When you invest in a stage lighting system, you expect high-quality and longevity. If your lights started to look dull and a bit past best only three years later, you’d understandably be frustrated. The disruption of having new lights installed wouldn’t be great for your business, and the expense certainly won’t be good for your bank balance.

Fortunately, if you do start to notice your lights losing brightness, it doesn’t always mean you’ll have to fork out again for another new set. Your stage lights may be old – or even faulty – but more often than not, they’re simply dirty and in desperate need of a good clean.

If yours could do with a little livening up, take a look at the simple steps detailed below. It might seem a bit of a mammoth task to clean all of your lighting kit in one go, but keeping them in top condition and maintaining them regularly will make all the difference in the long run.

Check your venue’s diary and find a few days when there are no events going on, then set aside an area front of house or backstage and get to work.

You’ll need:

Tools: Having tools on hand is important in case you need to dismantle the kit to clean inside.
Your equipment: Unplugged, safely placed on the ground and – most importantly – cool.
Cleaning solution: Cloths (lint free), mild detergent, water, vacuum cleaner, duster

Theatres can be dusty places, and dirt can gather quite thickly on your lantern stock. Begin by dusting down the outside of the lamps, particularly any openings or cooling vents around the light. You’ll need to clean these thoroughly and make sure that there’s no dust left, as it can be flammable if it gets into the wrong places. Wipe over any really dusty parts with a mild detergent and warm water.

Take the lamp apart as you usually would, remove the light from the casing and lay it somewhere safe. Then, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust from the inside of the casing and any cooling grills.

Clean the reflector (the silver bit inside), being careful to remove any marks but not to take any of the coating off- you’re just aiming to get rid of any dust or dirt smears.

Clean the lense on both sides by wiping away any dirt or dust build up with a damp cloth and mild detergent, then polish up using a lint-free duster. Avoid touching the lense, as finger marks will mean you have to start all over again!

Before putting the lamp back together, give all of the components a quick check over to look for any damage or possible faults that might cause problems later down the line. Look over the power cable for any splitting or loosening or any wires that might be fraying, and check the casing for any cracks or burn marks.

Don’t forget that your equipment should be certified for electrical safety, and regular Portable Appliance Tests (PAT) should be carried out. The frequency of these will depend on the type of equipment you’re using, and the environment you work in. But you can give your kit a better chance of passing these tests by performing these regular visual checks and electrical tests on the equipment yourself.

Carry out this simple maintenance regularly, and you’ll get much more use and longevity from your stage lighting- the lights will be bright again, and your shows and events will look as impressive and dazzling as they should. It might take a little time every now and again, but it will certainly make your job easier in the long run!

If you need any help or advice about testing or maintaining your equipment, we’d be happy to help. Here at PG Stage, we offer a range of testing, inspection and maintenance services, as well as kit repairs and full stage equipment installations. Feel free to get in touch for your no-obligation quotation!

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