Intensive Lighting Design Course Oct. 22-27
Past Attendees Say the IDFTC Is a Life-Changer
Scott Williams, a professor at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, will be one the mentors when the International Landscape Lighting Institute holds its next Intensive Design and Field Training Course in Arizona from Oct. 22-27. Williams will resume teaching an Exterior Lighting Design class in January 2016 at the University of Oklahoma. The ILLI's Intensive Training Course is being held in Rio Verde, Ariz.
Anyone who has a passion for landscape lighting and considers it an art form might want to consider attending the Intensive Design and Field Training Course from Oct. 22-27 in Rio Verde, Ariz.
This seminar is aptly named, because participants are exposed to 50 hours of lectures, workshops and demonstrations - all of them focusing on the design, installation and maintenance of landscape lighting systems. Attendees also complete a capstone project as the finale for the five-day seminar.
The International Landscape Lighting Institute, based in Troy, N.Y., is hosting the 2015 IDFTC and is going through a bit of "turmoil" lately, because its founder, Janet Lennox Moyer, recently moved from New York to Arizona.
It's one of the reasons why the IDFTC has been moved to Rio Verde, although the switch is only temporary. Moyer, the author of "The Lighting Landscape Book," is considered an authority on the subject of outdoor lighting.
"Each Intensive Training Course is limited to 18 attendees," Moyer said. "To help them get through the 12-hour per day 'boot camp,' we have 22 mentors, with three assigned to each mockup group and the rest that facilitate for the attendees.
"Almost to a person, people that take the course say that it changes their life," Moyer said. "The people that take the course vary from pilots and nurses to landscape architects, designers, contractors; lighting designers and contractors, manufacturers and owners; lighting distributors; and just generally interested people."
There are still six spots open in this week's IDFTC, as of Friday, Oct. 16. But late signups would still be accepted. "We are doing a permanent installation as the course project, sponsored by five manufacturers," she said.
"We normally give up to two of these five-day courses in Brunswick, New York," Moyer added. "In the future, we will be adding courses in various places. They may not all be Intensive Courses, as we are planning an introduction course that will be available online; a pruning course (for lighting! of course); and other special courses."
After this week's IDFTC, the board of directors of ILLI will meet and begin talking about a schedule of events for 2016. She said the IDFTC would probably return to New York, even though ILLI has permanent facilities in both Troy and Rio Verde for future training seminars.
One of the reasons Moyer started ILLI in 2010 was because there isn't a college or university anywhere in the world that specifically targets landscape lighting as its own distinct form of art.
She said the IES covers some aspects of the issue as outdoor lighting, and it does a fine job of it. But it (landscape lighting) is "a really, really difficult thing to do well," she said.
"There is too much not-very-good landscape lighting around," Moyer added. "It's a big deal." A landscape with lighting that is done well is "beautiful" to behold. "But bad landscape lighting is really awful."
"ILLI's mission is to inform, educate and preserve the art of landscape lighting, allowing people to safely and securely navigate in the dark while providing a beautiful environment at night," Scott Williams, who attended his first IDFTC in 2012 and is now a member of its mentor team, said.
"Our only goal in life is education," Moyer said.
ILLI is attempting to partner with the University of Colorado, Boulder, and has already done so, to some extent, with the University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Williams is the professor of a class called Exterior Lighting Design that he will resume teaching in the spring semester - it begins in January 2016 - at the University of Oklahoma.
The ILLI is a foundation designed to educate anyone who would like to learn "how to light the night," its website says. "It is dedicated to landscape lighting design, where interior designers, artists and professionals in the field of lighting - and those students who have a passion and an interest - have an opportunity to learn design elements, gain practical experience and work with an array of equipment options now available from manufacturers."
"The ILLI Intensive Training Course will help every lighting designer be better at the art of exterior lighting," said John Pletcher, also an IDFTC mentor.
"One of the most rewarding aspects is that it has material and instruction suitable for the new lighting designer to the one already operating an exterior lighting company or division," Pletcher, owner and principal designer of Natural Accents Lighting Design, said. "Even now, when I return to the course as an instructor, I walk away being a better designer."
"Once you've completed the class," Moyer said on the ILLI website, "you will be able to create beautiful landscape lighting compositions, correctly install the equipment required to create your design, have the understanding and tools to document the system to ensure its longevity, and know the steps to properly maintain the equipment over time."