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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting, Oct 4, 2007.
1: Who are you? Alexandra Taylor - "Alex"
2: Where are you from? Dallas - Ft Worth area. Bedford is by the DFW airport.
3: How long in the biz? 10 years theater and rock&roll lighting, then aerospace electrical and engineering project management 10 years. Landscape Lighting - 2 years.
4: Individual Specialty? I'm a great cook! My specialty is football game day food! My landscape lighting specialty is designing a cohesive, beautiful look, enhancing the existing features, using subtle, elegant lighting.
5: Largest Job Installed? Whoop-de-doo - about 50 lights on 3 transformers. We were so proud of ourselves splitting the areas into control zones and putting in the switches.
6: Most fun you ever had on a job? Our first really fun job was for our accountant. We had a fun crew and we all had a super time together. The client was thrilled with the result and she's sent us several fine referrals. We all went out for "safety training" afterward (AKA beer run)
Time to bump this topic back up to the top of the list. Lots of new voices on the forum lately, how about taking a few moments and introducing yourselves?
As with any such forum there are the obvious regular contributors and a whole host of regular readers.
I would like to know more about the lighting contractors who participate in this forum and I would also like to know more about those who are less involved but still come here regularly.
So, how about a quick Q & A?
1: Who are you?
2: Where are you from?
3: How long in the biz?
4: Individual Specialty?
5: Largest Job Installed?
6: Most fun you ever had on a job?
Great to see new names here.
I hope everyone won't mind if I don't follow James' template for my reply.
After looking through my posts starting back in February, I realized I had not revealed much about my business or myself. So it's time to do that and establish a little "forum cred."
Harkening back to that first post, now falling back to page 9, I had asked what I realize was not a "bright" question. Because my wife and I were planning a new home, I asked about soffit down-lighting vs. up-lighting.
Now i know the answer is to use various lighting effects.
Of course, James came in with his "find a professional" spiel.
My name is Phil. I have been in the landscaping business for 28 years.
I have been on the Landscape Contractors Committee of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association for 18 years. I also have accreditation as an Ohio Certified Landscape Technician - Master. The one thing that I have never done is lighting.
Now, with a planned move in the next few months to a new market,(mainly to be close to our grandchildren) I am looking for a new professional challenge. I have chosen to concentrate on landscape and architectural lighting.
Thanks to you all on this forum, I have learned much. I have read almost every post from the beginning of this forum, June 2005, working my way to the present.
I don't want to be that proverbial student who just keeps studying and studying without ever applying what they've learned. So I'm going to start looking for some clients ....................uhh maybe tomorrow after I read all of today's posts...........
Best of luck in your new venture, I think you will do well.
Dirt & Hoops,
Congratulations on your decision to add landscape lighting to your business! I appreciate your efforts to teach yourself the art and craft of LL by reading the posts in this chat and I wish you well. I also want to add some comments.
I strongly suggest you do a few more things to prepare yourself to offer your clients truly professional designs.
Join AOLP - The Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals is the only independent professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the art and craft of Landscape Lighting. The CLVLT (Certified Low-Voltage Lighting Technician) is a tough test that will prepare you for the Craft of LL.
AOLP's COLD program (Certification of Outdoor Lighting Design) is a multi-year set of readings (from Jan Moyer's THE LANDSCAPE LIGHTING BOOK), projects, tests and a final design that is personally reviewed by Ms Moyer. Only the best survive this challenge. I'm sure that you, with your drive, will want to be one of the best. This is the ART of Landscape Lighting.
You should seriously consider devoting a week of your life to participate in the Landscape Lighting Institute, taught by Jan Moyer and held in her garden in Troy, NY. All who complete this program come away with a totally new understanding of what LL can do in a garden. It's where I started and I cannot think of any event/class that is more important for someone just starting in this art/craft/business.
The LLI is the only source of INDEPENDENT instruction in the world. Many manufacturers offer instruction and many are good. But ultimately, their goal is to sell you equipment. Jan's goal is to make you the BEST Landscape Lighting Designer you can be.
You may want to look at my web site <www.wlld.us> and go the BOOK REVIEWS section. This is my effort to make it easy for all who wish to know more about LL to find the best printed sources of information. I always welcome informed comments.
BTW - it is NOT possible to focus lighting during the day. To do your best work, you will work many long hours at night.
Thanks Richie and Tom.
I knew when I wrote about reading all the past posts, that it might be assumed that that was all I studied. I just didn't want to write an entire autobiography. I have read many websites as well, yours Tom, and the excellent articles by Steve on the Cast website. I also have Jan Moyer's book, 2nd edition.
Autobiographical: my college education is in journalism; worked for newspapers in Ohio and Connecticut; worked in front office management of pro soccer teams; also have done public relations; and sales; before I ever started my landscape business. I learned all the horticulture on my own and I know the growth habits of all plants and trees in the Midwest which should be an advantage in knowing how to lighlight them.
All of the earlier experience prepared me well for running a business.
As for the LLI. . It has also been recommended to me by Ken Martin. I know it is a little pricey to attend.
I'm not sure it is right for me at this point. How do you address my observation that I do not have many park-like estates as possible clients?
That is what the LLI practice area is. I have big, beautiful homes in my market but no estates like that.
One comment to AOLP if they are reading. I would love to study for and take the CLVLT test but I'm not ready to travel cross-country to do that.
Has the association considered giving the test elsewhere e.g. at local chapters?
Sorry I got long-winded here.
Yes, Jan's garden is large but, it is intentionally designed as a number of smaller gardens, each with different problems to challenge the students.
When I approach the challenge of designing the lighting for an estate, I create the design one garden feature at a time, keeping in mind how each relates to the next. Any other approach would be impossible... like trying to put both socks and your underwear on at the same time.
The CLVLT was successfully given 2 about weeks ago in California to serve as many members as possible. The plan is to continue to support the creation of chapters and to expand the number of locations the exam is offered. In any case, the CLVLT is always offered as part of the annual conference. The conference continues to grow every year. Your attendance next year could be a 2 run home run for you. I'll buy you a beer too.
I certainly don't discount your experience with plants... I wish I had the advantages such experience offers. But I know something about light and I know that LL Design is essentially solving a series of large (or small) 3D puzzles that must take into account where the eyes you are designing for will be at any time, within... or out of the (interconnected) spaces.
BTW, My undergrad degree is from the Grady School of Journalism at the U of GA. Basic training in how to observe life... I think. Didn't do it though... got hooked on Theatre and taught it for 22 years.
this answer can be found in Penthouse Forum ;-)