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Lighting system innovations shine light on value of specialized training

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 07:00
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You don’t want to be in the dark when called upon to help shine some light on meeting the vehicle lighting needs of your DIFM and DIY customers. Having evolved into becoming a bit more complicated than simply pushing in a matching bulb, obtaining the necessary education to impart illuminating repair and replacement information is taking on heightened importance.

“Good lighting knowledge is paramount to good lighting sales,” says Ann-Marie Hines, senior marketing manager at Lumileds LLC (founded by Philips).

At this year’s Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas the company is launching its Phillips Automotive Lighting Training Academy. “The primary focus of this program will be to train, inform and educate our retail partners and their service customers on lighting sales and service so they can grow their lighting business and maximize their profitability,” she says.

“The program will feature a series of modules that will cover everything our customers will need to know in order to create the best lighting selling experience. It will include lighting basics, performance, product technology, installation, maintenance and merchandising.” More modules are to be continually added to expand the program.

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“Our best advice for both retailers and shops is to check the vehicle’s shop manual and review the manufacturer’s recommended replacement procedure for servicing the headlamp properly. Some of this information is also available from technical information services such as ALLDATA and Mitchell,” says Hines.

“To help customers find the right bulb for the application, we offer both a print version of our Philips catalog and an easy-to-use Philips online bulb finder that retailers, shops and do-it-yourselfers can use to search for their bulb application by vehicle year, make and model.”

“In addition to their primary safety function as forward lighting, carmakers have been using them as key styling elements,” Hines continues. “As a result, headlamps have become more complex, and because of their integration into the body of the vehicle, more difficult to service. Most technicians will agree that lighting maintenance was much easier in the age of the sealed beam headlamp. Replacement was simple. Removing the mounting rim gave you access to the headlamp, which could be easily removed and replaced from the front of the vehicle.

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