Locally Owned Lowest Rates Established 1981
Copyright© 1981 - 2016
Searchlights of San Diego
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Military usage of searchlights started in
the late 19th century originally mounted on a battleship to find torpedo boats.
Soon after that the artillery divisions added them for night combat.
World War I
A larger version than the shipboard type
became available during the First World War for artificial light for night
Searchlights became common appearance with
most every movie premier starting during this period.
The Searchlight beams
became a part of the 20th Century Fox logo in 1934 and still remains today.
Searchlights are as much a part of the Hollywood theme as the sign on the hill
or red carpet.
Forties pinup girl Susan Hayward poses with a 1930's Hollywood
A Klieg light is an intense light beam used
in filmmaking. Although not completely documented, the ellipsoidal reflector
spotlight was a Klieg light.
Trade names often become part of backstage
vernacular. Leko, Klieg, and so forth are terms all referring to an ellipsoidal
The terms Klieg light and Spotlights are often improperly
used when searchlights are desired for an event.
World War II
During the Second World War, General
Electric and the Sperry Company manufactured carbon arc searchlight models.
are mostly of 60” diameter with parabolic mirror reflectors. They reflected a
carbon arc in to the night sky that has an effective beam visibility of about 30
A separate trailer powered these searchlight units with an engine and
generator. These units were high maintenance and had their own Army or Navy
division for service and repair.
1948 - 1980
At wars end, these units were brought into
civilian mainstream. They were commonly used for attention getting events such
as Drive-In movies, Grand Opening Events, Car Dealers, and especially for
There are still a few of the carbon arc type searchlight units still around.
Parts have become scarce and many have been converted to a lamp configuration
instead of the problematic carbon arc rod feed system.
Most of these types are
now restored for historical purpose.
A company Pichel Industries, Temecula Ca.,
brought a new product to market called a Sky-Tracker.
It would use Xenon
lighting, large individual power supplies and coupled a fixed speed motion drive
system to project light beams into the night sky.
Over the next 10 years these
units would replace the older carbon arc searchlight units for most events.
Another new type of searchlight type light
beam unit would be developed out of Anaheim, Ca. It featured a HMI lamp and
would be excellent for smaller events that wanted a Hollywood theme but not the
noise and size of the carbon arc or Xenon trailer mounted units.
manufactures have since come into the market place with similar sized units.
Today, searchlights are used for Hollywood theme events, advertising, and
special events and are a terrific attention-getting tool.
Documentation from Britannica and Wikipedia
The newer type of searchlights are more like a
Hollywood "Kleig" light than the older carbon arch true searchlights.
The newer advertising type uses a bulb and ballast technology & have a fixed
shaft that does not rotate to less than 45 degrees from vertical.
This is the more desired configuration per the Operations Officers of the FAA in
the southern California region.
Generally, the advertising type searchlights used today do not pose a problem
Outdoor Event Lights, Film Festival Spotlights, Wedding Receptions, Boat
Parades, Pyro Show lighting, Hornblower events, Midway Museum Events, Batman
Lights, Tent Sales, Ad Lights, Advertising lights, Hollywood lights, Red Carpet