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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by LightYourNight, Jan 13, 2009.
I am amazed at this statement. This is unbelievable.
Please explain Mike.
The AOLP and LITE are 2 very seperate things as most of you know. AOLP CLVLT's purpose is to create an industry standard regarding Low Voltage Lighting installation and over time to grow the CLVLT to where it is nationally recognized, atleast that was how it was explained to me a few years ago.
Where as the LITE program certification is to ensure that the person being certified is qualified to install specified and designed projects as well as new construction. LITE has no intent of trying to create a standardized installation practice, instead LITE wants to instill confidence in the LA's and LD's that are sending jobs out to bid. LITE will be and already is getting LA's and LD's to specify on plan that the installer MUST BE LITE CERTIFIED so although you may never and probably will never here a homeowner ask if you are LITE certified you may end up having an opportunity to bid a job where the LA or LD requires you to be LITE certified to install the project. Obviously LITE is a great way to get educated on lighting installation, design, and troubleshooting practices as well.
more info here at www.TheLITEProgram.com
sounds like NILLA
Except NILLA never had the intention of working so closely with specification. NILLA was simply a Unique Lighting Systems association that had best of intention but wasnt laid out properly for the long haul. LITE has multiple manufacturers participating and teaching their own and or contributing to their own certification modules. So LITE is sort of like NILLA re-invented if you will with better orginization and more thought into the long haul with more purpose then just to get guys installing Unique Systems. We learned a lot from NILLA.
Remember LITE doesnt mean you have to love or use Unique soley. LITE just wants you to be able to understand the complex jobs that we may asist with design on. We want to make sure that Vista or Kichler or FX guy is confident with a 24v system should he get the opportunity to bid it. We are asissting speciifcation with some seriously nice projects ranging from 40-4000 lights!! I dont think any lighting guy is so rich that he would pass up the potential to install or bid on a 500 light project at a resort or hotel. Remember you can gain LITE certification ON SITE as well. You do not need to attend a class. If you are awarded a LITE required project we can certify you on that project.
OK, Let me clarify. Contractors like James and Mike who are established in their profession. They do excellent work, they have a strong body of work and are very confident in their abilities - They are not the norm. For 95% of all the other contractors who are in the business or trying to get in the business, the best way for them to distinguish themselves and establish some type of credibility is to get involved with an association and to gain some type of certification. Doesn't that make sense??? How else can contractor distinguish himself from the hacks if they don't have a large body of work to fall back on?
FYI, as far as being succussfull as a business man in outdoor lighting, I haven't got there yet. But by being involved with the AOLP, I definatly have found my passion, and I have established a level of credibility no one else in the State of Washington can claim. I am not saying that I am comparable to James or Mike but I do know that by my involvement with the AOLP I can claim that there isn't any outdoor lighting professional better than me in the Northwest (there maybe some professionals equal to me).
By being involved with the AOLP I have been able to meet outdoor lighting legends of today such as: Jan Moyer, Nate Mullen, Tom Williams, Mike G, and etc.
Maybe James and Mike might not benefit a whole lot by being involved with the AOLP. But people who want to learn the business from the best are missing out by professionals like Mike not being a member.
That is a very interesting comment and viewpoint Ned... well developed. Now I have to ask you to think about this:
Why would the top professionals have an interest to be members of this organization? I understand why others would be attracted to join, and learn from "the best". But you also have to have some reason for "the best" to want to be a part of it too.
The conference is fine I guess, but personally I don't need the expense of $ and time, to travel far and wide, to spend a valuable week away from my family and business... but maybe that is just me. They have a forum too, one that is seldom used by a relatively small contingency... there are better forums out there (like here - as evidence by the volume of posts). Some distribution and manufacturing members offer contractor members discounts and such, but nothing that you could not achieve by developing a strong loyalty with your local distributor. When asked to provide support for emerging issues of regulation, licensing, etc. etc. we here in Ontario ran into a brick wall, little understanding, and a general lack of willingness to participate... So we are going it alone and developing our own programs... no AOLP satellite chapter here!
It leaves me asking myself WIIFM? The answer.... NVFM!
I don't mean to single you out Steve, I am just amazed at what some of the new guys to this business post on this and other message bds.
The dependency on doing demo's, hub system as the one and only method, insistence on using Higher voltage transformers because the belief is that they are indispensible, won't use brass lugs because they cost too mjuch and are labor intensive, reliance on post card ads, belonging to an association and feeling that somehow this will bring you work or achieving certificating and believing you are the best in your area because of it. Asking design opinions of others in forums etc.
there is no magic bullet or straight line to success. All of these beliefs and practices just keeps you from going outside your comfort zone and building a business beyond your wildest dreams.
Passing a test, winning an award both are a big boost to the ego and the plaque may look good hanging on the wall.
But don't believe for a second that this is somehow going to land you jobs or bring you leads that you would not have ordinarily gotten. That's all I'm saying.
Mike, let me start out by saying, I appreciate the fact you and many of the other established professionals participate on this forum for a number of reasons, one of which is honest advice. Otherwise I would be isolated from such knowledge unless I joined an association such as AOLP.
I agree with much of what you said, those things may not bring more clients but I feel they will make me a better lighter. (demo, cert.) I took the local 1 day seminar hosted by a manu. then I studied and passed the exams required by the state to be licensed. I feel like I graduated high school, but would like some college education now. The new LITE certification appears to offer an excellent learning opportunity for me, because I am far from knowing it all. The only other way I can see this happening is if I could work with you (or someone else as qualified) for a # of years. I see demo's as a chance for some OJT that I might not otherwise get. The combination of demos and certification are my primary learning tools when actual installs are somewhat slow. Will those things bring in the clients, probably not, but it will certainly build my confidence and more than likely take me above and beyond my local competition with increased design and installation skills. That is my reason behind the madness anyway.
Thank you to Mike, and all the other pro's, for sharing all your hard learned knowledge!!!
The only reasons I can think of for well established professionals like you and Mike to be involved with the AOLP would be: 1) They enjoy being around the people, & like sharing their craft 2) They believe in the organization and they want outdoor lighting to be properly recognized professionally & nationally.
Lets face it, there is a cost involved and that is where one has to assess if the cost is worth it or not. (Having met both James and Mike I think they both would fall under the reason #1 catagory) I can understand where you and Mike are coming from, and I can understand why you might not think it is worth it.
It just seems like we need some type of national organization. Since the AOLP is established, lets work with what we have. If someone started up another organization I am sure it would have political issues that would upset a lot of people just like the current AOLP has. How does one create a perfect trade organization?