Lifting equipment doesn’t stop at cranes and goods lifts, hoists are an important lifting aid which can eliminate the need to work at height. Lighting hoists replace costly and time-consuming access systems, such as MEWPs and scaffold towers, with the press of a button. An electric hoist will lower a lighting fixture to ground level for maintenance, in minutes.

Lighting hoists are becoming increasingly widespread as businesses seek greater operational efficiencies and reductions in occupational risk. Two sectors which have seen an acceleration in the adoption of lighting hoists are warehousing and hospitality and leisure. While these industries may not appear to have much in common, lighting is a key part of the maintenance schedule. Premium luminaires and chandeliers are as popular as ever in hotels, heritage properties and Royal Households with the sector seeing a rise in demand for lighting hoists. The UK warehousing sector, a nationwide success story, is making the switch from traditional access equipment to lighting hoists, with a fast return on investment.

Find. Compare. Select. Specify.

When it comes to specifying a lighting hoist for a construction project it is important to make the right product decisions from the outset. In this guide, we explore each stage of specifying a lighting hoist using NBS Source.

How to Specify an Electric Lighting Hoist on NBS Source – Penny Engineering

Lighting Hoist Models

Self-contained electric lighting hoists are small units controlled using a wireless remote-control handset. These hoists are ideal for lightweight loads, such as high bay warehouse lighting, as part of a larger lighting installation where multiple hoists are fitted.

Heavy-duty lighting hoists – Penny Engineering RLS and RLT models – are ideal for raising and lowering heavyweight and delicate assets suspended at height. Standardised RLS and RLT systems are available on NBS Source with fully customisable product options. Specifiers can input required system parameters through NBS Source to compare bespoke lighting hoist options.

How to Specify an Electric Lighting Hoist on NBS Source – Penny Engineering

How do you control lighting winch systems?

Wireless remote-control handsets are the standard means of control for all self-contained lighting hoists – Penny Engineering models CT-12, CT-12M, CT-15, CT-15M. A wired handset is supplied as standard with the RLS and RLT systems with the option to specify wireless control, where required.

Penny Engineering lighting winch systems can be located remotely to the main lowering point, directly above the light fitting or in a completely separate part of the building. If located in a separate location, a series of pulleys are installed to direct the hoist rope (used to suspend the light fitting) from the hoist location, back to the main lowering point directly above the light fitting. Read how Leeds Town Hall have used chandelier winch systems with spectacular results.

Other available control options are either hardwired controls with a wall-mounted faceplate, or control via a building management system (BMS) e.g. Crestron or Lutron. Specifiers can input the required method of control through NBS Source.

What are the power requirements for lighting hoists?

Lighting hoist systems for use within the UK require a domestic single phase 230v 50Hz power supply. This should be supplied as a fused spur next to the hoist control box for RLS and RLT systems, and for all self-contained hoist models, this is placed beside the hoist. For international applications, hoist systems can be configured to operate via a local domestic or commercial power supply. Specifiers must detail power requirements at the time of enquiry.

How are lights supplied with power when being raised and lowered?

Depending on the system specified, there are two lighting hoist power supply options:

RLS and self-contained lighting hoists

Both hoist systems break the electrical feed when lowering to ground level, isolating the luminaire for user safety, and automatically reconnecting the power supply when raised back to the fully elevated position.

RLT hoist systems

This hoist system provides an electrical supply to the light fitting throughout the raising and lowering process. A spring-operated cable retraction reel is used to pay out the electrical flex to the light as it is lowered to ground level. The reel automatically retracts the flex when raising the light fitting back to the elevated position.

How to Specify an Electric Lighting Hoist on NBS Source – Penny Engineering

What information do I need to specify a lighting winch system?

  1. Weight is the main criterion when selecting the appropriate lighting hoist. The weight of the luminaire or light fitting plus the weight of any accessories must be factored in to avoid exceeding the maximum lifting capacity of the hoist.


  1. Lowering Distance is the second most important criterion to consider. What is the distance from the ceiling to ground level? How far do you need to lower the luminaire for maintenance and cleaning?


  1. Shape and design of the luminaire is an important criterion to consider. Is the luminaire directional or particularly long or does it require multiple suspension points? The shape and design of the light will determine whether a single or multiple suspension wires are required to support the load.All lighting hoists available from Penny Engineering via NBS Source are designed to support a load with a single attachment point however, lighting winches are routinely custom designed to accommodate irregular shapes that require multiple suspension points.


  1. Luminaire requirements can include additional electrical contacts above and beyond a single lighting circuit (for DALI/dimming circuits or similar) requiring a ‘multi-contact’ system. The self-contained CT-12M and CT-15M models are both multi-contact lighting hoists.The standard RLT series of hoists are supplied with provision for a single circuit (L, N, E) as standard, with additional circuits available on request. The RLS-500 hoist can also accommodate extra circuits (up to a maximum 10 poles). Contact us to discuss this requirement.


  1. Control and operation of the RLS electric lighting hoists and RLT electric lighting hoists is via a wired handheld remote control, as standard, with wireless control available on request. Wireless radio remote control comes as standard on all self-contained lighting hoist models CT-12, CT-12M, CT-15, and CT-15M.

Product Selection via a Selector

Penny Engineering lighting hoist Selector tool can help users specify the correct winch for a specific project. The Selector guides users through a series of questions to determine the best lighting hoist model. A link to the relevant product page in NBS Source is provided to help specifiers select the right product.

This simple to use tool will provide product suggestions for users to compare without the need to make a phone call or arrange a supplier meeting.

Lighting Hoist Models

Penny Hydraulic have a comprehensive range of lighting hoist models for use in a variety of applications, from chandeliers and art to high bay lights and CCTV cameras.


Lighting Hoist Resources






How to Specify an Electric Lighting Hoist on NBS Source – Penny Engineering