Atlantic Illumination Entertainment Lighting

An AIEL Instructional

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Tech Tips


Being Conscientious
and Thrifty in the
21st Century

Despite the push toward environmental awareness, we are
still too much of a throw-away society. Yet consumers
want the lowest possible price. Disposing of useful
items and keeping prices low really do not go together.

Presented here is advice that can see your business being
more friendly to the environment and still save money --
either for yourself, your employer or a client.



The Nickel and Dime Approach

Reuse, Repair,

"Obsolete" Equipment

Buy Supplies

Stock Up on
Sale Items

Replacement Lamp

One Sprayer
per Product

Buy Only
Metric Tools

Need a
Larger Shop Space?



The Nickel & Dime Approach

    To be competitive, continually discarding equipment and buying new replacements is not always cost effective. Refurbishing present equipment that is still useful is one way to keep costs low. Employing the money-saving suggestions here will also result in cost reductions for the stage lighting shop, but one may adapt them for general business, too. Some tips will be obvious to the experienced, but for the newbie, this article will be a shortcut to being more financially efficient.

    Some will say: "It's not worth saving only $10.00 or 10 minutes." These persons have not considered that if these techniques are applied to ten items and tasks, $100.00 and one hour and forty minutes will be saved. Doing this 100 times in a year would yield savings of $10,000 and more than twenty 8-hour days. Perhaps for a large company this could be ignored, but for a small one or an individual working at home, the extra money is very welcomed. Even if the time money and time is 10% of the extreme example given, saving $1,000 and two 8-hour days is not to be ignored. Your path to lower operating costs starts with small savings, and here they are:

Solvents:               Red
Multipurpose Cleaner:   Yellow
Disinfectants:          Green
Glass Cleaner:          Blue
Lubricants:             Orange
Oils:                   Brown
Polishes:               White

    To have these products last longer, dilute them. Some concentrations may be stronger than your requirements dictate. In particular, water-based liquids can be diluted with ordinary tap water unless that water is excessively hard. Experiment to find which dilution ratio works well. Start by adding 5 or 10% water to soaps, hand lotions and cleaners. This will stretch your budget while introducing smaller quantities of these items into the environment. Be aware that glass cleaners may leave streaks if diluted with tap water; it is suggested here to use distilled water. Dilute the spray bottle contents so that you can test the ratio with that quantity rather than possibly over-diluting the bulk quantity. This also ensures that one still has the full-strength product available for when it might be needed.

TIP: If cleaner or soap nozzles develop clogs or
their mechanisms become sluggish, they can often be
cleaned by pumping hot water through them and/or by
inserting a small-diameter pin into the nozzle opening.

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