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As in most fields, the lighting industry has professional development programs and several tiers of certification tiers/designations to identify expertise in its community of members. These certifications are not a prerequisite to working in the industry and certainly not for purchasing lights but they’re useful because they highlight and help one to achieve a certain level of professional competence. We recommend working with Certified Lighting Experts because you will typically benefit from their knowledge and maximize the likelihood of having a well-installed and efficient lighting system.

Types of Lighting Certifications

The most well recognized certification program is administered by the American Lighting Association (ALA). They have five different qualifications and/or professional designations. Here’s what to look for:


  1. Lighting Associate:

    The term Lighting Associate (LA) is tailored for sales and lighting design professionals just beginning their careers in the industry. The certification involves 10 ALA courses that begin with basic lighting knowledge and design techniques.
  1. Lighting Specialist:

    The term Lighting Specialist (LS) is associated with a more advanced accreditation. To earn the LS designation an individual must purchase and study the Residential Lighting Training Manual from the ALA and then successfully pass a comprehensive examination. According to the ALA, the certification involves more in depth training in technical knowledge like “light sources, light fixtures, residential lighting design, and effective selling techniques.”  
  1. Certified Lighting Consultant:

    The Certified Lighting Consultant (CLC) qualification is only available to those individuals (ALA members) who have already achieved their LS certification. The CLC rating indicates the highest level of professional competence currently offered by the ALA and is geared towards lighting business owners, professional lighting designers, and sales representatives. Certification requires both ALA coursework and the successful completion of a blueprint examination.  
  1. Certificate Specialist:

    This is an additional program intended only for those already carrying the LS or CLC designations. The qualification is designed to provide a certificate indicating specialized knowledge for a particular lighting application. Examples might include certifications geared towards a specific room type (e.g. “kitchen lighting” or “bath lighting”) or focused on a particular type or category of lighting (e.g. “recessed lighting” or “track lighting”). As of 2016 courses were also available from the ALA for lighting functionality in general (“lamps” and “light sources”).
  1. Certified Lighting Manufacturer’s Representative:

    According to the ALA, the Certified Lighting Manufacturer’s Representative (CLMR) rating is designed for “independent manufacturer’s representatives who have been in the lighting industry for at least 24 months.” Attaining certification as a CLMR requires several industry related letters of recommendation and successful completion of technical training in lighting technology and sales.

The CLMR rating is a separate and somewhat independent certification from the rest of the certifications available. All of the rest (LA, LS, CLC, and Certificate Specialist ratings) build on one another with the highest available rating being the CLC and any additional or specialist knowledge being highlighted/attained through a Certificate Specialist rating.Stouch Lighting: LED Light Distributor Company Overview

Additionally, the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP) offers a certification exam to become Lighting Certified (LC). The NCQLP is a non-profit organization that tests for competency in lighting techniques and knowledge across the industry. The Association of Energy Engineers also offers a Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional rating. Here’s 

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what they have to say: “AEE's Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as 

leaders in the field of lighting efficiency. The designation CLEP identifies individuals who have demonstrated high levels of experience, competence, proficiency, and ethical fitness, bringing to their professional activities the full scope of knowledge requisite to the development and implementation of effective lighting efficiency solutions within the commercial, industrial, institutional and governmental market sectors.

If you are looking for expert help with a lighting retrofit project, we have trained and experienced professionals that can help you get it done professionally and with a result you will be proud of. Please contact Stouch Lighting for help with your lighting project.