Some items are more difficult to pack, move, and store than the others. Lighting equipment and fixtures are the perfect examples. Due to their delicate materials and sometimes antique origin, they deserve special attention when moving from one place to another, as well as when storing. That is why we have made a list of tips for packing and storing lighting for you to refer to when necessary!
Where to start?
When relocating your lighting, it is essential that you don't rush anything. Planning this process is just as important as performing it. Packing and storing lighting is far more complicated than packing and storing your summer clothes. That also means that if you are packing your lighting for moving, you should hire professional movers. That is your starting point. Check their availability, read some of the reviews and ask all the questions that you need to get answered before hiring a moving company. If your plan is just to store your lighting after packing it, make sure that you research the storage units worth your money. There are some things you should know about these units before you opt for them, but we will get to that part a little bit later.
Get the right packing supplies
Never underestimate the importance of packing materials. Top-quality supplies are necessary for packing valuable items, whether they have financial or only sentimental value.
Choose the proper boxes
When we talk about packing your lighting equipment, the best choice you can make is to put the items into their original boxes or cases. However, that is not always an option. In such cases, you will need specialty boxes that are designed for packing fragile items. You will need a separate box for each item. When it comes to the size of the box, it should be as close to the dimensions of the piece that you are packing as possible. The less room there is left in a box, the better. On the other hand, too small of a box is not safe either, so think carefully.
After putting the boxes together, use strong tape to ensure that the items don't fall through. You can never be too careful with lighting as it is an investment worth every penny.
Use wrapping material
Sensitive and precious possessions need an extra layer of protection when being transported or stored. That is exactly what the wrapping materials are used for. Regular paper won't be enough. And don't even think about using newspapers for this purpose. The ink can permanently smudge and damage your lighting.
Moving companies offer a variety of soft padding solutions that can be either rented or bought. If you do not feel like spending money on those materials, you can consider using some soft clothes, bath towels or even dishcloths for this purpose.
Secure your lighting items from moving inside the boxes
Protecting your lamps, pendants, chandeliers or lighting equipment with soft wrapping material is not enough. You will need to add some packing peanuts, styrofoam balls or something similar to protect the objects from moving inside the box. Any fragile item can be easily damaged during loading, unloading, and transport, and you surely don't want that for your valuable possessions.
Seal and mark the boxes
If you hired professionals to do your packing, you do not have to worry about any of the previous steps. But, if you are doing everything by yourself, you need to make sure that the movers know what's inside your boxes so that they handle them properly. After sealing the box, you should put a label that says FRAGILE somewhere visible and mark which side should go up when handling the boxes.
Prepare your lighting for packing
The general rule for packing all sorts of fragile and technical items is to disassemble everything that can be disassembled first. For instance, this is what you should do if you are packing a lamp:
- take off the lampshade and protect it by paper or some thin wrapping material;
- remove the bulb and pack it separately (preferably in its original box or some other fitting one);
- use twist ties to pack the cable;
- secure the body of your lamp by putting it in the center of spread wrapping material, then gather the material above the lamp and secure it by using tape (plastic bubbles are also good for this purpose);
When protecting lighting gear that you might be using for photography or filming, the same rules apply as those for the safe transport of your filmmaking kit.
Storing your lighting
After carefully packing your lighting items or professional lighting equipment, it is time to store it somewhere safely (unless you were packing it solely for the purpose of relocation). Are you thinking of self-storing it? Think about the conditions your boxes will be in. If your storing solution doesn't have temperature control, maybe you should reconsider. Lighting fixtures and equipment can be very sensitive to temperature changes, and that is why people store their precious pieces in climate-controlled units. Not only do these places control the temperature, but they also regulate the level of moisture in the air. The right combination of conditions prevents mold from forming and damaging your precious lighting.
Just like with most other services, hiring a local crew might be the best solution. Renting a storage unit for your items nearby can be better than going further away from home to look for the service. Who knows when you might need your stored items right away!