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  #11  
Old 02-26-2009, 01:58 AM
INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting's Avatar
INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomwilllight View Post
James,

This discussion is not about you... It's not about your journey to find your passion... No way... Really Tom? Here I thought it was all about a relative new-comer to the lighting business asking about how to get a good start in the business. Did I miss something? After you chimed in with your direction and advice, which I clearly supported, I thought it might be of interest to share some alternative views. An opportunity to start a discourse. Not every single person out there is going to respond positively to a process of technical and artistic direction and training Tom... we are all unique and individual. It is possible to enter, survive and thrive in this industry without following any one specific course of action. I thought 'my story' was worth some bandwidth here as it might just inspire some to follow their dreams. Remember those.... dreams, hopes, aspirations... the stuff of life! Live and let live.

What I've found in this thread and your other with the poll, is that there are people out there right now who want to learn how to do a good job. They may be blown away with light - just as you and I were as some earlier time - (I don't know about you, but I still am!) and they want to know more about it. Of course they want to learn, I never have, nor ever will discourage anyone from learning, discovering, inventing or improving themselves, their art or their ability. My objective is simply to illustrate that there are alternative paths to success.

My long journey and your long journey are probably best shared over a couple of tall cool ones at the next AOLP or LightFair. No one else cares. I would like that very much Tom, however, call me an egotiste if you must, but I think that there are others out there who actually do care, others who actually do get inspired by the experience and paths of others. After all, History is not only of interest to Historians.

Here, now, I want these young people who have discovered light to know where they can go for help mastering this difficult trade/craft/art.

And Good Luck to them. Amen to that.

Tom
I am not here to do battle with you Tom, or to suggest that 'your way' or 'my way' is the right way for anyone else. I just think that every once in a while, it doesn't hurt to be candid and to offer some alternative viewpoints. You never know how you are going to affect others on your path... so what is wrong with trying a little inspiration here and there?

Off to watch: " It's a Wonderful Life" (just kidding, although it is one of my all time fav. films.)
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INTEGRA ~ Bespoke Lighting Systems ®
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2009, 10:03 AM
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NiteTymeIlluminations NiteTymeIlluminations is offline
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lol

this is going to be great to watch...all we need to throw in the mix is that dude from the east coast that everyone ousted a few months ago...

you guys get your panties in a bunch way too easy...lol...
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2009, 10:56 AM
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JoeyD JoeyD is offline
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Geez, a simple question turns into a theology and ideaology debate!!

Like Mike G. eluded too, some people love to over complicate what we do. Some people feel the need to justify all the time they have spent going to classes and schools and seminars so they like to make Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting seem like such challenging and complicated work. This is not rocket science......

Grant it a high end commercial or residential can get quite complicated but we are not trying to engineer a dam or send someone to the moon here.

There are plenty of places for you to purchase your products. FOLD (Florida Outdoor Lighting) is a good one as is Terra-Dek. But like Tim mentioned, do contact your local Irrigation and electrical supply house as they should have some options for you! If you have any other questions you may contact me directly.
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  #14  
Old 02-26-2009, 11:35 AM
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Tomwilllight Tomwilllight is offline
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Allow me to share my concerns

I think we are all saying the same thing, each with their own slant. Here goes...

“Did I miss something? …Not every single person out there is going to respond positively to a process of technical and artistic direction and training Tom... we are all unique and individual. It is possible to enter, survive and thrive in this industry without following any one specific course of action. I thought 'my story' was worth some bandwidth here as it might just inspire some to follow their dreams. Remember those.... dreams, hopes, aspirations... the stuff of life!” JAMES

“This is not brain surgery. As much as I or you or anyone else would wish it to be it's not. This is something that can be mastered by keen observation, experimentation , exhaustive practice and sheer passion and implementation. It's a difficult business to succeed in for other reasons. The mechanics of design and installation are replicatable. Every designer must develop his or her own unique signature style. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Success can only be measured by our clients in this business and not by our peers.” MIKE

All three of us followed very different paths to get where we are now. The advantages we all bring to the table are just as individual. There still exist deep similarities among us.

We have had the luxury to grow as the industry rapidly expanded.

Practices and equipment have profoundly improved in the last 20 years and with that, expectations of what constitutes professional practice and equipment performance have changed.

We learned how to design light with a multi-level approach with a large dose of experimentation while those professional practices were evolving.

We started with much less competition than exists now and in a mostly expanding economy. We have had the opportunity to establish ourselves professionally and had the native ability to define our professional achievements in various ways.

I am not saying it was easy for any of us. It took work, persistence and no small amount of talent to get here. We all know the names of good people who failed.

Today, we, as an industry, are standing at a professional crossroad and I believe the way we address the issues we all face will determine if our industry will survive the next 20 years.

Nobody NEEDS landscape lighting. Landscape lighting is an enhancement to a particular life-style and that life-style is in the process of evolution. The push behind that evolution is the sustainability revolution and all the changes that will bring.

The three of us have pushed that revolution in our own ways. My assessments may be less than exact and I hope you will correct me if I am inaccurate or incomplete:

James, you have adapted to and developed an under-served resort community that has very strict limits on outdoor lighting in place. In addition, you have pushed the envelop on retrofit LEDs in the landscape. Your clients have rewarded you for your innovations and energy. There is much you can teach us.

Mike, you have worked diligently to discover ways to increase the reliability of the methods and equipment we install in the landscape. The quality and reliability of your designs and installations has allowed you to build a significant client list. There is much you can teach us.

I have attempted to communicate the need for us to adopt an approach to landscape lighting I call "Responsible Landscape Lighting Design" and to participate in expanding the opportunities for practitioners, new and old, to receive quality instruction in the art and craft of landscape lighting.

