March 15, 2012
Landscape lighting conference promotes industry improvement
Participants take part in a design case study at the lighting conference.
Now in its third year, Landscape Ontario’s Lighting Conference attracted 100 participants and 13 exhibitors.

Organized by the Landscape Ontario Landscape Lighting Sector Group, the event was held at Piper’s Heath Golf Club in Milton on Feb. 16.

This year exhibits highlighting new and innovative landscape lighting products were on display inside the room with attendees. It gave them an opportunity to see new products up close and talk to the suppliers throughout the day.

One of the exhibitors, Ernie Drougas of Unique Lighting in New England, said of the day, “It was an excellent opportunity to showcase our product to our target market. Everyone had lots of questions, and we look forward to next year.”

The morning keynote presentation, ‘Better Illumination for Outdoor Living’, was delivered by Doug Alderman from Palm Harbour, Fla. The session highlighted best practices and featured some new innovations.

Carl Hastings from Moonstruck Landscape Lighting treated attendees to design highlights from a 2012 Awards of Excellence top lighting project. He answered many in-depth questions about the project and shared some tricks and tips in the lighting trade.

John Calabrese from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) provided an update on new regulations that could affect the trade, as well as permit requirements. The audience flooded Calabrese with many good and relevant questions. It was a great opportunity to learn more about compliance and what could be next. All in attendance appreciated the ESA’s co-operative effort and the exchange of information.

The day capped off with the annual much-anticipated round-table discussions. Topics included a ‘Design Case Study’ by Ken Martin of Copper Expressions, who presented a walk-through of a hands-on case study, and Carl Hastings highlighting different types of control systems. Joe Willemse of DiMarco Landscape Lighting presented ‘Rules and Regulations.’ He discussed current ESA requirements and applicable codes, recommended installation guidelines, application and inspection process. Corey Yourkin from VBI moderated the topic of ‘Fixture Applications,’ which discussed choosing the proper fixture for the correct application, including a broad spectrum of niche fixtures. The final topic of ‘Sales and Pricing’ discussed best practices and reviewed what works and what doesn’t. It was delivered by George Urvari of Oriole Landscaping.

The end of the sessions was marked with refreshments for all at the Pipers Pub, courtesy of Illumicare Group.

“The event was a great success and reflects well on our industry,” said John Higo, chair of the Lighting Sector Group. “Attendees were engaged and left the day with a platform of new product information, and a renewed passion for landscape lighting.”

Exhibits on display were from the following supportive sponsors: Aurora Experience, Cast Lighting LLC, Focus Industries, FX Luminaire, Hunza Canada, Illumicare Group, John Deere Landscapes, Linzel Distributing, Martek Supply, Solutions Aquasol, Turf Care Products, Unique Lighting and Vista Professional Outdoor Lighting.

The sector group looks forward to announcing plans for the 2013 event.