A day in the life of a Quicklight Lighting Apprentice

George Barron Quicklight Lighting Apprentice

George Barron Quicklight Lighting Apprentice

The Quicklight Apprenticeship Programme offers aspiring electricians the chance to gain hands on experience in the electrical industry. The programme provides the opportunity to work alongside a team of experienced electricians and engineers, building a strong portfolio towards a City and Guilds Level 3 electrical qualification.

Over the past 10 years, Quicklight’s scheme has enjoyed great success, with many apprentices going on to qualify as certified electricians and engineers.

George Barron is a 17-year-old apprentice, currently 6 months into the programme.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing electrical projects. I did work experience with an electrician and it was then that I decided that this was the industry for me,” George says.

The four-year apprenticeships vary in format, depending on the college; however, a typical apprenticeship consists of four days on the job, with a day spent studying. George attends York College and says that the academic element focuses on areas such as health and safety, cable calculations, regulatory requirements, wiring and cable containment. Because the college element is only one day a week, George believes that the apprenticeship scheme will suit anyone who enjoys hands on learning.

“In a classroom you don’t get as much from it. I wanted hands-on experience,” he explains. “No two days are the same. If you get a call out, your plans can change at a moment’s notice and I really like that.”

George points out that assessments are conducted as and when the supervisor is confident that an apprentice is ready, which alleviates some of the pressure that students often feel in more academic environments with set deadlines.

Undertaking a four-year commitment is not for the faint of heart. George says that there are challenges, both in the classroom and in the field.

“I’ve found the varied start times challenging. We often start really early. In college, I’d say I find cable calculations the most challenging aspect. You need to know all of the different things that can affect the cable and have a strong understanding of the regulations.”

Apprentices work alongside experienced electricians and engineers, but George says that the electricians he works with have become more than just supervisors.

“We’re all close and we get along really well,” he explains. “If there are ever any problems, we can talk about it. It’s like a family and it’s nice to be a part of it. You’ve always got help, all you need to do is ask.”

If you are interested in becoming an apprentice with Quicklight more details of the programme can be found here.

Using LEDs: Does Quality Pay?

It’s no surprise that our customers often ask us to replace traditional lighting with LED fittings. The benefits of using LED lighting are obvious: they offer energy savings of up to 80% and can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 70%, when coupled with smart controls. LED products also have an extremely long lifetime which, in turn, leads to reduced maintenance costs. This infographic shows why it’s a great time to switch to LED.

Not all LED products, however, are equal. Many manufacturers promote LED products as a ‘fit and forget’ solution that will last a lifetime, but cheap and cheerful LEDs can fail to live up to these claims. To avoid this, we always recommend that our customers source good quality LED lights from a reputable manufacturer that offer a warranty. In our experience, this will ensure that your chosen LEDs will meet their working life claims.

We offer a full lighting refitting service, whether you’ve already purchased your LED lighting or would like us to both source and install it. We’ve fostered good relationships with all the major lighting manufacturers over the years. As a result, we can offer informed specialist advice about which LED products are best to use for your industry requirements. We can let you know which LEDs will meet your needs in terms of light temperature and lumen output, amongst other considerations.

There is a wide choice of LEDs on the market that we can confidently recommend. GE Lighting offers various ranges, including Precise™ and EnergySmart™, which offer a combination of high quality performance and energy efficiency, alongside their competitively-priced GE LED Start range. Learn more here.

When refitting your offices or retail environments, we properly dispose of all lights, improving your green credentials. We remove and recycle all lights under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. We are a registered waste carrier and fully accredited with the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems (ISO14001).


Contact us about our refitting and installation services.

The Branch Manager’s Guide to our Lighting Maintenance Service

We remain proactive regarding your lighting maintenance by providing a regular eight-week service visit, and offering an innovative ‘pay as you go’ business model. Read on to find out more about the benefits of our approach for you and your branches.

How does Quicklight’s lighting maintenance service work?

We provide regular eight-week service visits, with the option for urgent callouts if necessary. Our policy is to provide a ‘first-time fix’ whenever possible, so our highly-trained engineers are able to complete most jobs on the spot.

What are the benefits for branch managers?

