About us


About us

Our Business

Founded in 1981



Since our founding in 1981, Searchlights of San Diego has been focused on advertising and special effect outdoor lighting. Our niche focus enables us to provide unparalleled service to your venue and integrate into your event's other elements. For many years, we have been the only business based in all of San Diego County to offer the Sky Tracker units, the only operator of Sky Cannons in all of Southern California, and our 2-Beam Sky Cannon Trailers are unique in the industry. We seamlessly work alongside all other marketing, party rental, and production lighting/entertainment specialists.

In late 2015, we reorganized our business structure to eliminate the need to charge sales tax on each rental--in most cases, we have been able to save our customers 8% without altering our pricing structure. We did this under guidelines provided by the California State Board of Equalization's Publication 46. Even though this change cost us many thousands of dollars, we felt that finding a way to reduce the total cost to our customers was the responsible decision.




The Staff

Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark has taken over many of the daily operations for the business. He has an electronics engineering background with experience in the aerospace industry. He has also served in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was seriously wounded and subsequently medically retired. His addition to the Searchlights of San Diego team allows Pat to focus more of his time on family and friends.

Pat Richards

Pat Richards is well established as the local and regional expert on all Searchlight equipment. He and his wife, Carol, operated the business without much additional assistance for many years. While they are looking to enjoy their retirement years, Pat remains actively involved in the business and its continued success. Pat's background includes service in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War as an Electronics Technician with significant experience repairing radar equipment. Following his service, he worked in the music industry before taking ownership of Searchlights of San Diego.




Student Practice

We operate as a very small business in an interesting market niche. There is no marketing department separate from billing, legal, and maintenance. If you are a student interested in becoming an entrepreneur or wish to experience all aspects of how a business is run, we are open to accepting internships. We are also happy to work with local educators, at any level, looking for real businesses to include in case studies or other learning activities. If this sounds exciting, please give us a call (619-442-9700) or an email and we'll discuss the details.




Operations and Engineering

While we are not actively seeking additional staff, we do find that additional help is needed from time to time. If you have special skills or experience and are interested in a part-time role with us, please send your resume or other work experience to info@searchlightsofsandiego.com and include a description of how you'd like to be part of our team. Being such a small operation, we tend to cover all areas of responsibility even if it's not the most efficient use of time.