We now live and work in a time of a shrinking economy and face a future in which the "waste" of energy will be increasingly condemned. These changes in the economy, energy market and the growing public awareness of threats to our nation and climate are combining to fundamentally change the way we do business.

The use of landscape lighting is essentially a "public" use of energy. It is very easy to identify who has it and how much they use it. As a result, we must become much more proactive in our efforts to demonstrate that Landscape Lighting can be "Green".

I certainly am not the first to make this suggestion or to notice the changes in progress. All of the major manufacturers of LSL product are making headway in this area. It's us, the practitioners of landscape lighting, who must lead the way with the APPLICATION & INSTALLATION of energy conserving lighting.

I'm certain that you have noticed that as the economy tightens, many portions of the OLD green industry are be forced to attempt to increase their cash flow by taking on additional services.

Frankly, this is fine by me provided they are using responsible "Green" techniques and technologies. And if they apply professional design, installation and maintenance practices. If they don't, they are a drag on our industry and need to be brought up to speed ASAP.

I have no proof, but I believe that communities who have restricted landscape lighting have done so because of serious abuses by unqualified, unscrupulous or simply careless installers who have paid little to no attention to glare, light trespass and maintenance. After our clients' eyes, the most important set of eyes we design for are the neighbor's. Disaffected neighbors are the ones who clamor for an end to outdoor lighting.

It is our responsibility (shared by the manufactures and distributors) to make every effort to insure the newbies enter our industry with a baseline of information.

And this is the crux of my concern.

It's a fine thing to help a new guy find the best deal in wholesale equipment but it is even more important to make it clear that there is more to this work than sticking a light in the ground.

We need standards of professional practice and there are many good people are working on that. That is why I support AOLP.

Now, since I have preached to the congregation, I think I'll go back to work.

Thanks for the opportunity to get these ideas out of my head,

Tom
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  #15  
Old 02-26-2009, 01:46 PM
irrig8r irrig8r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomwilllight View Post
We started with much less competition than exists now and in a mostly expanding economy.
That one statement says an awful lot.

Anyone that can start up and succeed in these times will probably do so by listening to and responding to market demands, finding creative ways to get that market's attention and keeping a tight rein on overhead costs.

These are all skill sets that will do any business good, but are even more crucial in a tight market/down economy...
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  #16  
Old 02-26-2009, 06:57 PM
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Mark B Mark B is offline
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Will someone pass me the jim beam with the red bull?
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2009, 11:06 PM
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trailboss trailboss is offline
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Man, all this time I've been ranking myself right up there with "Rocket Scientist".
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2009, 04:13 PM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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not to wade too deep into this, but I would love to have more folks out there that know what they are doing as well. I agree with the statement that most of the lights sold and installed out there are done by folks who do not know what they are doing, EVEN THOUGH THEY COULD.

That last statement speaks volumes- yes, there is training available out the yin yang, along with many books and websites that will tell you exactly what to do 90 % of the time. I've seen lots of guys with passion about this work that wreak havoc with voltage. I took the time to learn how to do this before I discovered the passion in it. I expect no less than that of others.

get training from your local irrigation store and read up on voltage. then get your hands dirty. good luck.
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  #19  
Old 03-01-2009, 10:48 AM
MAGLIGHTING MAGLIGHTING is offline
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To succeed with landscape lighting you need to master three very important skills.

Business- If you can't sell profittable projects and manage a business then whatever else you do won't matter.

Art-Design projects that are received well by your clients and suit their likes and needs.

Science- Engineering a system with quality products and proper techniques such that it holds up over time.

The fastest way to success is to model after someone who has mastered this formula already and continues to be successful.

Send a check ahead for $10,000 American dollars and Get yourself on a plane to Canada and spend a week shadowing James. He'll teach you how to be remarkable. That's the best advice I can give you. To be transparent he didn't put me up to the endorsement so I'm not getting a cut of the 10K (unless James cares to share a bit ).

With little exception, Manufacturer and distributor seminars are taught by sales reps who are not currently practicing in the trade. Some are taught by ex-contractors who may or may not be good for technical (science) and design (art) advice. But, If they had the full package then why are they no longer practicing?

Be very careful who you get your education from.
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  #20  
Old 03-01-2009, 11:31 AM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGLIGHTING View Post
Send a check ahead for $10,000 American dollars and Get yourself on a plane to Canada and spend a week shadowing James. He'll teach you how to be remarkable. That's the best advice I can give you. To be transparent he didn't put me up to the endorsement so I'm not getting a cut of the 10K (unless James cares to share a bit ).
I'm sure we can come to some arrangement Mike.

Plenty of time to make your plans people, as our installation season usually kicks off around the 2nd week of May. The J.S.L.L.I. offers exclusive, one on one, hands-on training for motivated wannabe lighting professionals. You will receive complimentary airport transfers, accommodations, and meals. Just don't expect much entertainment as we go pretty long and hard once the snow melts. We cover everything one needs to succeed.... Business, Art & Science is broken down into Marketing, Sales, Design, Specification, Installations, Maintenance and all of the sub-functions that go along with those categories. You get it all in an intense, one stop shop! Only 20 spots available per year, so sign up today!

(You know Mike, this might be one of your better ideas to date! )
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INTEGRA ~ Bespoke Lighting Systems ®
JSLDesign Inc.


www.integralighting.com

www.facebook.com/INTEGRA.Lighting

Affiliations: IESNA, IALD, IDA, AOLP, LO, MBA

Last edited by INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting; 03-01-2009 at 11:35 AM.
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