Our lighting maintenance service is simple and cost-effective.

We offer consistent pricing no matter where you are in the UK, making it easier for you to control your branch budget and allocate funds to sites that need more maintenance work than others. We do this by agreeing a ‘menu-parts’ price list. This is a list of all the lamps and parts we may need to fit while looking after your lighting maintenance programme, and the price we charge for doing so.

We make it easier to control individual branch expenditure, by providing an electronic report after every eight-week service visit. This allows you to see exactly what you get for your money. If we identify any work that takes your branch over a pre-agreed ceiling limit, then we always seek prior authorisation before carrying out the work.

We are able to complete most jobs on the spot, by employing highly-trained engineers that are qualified to fit additional light fittings, and replace sockets or control switches. Also, each of our vans is equipped with an on-board Quicklift, which allows the engineers to reach lights up to eight metres (about 26 feet) in height. Having this equipment on-board means that the engineers don’t have to come back again later or pass on hire charges for specialised equipment.

Here are seven more reasons to work with us.

In the past I had to contact my head office to request a maintenance visit, is that still the case?

No. We provide regular eight-week service visits without you having to call your head office. That makes life easier for you and easier for your head office, and ensures that the lighting for your branch is regularly maintained.

If I need something done urgently, can I still request a callout?

Yes. However, by taking a proactive approach and providing eight-week service visits, the need to request ad hoc maintenance visits should be dramatically reduced. If you need to request a callout, you can phone our help desk free of charge on 0800 917 5721.

How much do you charge for a call out?

We don’t charge for callouts. To keep things as simple as possible, we only charge for any parts that we replace. The price for the part will include fitting. You will have previously agreed a ‘menu-parts’ price list with us. This is a list of all the lamps and parts we may need to fit while looking after your lighting maintenance programme, and the price we charge for doing so. You will also have a ‘floor limit’ set for your branch. We will always get approval for the work we do before we do it.

What else can you maintain?

We provide security and outside light maintenance, as well as maintenance services for illuminated signage. We also offer a number of electrical testing services including EICR, PAT testing and fire alarm system testing. We can also perform complete refits on a project basis for customers who want to upgrade to LED lighting, for example.


Contact us about our lighting maintenance and electrical testing services.

Three reasons to give our low-risk lighting maintenance service a try

Maintaining your facilities can be a risky business; with so many third parties to manage and contracts to monitor, it can be easy to lose sight of where you’re receiving value – and where you’re not.

At Quicklight we aim to take the risk out of lighting maintenance – offering a service that’s proactive and good value for money. Here are three reasons to give our low-risk service a try:

1. Trial period – evaluate our service first

We work very successfully with customers by offering them the ability to try our service in a few regional branches before rolling it out nationwide. Working this way helps customers understand what to expect when we run their lighting maintenance programmes and fully assess the value of the service we provide. Why is this low risk? Our approach puts you in control; if you are not happy, you can simply carry on as before. In practice though, as customers experience our service first hand and discover the benefits, they often ask us to extend the service to include more locations.

Lighting maintenance services UK

2. Flexible terms – contract or no contract, whatever you prefer

While contracts may be designed to protect both parties, sometimes they just cause problems for frustrated customers not receiving fair service levels. Traditional FM service providers tend to insist on three year, five year or even longer maintenance contracts, which puts the risk on the customer.

At Quicklight we recognised this frustration early on, and rather than allow contracts to dictate and possibly damage customer relationships, we decided to operate on a more flexible basis. Unlike most lighting maintenance providers, we won’t tie you into a contract – unless you prefer to work that way. If we can meet your needs and you would prefer to operate within a contract, we can provide a service level agreement (SLA) for you.

3. Proactive servicing – reduce the ‘noise’

We make it as easy as possible for our customers to do business with us by providing a proactive service. We visit your sites every four to eight weeks to test your lamps and pinpoint any issues. Not only does this save your facilities manager chasing up service calls, it means that lamps are often changed before employees have the chance to spot them – reducing the number of calls to head office with complaints about lighting. Our engineers carry all the necessary stock and access equipment on board their vans to provide a ‘first time fix’. And what’s more, we don’t charge extra for using the Quicklift.

