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irrig8r
05-03-2008, 09:48 PM
I had heard of restrictions on people other than licensed electricians installing LV lighting in Connecticut and New Jersey, then yesterday a note from John Meadors described the situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma where his business is shut down because of restrictions now being enforced there.

I don't think I've ever seen John here on Lawnsite, so I'll pass this along.

John wrote:

The electrical inspections department, city of Tulsa,Ok. Has told me (John Meadors), MGM Lighting that I can no longer do new installations of 12 volt lighting unless I am a licensed electrical contractor, or work under one or put one on my payroll so he can pull my permits. Believe it or not this same ruling applies to homeowners that might go to Home Depot & buy a 12 volt Malibu kit!!

I have informed the AOLP, most manufacturers, as well as landscape irrigation & lighting contractors. The initial response has been unbelief & anger. There is a meeting concerning this matter on May 27th, 3:30 pm, city of Tulsa inspections department, 111 S Greenwood Ave., Tulsa, Ok.

Craig Freeman, who is a field rep for FX, in Dallas Tx. Is planning to appeal the decision & attend the meeting & fly in experts that are familiar with UL 1838 & the NEC code. Terry Dee has been mentioned as a good prospect.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, as I am shut down, subject to fines & jail if found in violation until this is resolved.

Thank you, John Meadors

Mike M
05-03-2008, 10:03 PM
Oh, I thought you meant "Oklahoma!"

Gregg, welcome to big government. This is what is meant by "neoconservatives." Bush created a really weird big government, at least for a republican president. Kind of like fascism?

I left education because of over-regulation which had me doing 34 page documents each time a parent came to the school. I was working late hours and weekends.

I refer you to the incredible film called "Brazil" for a glimpse into the future of tradesmen under a big government.

Good night.

irrig8r
05-03-2008, 10:26 PM
I love Brazil!

Robert DeNiro was perfect as Harry Tuttle, the freelance heating engineer...

http://orangecow.org/pythonet/tripodbug/tuttle.jpg


But this is a serious topic.

People's livelihoods at the whims of government and probably lobbying from ECs.

Lite4
05-03-2008, 10:28 PM
Mike,
I agree with you on the point the Bush is a huge closet liberal and has contributed greatly to a big government but, this problem of "Big Government" started long before him.

Mike M
05-03-2008, 10:32 PM
Well, are the LV groups lobbying as aggressively?

And now, when twilight dims the sky above.

Mike M
05-03-2008, 10:38 PM
911 was the catalyst, and the whole country of wusses and FOX news looked to God and Bush and allowed complete, unquestionable, unstoppable government. Heaven forbid you don't support anti-terrorism and Bush's regime, or you are the anti-christ. Don't question the government, they are close to God.

Mike M
05-03-2008, 10:40 PM
Oops, politics and religion. And Terry Gilliam. And Frank Sinatra. I must be in level one sleep and not know it. Good night everybody.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-03-2008, 10:54 PM
This issue has been developing in many jurisdictions for a long time now. Is it any surprise that limitations, licenses and regulations are now being enforced?

The regulation of the LV outdoor lighting industry is probably the single most important issue facing all of us... unfortunately our only collective, organized voice; the AOLP has been relatively silent and completely ineffective at communicating and representing our position with the authorities.

I understand the reasons why, and I understand the challenges faced by a geographically scattered, volunteer organization... but surely the time is now for some group to organize, educate and represent our interests. This should be priority #1 for the AOLP and its members.

Here in Ontario we had to organize and form a group to protect our interests. Through the involvement of a few passionate professionals like John Scanlon, John Higo, Frank DiMarco, Tony DiGiovanni, and others we were able to develop an effective voice, co-operate with the Authorities, present a well planned and well presented position, back it up with technical data and historical evidence and after a year and a half of negotiations it looks as though we have been taken seriously and will be protected.

It is not a fruitless struggle I assure you. Get involved now and make a difference in your jurisdiction! Sitting by and waiting for others to represent you will not work. I would fully suspect to see more and more areas limiting our industry in the near future.

Oh, and if you are wondering why the manufacturer's do not seem to have a louder voice on this issue...well have you noticed how so many of them have changed their marketing strategies in the past few years? Seems to me that most manu's have developed campaigns to eductate and market directly to the Electrical Contracting industry... why fight when you can simply change your messaging? Think about it... the traditional 'green industry' is a minor blip when compared to the electrical contracting industry.

Okay time to go watch the end of the race!

Chris J
05-03-2008, 10:57 PM
Yep, the times they are-a-changing. I'm just hoping they don't trump my license, but slam all the others without it.

