Founded in 1945 by Sir Sidney Hamburger, Searchlight Electric remains a family owned business and is now an established and recognised supplier of decorative lighting to the very best specialist lighting retailers, multi-national chains and distributor partners across the globe. Innovative and contemporary lighting designs are supplemented with traditional and modern classics to meet all styles and trends, customer requirements and quality standards.
Upon being discharged from the army, Captain Sidney Hamburger set up a one man electrical wholesale business in a tiny office in the cellar of 1B Cooper Street, Salford.
Searchlight move to new premises in Blackfriars Street, Manchester where magnificent 800 sq. ft. showrooms and a warehouse are opened and lighting is first introduced into the product range.
Sidney's eldest son Herzl joins the business and after spending the first 18 months working in the warehouse, begins his career as a salesman.
As the business continues to grow and now employing 15 people, a decision is made to relocate to larger premises in Middlewood Street, Salford.
Dov joins Searchlight and carries on the family tradition of learning all aspects of the business including loading and unloading deliveries, packing orders and even sweeping the floors.
The Searchlight team in the 1960's.
One Saturday afternoon, the premises in Middlewood Street go up in flames and Sidney and his sons watch helplessly as the fire rages through the building. However, within 14 days Searchlight is back in business, new premises are rented with goods once again being despatched to customers; demonstrating a level of commitment and dedication from the employees way beyond anything that could have been expected.
After an extensive rebuilding program, the revamped showrooms at Middlewood Street are re-opened with new and exciting product ranges including Italian Sciolari gold plated light fittings.
Sidney's youngest son, Morris joins the business straight from university and starts work tidying and sweeping the warehouse floors.
Searchlight launch its first ever colour brochure with over 200 products featuring in a 72 page lighting catalogue.
Searchlight become the first company within the lighting industry to introduce computers into the business with the purchase of a state-of-the-art model.
As the business continues to flourish, the existing premises at Middlewood Street are once again outgrown and a 195,000 sq. ft. five storey building is purchased in Water Street, Salford.
Sir Sidney, as he would now become, is recognised by Her Majesty the Queen and knighted for his services to the National Health Service and charitable work.
Searchlight invest in Wardmount, a lighting manufacturer and assembly business based in Manchester, enabling on-site wiring, spraying and finishing of light fittings from component parts.
Searchlight open its first joint venture lighting factory in Guangdong, China employing over 400 workers.
Daniel, Herzl's son and the third generation of the Hamburger family joins the business after spending 3 years employed by Ford Motors.
Searchlight's purpose built offices/showroom/warehouse facility are opened by the Earl and Countess of Wessex at 900 Oldham Road, Manchester. The impressive, new three storey building boasts Europe's largest lighting showroom and houses a state-of-the-art 95,000 sq. ft. warehouse with space for over 15,000 pallets.
The business diversifies into the commercial lighting market with the acquisition of Illuma Lighting based in the East Midlands, resulting in the combined business employing over 200 people.
Searchlight achieve a Top 100 ranking two years running in the Sunday Times Fast Track 200 league table of Britain's privately owned companies with the fastest growing international businesses.
Searchlight celebrate its 70th anniversary with a gala dinner for all employees including 5 individuals with 30+ years service and 14 with over 20 years service.