Quicklight lighting maintenance engineer

What have you got to lose? Book your risk-free trial today.

Read more:

Everything you need to know about Quicklight’s commercial lighting maintenance service

Seven steps a Quicklight lighting maintenance engineer follows on site


Why choose Quicklight for your electrical compliance work?

If you are one of our lighting maintenance customers, you’ll be aware that we also provide a comprehensive range of electrical testing services. Over the last couple of years, this side of our business has grown substantially as customers realise they’ll get the same high quality of service – we are simply trusted to do a good job, whether it’s lighting maintenance or electrical testing.

Electrical testing services

As with our lighting maintenance service, we aim to make the process of compliance ‘hassle free’. Here are five good reasons to give our electrical testing services a try:

  • It represents good value for money – we offer a nationwide programme that will allow you to benefit from economies of scale.
  • It saves you time – simplify the communication process by only having one contractor to coordinate the work.
  • It’s convenient – we’ll hold all your certification in one place and send it to you electronically as and when you need it.
  • It’s flexible – we’ll work around you to minimise disruption to your premises.
  • We are a one-stop-shop – our highly trained engineers are also qualified to perform remedial work if necessary, making you more compliant after the first visit.

Why not put us to the test?

Before moving towards a national programme, put us to work at a handful of your sites and we’ll show you just how easy it is to do business with us.

For more information on our electrical testing services, visit our website or call 0800 9175 721.

Read more

Quicklight wins national electrical testing contract with FirstGroup plc

Six reasons to use a national supplier for all your electrical testing needs



Have you got what it takes to lead a team of lighting maintenance engineers?

One of the things we are proud of here at Quicklight is recognising the potential of our employees and encouraging them to progress in their chosen careers as much as possible.

A good example of this is team leader Paul Bowden. When he’s not training for triathlons and half marathons or restoring his new home, Paul leads a team of lighting maintenance engineers in the North of England, covering South and North Yorkshire. Paul started working for the company four years ago. Two years into his career, we encouraged him to apply for the position of team leader.

We spoke to Paul about his work and asked him about the support he was given to develop into the role. Here’s what he had to say:

  • What are you responsible for as a lighting maintenance team leader?

It’s my job to act as mentor and line manager for the engineers working in my area. I look after the general running of the territory – making sure customers are happy with the lighting maintenance service we provide and that everything runs smoothly. Having had the experience before, I’m often the engineers’ first port of call for technical assistance, helping them with any issues they might have.

  • Did you have any leadership experience before?

No, but I received plenty of support and training when I was promoted. I attended an internal leadership course to help me develop my management style. My direct line manager is great and provides plenty of on-going support in this area, offering me advice on how best to manage things. I also meet with my peers on a regular basis, so we can share common experiences and learn from each other.

  • What’s it like working away from head office?

Considering the company has over a hundred engineers working remotely, communication is very good and I never feel isolated. I attend meetings at the office in Thatcham every three to four months or so, which is great for catching up with staff based at head office and meeting people face-to-face who you might speak with regularly on the phone. Part of my role is also to feed information up and down the chain of communication so that we provide the best service possible.

  • What would you say to someone looking for a career here?

For me, it’s not a chore to go get up and go to work in the morning – I really enjoy my role. I’d say if you are looking for an organisation where hard work is rewarded, and I don’t just mean financially, then this is the company for you. You are able to get out what you put in – if you put in the effort, the rewards are there.

Team leader Paul Bowden with his youngest son on holiday in Disneyland

Team leader Paul Bowden with his youngest son on holiday in Disneyland

If you are interested in a lighting maintenance or electrical testing career at Quicklight, visit our jobs page online or speak to John Hutchinson on 01969 625 500 for an informal chat.

Read more

5 minutes with…Nicky Honey, Operations Director at Quicklight

Need help with ESOS compliance? Let Quicklight refit your lighting

Established by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last year, the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is designed to help companies identify where they can make energy savings. The scheme is DECC’s response to an EU directive on energy efficiency that will ultimately help thousands of companies save money on their energy bills.

