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Lighting Hospital Expands and Moves to Larger Premises
The Lighting Hospital - the UK and Europe’s only independent dedicated Electronic Service Department for the professional lighting industry - has recently moved to new expanded premises in Bristol. This has enabled further streamlining of its processes to offer an even faster and slicker service for damaged lighting kit needing urgent treatment.
The success of the operation, launched in 2009 by well-known industry engineer Dik Welland, has been built on the fast turnarounds, friendly and efficient service, attention to detail and the quality of the repairs – all of which carry a 90 day warranty, but with equipment rarely seen again. "We pride ourselves on the excellent recovery rate," says Dik.
The Lighting Hospital space now comprises over 2500 square feet dedicated to the repair of lighting fixtures of all types, specialising in electronic ballasts and moving light control boards as well as the full fixtures themselves and also lighting consoles.
Dik and his team of engineers and technicians have honed their skills to deal with the specific nature of certain ‘standard’ repairs that are encountered day-to-day, and also extended the scope of their work as the business has become more established.
With his extensive industry history and knowledge, from the start, Dik geared The Lighting Hospital to work in line with touring and live show schedules. The concept of when something needs fixing, often it needs to be now is fully understood, together with the stress and pressure involved, and the need for all repaired items to be returned to the right places … so the show will go on.
Says Peter "Pedro" Thompson, Interim head of lighting for Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Corteo’ European Tour : "Dik and his team understand the realities of a touring show and accommodate us very well."
This has been one of the elements contributing to the company’s rapid growth. The additional experience gained since the launch of The Lighting Hospital has also helped structure and refine the whole process from repair to pricing to the benefit of all clients. There is now a new competitive two tier pricing structure which means that quick repairs command a lower price than the time consuming longer fixes.
A vast body of ‘repair strategies’ has evolved and dramatically increased the range of items that can be dealt with to The
Lighting Hospital’s exacting standards. "New challenges appear as items hit their end of warranty periods," explains Dik "Allowing us to add them to our ever-expanding portfolio".
A roll-in loading bay at the new premises ensures smooth passage through the physical stages of the repair process – from triage to full recovery. Urgent repairs can be ‘expressed’ for a small additional charge and all items leave the building via FedEx or UPS and are fully traceable.
The new improved facilities plus a complete range of test rigs enables The Lighting Hospital to handle all types of moving light control boards and all Vari*Lite, Sheiderwerk and High End ballasts using their extensive range of dummy loads, igniters and lamps.
A new dedicated fixture repair department has been set up to deal with the repair of complete units from most major manufacturers, and The Lighting Hospital also supplies spare parts.
The Lighting Hospital is now also the official High End warranty repair centre, the UK Flying Pig repair centre, the Element Labs legacy repair centre for the EMEA region and it also stocks and supplies comprehensive spares for Element Labs, Vari*Lite, High End Systems and Flying Pig.
"Once rental companies or venues / installations have come to us they never look back," says Dik. The Lighting Hospital ensures broken and non-rentable fixtures are quickly returned to good working order and can be back out on the road again.
Ironically the Lighting Hospital’s own growth has been partly fuelled by the economic climate continuing to be challenging, with rental companies being keen to keep stock they already own working and earning … rather than investing in new kit.
One thing is for sure, no matter how robustly built and well-engineered products are, components and electronics can and do have problems – and The Lighting Hospital is ready to sort this out quickly and painlessly.
13th May 2013
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