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AOLP/COLD/CLVLT/Illumunate2021

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Hotty Toddy, May 17, 2020.

  1. Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 395

    Hello, team.

    I am a solo landscaper who mainly does landscape renovations, renewals, and installations. I' m small beans compared to most of the businesses on this site. But I love what I do.

    I am interested in learning about landscape lighting with the intent to offer landscape lighting along with my other services. I'm just starting Gosselin's book.

    I've been surfing around on the AOLP.org site and am interested in the 2021 meeting. Is this an appropriate meeting for a newbie? I know to get the most out of the meeting I need to do a lot of reading between now and then. Would it be worth it do you think?

    I also see the COLD and CLVLT exams. At this time there's little information about the exams (cost, prep work, etc) on the website. I'm sure that will come in the future. What is the difference between the two, and which would be the best to take?

    I hope yall are having a great Sunday. It's raining here in Little Rock but finally warming up.

    Darrell
     
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,423

    I didn't ever do much with these programs but I did drive up to Ohio and attend the Kichler training coarse. I have a heavy background in low voltage equipment and stage lighting. Pair that with landscaping and this was an easy thing to pick up. I don't do nearly as much lighting work as I would like but I really don't have time to market for it either.
     
  3. AMP_Lighting

    AMP_Lighting Sponsor
    Messages: 80

    Before LED became the norm, learning low voltage (and courses like CLVLT) were very, very important. It still is, however if I were starting a Landscape Lighting business now, I would put more emphasis on learning design and learning the business (art of selling and marketing). To clarify, it is a given that you should understand the LV side, but it there is less to learn now that it is LED, and that will enable you to have more bandwidth to learn the parts that will differentiate you from the competition (design, selling and marketing). IMO learn LV for the safety which is not nearly as difficult as it once was and focus on design and how you are going to market/sell.
     
    knox gsl likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 395

    good to hear this. Thank you.
     
  5. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,153

    But.....uh.....But......... I'm trying to shoot some holes in Amp's post but it was so conditional that it is difficult to do. OK , here goes. I don't think one can put emphasis on one facet of the business over another.
    The only easier part of LED installation over the halogen methods was the balancing of voltage drop. Everything else remains as important.
    You still need to underload transformers; make good wire connections;
    do proper routing of wire; protect the wire where necessary (conduit.)
    Most important is integrity to do things correctly. Don't cut corners.
    I have seen absolutely horrible installations by licensed electricians.
    Don't take the perceived safety of low voltage for granted. Shorts from poor connections are dangerous with any electricity.

    Despite voltage drop not being as important with LEDs, I never daisy-chain more than a few fixtures together. If I am doing lighting on the front and back of a home and I am using only one transformer, I typically will put front and back on a separate circuit. The same goes for left and right if only doing a front.

    As for the other facets: design is very important; and marketing is also key to being successful. Being fully proficient in the technical part will do no good if you are a poor designer or salesman.
     
    Night Owl and knox gsl like this.

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