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Old 01-12-2014, 11:54 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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Hurt or Help the Industry?

Question to all the lighting pros: Does bringing new LCOs, Landscapers, Irrigators, Hardscapers, etc. into the outdoor lighting industry hurt or help the industry?
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:11 AM
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Lite4 Lite4 is offline
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Good question Jim. It will certainly create more competition, however if they are trained correctly (which is the wild card) it should only bring more awareness to the industry, create a higher level of professionalism and validate pricing for everyone.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:24 PM
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Classic Lighting Classic Lighting is offline
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This is a loaded question and I am sure everyone has an opinion. I lean more towards the thought that it will hurt the industry. Proper design and application is a large part of a great lighting plan. Quality design requires a large commitment of study and practice to master. Choosing the proper fixture for the right application also takes a vast knowledge of product lines. I do not see irrigators, hardscapers, and lco's taking the time to design and install a quality system. They are more concerned with throwing something in the ground, running power to it, and moving on to the next job. Often times, this leaves the end consumer with a misconception of quality lighting, thus hindering the lvl industry as a whole.
On the other hand, I see this as a goldmine for service work. Let's face it, how many times have we seen wire nut connections, broken aluminum fixtures, and transformers that are fire hazards?
Hardscapers, irrigatiors, and lco's do increase exposure of outdoor lighting to the general public, but I feel their craftsmanship is a disservice to the industry.
This also goes along with the customer service aspect. How many times have we heard "I can't get in contact with the original installer." Professional installers stay around to service the system also. I do not see that with the above trades. Therefore giving the end user a negative impression about their lighting.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:05 AM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
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The landscape lighting industry has matured greatly. Most regions have well established companies with years of experience and younger companies that do genuine good work. So it's much harder for low-ballers or untrained newbies to gain a foothold and spoil the market.

Another check on that problem is that homeowners have online tools (and are savvy with using them) to check reviews and testimonials. They can pretty much tell who's for real and who isn't. And, if a homeowner has a bad experience with a contractor, there are plenty of online venues to vent - word spreads about the good the bad and the ugly.

With this new maturing market, I say we welcome those who wish to enter it. There are paths they can follow (mfg. trainings, AOLP, mentoring with pros) so they strengthen the industry as they bring more homeowners customers into the pro market.

There will always be a bell curve of landscape lighting companies, and there's no reason why the best of us can't be at the far right end. The more companies under the curve the greater the opportunities we have to distinguish ourselves.
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