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Best place to order Lighting Materials?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by millenniumlandscape, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. millenniumlandscape

    millenniumlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I have just recently started offering landscape and outdoor lighting to my companies services. I am looking for any information on where to order the materials and fixtures for this work. Does anyone have a reliable wholeseller or any other ideas for me? Thanks
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    Your local irrigation distributor will probably offer some choices for you.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Check out the thread here titled "Manufacturer's Compendium"! Most of the larger landscape lighting manufacturers distribute their products through a network of green industry and electrical industry wholesale distributors. It is just a matter of finding a local distributor who will provide you with the products you need. There are also a couple of National Landscape Lighting Distribution specialists that you might look too; Namely CLL (California Landscape Lighting), Terradek, and FOLD (Florida Outdoor Lighting Distributors). All of these have websites.

  4. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    Hi Millenum,

    I've reviewed your posts and it is clear you are a landscape contractor who is both interested in providing your clients quality services and a very competitive business person.

    I strongly urge you to learn as much as possible about landscape lighting design and installation before you go searching for the least costly supplier of product. Landscape lighting is not the simple, stick some lights in the ground and twist some wires together process it may seem to be. If you haven't already devoted considerable time to prepare yourself for the move into landscape lighting, you may want to slow down a bit and find out something about this complex field.

    There are numerous opportunities for you to receive quality training in the essentials of of our art and craft. All of the major manufacturers now offer excellent training, there are several books available that will greatly assist you. My web site features reviews of the commercially published books on the subject <www.wlld.us>

    You should also look closely at the Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals - <AOLPonline.org>. Their CLVLT (Certified Low-Voltage Lighting Technician) is widely recognized as proof of a commitment to quality work. It's a tough test and those who pass are justifiably proud of their achievement.

    In addition, AOLP's certification of lighting design is off to an excellent start in providing training as a designer of landscape lighting. It is starting it's 2nd year and improving all the time. Again, those who complete this training will have good reason to brag.

    Excellent advanced training in design is offered by Janet Moyer in her Landscape Lighting Institute. <www.janmoyerdesign.com> Those who have attended will tell you it is a mind-blowing experience. Her book, THE LANDSCAPE LIGHTING BOOK, 2nd Edition, is considered rightly by all to be essential reading.

    There is a lot more to this business than buying low and selling high. Landscape Lighting, properly designed and installed, is both an Art and a Craft and you owe it to your customers to offer your services only after you have brought your skills up to a professional level through serious study and hands on training.

  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Another excellent post by Tom! Great starting off info for any interested 'newbies'.

    That being said, I wonder how many of us "pros" got into this business by going through the recommended process of education, training, certification and included the development of a workable business plan? My suspicion is that few of us did it this way.

    I am not about to sit here and discount a formal training process as it is a prudent way to enter into any new venture. However, there are still those "A-Ha!" moments that happen in life, moments when your passion is discovered, moments when the stars all align, moments when you realize that you have found what you were meant to do! Don't for a minute second guess these moments... for they are fleeting, and can lead you to fabulous new places and opportunities.
  6. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284


    I agree that the "A-Ha" moment is an important part of any artist's growth... But I think someone going into this business should have a pretty clear idea of what they are doing before they charge for their services. They should be able to install a stable low-voltage system and to produce a design that achieves reasonable goals of glare control, efficient use of power and meet IDA Dark-sky standards. I hope they've spent some time thinking about what I call Responsible Design.

    I've seen too many installations that do not meet any professional standards to be comfortable suggesting anyone should jump right in with both feet for the transcendental joy of the experience.

    The joy of discovery you celebrate should happen at Dog Park under Jan's tutelage or while studying for the CLVLT or COLD at AOLP or any of the several excellent manufacturer's work-shops. Not while working; not while they are, in effect, representing our art & craft to their client. I've seen enough hack work. We need more pros in our industry.

  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    No, I am not yanking your chain at all Tom. I am 100% sincere in all that I posted here, both in response to your suggestions and in my aside notes that illustrate that there are more ways than one to get involved.

    I too see the hack jobs, I see them all the time and it is a shame that there are those who get away with doing that type of work. I am all for industry standardization, training and even certification and registration (primarily for those who require it). However, if someone truly does have the passion, and the 'art' resides deep inside, and they posses the mechanical aptitude and an ability to learn on the fly, then they should not be dissuaded from getting involved at a pace that is right for them. Everyone is different and not everyone will respond positively to a long course of education and training. Some of us just need to do it and in so doing, we obtain the satisfaction and challenge that propels us to get better educated and involved in the industry, thereby advancing our understanding, knowledge and ability.

    I spent the first 30+ years of my life listening to those who instructed me as to the 'correct path' to success. I have diplomas, certificates and degrees marking my way down those paths... for the most part all of little value now. Nobody ever stopped me and told me to find my passion, to seek out that which I truly enjoy and thrive on. Each of us should be so lucky, for finding your passion in life is a huge step towards satisfaction and success.

  8. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284


    This discussion is not about you... It's not about your journey to find your passion... Obviously your picked up some valuable information while finding your way and if no one told you to "go to the light"... join the club man. We all have to find our own way.

    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 - and they want to know more about it.

    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.

    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.


    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248


    Nothing wrong with your recommendations and they are commendable but we are nowhere living in a perfect world when it comes to this industry where even a small percentage of newcomers will follow your way.

    Unfortunately it's way too easy for one to get their hands on electical equipment , install it in a haphazard and potentially unsafe manner and get a check for it. I'm not even talking about poor design but they go hand in hand.

    This industry has been built on the occassional installer, the landscaper who may or may not have a knack or a skill for it. Why do you think manufacturers and distributors are fighting so hard to protect the novices right to install in states with pending legislation. It's because that group constitutes most of their buyers.

    Initial seminars will give you enough info to get you started but most of the motivation is based on how much money you can make as a sideline to your primary business with very little capital outlay for tools or equipment. Many of these money motivators go out and leave a trail of poor decaying projects in their wake. In fact there is way more failed lighting out there than high performing, high quality systems that are worth maintaining.

    When so called "pro" equipment can be bought over the internet by DIYers from the same distributors that supply the so called "pro" then we've got a problem. What kind of message does this send? It says that if a DIY er can do it then why not a tradesperson who is handy with other trades other than LV lighting. It must be easy right. Easy Money.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. The problem has been around since before I started and I don't ever see it improving until there is regulation that will make it mandatory. Something as simple as a loose 12V connection can potentially cause a very bad result. That fact often is overlooked.

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Tom are you yanking our chains now?:laugh:

    I guess I must be the exception to your rule because I've never been to dog park (I don't even own a dog), will never be a CVLT or COLD or anything that has to do with AOLP.( I did win an award which they will not publicize but that's another story). Now you or anyone else could argue with me but the fact is that I could retire tomorrow at the ripe age of 44 and live comfortably for the rest of my life off what I've earned in less than 20 yrs in landscape lighting. What cannot be challenged is the success I've achieved in this business all self taugh. Every system I've ever installed is still in operation so I've never installed hack work even from the start with no formal training.

    Am I particularly intelligent? No, just slightly above average in school. You don't need to be a Rhodes scholar to succeed.

    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. I have been very fortunate for the most part to have my druthers and be trusted with huge budgets to work with . Others who may be as equally talented may not have been as fortunate.

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