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Grow Your Design Skills Through These Landscape Lighting Associations

Whether you’re just getting started or a pro with years in the industry, joining a professional association is a great way to deepen your knowledge and create life-long friendships with your peers in the landscape lighting community. We’ve curated a list of ClaroLux’s favorite landscape lighting associations and included a new up-and-coming landscape lighting organization for you to look into!    

Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals

The AOLP is well-known in the industry for offering two major designation courses to become a Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer (COLD) and a Certified Low Voltage Technician (CLVLT). 

In addition, the AOLP hosts the Illuminate Conference and Expo, which is a major draw for landscape lighting designers and manufacturers across the country. 

Andy Thomas, President of the AOLP, became a member in 2008, but he didn’t attend his first Illuminate conference until 2010. “I was trying to figure it out on my own for five years,” Thomas says. “I had to go out and find all that information. At [Illuminate], I was given that information… I met all the people who were able to do what I did and hear their ‘war stories.’ From products to clients, business tactics, sales tools, and all the things I was trying to find myself.” 

However, one of the biggest benefits to joining AOLP and attending Illuminate is the people you meet. “It’s always the people I’m going back to,” Thomas says. “That’s my biggest takeaway now and what brings me back.”   

ClaroLux is proud to be 2024 Gold Sponsors of AOLP’s Illuminate Conference and Expo and will have a booth at their upcoming conference in San Antonio, Texas: February 22-23, 2024.    

International Landscape Lighting Institute 

ILLI was founded by renowned landscape lighting designer Janet Lennox Moyer, who wrote the book (literally!) on landscape lighting design and installation.

ILLI offers a bi-annual Intensive Course (IC), an immersive five-day class on landscape lighting design. ILLI’s IC balances in-depth classroom instruction from industry pros and hands-on design practice. Each IC is limited to 27 Attendees who break up into three teams of nine designers. Each of these design teams are supported by designated Mentors from a group of over 16 previous IC graduates. The course culminates on Reveal Night—an event that is open to the public—when all three teams reveal their final, temporary landscape lighting designs. 

Jesse Loucks, president of ILLI, says ILLI’s Intensive Courses are an opportunity for everyone to learn, no matter their level of design experience. “If you talk to any mentors, they learn from the attendees. It’s a back and forth between mentors and attendees,” Loucks says. “All of us are eager to learn new ideas and use new products. We all get stuck in design ruts. You get comfortable, and then you get introduced to something new.” 

We’re proud to be 2024 Oak Sponsors of ILLI’s Intensive Courses.  

The Experiential Landscape Lighting Initiative

ELLI is an up-and-coming landscape lighting organization, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they have in store for the industry. Their mission is to help landscape lighting professionals build strong design skills and to increase consumer awareness of the benefits of landscape lighting.    

Currently, ELLI offers a series of online training courses, focusing on Design, Business, and Application. They also have plans to eventually offer live training courses at a training site in Kentucky.  

Are you a member of a landscape lighting organization? Tell us about your experience in the comments below! 

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