Lighting is the single most important element in the visual environment. Effective lighting improves productivity and strengthens security. Lighting consumes up to 40 percent of the energy used in our buildings. A well-designed lighting system reduces energy, maintenance, and potential liability costs. Both public and private interests are served by more effective lighting and reduced operating costs. Rapid improvements in lighting systems and equipment offer potential solutions, yet they have also made lighting practice more complex.
As the lighting industry has grown, a number of efforts have been undertaken to differentiate the knowledgeable and qualified lighting practitioner. As a result, a need was recognized for an independent, industry-wide credentialing effort. Such a program addresses multiple issues that include: safety, health, productivity, energy conservation and effectiveness, environmental concerns, governmental policy, lighting technology, and competent, knowledgeable lighting practice.
The Lighting Certification Program was initiated by the lighting industry in 1991. Both lighting organizations as well as several governmental agencies whose mission encompasses lighting have been involved since the beginning. Lighting Certification is designed to set a baseline standard covering the entire scope of the vast lighting field. Utilizing the NCQLP’s testing mechanism, qualified individuals can earn their Lighting Certification designation. PSI, as NCQLP’s professional testing agency, provides the expertise of an independent testing company in the construction of a valid and reliable examination that covers the entire field. The LC Examination is also continuously reviewed by the NCQLP Examination Committee to ensure that the questions which are asked are current, comprehensive, fair and reflective of lighting applications as they are being practiced across our industry today.
The scope of the material covered within the Examination is comprehensive. Candidates are urged to thoroughly prepare to take this examination. No matter what your level of experience, everyone has areas within lighting that are less familiar than others. The Lighting Certification Examination is broadly based. However, anyone who has the required background can be successful. Students as interns do well as practitioners. But, it is important to remember to pay particular attention to areas of study in which your involvement has been less extensive.
To prepare to take the Examination, read the material in the Handbook carefully. It answers most of the commonly asked questions about the examination. The LC Examination is a 4 hour, two section examination. There are 180 multiple-choice questions. Eighty (80) of these are a series of job-related case studies. Most candidates have taken multiple-choice tests before and are familiar with these types of questions. However, being tested on case studies may be a testing mechanism with which you have had less experience. These questions, utilizing case studies, are included to test your ability to gather information and make decisions. To successfully answer them, you will need to focus on your application-oriented knowledge and skill.
Of course, there are a number of ways to enhance your preparation. Some find it useful to become a part of a Study Group. (NCQLP does not become involved in any test activities beyond the LC candidate handbook.) For others, it is more effective to study on their own. Or, you might do both to support your efforts to organize the reference texts in a meaningful way and identify topic areas within the Content Outline in which you feel you need to study in greater depth.
The NCQLP volunteers involved in this Program, are pleased that you are interested in becoming Lighting Certified. It is hoped that the information in the Handbook will contribute to your success in this endeavor. It is very encouraging to see the growing commitment to excellence that lighting professionals are exhibiting and NCQLP looks forward to your joining those within THE field who have chosen to become Lighting Certified.