Mike M
05-03-2008, 11:08 PM
Bob Dylan?? In a solder's stance I aimed my hands at the mongrel dogs that teach.

I hope we're headed toward the sixties again, that could be really funny. I was too little to remember the acid-eating flower children stuff.

Chris J
05-03-2008, 11:15 PM
Yeah! I'm all for the 60's again! Throw those bras away and get naked!

Mike M
05-03-2008, 11:18 PM
I just want to male it clear that I would be amused by a resurgence of sixties culture, but only as a spectator.

Chris J
05-03-2008, 11:20 PM
What kind of lighting design do you think could be created on an acid trip? WOW? That would be wild man! (in the voice of Mike Myers in the Spy Who Shagged Me).

Mike M
05-03-2008, 11:28 PM
For some reason, the thought of some of Gregg's work comes to mind?

lol, just kidding Gregg!!!

irrig8r
05-04-2008, 01:16 PM
For some reason, the thought of some of Gregg's work comes to mind?

lol, just kidding Gregg!!!

Jeez Mike, have you been browsing rec.music.gdead?

Despite any rumors to the contrary my lighting career did not start at either the Fillmore, The Avalon Ballroom, or Winterland.

I always kind of envied those guys who manned the spotlights from the rafters on some of those rock shows though...

NightScenes
05-04-2008, 01:35 PM
To get back on topic, the AOLP has been involved in this issue since we heard about it a couple of weeks ago. This is a Tulsa issue and not a state wide situation. I'm hoping that someone from the association will be able to attend the meeting.

Chris J
05-04-2008, 03:32 PM
To get back on topic, the AOLP has been involved in this issue since we heard about it a couple of weeks ago. This is a Tulsa issue and not a state wide situation. I'm hoping that someone from the association will be able to attend the meeting.

Does the AOLP have any members in OK? Sounds like a perfect opportunity for the AOLP to take some action and defend our members out there. Maybe the entire board should go to this meeting! Now would be the time to shine and make a difference to those that need an organization like the AOLP.

JoeyD
05-05-2008, 12:01 PM
Oh, and if you are wondering why the manufacturer's do not seem to have a louder voice on this issue...well have you noticed how so many of them have changed their marketing strategies in the past few years? Seems to me that most manu's have developed campaigns to eductate and market directly to the Electrical Contracting industry... why fight when you can simply change your messaging? Think about it... the traditional 'green industry' is a minor blip when compared to the electrical contracting industry.




James with all due respect your wrong here.....We have not and will not ever turn our backs on the Landscape Lighting professional. We have always been sold through Electrical Distribution and have always treated Electrician customers the same as all of you. We are limited in what we can do on these issues, we cant fight every battle alone and you cant find one other manufacturer that will align themselves with us. We agree that something needs to be done, that regulating our industry is not the right option.

Unfortunatly I belive that the more the industry cries and strives for 1838 as the standard then the more they look at lighting being an Elctricians game. I say that because the ploy is used that anything beyond 15v is dangerous which then leads the authorities to say well if 16v can cause so much damage then why is 15v so much better....we better just let the electricians deal with this.

This is my sole opinon not neccesarily Unique Lighting's opinion but this conversation has been had many times since I first saw the regulations being passed in the North West a few years ago and then more recently in NJ.


Something needs to be done but first the industry needs to have unison and needs to prove and show that LV Lighting is not dangerous when performed correctly. Otherwise anyone who is not an electrician is going to end up installing Malibu Kits. We certainly do not want this to happen. We always have and always will have the LV Lighting contractors back!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-05-2008, 01:02 PM
James with all due respect your wrong here.....We have not and will not ever turn our backs on the Landscape Lighting professional. We have always been sold through Electrical Distribution and have always treated Electrician customers the same as all of you. We are limited in what we can do on these issues, we cant fight every battle alone and you cant find one other manufacturer that will align themselves with us. We agree that something needs to be done, that regulating our industry is not the right option. Joey, I never mentioned UNIQUE in my post. I have no real experience in how you market or to whom, here in Ontario you are distributed through a Green Industry distributor.
As for regulations.. you are all wrong there! What our industry needs, the Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting industry, is regulations! We need a common set of installation standards, component standards and our very own section of the NEC / CEC. Regulation and standardization would legitimize us in the eyes of the Electrical Safety / Inspection Industry and with ECs, Electrical Engineers and the rest of the electrical industry.

