Storing and Labeling Simpson College’s Inventory of new lighting instruments

Each year the student lighting crew at Theatre Simpson are asked to inventory all of the lighting equipment in preparation for the use of the facility by the Des Moines Metro Opera.  This is the first year that that inventory has included the entirety of the new lighting instrumentation including all 382 various lighting fixtures (previously we only had aboutf 200 fixtures).  Over the course of the past year, we have taken steps to create sufficient storage battens (distributed around the venue) to allow the fixtures to be conveniently and safely stored, leaving sufficient access to the fixtures that they can be inspected and the status of each instrument assessed.

Part of this process has entailed giving each fixture a unique inventory control number.  I use a 4 or 5 digit, hyphenated sequence to create unique labels for each fixture.  For example, the first of the 120 source four 26-degree fixtures carries the designator 26-01 while the last in the sequence is 26-120.  Each fixture gets this number affixed to each major components, one on each side of the barrel (such that each half of the 2-part barrel carries this designation), one on the lamp base assembly, and one on the top and the bottom of the fixture body.

In order for these labels to be clearly visible while in the storage positions and in order for the fixtures to fit most conveniently in their storage positions, I have the students pay particular attention as to which way the fixture is facing, the positions of the barrel and the shutters and so on.

Diagram Showing Theatre Simpson Way of Hanging ETC Ellipsoidal Spotlights on Storage Battens
Several colleagues with whom I have shared my procedures find this level of attention to detail somewhat obsessive.  Perhaps in another situation it would be.  However, the labels permit tracking of each unit and can be used to identify trends that might suggest ongoing problems, while a codified method and standards for storing the fixtures assures that the labeling is visible and minimizes unnecessary wear on the inventory

That’s all for now.

Have fun!  But be safe!

SJM

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