Test, Inspection & Maintenance
Historically, stage lighting set-ups required a lot of maintenance. Tungsten/halogen bulbs would pop at the most inconvenient moment, colour filters would need changing, etc.
Fortunately, lighting technology has improved and the latest high power LED fixtures are built to last for at least 50,000 hours – that’s over 16,000 3 hour performances!
But some periodic maintenance is still required, primarily for safety reasons.
Professional LED fixtures run cool, so they are far less prone to heat related damage, but they still need to be PAT tested, normally once a year.
The electrical supply should be periodically checked, normally annually, to ensure correct fusing, continuity, polarity, earth bonding, insulation resistance, etc.
Winched Overhead Equipment
Any lifting equipment, including winches, ropes, pulleys, etc needs to be inspected, at least once a year under the requirements of LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations).
Fixed Overhead Equipment
All overhead equipment, including fixed lighting rigs, curtain tacks, etc should be periodically inspected to ensure that the suspension method is safely installed and remains fit for purpose.
As experienced stage & lighting suppliers and installers we are happy to provide advice on what needs to be checked, or to undertake this work for you. The FAQ section below should answer some of the most common questions.
If you’d like more information or a quotation, please call for details or complete the enquiry form below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it a legal requirement to test stage lighting?
Under current UK Health & Safety legislation there is a legal responsibility imposed on ALL levels of management to ensure a safe workplace for staff, visitors and (in the case of a school or college) students.
So, although not strictly a ‘legal’ requirement, it is highly advisable to get your stage lighting system checked regularly – typically annually. Insurance companies will generally insist on an annual documented check and the consequences of an accident, be it mechanical (eg a light or loudspeaker falling from height) or electrical (a fire, or a performer or operator receiving an electric shock), could potentially be very serious.
In addition to the above, any lifting equipment (eg lighting bar and scenery winches) will fall under the requirements of LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations). LOLER imposes further responsibilities on management and ALL lifting equipment should be inspected AT LEAST annually.
How often does my stage lighting need to be tested?
As discussed above, this will vary according to your individual risk assessment and the requirements of your insurance certification, etc, but typically annually.
What do you check during a service visit?
As a minimum requirement, we would need to check the mechanical and electrical safety of the installation. This typically involves checking all of the low level equipment, (eg power switching, power outlets, dimmer packs, control systems, winches, etc) and then erecting a scaffold tower to reach the lighting bar and other high level equipment. High level checks typically include checking the safety and security of the suspension system as well as inspecting the power outlets, lighting fixtures, etc.
Do my stage lights need to be PAT tested?
Unless they are covered under a separate contract, most clients also want their lighting fixtures to be PAT tested during the service visit. Most people will be familiar with the need to regularly PAT test equipment such as computers, monitors, kettles, etc. Stage lighting is no different, but it frequently gets missed off simply because the equipment is complicated to test and/or difficult to access.
Doesn’t my electrical contractor test the stage lighting system?
As discussed above, due to their complexity and inaccessibility, stage lighting systems generally get missed off the regular test, inspection and PAT testing regime. The electrical contractor will typically test as far as the distribution board, dimmer pack or fused outlet, but no further.
Are you DBS approved to work in schools and similar sites?
All of our engineers are DBS registered. If you need this information in advance of the service visit, please ask.
How long does the service visit take?
The time required to complete the test and inspection visit will vary depending on the size of the installation, ie the number of devices and circuits to test. If PAT testing is required, this adds a further series of tests to the list.
A small installation can be checked in around 3-4 hours. A larger one can take several days.
We generally undertake any minor repairs during the visit, frequently at no additional cost, but any more serious issues will be highlighted and discussed before proceeding with any additional work.
Will I receive a test report?
Once all the tests have been completed we will discuss any issues with you and a report will be prepared. The report is prepared at the office and typically takes around a week to complete.
Can you also PAT test my projector, powered loudspeakers, etc?
It makes sense to test all high level equipment once the scaffold tower is in-situ, so we are more than happy to add other items to the list, including bar/ceiling mounted projectors, powered loudspeakers, house lights, etc.