have you read this post? All of it? From the beginning? How could you, after reading this thread, think even for a second that I am for licensing?

LandscapePro
01-24-2006, 10:55 PM
Steve,

We're looking at the formation of a Landscape Contractor's Association. We certainly didn't get any help from our Nursery and Landscape Association on the irrigation issue.

ROFL...remember now in my case we're talking about Louisiana politics. All we need is the "correct" legislator. Or 2.

If I understand Paul correctly, it's the Electricians that are raising cain over the issue. The LVLIA is trying to head them off with a "certification" in order to avoid being tested on information that has no bearing on the work to be done.

This may accomplish the LVLIA's "stated purpose", but the end result will be the State(s) coming up with another license to be purchased. Along with another governing board to oversee that license. They've already got the Electricians money, so why not bring more money into the State(s) budget?

As the British would say "We've got quite a sticky wicket here".

Seriously, putting a lobbyist on board is much more expensive than finding out exactly WHICH legislator has the power to intervene and see to it the "exception" stays in place. Arm the right one with the OSHA and medical study data and you're halfway there.


Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

NightScenes
01-24-2006, 11:20 PM
I'm about to loose my mind over this.:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

I will be at the conference in Scottsdale from Monday the 5th thru the 11th. We will discuss this in detail.

Does anyone here think that I am for state licensing for low voltage lighting? If so, please state how you come to that conclusion.

LandscapePro
01-24-2006, 11:28 PM
Paul,

I'll state clearly for the record I do not believe you are for State licensing. I hope I didn't imply that you were in my posts.

I'm only saying that when the State(s) see the word "certification" they think $$$$ and "license".

I really didn't intend to muddy the water.....sorry if that's the case.

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

NightScenes
01-24-2006, 11:34 PM
Thanks Mike. Noel, Steve?

LandscapePro
01-24-2006, 11:44 PM
PS. I see a rather large bar tab in Scottsdale with regard to our discussion here in someone's future.......LOL

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

NightScenes
01-24-2006, 11:49 PM
You got that !@#$ right!! I have another trip starting on Saturday evening and I believe the TAB will start then.

steveparrott
01-26-2006, 11:29 AM
Paul,

I see I had the wrong impression about LVLIA's goals with the states. In your upcoming Scottsdale meeting, please discuss the possibility of developing a standardized strategy that might be in the form of packet.

The packet might contain a clear, concise explanation of the issues at hand:
who's affected, how much tax revenue a state stands to lose, how much money individuals stand to lose, how landscape lighting is primarily a design business best suited to landscape professions rather than electricians, the inherent safety of low voltage lighting, etc. The packet could also contain information on how to proceed with legislators and give suggestions on actual wording that can be put into law. It might also indicate how to determine if a lobbyist is required and how to locate one. The packet can also include a copy of the test and how, if and when it would be used and administered.

This packet could be presented by an LVLIA representative to the local green industry groups willing to take on the task. There would need to be one highly motivated local individual to spearhead the task and follow it through. LVLIA would need to keep ongoing and supportive dialogue with the individual and possibly make in-person presentations to the group members and legislators.

I think essential for the task would be to be armed, for each state with real and supportable numbers of contractors who do lighting and an estimate on industry growth in the region. Legislators are beholden to their constituents, so numbers are key. In some cases, surveys may be needed to gather data (how about a standardized survey created by LVLIA so both local and national statistics can be generated?)

Also, to keep in mind that in States such as NJ, the regulations that govern licensing and permits sit with Electrical boards. Probably 90% of the electricians sitting on those boards firmly believe that low voltage installation is dangerous. They are also fiercely protective of electricians and probably firmly believe that electricians should be doing lighting, not landscapers. The legislator will most certainly get an earful from these electricans so we need to be armed with the unassailable facts and present an air-tight case.

In States where the fight gets fierce there will probably need to be lobbyists involved. This costs alot of money that brings me to my final suggestion. If LVIA gets a solid program (such as the above packet and plan) then you can help put togther a lighting manufacturers' pac and create a fund for lobbying than can be doled out to the states. A possible alternative is have a national lobbyist involved that would work the various states.

