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AOLP certifications..(CLVLT) certified low voltage lighitng technician

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by AOLP, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. AOLP

    AOLP Inactive
    Messages: 158

    Spots are filling up for the Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician (CLVLT) Exam at Conference, and you don't want to be the one missing out on this opportunity! Leave the competition in the dust... Don't be the one left behind! You only have 11 days left to register, so sign up now.
  2. AOLP

    AOLP Inactive
    Messages: 158

    you can go to the website to register or feel free to call to get info. Adding this to your companies credentials will set you apart from the rest. Hope you will take a moment to look into and also join many other professionals from across the country at conference.
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Obtaining the AOLP certification (CLVLT) is one way to really set yourself apart from the others in the industry. It shows prospective clients that you take your skill seriously and want to be the best.
    More than once I've been told that my certification was a reason that I was chosen for a project.
  4. Terradek

    Terradek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    As a distributor, I have used the knowledge gained by participating in the CLVLT program to help my customers install systems consistent with the highest standards in the industry. The CLVLT credential has also helped our company to secure a reputation as a supplier who takes this profession seriously.

    Remember the best designs are only as good as the installation.

    I would encourage all members of this industry to gain this valuable certification no matter what segment you are in. You will never loose money investing in yourself.
  5. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    Our business, located in a midwest smaller town has until recent years relied mostly on "word of mouth" for gaining new projects. It's the most efficient form of advertising, requires quality work and happy clients. about 6 years ago, when I studied for an took the c.l.v.l.t. I became part of a fraternal group (those I took the test with) and learned much about the technical side of outdoor lighting installation, design, and service. For our company, we used pretty much the same equipment and designs were pretty much peat and repeat. We were comfortable in our old shoe. We were in a rut and didn't even know it. The clvlt compelled me to learn about other types of equipment, design techniques and service issues which had a positive impact on our businesses growth in the years to follow.
    When I returned home, having passed the test, certificate in hand (so to speak), talking to anyone about it who would listen....few cared. Kind of a let down. I naively assumed work would come at the mention of my clvlt certification. It didn't. What did happen though was a few people called about lighting systems they had installed by others some time ago and couldn't get them to work, that company wouldn't or couldn't help them anymore. I was a little nervous but went out to have a look at there system. my clvlt started paying off. No, I wasn't a master at repairing poorly installed systems right out of the gate. In fact, that first one had me stumped so I called one of my classmates from Texas right from the job and together we figured out the problem over the phone. I started keeping my study guide handy and had about 10 of my clvlt classmates in my cell phone to call if I needed help. It was so valuable to me that I volunteered to be on the clvlt committee to help with future test but also keep up with the changing environment. Fast forward to the last few years...The outdoor lighting market is expanding faster than simple word of mouth can accomodate. we have to advertise to take market share. More and more of our clients now only know us thru an add or website, yellow pages, door hanger etc. Having the clvlt certification is now an asset for us. we advertise that fact and we send our technicians to get their clvlt certification. We are finding that it is seperating us from others who have no non affiliated certification. The AOLP clvlt certification is the only non affiliated low voltage lgithing certification available to my knowledge.
    We never know what tomorrow holds but it appears the outdoor lighting industry is growing. If you want to position yourself or your company to take that market share you have to be different/better than what potential clients will perceive to be your competition. This percieved competition can talk the talk, create flashy websites, adds, create buzz on social media but where I believe the rubber meets the road is design, installation and service. That's what the clvlt is about. It will help you and your company perform these processes better. You will gain friendships with a group of professionals that can help you get the tools to create better systems to gain business. Last thought. if you have other competitors in your area that you respect, share the AOLP and clvlt certification with them. I call it "coopetition". Even in a town of 50,000 that I live in, we can't do all the lighting jobs. I would rather have someone out there doing professional installs creating more market than someone creating unsatisfied customers who look down on the outdoor lighting industry because of poor design, installation and service. I want competition that is elevating the market, helping each customer understand that a truly well designed and installed outdoor lighting system requires a professional to design, install, a service in the years to come.
  6. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,268

    Chris, You made a compelling endorsement of the CLVLT test and certification. I want to be that quality competition you talk about. (Not for you personally, Owensboro is not my market.:) )

    To all,
    I have always been a strong believer in professionalism and accreditation. I have been a member of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association almost since starting my business 30 years ago. I have been on one of its standing committees for 25 years. I was one of the first to be certified as a "master" in the association's certification programs. With all of that said, you might think I have a big business. Quite the contrary, I have typically only had two employees and have gained only a modest, comfortable income.

