History – Certified Lighting

Our History

In America as well as Chattanooga in 1946 following the end of the war, everyone expected a better life than before the great world wars with the Great Depression causing poverty and hardship worldwide. There were major shortages in jobs and housing for those returning from war, around the world the start of the baby boom also started as couples married and had children, also there were still shortages of food, and materials.

During this difficult time in 1946 post-war Chattanooga, “Certified Lighting Service & Hobby Shop” was founded by Verlon Leftwich. The world was a different place than what we might imagine. The fluorescent light had been invented in 1903 but had not become part of everyday culture in part because of the wars and in part because it was still new “technology”. Fluorescent was such a new technology that it was not mass produced until the very year that Certified Lighting Service & Hobby Shop was started. Mr. Leftwich knew that hobby products had been time tested as a viable market at the time. So, hoping to carve out a living Mr. Leftwich started “Certified Lighting Service and Hobby Shop.”

The Hobby Shop portion of the business did well and always welcomed excited kids to browse year round. Parents frequently purchased birthday gifts and Christmas gifts leaning on the expertise of Mr. Leftwhich who was just a big kid at heart himself.

The fluorescent lighting started to take off in the mid-1950s and as this new alternative to the incandescent promised a brighter future with extreme energy savings, businesses and homes alike started the major shift to fluorescent light technology. During this time of growth, Mr. Leftwich’s son, Verlon Clyde “Skip” Leftwich Jr., took over the family business after his father’s retirement.

Skip Leftwhich graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and went on to work at the Macon-Bibb County Chamber of Commerce before returning to Chattanooga in 1971 to take over the family business. Skip Leftwich spent many years building a reputable and trusted business in the Chattanooga area. It was during this time, under Skip Leftwhich’s leadership, the company shifted to the more stable and commercial line of lighting services and maintenance. Certified Lighting Services dropped the Hobby Shop and continued to help drive the region into the brighter world of commercial lighting with services that included regular onsite maintenance at local soda shops,industrial warehouses, factories and businesses around the region.

Certified lighting has been mentioned in the news many times throughout the last 70 years, as a leader in the latest lighting technology, the company and it’s crew could be seen in some of the most peculiar places installing and changing lights at hard to reach, high atop building, locations.

Skip Leftwich passed away in 2001. His brother in law, Bill Reason (and business partner Richard Moore), bought the business in 2003 and continued to operate the great business that had been grown in the local area. Over time Bill Reason noticed that more and more requests for design and build of signage were coming in. Certified Lighting and Signs was born to take on the ever expanding lighted signage industry along with maintaining the lighting services and maintenance that Certified Light is known for.

Since 2003, Certified Lighting & Signs has added 5 service trucks to its fleet, including two 65 ft. crane trucks and one 55 ft. service truck. We acquired new sign making equipment and facilities, updated our accounting process, product inventory procedures and service operations areas of the company. The company has also grown in service territory, product availability and service specialties.

This expansion brought many changes over the last two decades as the company expanded to buy newer service trucks and bring in staff to replace those retiring. New technology in CNC Routers and computerized systems have been brought in to stay ahead of the industry and continue to be the “go to” company for all of Chattanooga and the Region’s specialized lighting and signage needs from design and install to service and maintenance.

Lighting offers a tremendous potential for saving energy and money. Using the best technologies, a typical U.S. business can cost-effectively save 70-80 percent of the energy used in its lighting systems without any loss of function. Additionally, improving lighting design can also lower maintenance costs and increase worker productivity.

Certified Lighting & Signs has access to the latest innovations and technology in the commercial lighting industry, utilizing this information to provide better lighting & sign service for Chattanooga and the surrounding area. Through the years, we have continued to offer the best signs and service to our Customers. Doing business since 1946, we take pride in what we do.

The company has over 70 years of industry experience. Add to that our dedication to service and quality of product and workmanship and you will find that Certified Lighting & Signs can meet all your signage and lighting needs. Be sure you call us today and let us put our vast knowledge and years of experience to work for you.

“I have been working with Certified Lighting now for 3+ years. The whole team you deal with is very professional. This is a company that does what they say they will do. All jobs I have partnered with them on came in on budget, and on time.”

“The install crew is awesome. If an issues arise in the field, they think on their feet and come up with solutions, not excuses. I would highly recommend Certified Lighting for all your signage and lighting needs.”

Kevin Horne
Senior Program Manager for Stratus

“Certified Lighting’s team is the perfect partner for our company’s largest national construction-based project. Their attention to detail and knowledge allowed our joint efforts to exceed our client’s expectation and we look forward to partnering again on future projects.”

Elise Fine
Project Manager for Bailiwick

“Certified Lighting has been such a pleasure to work with. They go above and beyond to get all of our projects completed on time and do so in the most professional manor. Their staff and field technicians are knowledgeable and have a mind for on-site problem solving to help come up with a solution to any issues that may arise. I consider Certified to be an invaluable partner who helps me meet my customer’s expectations with every project that they touch.”

Wanda Yarborough
Project Manager for Atlas