Dreams To Designs
01-26-2006, 11:44 AM
Steve, I see you have a lot of positive ideas on how to make education and accountability work. Hopefully you are willing to share what you think is practical and will work will all of us that wish to be professionals in a new aspect of our industry.

I see that you do not accept PM's and Jeff had asked that I contact you when we were were working our respective booths at the NJNLA show.

Kirk

NightScenes
01-26-2006, 12:10 PM
Steve,
You bring up aome very good ideas. Since you are a manufacturer, maybe you should join the LVLIA and try to spearhead these great ideas. I know that you have contacts in the arenas that you have touched upon. This whole licensing subject is going to effect the manufacturers more than anyone else. Most of the people who install lighting are landscapers who use lighting as an add on and will not go out of business if they have to drop it. Electricians could care less one way or the other, their not doing it now and they won't start doing it later. There are very few of us that are strictly lighting designers/installers and we won't be able to hold up the industry by ourselves.

So, I'd like to formally invite you to join our ranks and help keep this industry growing. C'mon, "YOU CAN DO IT".

landscapelight
02-13-2006, 12:37 AM
this association didn't start off with it's current mission statement. Somewhere it went horribly off course. what a shame since it had potential.

NightScenes
02-14-2006, 09:57 PM
landscapelight, maybe you can enlighten us as to why you have these feelings towards the LVLIA?

I just returned from the certification and conference and it was GREAT!!! I like getting together with the very best in the industry and we all learn from each other.

landscapelight
02-14-2006, 11:54 PM
Thanks for the opportunity but I'll keep my feelings to myself. Glad you had a good time.

NightScenes
02-15-2006, 09:34 AM
Hey landscapelight, didn't you work for Joe Masciotti?

landscapelight
02-15-2006, 10:07 AM
No. Brett Weir, but that was years ago. Maybe LVLIA is a good association. I see on Gambino's website that they awarded him an award in 2003. Gives them credibility. Paul, was he at the LVLIA get together this year ?

NightScenes
02-15-2006, 07:23 PM
Mike was not there this year. Janet Moyer is also a member of the LVLIA.

Az Gardener
02-15-2006, 07:57 PM
I knew LVLIA was in town and I asked at my Irrigation house (Ewing) and no one knew anything about it. I wanted to come by and check it out but there was no advertising done locally. I don't know how the turn out was, maybe it was full but educational stuff here in town is usually well attended by us locals.

NightScenes
02-15-2006, 09:26 PM
Roger Ramsey, with Ewing in Phoenix did attend the conference. You can reach him at (602) 437-9530. I'm sure he would be willing to fill you in. You can also contact the LVLIA at www.lvlia.com

niteliters
02-18-2006, 06:58 PM
wow!!!! what a read. I'm fortunate it's cold and snowing in Kentucky so I had time to skim thru all this. LVILIA was created for the contractors. My father (owner of NiteLiters Inc) was at that meeting many moons ago in the Bahamas (2000 I think) and NiteLiters is a charter member. In the course of the following year Lvlia went thru some growing pains and was taken off course by some manufacture. Fortunately that has been corrected. I like many of you had my doubts about the organaztion so I attended. My Father had attended, we stayed members but when he realized the change we bowed out. I was sent to scout it out (so to speak). Upon arriving I soon realized I was surrounded, for the most part, by other professionals seeking knowledge wanting to be better when they left than when they arrived. I was impressed. but...you only get out what you put in. I will share this bit of what I think about LVLIA. If you are a joiner..one who wants to sit in the back of the class and not talk...LVLIA may not be right for you. I think this non profit is looking for proactive visionaries. I have read some e-mails on this forum that I think fit that profile. Everything you are discussing on this site could be discussed face to face and in group meetings at the next LVLIA conference. LVLIA will rise or fall by the involvement (or lack there of) of people like you all. I am not very good at expressing myself in these forums but I wuld encourage/challenge any of you who care, truly care about this industy to give LVLIA a year...get involved, voluteer for comittees, get certified. You who didn't attend missed an eye opening event. eg. I don't use Kichler fixtures...but during the conference I found myself in many one on ones with the vise president of sales for Kichler. Arriving at the conference my first thought was, " he's probably here to push his line on people like me who don't use his line". shooting fish in a barrel as it were. not the case... He was just there, supporting what he believes to be a worth while organazation. He never talked to me once about what line I used or if I wanted to come over to Kichler. bottom line, if you want to get in something from the ground floor and make a difference, give it a try. It's only a few hundred bucks, but you will be dissapointed if you join and don't get involved. Fingers are tired

