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Effort Ends to Amend Lighting Law

New Jersey law currently does not allow landscape contractors to install low-voltage landscape lighting. An effort to amend this law has fallen short.
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An effort to amend New Jersey state law to allow green industry professionals to install law voltage landscape lighting has been abandoned due to lack of interest.

The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) supported amendments to allow Green Industry Professionals to install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

“Low Voltage Landscape Lighting installation is a highly profitable service that companies may easily add to their other landscape offerings. NJ Law, however, unfairly restricts this work to electricians,” the association stated on its website.

Current New Jersey law (NJAC 45:5A-18) restricts this low voltage landscape lighting installation to licensed electrical contractors.

This restriction places 12-volt work in the same category as 120-volt work – requiring the same apprenticeship, training, testing, licensing and ongoing education for both. The NJLCA believes this makes no sense since, stating “12-volt installations are absolutely safe. There has never been a serious injury from contact with any conductor below 30 volts (compared to hundreds of deaths every year from 120 volts).”

In rallying its members to support an amendment current law, the NJLCA noted, “Landscape Lighting is an artistic profession best suited to those who design landscape features and who understand the esthetics and growing properties of plant materials. The work of landscape lighting involves a great deal of digging, pruning and placement of fixtures in the canopies of trees and shrubs. This is work that landscapers already do and that most electricians have no interest in doing.”

Michael Kukol, NJLCA legislative chair said the issue has subsequently been dropped in the state due to a lack of interest and participation in the industry.

“The only ones working on it and fighting for it were Cast Lighting and the New Jersey Green Industry Council (NJGIC),” he said. “Upon receiving very little support, they ran out of funds and drive and refused to put more money and effort into the issue. Both agreed that if others stepped forward with the funding and the energy - they would re-visit the project.”

Kukol said the NJLCA will be reaching out to all the contractors who install low voltage and ask them if they want us to pursue the issue further.”

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June 26, 2019, 12:03 pm PDT

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