- Jul 23, 2019-
As lighting products become more versatile, certifying organizations will continue to train and verify the skills of designers, manufacturers, and installers who make and install lighting products, and in particular, LED lighting fixtures and systems that require more than a just rudimentary knowledge of electrical power wiring for optimum performance. These industry certifications provide end users with assurances that the LED products they have selected and the designers and installers who work with them have met rigorous safety, environmental, and performance standards.
Individuals and organizations that are interested in advanced LED lighting systems should inquire whether their designers, manufacturers, and installers have any industry certifications or endorsements. The National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP) is one of the more prominent certifying bodies. The NCQLP issues Lighting Certification (LC) designations to individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree and gained at least three years of experience in the lighting industry. The LC designation is then awarded after a qualified individual passes a 4-hour certifying examination.
More function-specific certifications are awarded by other industry associations. The International Association of Lighting Designers, for example, certifies architectural lighting design specialists who have at least three years of experience in lighting design. The International Association of Lighting management Companies (NALMCO) certifies lighting operators as Certified Lighting Management Consultants after they have demonstrated specific proficiencies. The Association of Energy Engineers awards a Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) designation on individuals who have acquired substantial experience in designing efficient lighting systems.
Certain federal and state governments have passed regulations that restrict certain government contracts to individuals and companies that have achieved certain industry designations or certifications. Lighting design projects in United States federal buildings, for example, can be awarded only to individuals and organizations that have achieved certain NCQLP certifications. At the state level,the National Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (NALCTP) has issued minimum standards that have been adopted by a few states to verify that contractors retained by those states have a minimum proficiency in lighting design and installation. End users who are concerned over whether their contractors have the proficiency to install specific types of LED or other lighting system should ask whether the contractor has provided any services for government entities. If the contractor has provided these services, there is a greater likelihood that the contractor has also achieved certain minimum levels of certification.
The American Lighting Association issues Certified Lighting Consultant and Lighting Specialist certifications to individuals and organizations that focus on the residential lighting market. The residential market is particularly fragmented with designers and installers who have widely varying degrees of proficiency. Homeowners that are interested in more complex lighting design and installation projects would be well-served by working with contractors that have demonstrated a level of proficiency that is evidenced by one of these certifications.