NightScenes
03-05-2006, 02:59 PM
The LVLIA is rocking along. I would like to answer any questions out there regarding the association, if I can. If I don't know the answer, I will find it.

TheHotShotKid
03-05-2006, 06:36 PM
In your opinion what is the #1 benefit of membership to the contractor?

NightScenes
03-05-2006, 07:17 PM
In your opinion what is the #1 benefit of membership to the contractor?

In my opinion, in a time where states are looking more and more at regulation the LVLIA is representing it's membership. Looking out for the welfare of it's members at the state wide level.

TheHotShotKid
03-05-2006, 08:08 PM
How much has their involvement directly put money in your pocket? That is the only true judge of ROI.:cool2:

NightScenes
03-05-2006, 09:52 PM
How much has their involvement directly put money in your pocket? That is the only true judge of ROI.:cool2:

I guess that might be what I would think if I didn't care about my industry and only cared about how much money I can make and who is going to put it in my pocket.

I will be sure to pray for you tonight my friend.

Peace be with you.

TheHotShotKid
03-05-2006, 10:17 PM
my industry

Your industry huh. so I see. I see you don't have an answer . That's what I figured.

SamIV
03-05-2006, 10:37 PM
Hotshot. You must be landscapelight or a very close relative. He was very much appreciated by himself also.

Sam IV

TheHotShotKid
03-05-2006, 11:38 PM
Yes sam I landscapelight on occasion not as much as I'd like but I hope that changes soon.,

SamIV
03-06-2006, 08:29 AM
Was referring to the person Landscapelight not landscape lighting, who is no longer allowed on this forum. Maybe he snuck back in under a different name.

Sam IV

niteliters
03-07-2006, 08:14 PM
hotshot, how do you know being dressed and clean for an appointment will put money in your pocket? How do you know if spending time on this website has put money in your pocket?
I can tell you this..I participated in a home show this weekend with my LVLIA banner stating that I was certified in design and installation. There were 3 other companies selling landscape lighting but none could say that. I had people who asked me about it and I was happy to explain what the organaztion was about. It got me leads.
chris

TheHotShotKid
03-07-2006, 09:45 PM
having signs on your truck, being in the right place at the right time and attending a trade show will get you leads. That doesn't mean a thing , it's only the conversions that count. Until you can verify that a customer's deciding factor was that you were a LVLIA member and the other companies weren't is the only time you can say it has put money in your pocket. Quite frankly no one knows LVLIA, they have no brand identity or reputation with the homeowner and when one goes to their website they will not be impressed as there is nothing of interest or educational for them. They drop the ball big time when it comes to that. I am not a member but Unique lighting has an association that is linked to their company. That website will knock your socks off and help sell jobs for it's members. It's called Marketing and selling ;) and they do an excellent job of it.
What it comes down to is that the prospect will choose who they feel is the best for their situation. The fact that someone belongs to LVLIA will play a very small if any part in that decision. For what they ask for the financial cost of membership it is very reasonable to join. In fact they ask so little it is clear to see that they are underfunded to be effective to accomplish anything especially lobbying at state levels to fight potential legislation. However don't falsely believe that their certification or anything else will put you on easy street. You are on your own. The cream rises to the top. If you are good you will succeed being a part of an association or not will have very little to do with that

NightScenes
03-08-2006, 10:26 AM
Why is it that hotshot won't give any information about himself or his supposed company? Maybe he's out of business? Maybe he is a manufacturer? Maybe he works for his mommy? I see he asks a lot of questions and then answers with a lot of questions. He does answer sometimes and I do see that he has a working knowledge of the industry.

