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Press release by Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) - July 2018

VL PressSignify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, today announced that its new LED stage luminaire, the Philips Vari-Lite VL2600 Profile, made a striking world debut on the stages of the Forestry Commission's Forest Live shows in June. Supplied by Pearce Hire, the VL2600s were used to light performances by artists including Gary Barlow, The Script, Kasabian and Paloma Faith on this summer's first Forest Live weekend.

Peterborough-based Pearce Hire is the first company in the world to invest in these latest luminaires from the Philips Vari-Lite brand. Impressed by the fixture's feature set, they purchased 40 VL2600 Profiles from London-based show lighting specialist Flashlight Ltd. Upon delivery, 20 fixtures were supplied to each of two Forest Live shows, at Thetford Forest in Suffolk and Delamere Forest in Cheshire.

Pearce Hire's General Manager Jim Brown says, "We'd looked at several alternative fixtures and the VL2600s were the brightest by a country mile. We do a lot of outdoor shows in the summer season, so we need fixtures with the light output to compete with daylight. The VL2600's brightness and the high color temperature produce beams that really stand out."

He adds, "A big plus was the two gobo wheels: having access to that number of effects gives real flexibility. Often fixtures will sacrifice the second gobo wheel to make room for the framing shutters, but with the VL2600 Profile there is no trade-off. They've got everything, the gobos, the framing, the quality optics, the colors - they're everything you would expect a Vari-Lite to be."

For the Forest Live shows, Pearce Hire's project manager John Huson created a flexible festival rig for the visiting lighting designers to use for their artists. Jamie Thompson, lighting designer for The Script, had his first hands-on experience with the fixtures. He says, "The VL2600 seem really great. It's nice to have a compact, bright moving head profile with the stunning optics that define Vari-Lite."

Pearce Hire and its clients also benefit from the lower powered LED technology, says Brown. "Many of our clients are concerned with sustainability and environmental impact, so the lower power usage is another plus. When using our diesel generators, the lower the power demand the better. Also, using LED means that we don't have to spend time and resources re-lamping."

Commenting on the price point of the VL2600 range, Brown says, "The price is very attractive, which gives us great confidence that we'll get the payback on our investment. If they were not so affordable we may have had to buy fewer of them, or cut back elsewhere, but the price didn't affect our decision to go for these fixtures - they are the best of their class that we've seen."

Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018. The legal name of Signify will be adopted across all global markets in the course of 2018-2019.

Signify Entertainment Lighting comprises the Philips Vari-Lite, Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon brands, as well as the Philips Showline range of LED stage luminaires.


MTT Gareth 1This latest edition of Pearce Hire’s ‘Meet the Team’ sees us introducing Gareth Seal. Which is perfect timing as Gareth has recently taken over management of Pearce Hire’s busy warehouse.

Gareth joined Pearce Hire early in 2016 putting his experience to good use in the busy lighting department - prepping and maintaining kit for constant turnaround and regular dry hire.

So far in his career, Gareth cites working at Pinewood Studios as one of his greatest achievements – and a pretty good name drop too! Gareth started his career there as soon as he left school, working for five years as a lighting apprentice on TV productions including Midsommer Murders and Holby City as well as some music videos and advert production. Following a move up to Cambridgeshire, Gareth worked for ELP as lighting/warehouse technician for a further 10 years, before the appeal of live events and festival production at Pearce Hire provided an opportunity for him to broaden his horizons and expand his knowledge base.

Having worked in Pearce Hire’s lighting department for the past 2 years, Gareth took over the role of warehouse manager at the beginning of 2018. He is loving the new challenges this role provides, and cites the incredibly friendly environment that Pearce Hire has as a real benefit for everyone on the team.

MTT Gareth 2Whilst he particularly enjoys working in the entertainment production industry, Gareth accepts that the frequently tight time constraints can be demanding. But this is balanced by the variety in the projects he and his team are prepping for week-in week-out which means no one day is ever the same!

When he does have time off he is a devoted family man to his wife and two daughters.

We always like to end our profiles with some words of wisdom! Gareth says the best piece of advice he has ever been given is to ‘keep at it, and concentrate on the detail of the equipment you are prepping’.

And for anyone looking to enter this industry, Gareth speaks from experience when he advises young technicians to ‘work hard and take every opportunity you are handed – you never know what might come of it.’

Wise words Gareth – thank you! And good luck as you enter the busy summer season – the warehouse team will be prepped and ready to go under your leadership!


hse 1Touring and event power company Pearce Hire in Peterborough recently hosted a workshop organised by James Eade with Patrick McGinley from the Health and Safety Executive, for a group of HSE electrical inspectors. The aim of the day was to share information about the application of generator safety measures, especially in relation to earthing requirements, and to discuss some new safety concepts that James is proposing for new IET guidance on the subject.

“The current guidance on generator earthing in particular has not seen many changes for years” notes James. “The advent of modern technologies such as inverter generators coupled with the widespread availability of residual current devices for protection is driving a need to revise current practices.”

Current British Standards and associated guidance categorises generators broadly as either under or over 15 kVA rating, with differing requirements accordingly. In practice that is seldom the case with modern sets all differing in earthing needs. The events and entertainment industry is probably the largest industry sector using generator-supplied temporary power systems and so changes to standards and guidance can have a significant impact.

Shaun Pearce, Managing Director Pearce Hire said that “it was a very thought-provoking day” and added that “it was an ideal opportunity for us to influence the decisions that will not only have a big impact on our company, but more importantly, our industry”.

hse 3“We were exceptionally fortunate to have the opportunity to discuss what could amount to quite a substantial change with HSE who were able to bring their collective experience in this area from sectors as diverse as fairgrounds to mining operations” said James, who’s aiming to have his new IET site guide published in time to coincide with the forthcoming 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations this summer.

The workshop dovetailed well with HSE’s current #HelpGBWorkWell campaign, part of which is keeping pace with technological (and other) changes. According to the HSE “Tackling the problems of tomorrow today is a responsible investment that protects workers, enables new and different approaches and provides the new knowledge, skills and expertise Great Britain can share internationally.” With the electrical safety of generator supplies this is very much the case, with the changes proposed being promoted to the International Electrotechnical Commission, responsible for developing international electrical safety standards which are widely adopted here and abroad.  

It also provided an opportunity to show HSE the way in which the events industry manages electrical safety using a combination of regular portable appliance checking and on-site inspection and testing in-line with the requirements of BS 7909. Enforcement of such events usually comes within the remit of local authorities, who may need to revert to HSE for technical support so it was a unique opportunity to present industry practices and methods to the experts from the HSE itself. Shaun commented that “it was a welcome opportunity to demonstrate our industry direct to HSE and showcase our operation, putting our safety regimes under such an expert review.”

In all it was a very successful day with attendees gaining valuable insights into each other’s areas, with the collective experience being used to hone the proposed forthcoming guidance.




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