Unfortunately I believe that the more the industry cries and strives for 1838 as the standard then the more they look at lighting being an Electricians game. I say that because the ploy is used that anything beyond 15v is dangerous which then leads the authorities to say well if 16v can cause so much damage then why is 15v so much better....we better just let the electricians deal with this. Forget UL1838 if you must, you seem to be the only one really hung up about it all... I think there is room to expand and improve UL1838, make it more applicable to the work we do and for the components we use... but if it will move the industry forward, then lets scrap it and move forward. Stop the bickering over the darned thing and move on. The key is to develop a standard and regulations that will be accepted by ANSI / CSA and applied to the NEC / CEC

This is my sole opinon not neccesarily Unique Lighting's opinion but this conversation has been had many times since I first saw the regulations being passed in the North West a few years ago and then more recently in NJ.

Something needs to be done but first the industry needs to have unison and needs to prove and show that LV Lighting is not dangerous when performed correctly. Otherwise anyone who is not an electrician is going to end up installing Malibu Kits. We certainly do not want this to happen. We always have and always will have the LV Lighting contractors back!
Sounds like a great opportunity for the AOLP to come together behind a common goal... This should be the sole and most important focus of the AOLP for some time to come IMO. Lets get this industry legitimized and accepted across the Country(s). The time to do this was yesterday!

JoeyD
05-05-2008, 01:20 PM
Your right James, you did not mention Unique, you mentioned manufacturers which I think we fall under. Regulating the LV Lighting industry is what is happening and look at the action the local authorities are taking....."hey its electricity, electricins should be the ones to install it".

Dont be surprised when they tell you you can only install a malibu kit. We need to show the authorities that there are numerous ways to install a very well working, safe system within the 30v limitaions that were set for LV Lighting. Making one style of system or installation is not the answer.

Although it may seem I am the only one hung up on 1838 trust me I am not. There just happen to be a lot more manufacturers who have $$ to gain should 1838 be the only standard set. We are one of the few who know that there is a more than just one way to perform a proper and safe system outside of that regulated standard. But again we are one of the few that actually create and build our own systems and transformers.

But where we agree is that this should be the moment that the AOLP steps up and starts to show some grit here and say hey we are professionals, we install LV Lighting and we do it safely and this is how we do it.......State by State, City by City if they have too. It wont be easy but operating an authoritive association or organization never is.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-05-2008, 01:28 PM
Gald to see we agree on some things Joey! :)

If we dont get our acts together and get this industry regulated and approved then there might not be a need for an AOLP in the future.

Regards.

JoeyD
05-05-2008, 01:29 PM
Very True!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-05-2008, 01:37 PM
Here is a message from John Meadors regarding the situation in OK. Just received this morning:

Praise God, 10 days after a negative ruling effecting all 12 volt lighting contractors & all 24 volt irrigation contractors in the city of Tulsa, the head electrical inspector, John Stairs, has rescinded the ruling. Friday afternoon he sent a fax to all the lighting contractors in the city stating that any systems 50 volts or less, with UL approval, equipped with a plug & a cord, not hard-wired, DO NOT require a licensed electrician to install, no permits & no inspections. This should be a wake-up call to the industry as a whole to AOLP & all involved in this trade, wake up get busy to establish industry standards, testing & specific licensing for us all.

Thanks for your concern & help, John Meadors

irrig8r
05-05-2008, 03:03 PM
I was just about to post the same thing James.

In the discussion James and I are talking about, an EC in Turlock, CA contends that C-27s (landscape contractors) in CA aren't allowed to install LV lighting... that only C-10s (electrical contractors) and C-7s can lawfully do so, but that everyone turns a blind eye.

It's something I've been concerned about because the license description for C-27s these days has become very vague and no longer mentions LV lighting, or even irrigation for that matter.

The C-27 description:

C27 - Landscaping Contractor

A landscape contractor constructs, maintains, repairs, installs, or subcontracts the development of landscape systems and facilities for public and private gardens and other areas which are designed to aesthetically, architecturally, horticulturally, or functionally improve the grounds within or surrounding a structure or a tract or plot of land. In connection therewith, a landscape contractor prepares and grades plots and areas of land for the installation of any architectural, horticultural and decorative treatment or arrangement.

The newer C-7 (LV contractor) license description:

C7 - Low Voltage Systems Contractor

A communication and low voltage contractor installs, services and maintains all types of communication and low voltage systems which are energy limited and do not exceed 91 volts. These systems include, but are not limited to telephone systems, sound systems, cable television systems, closed-circuit video systems, satellite dish antennas, instrumentation and temperature controls, and low voltage landscape lighting. Low voltage fire alarm systems are specifically not included in this section.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-05-2008, 04:32 PM
Gregg, I am no lawyer but I would say from that piece that you need to be getting yourself a C7 license.