Here's where I'm going with this. All he seems to care about is how he's going to get money in his pocket today. A business person who does not look to the future is doomed to failure. There are now 5 states with license requirements and there are more states looking to do the same. A state will not even consider a certification from a manufacturer because they know you can pretty much buy that. A non profit organization however, they can put some trust in. The LVLIA is an organization made up of contractors for the most part. There are more and more manufacturers that are supporting the LVLIA as well. They see where it has been and where it is going. They also see where the states are going and know that the LVLIA is involved. They are looking to the future of the industry instead of just looking at today.

The Landscape lighting business is now a billion dollar a year industry. When you start talking those kind of numbers, people really start looking at it. Mainly electricians. They talk to their union. The union talks to their lobbyist, and before you know it, you have legislation in place to take out the uncertified contractor.

So, hotshot, please stick with your current ideas of how you only have to depend on the client. I'm sure that once you are out of business,(if you are in business)there will be someone who was forward thinking enough to take over for you.

niteliters
03-08-2006, 06:57 PM
hotshot, I'm already on easy street!!! Doing something I love for people who love what I do. I can't say you will ever find your easy street if money is all that drives you. no matter how much you get you'll always want more. Mastering any one part of this business will get you nowhere. slow down, pull out your humility cap, put it on and open your mind to learning something from all the people on this forum with so much to share

TheHotShotKid
03-08-2006, 10:22 PM
We are obviously playing on an unfair surface hear since whenever I say something that may be construed as negative toward you I get a threat from the administrator that he's going to show me the exit. Yet you are able to spew your garbage at will with no admonishions(sp?). I disagree with your propaganda, it can't be substantiated and you know it. All I'll say on this matter is that I'll pray for you since you clearly have some serious issues with self esteem. You have tried to goad me into tearing into you and I won't give you the satisfaction. What are you so afraid of ? Good grief.

niteliters
03-08-2006, 10:42 PM
What propoganda in particular are you refering to? If you want to send me an email...feel free. chrism@omuonline.net. that way you won't run the risk of offending anyone. hopefully my self esteem can take the hit :weightlifter:

chris

TheHotShotKid
03-08-2006, 10:47 PM
I wasn't talking to you

NightScenes
03-08-2006, 11:04 PM
Of course all of my information is right here on this site. I recieve emails from members all the time. My web address is on every post. My business name is there as well. I have been up front with every one on this site from day one. Come to think of it, there is only one person that no one knows anything about. So, who's the one who is afraid of something? Ummmm.

TheHotShotKid
03-08-2006, 11:11 PM
I'm your worst nightmare that's who I am. I'm still praying for you.

NightScenes
03-08-2006, 11:12 PM
I'm your worst nightmare that's who I am. I'm still praying for you.

Thank you for your prayers. We all need prayers.

SamIV
03-08-2006, 11:37 PM
HotShot (Landscapelight). Hate to tell you, but I feel most will side with Paul on this issue as I will. Accusing Paul of having a self-esteem problem is like saying most of your post's are positive. Paul has contributed more to further this forum than anyone combined. Maybe you are criticizing the wrong person. Take a good long look at your post's.
You tell Paul to ignore your post's, take a poll and see who would lead the race in post's best to ignore. I think you did write the book on How Not to Win Friends and Always Influence People Negatively.

PS - Nobody likes nightmare's

Sam IV
Accent Outdoor Lighting

Dreams To Designs
03-09-2006, 11:32 AM
Kid, you are way off base. This and most of the forums on this site were designed to be used by professionals in the landscape industry. You obviously don't fit that profile with your constant negativity, petty remarks and juvenile demeanor. If you would like to learn, please feel welcome, ask questions and dissect the answers on your own. If on the other hand you think you are smarter than all of us here and have so much more experience, perhaps you should write the definitive book on landscape lighting so that the rest of us simple mortals can add it to our libraries. We are all here to learn from and help each other and have some fun. If you do not wish to play by the rules, perhaps you should start your own forum and the world will have to conform to you. As for the rest of us, we all have work to do, businesses to run and life to live and enjoy.