Qualifying organisations* in the UK now have until 29th January 2016 to carry out their initial ESOS assessment. The mandatory assessment analyses every aspect of an organisation’s total energy consumption (including transport) and recommends where savings can be made.

Although there is no regulatory requirement to implement the measures identified in an audit, the government estimates that a typical ESOS audit will recognise potential cost savings that are more than 13.5 times greater than the cost of the audit itself.

Unless an organisation has already switched to using low-energy lighting, then this area is often identified as one that can be much more energy efficient. Large retailers with many hundred brightly lit stores can make a significant saving on their energy bills by upgrading to LED lighting.

LED lighting for retailers

This year more and more of our customers have asked us to refit their commercial lighting, either as part of the ESOS directive or a wider energy strategy. We work with customers to provide a solution that best suits their needs and refit the lights at a convenient time, often working through the night to minimise disruption.

If you are thinking about upgrading your commercial lighting, why not give us a call and ask about our refitting service? Call 0800 9175 721 or visit our website.

Find out more about ESOS on the Gov.uk website.

*Organisations or ‘large enterprises’ with over 250 people or with an annual turnover in excess of €50 million and an annual balance sheet in excess of €43 million.

Read more

Find out how Saint-Gobain are upgrading their lighting

Movie star LEDs show products in a great light

‘How can I get the best from my lighting maintenance budget?’

This is a common question asked by many facilities and property managers who are under pressure to improve services and control costs. Putting in place a lighting maintenance provision that achieves both goals can be challenging, especially for large organisations with branches throughout the UK.

Some choose to negotiate fixed-term contracts, usually between three to five years, with a regular supplier. Under the terms of the contract, the supplier completely replaces all of the lights in each building over a period of time – a process known as relamping – and return service visits are made as and when lamps fail or repairs are needed.

The process of relamping can work well, especially if you are looking for an across-the-board upgrade to energy saving lighting or the lamps are in such poor condition that the only viable option is to replace them all.

If, however, this is not the case, then relamping isn’t necessarily the ‘greenest’ option or the one that will provide the best value because a proportion of the lamps being recycled are still in good working order. This coupled with the fact that relamping entire sites can be a very disruptive and costly process, means that other options are increasing in popularity.

One option is to choose a supplier that will make regular visits your sites and only change and charge for replacement lamps if they have failed. If there is nothing to fix, there is no call out fee. With this option, customers only pay for what they need.

Lighting maintenance

We’ve been working this way with our customers very successfully for the last 15 years. We send our highly trained engineers to visit their sites every eight weeks. Customers are able to control their budget by setting a pre-agreed ceiling limit for each visit. If we identify work that takes the customer over the limit, we always seek prior authorisation first.

Read our case studies

Find out what Geraldine Hunt, Business Support Services Manager at Brammer thinks about our service and how it represents good value for money.

We don’t tie our customers into a fixed term contract, so why not give our proactive lighting maintenance service a go? Give us a call on 0800 9175 721 or find out more from our website


Quicklight’s guide to the Electrical Installation Condition Report

In this blog post, Richard Parry, operations manager for compliance, takes us through everything you need to know about the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) for commercial installations and looks at the process needed in order to achieve compliance.

Richard Parry

What is an EICR?

The EICR is a full and detailed report of the condition of the electrical wiring installations in a building. It is carried out in order to evaluate and maintain a building’s safety.

Formerly known as a periodic inspection or fixed wire test, the EICR provides the building owner/occupier with details on where installations may have been damaged or deteriorated over time.

In the report, faults and non-compliance issues are coded depending on their severity. C1 represents immediate danger, C2 highlights a potentially dangerous condition and C3 is where safety improvements are recommended in order to meet current regulations. In addition, the code F1 can be attributed when the inspection reveals an apparent deficiency that could not – due to the limitations or extent of the inspection – be fully identified.

If an installation is deemed ‘unsatisfactory,’ i.e. when C1, C2 and F1 issues are present, then remedial action needs to be taken to prevent the risk of fire or injury.

Why do I need to have one?

As an employer, it’s your legal responsibility to ensure that all electrical systems are in a safe condition and comply with current regulations. These have changed twice in the last five years, so it’s important to keep up to date.

