Prepare and operate discharge lighting systems

Business Sectors (Suites): Lighting for Film and TV
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 29 Mar 2020


​This standard is about preparing and rigging lighting discharge equipment, making safety checks, and preparing any specialist lighting and systems. The standard also covers operating a range of lighting equipment, lighting the set, and informing performers and other colleagues and stakeholders about the safe use of equipment.

This standard covers the use of the following lighting systems: luminaires, tungsten lamps, LED lighting, HMI lighting and Fluorescent.

This standard covers the knowledge of and operating within the electrical standards and approved codes of practice with codes BS7671 and BS7909.

This standard is for those working as Lighting technicians, Best Boys and Gaffers.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​carry out operational and safety checks on the equipment prior to its use following organisational procedures and current health and safety regulations
  2. rig discharge lighting systems in accordance with manufacturers' instructions
  3. identify problems associated with the lighting systems' header cables, ballasts and lighting systems heads before replacement
  4. check electronic ballast operation for flicker free or silent mode, dimming functioning and that all the discharge equipment is operating at the same frequency
  5. protect the electronic ballasts from environmental conditions which would affect their reliability
  6. assess risks to prevent any damage to the lighting systems  
  7. inform the production and crew of any special precautions that apply to the equipment and its use
  8. operate and move the equipment safely and as requested by the person responsible for the lighting

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​the different types of discharge lighting system and when these should be used
  2. the local electrical supply voltages and frequencies, and their effect on discharge lighting systems
  3. the industry best practice for lamp use, handling and disposal procedures
  4. the technical description of the equipment in use
  5. the manufacturers' recommendations for use, including burning angles of lamps and installation of lamps / bulbs
  6. awareness of UV radiation and how to control it and how to reduce associated risks
  7. how to optimise consistent arc quality, colour temperature and lamp life
  8. how to fault find on discharge lighting systems
  9. the connection arrangements applicable to the equipment discipline in use, including current health and safety regulations and guidelines as well as industry best practice
  10. the importance of communicating with the production crew about safe equipment use and precautions
  11. ways of preparing, moving and operating the equipment


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, Media and Communication, Performing Arts, Skilled Trades NEC, Skilled Trades Occupations

SOC Code



discharge lighting systems; electronic ballast; risks, ligthing systems; crew; health and safety regulations;