    Now as I enter the lighting profession, I am eager to obtain that same kind of standing and to engage in similar networking among lighting professionals.
    I have been studying the trade for almost a year now, reading books, reading this forum, and doing some lighting maintenance to get started.

    AOLP folks: Please take this as constructive criticism.
    I very much want to join the AOLP and to take the certification test but
    I can not financially justify attending a conference in Florida or Arizona for the purpose of becoming certified. And I doubt that I am alone in that situation. I tallied up the membership from the AOLP website. I found that there are about 150 total members with about 30 of those being manufacturers / distributors. Further, there are fewer than 50 who are CLVLT. ( I hope I am somewhat close on these stats.)

    In Ohio, where there are substantial numbers doing landscape and architectural lighting, the AOLP roles show seven members, five of them being from distributors or Kichler.

    I do not how the AOLP will grow its organization and its influence until there are more AOLP state associations and that those state groups are enabled to administer the certification tests.
  7. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    I agree with you that state chapters and regional chapters will be extremely helpful in bolstering the # of members and along with it, those that pursue this and other certifications. It is happening. CA is the first and presently only state chapter. They have already held many functions and have had 2 rounds of clvlt testing, I think adding 10 or 11 clvlt's along with new members. What I have noticed since joining is few trying to do all. That has changed for the better over the last few years. I believe there are 3 or 4 other states that are close to starting their own chapters. Thankfully, the california chapter has blazed a trail for future chapters to follow. There's a lot...a lot of work involved in getting an effective chapter up and running. Work done by people like us that have full time jobs, family etc. But I feel the snow ball getting bigger and picking up speed as it roles down the hill. the good news for you and others from Ohio and I would guess, northern KY is the Wolfcreek Dist is working towards hosting a clvlt testing session. Brooke Perin from Wolfcreek is working on that. I will talk to her and keep you posted. We, the state of Kentucky, are close to having enough members to start our own chapter as I believe Ohio is. My guess is that if wolfcreek gets the clvlt certification process off the ground we will see chapters in both states soon. Hope this is helpful to you, I know it would be helpful to your business
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,268

    Thanks Chris. I know of Brooke by reputation but have not met her. I do buy irrigation stuff from Wolf Creek, but the Toledo outlet. I would really welcome the opportunity to take the test in Columbus. I will contact Brooke about this possibility. Sounds like maybe I should get a membership and test manuals sooner than later.
  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Texas also has a state chapter that is starting to make plans for our first regional testing in the spring. I think Florida and the northeast are also looking to create chapters as well. I think that once we have regional testing as well as local events and education opportunities, we'll gain members and become a much stronger association. Currently we have about 200 members but this year has been a great year and the ball is really beginning to roll.
  10. Brooke Perin

    Brooke Perin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Back in 2006 I started checking into training and certifications available for landscape lighting. After attending a few manufacturer classes, I found AOLP (used to be called LVLIA). I signed up for the 2007 CLVLT test, got the study guide, and was initially pretty overwhelmed. I guess I was expecting something more spoon-fed like most manufacturer classes, but the CLVLT was a lot more involved. I started reading the guide, called a couple of members (who I'd never met before) to ask questions, and showed up for my first conference. The test is tough, but fair, and being that way makes it well worth the effort. I work for a distributor where it's my job to train contractors in lighting "best practices" - including design, specification and installation - and AOLP and its members have been instrumental in gaining that knowledge. It all started with the CLVLT test. Once you learn the right way to install and service lighting, you'll know WHY you're doing something a certain way. That alone separates you from most of the competition, but it also gives you a common language with a number of knowledgeable lighting contractors throughout North America. Studying for the CLVLT test will bring all of this information to you. It both elevates the profession as well as grows the market for contractors who invest their time and effort in learning. It benefits everyone - you as a contractor, your customers, and the industry. No other single investment you make will educate you more.

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