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Market Report: Lighting & Heating : Options to consider
Manufacturers are busy developing lighting equipment incorporating systems designed to bring operational efficiency with cost-effectiveness.
New technology can be something of a double-edged sword. Advances bring benefits to end users in terms of running costs and operational efficiencies, but there can be a learning curve for operators to follow in understanding how the systems work, especially if there are numerous options available.
In recent years, the lighting equipment market has certainly seen many new products incorporating technologies such as LED lamps replacing metal halide ones and the introduction of mobile lighting towers with more economical and environmentally friendly engines. There are also machines running wholly or partly on battery power, plus options for harnessing solar or wind power.
Given this fast-moving scenario, it can be difficult for customers to keep up with the latest developments as they look to improve their carbon footprint. One supplier recognising this is Trime UK, whose MD, Paul Hay, told EHN that the company is providing customers with information explaining the various systems available, including engine powered, battery and hybrid machines.
Similar to the car industry
“The lighting tower market has almost become similar to the car industry, with manufacturers offering diesel, electric and hybrid machines. Customers need to be provided with the appropriate information to understand them. We are placing more advice on our website to explain the various technologies. This includes a series of blogs on various topics, together with a series of ‘white papers’ on issues such as the different power sources available and the most suitable systems for particular applications.
“Generally, the market is as strong as ever and we are seeing continued growth. The construction and events industries are obviously important, and we are experiencing demand from film
and television production companies seeking quieter units like our hybrid machines.”
Similarly, Chris Archer, MD of BGG (UK) which offers Bruno machines, says, “The lighting tower market grows every year. Users continue to look for more efficient ways of working. For example, we are seeing more interest in products like our SiteLight-RT and ST road-tow and static lighting towers, which generate a 48V supply to power the LED lights rather than 240V.
“Battery powered systems are coming to the fore because of environmental considerations. However, some contractors want to have their cake and eat it: they see the environmental and operational benefits of not having to use and store fossil fuels, but they question the cost of the technology without taking into account the saving they will make on not buying diesel. Again,
there is something of an educational process to be undertaken.”
Knowledge and expertise
This year, Morris Site Machinery is celebrating 25 years of its SMC lighting tower brand. In 2010, when Morris acquired Sandhurst Manufacturing Ltd (SMC), it was producing just one lighting tower model, the SMC TL90 metal halide machine. Today, the business offers over 25 variations of its towers. These are used in the UK and overseas in the hire, construction, road and rail, oil and gas, events, TV and film markets.
Speaking earlier this year during the company’s milestone celebrations, Morris Site Machinery MD, Allan Binstead, said, “A key part of the SMC success lies in the accumulated knowledge and expertise of those central to the new product development for the brand during that time.” The team behind the machines, namely Paul Kelham, SMC Operations Director, Robin Brand, Chief Design Engineer and Roger Burland, Development Engineer, have worked together for over 25 years and they designed the very first lighting tower for the company, the TL35.
SMC claims to have been the first to develop a British-built solar lighting tower. Today’s model, the TL55 Solar, offers up to 500 hours uninterrupted run time from the battery and indefinite lighting when including solar power. “We now have our most comprehensive lighting tower line-up of all time, from ultimate, standard to value ranges to suit all budgets and requirements,” said Allan Binstead.
David Oates, MD of Pramac-Generac UK, told EHN that, “In the current climate we are seeing a market of two halves. With so much uncertainty around the timing of government projects and wider infrastructure ones, our customers are being more prudent with CapEx spend during Q2/3 than in previous years. However, OpEx spend is increasing as many undertake fix-and-repair strategies to help lengthen the lifespan of their rental fleets and meet customer demand in the short term. We anticipate that towards the end of 2019 and early 2020, the hire industry will adopt a more targeted approach to purchasing both industrial lighting and power generation equipment for their fleets. Hirers will always need light and power, but products which incorporate new fuel technologies and operate at reduced noise levels to meet legislation, are creating more demand.
“As such, we are looking at introducing designs to the market that are compact and more efficient, blending under the hood technical developments such as telemetry, with lower emission engine offerings. Our goal is to offer greater versatility and choice for our customers.” •