As most electrical installations suffer from deterioration or damage throughout their operational life, a regular programme of electrical maintenance will help prevent defects and accidents, which may lead to a loss of productivity further down the line.

In order to prove you are not negligent in this area, some insurance companies will insist you provide them with compliance certification. The certification report is issued once an installation is deemed ‘satisfactory’, i.e. when all C1, C2 and F1 issues are resolved.

How often does it need to be carried out?

The period between inspections depends on the type of premises and specific risk assessments – for example, it’s advisable to carry out inspections before and after major building or equipment alterations, where changes to the electrical systems are made, or when a business takes over a building from previous tenants.

Sounds like a huge undertaking?

For facilities or property managers looking after multi-site businesses, electrical compliance can take up a great deal of time. However, working with a single contractor experienced in planning and implementing a nationwide programme of electrical maintenance can simplify the process. Dealing with one point of contact will make the communication process much easier.

Where do I start?

Firstly, take a look at when your properties were last inspected. Locate all of the previous certification reports and make a list, prioritising the properties most in need of attention. Then, work with a qualified* contractor to survey your sites, building up a picture of the financial commitment needed in order to achieve compliance.

Once a budget and timescale is agreed, the contractor will schedule a programme of testing that minimises disruption and electrical ‘down time’. It’s a good idea at this point to let employees know what is happening and when.

*Only contractors accredited by the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) are authorised to issue the certification, so make sure you ask for evidence of their accreditation.

What happens during the testing process?

Fully qualified engineers will perform a series of tests for each property. A visual inspection first identifies any obviously broken devices or ones installed in the wrong locations. With the use of test meters, the engineer will then perform a series of tests with the electrical system live and offline.

For defects not visible to the naked eye and where the electrical system cannot be fully powered down, the engineer will also use a thermal imaging camera to help identify problems in the circuitry.

Thermal imaging

When do I get my certification?

Once testing is complete, a comprehensive report is issued. If the engineer has used a laptop to prepare the report, it can be issued immediately after the testing is completed. The report will detail the extent and results of the inspection, and list any urgent repairs or remedial action necessary in order to achieve compliance. Ask your contractor to keep copies of all the test reports completed, so that you have a secure and central archive for all your sites.

What about remedial work?

Ask your contractor to quote for the remedial work identified on the report. Make sure the engineer is qualified to carry out the repairs. For safety reasons, faults in the C1 category will need to be corrected as soon as possible. Depending on the condition of the installation, the engineer should be able to carry out minor repairs the same day as the test.

If you look after a multi-site business and need help with electrical compliance, let us manage your programme of electrical testing. For details, call 0800 9175 721 or visit our website.

Read more

Six reasons to use a national supplier for all your electrical testing needs

Investment in electrical test equipment ‘heats up’ Quicklight’s compliance service


Sarah jumps at the chance to skydive for Parkinson’s UK

Employee Sarah Punshon has always wanted to skydive, so when she was given the opportunity to take part in an event organised by the charity Parkinson’s UK, she jumped at the chance.

“Parkinson’s is a charity close to my heart,” explains Sarah. “My Nan suffered from Parkinson’s for seven years, I want to help them be able to find a cure and support others who are suffering with it.”

Skydive Cambridgeshire takes place just outside a town called March in Cambridgeshire on Saturday 5th September. In order to participate, Sarah has to raise a minimum of £495. Her fundraising total so far is almost £700.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with the amount I’ve raised so far and extremely grateful to everyone who has donated. Everyone in the office has been extremely supportive,” said Sarah. To help raise funds, Sarah organised a ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’ and ‘guess the name of the teddy bear’ competition and a cake sale.

Sarah Punshon

With only six weeks to go, we asked Sarah how she was feeling: “Now that I’ve signed up and raised the money I’m really excited, however the more I think about what I’ve got to do the more nervous I get!”

Sarah has been working for Quicklight for just over a year. She joined as an office junior, but was promoted to accounts assistant to help with purchasing.

Whether it’s jumping out of a plane, baking cakes or taking part a charity bike ride, we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously and encourage our employees to give back to the community where possible.

We wish Sarah the best of luck with her skydive! If you’d like to support Sarah, visit her fundraising page here.