Kirk

Pro-Scapes
03-09-2006, 11:33 AM
AMEN:clapping:

niteliters
03-09-2006, 04:05 PM
Question, who as a result of this forum has become or is going to become a LVLIA member.
chris

Pro-Scapes
03-09-2006, 04:46 PM
I plan to ASAP. I think it would just be an addition to have on your website or card LVLIA member. Couldnt hurt. Doctors and lawyers are memebers or orginazations and I think they would see it that you take what you do very seriously.

Just my opinion

Also my opinion this drenching rain needs to let up lol :cry:

niteliters
03-09-2006, 06:04 PM
interesting that you say that...at this past homeshow, instead of having fixtures displayed and/or any type of landscaping, we had a small booth with a 42" plasma showing our work and around the plasma 7 or 8 picture frames with various organaztions we're members of including LVLIA. It was interesting to watch people walk up and read that info. i joked with my Dad that it reminded me of a doctors office. I was hopeful that it showed stability in the community as well as our profession.
chris

niteliters
03-09-2006, 06:05 PM
amen on the rain stopping!!!

Pro-Scapes
03-09-2006, 07:04 PM
Yeah I look around doctors offices too. I like to make sure someones qualified. It definatly wont bite you like someones going to say " OMG your a memeber of the LVLIA? get offf my property!" Besides I need some more writeoffs

I like the plasma idea and the certs. Got any pics of the display ?

SamIV
03-09-2006, 09:15 PM
It has perked my interest enough to go to their website and do a little research. I would probably if they would offer training and certification a little closer to home. Someone needs to tell them to have their yearly meeting down here in New Orleans next year. All the bars in the French Quarter are still open. It could be the billed as the Certification and Inebriation event of the year.

Sam IV

NightScenes
03-09-2006, 11:17 PM
Burt, the LVLIA is currently looking at the possibilities of regional meetings and testing but it's probably still going to be quite awhile before all of those things can be worked out. Since there are 7 hands on sections and a written exam, it takes several people to pull it off.

niteliters
03-09-2006, 11:50 PM
give me your email address ...I'm internet challenged...if you want to email me your address do it at niteliters@omuonline.net.
:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

TheHotShotKid
03-10-2006, 01:53 AM
My business if just fine. These were some random thoughts I had from reading the posts from the last couple of days.

After reading some of the rivalries I felt sad for the lack of true brotherhood in our industry and it prompted me to think of when our industry took a turn towards such harshness.

There was a time when our industry was more civil but for some reason a different philosophy has crept in. Maybe it is a microcosm of our whole country and the tone of disscord that is prevalent in society.

I was talking with an old friend of mine the other day and he said he quit going to association meetings when people started talking about eating the competition alive. He realized he was the competition!

He said the civility went out the window and it became a contest of braggerts and it was no longer fun to be apart of.

He remembered a different time as I do when there was more brotherhood in our industry:walking:

Pro-Scapes
03-10-2006, 02:05 AM
well you did come across with alot of negativity long before anyone said something to you so think about that a little before you reminise about the good ol days.

Alot of us on here do have sort of a brotherhood. Yes there is alot about beating out your competiton but its just that... a competition. Way I see it is if I have enough work Im not going to try and steal thiers. What im doing by participating here is trying to raise the bar not only by furting my education and techniques but help others anyway I can.

TheHotShotKid
03-10-2006, 02:16 AM
Rather than continue a counter-productive running argument about the fiasco at LVLIA, I would like to make my last statement on the topic.


I was invited to Arizona to participate in a certification test. I agreed to the ground rules, loaded up my truck, and drove over five thousand miles round trip.

Upon my arrival I found that the rules of engagement had been changed without my knowledge, nor my acceptance.


Under the newly changed rules I never had a fair opportunity to exhibit the qualities my customers have come to know and I felt my trip and time were wasted.