Why not check with the Islanders and see what they have to say about it all? Good people those boys are.

Regards.

irrig8r
05-05-2008, 06:14 PM
Yeah,
Kevin was talking about that today too. They have the C-27, just as I do. It seems to me the language in the description used to specifically mention LV lighting, and those were the terms under which I obtained my license.

I have a call in to a friend who was the local chapter President of CLCA (http://www.clca.org/) a couple of years ago to see if anyone has heard anything or is doing anything about it.

Basically they changed the license's category description, sometime in the last 5 years as far as i can tell, without notifying those of us who might be effected.

The Lighting Geek
05-05-2008, 07:16 PM
Because I live in the CA capitol, I have the ability to walk in their office for answers and I have on several occasions. C-27 (landscape contractor) is qualified to install landscape low voltage lighting, even if that is all you do. I have had several discussions with them, now you might get some disagreement depending on who you talk to, but I got that answer from them about 6 months ago, however not in writing. I believe it would be to our benefit as contractors to get the clarification from the California State Licensing Board (CSLB) in writing once and for all. I have a C-27 and am testing soon for my C-10 (electrician). You do not need a C-7 (low voltage) if you have a C-27 or C-10.

David Gretzmier
05-06-2008, 12:15 AM
I guess I may be mostly alone in this, But I feel our industy would be better If we all had to get a low voltage license to operate. It should be a written test, and there should be rules of insurance and the like to hold a license. there should be levels of training, class time, and levels of license up to master for larger jobs. There should be steep fines for installing and repairing without a license.

This would ensure that folks should know what they are doing, and less messes to clean up from folks that don't. It would also provide a means for punishing people who do it wrong.

irrig8r
05-06-2008, 01:09 AM
I don't mind that idea David, it's just that they're changing the rules after I'm already in the game.

Now if they give us a little lead time, and don't make me test on irrelevant things like home theater systems and CCTV, then I'm OK with it. Some advance notice would be good towards educating both contractors and the public.

Chris J
05-06-2008, 07:12 AM
I'm all for licensing, and that's why I have it in both Florida and Georgia. I really get tired of losing jobs to unqualified individuals because of a low-ball price. The customer really does not know what they are getting into because of these people, and it hurts the entire low voltage image in the long run. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there that still think low voltage lighting is the stuff they have purchased at the home cheapo. To them, it's all the same.

Tomwilllight
05-06-2008, 12:31 PM
I think Chris J asked the question. This is my answer.

http://electriccollage.com/in_summary.html

I used to work with these guys in the 60's... a long, long time ago.

Tom Williams
www.wlld.us

Terradek
05-08-2008, 12:27 PM
James,
At my first LVLIA/AOLP conference, I suggested the establishment of the "Legislative Issues Committee". My logic and reason for doing so was very much the same as what you are suggesting. Basically, "Either we do it or it will be done to us." I served as the Chair of this Committee for the first three years and found that because much of the licensing happens at the county and city level of government, this approach was like filling a hole in the dam with one grain of sand at a time. We simply did not have the resources, financial, staff, or membership to sustain a grassroots effort to impact regulation at that level. So about a year ago we de-emphasized this approach and undertook a new strategy, one that we are capable of implementing given the reality of our organizational resources.

We recently submitted a membership application to have an AOLP representative sit on the National Fire Protection Agency's (NFPA), Code Making Panel (CMP) for our industry. The NFPA creates and publishes the National Electrical Code (NEC). They have several CMPs that address the myriad of topics covered in the NEC. Our intent is to work through the CMP for our industry to develop codes and standards for adoption and publication in the NEC. As many of you are aware there is not much to point to in the NEC that deals specifically with what we do. It is our intent to be instrumental in helping to draft the "codes" and "standards" that will define our industry for the future.

This "top/down" approach will ensure that we will impact all levels of government as the NEC is adopted by the states. While this will not address specific licensing issues in a given state, it will begin to help define the safety and installation standards for the industry and help us to move forward in establishing the "rules" of the game.

irrig8r
05-08-2008, 04:53 PM
That approach sounds brilliant to me.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-08-2008, 10:47 PM
Well Done Gerry! This is a very smart way to go about instituting change for this industry. Thank you for updating us all as to what is going on and who is doing the pushing.

Please keep us in the loop as things progress.

Have a great day.

FNG
05-14-2008, 05:30 PM
Test message

FNG
05-14-2008, 05:31 PM
Testing again, ignore the message if