Furthermore, one of my customers and I have been viciously attacked on the bulletin boards for complaining about the turn of events. While I do not want to engage in personal and vindictive attacks, I feel that this has gone on too long and has angered too many people so I am unilaterally stopping my participation in this thread of dispute.


I strongly feel that we are losing sight of the real reason we are all working so hard. Our job, as an industry, is to make our customer’s environment brighter, safer, and enhance the quality of their lives, not argue amongst ourselves in such a self-destructive manner.


I encourage all of you to judge for yourselves the turn of events that led up to this dispute and to consider this when upgrading the work you are doing. While some people will disagree on just about any topic, I feel confident that the outcome of a fair, above board "certification" would show our services to bring superior results in both landscape lighting and return on investment.

That is our focus at lawnsite, not swaggering around the bulletin boards of our industry.:cry:

NightScenes
03-10-2006, 09:42 AM
I took the exam two years in a row because I failed it the first time around. I did pass the second time and it was the exact same test. When were you a member, hotshot? When did you take the exam? Maybe that would help clear up a few things. I am a member and would like to know if there is something wrong in the association.

NightScenes
03-11-2006, 09:11 AM
I would like to know if anyone else has had a bad experience with the LVLIA. If so, please explain. I am very active in the organization and if there is something wrong I would really like to know about it.

NightScenes
03-11-2006, 09:57 PM
I took the exam two years in a row because I failed it the first time around. I did pass the second time and it was the exact same test. When were you a member, hotshot? When did you take the exam? Maybe that would help clear up a few things. I am a member and would like to know if there is something wrong in the association.

I had a feeling that I would not get a viable response from the hot shot on this. Funny how someone can ask so many questions about things that they say they know so much about, yet can't seem to answer direct questions.

TheHotShotKid
03-12-2006, 12:15 PM
Rather than continue a counter-productive running argument about the fiasco at LVLIA, I would like to make my last statement on the topic.

What part of that statement do you not understand?

Do you wish to torment me further by having me give details about how I was verbally abused, had little pebbles and sticks thrown at me and given a wedgie at the Ronald McDonald house all because my pink underpants became visible when I was making a wire splice. Do you wish to humiliate me further and make me give details on how my suite was invaded by vermin all introduced by an unnamed member of your fine organization. Or how I was sneered at by the lady with the mustache because I didn't like to play by her silly rules. How about the roach that mysteriously appeared in my dinner during closing night ceremonies. Now you might think that this is all fun. It still gives me nightmares.

NightScenes
03-12-2006, 01:09 PM
Rather than continue a counter-productive running argument about the fiasco at LVLIA, I would like to make my last statement on the topic.

What part of that statement do you not understand?

Do you wish to torment me further by having me give details about how I was verbally abused, had little pebbles and sticks thrown at me and given a wedgie at the Ronald McDonald house all because my pink underpants became visible when I was making a wire splice. Do you wish to humiliate me further and make me give details on how my suite was invaded by vermin all introduced by an unnamed member of your fine organization. Or how I was sneered at by the lady with the mustache because I didn't like to play by her silly rules. How about the roach that mysteriously appeared in my dinner during closing night ceremonies. Now you might think that this is all fun. It still gives me nightmares.

You know something? I was there at the 2005 conference and I don't even have the slightest clue as to what you are talking about. Maybe you should send me an email and elaborate. You could even pm me. I would hate to think that these things actually happened. I was not at the Ronald McDonald house, I had something else to do that day, but I sure would like to here your story.

eskerlite
09-24-2006, 09:55 PM
Its that time of year to look into getting Certified by the LVLIA. If you sign up now you get 4 months to study the guide. This is a tremendous advantage over your Competitors. Take a look at LVLIA.com. Nightscapes Paul is Certified and I believe the biggest contributor to this forum. Take Your learning curve straight up. Get Certified.
Sean C.:)

eskerlite
12-07-2006, 11:16 PM
It is not to late to sign up for the Conference in Late January. If you install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting you should not miss this event!Look into it and get on the List. You will get so much out of this conference You wont belive what it will do to your business. Hope to see you aal there!:)
Sean C.