About Us

About Us – Custodial and Prison Lighting Specialists

Retrofit Services

In the event of product failure, the need to reduce costly maintenance or to make energy savings you may wish to consider a retrofit of your gear trays over replacement. There are many reasons to choose this option not least the reduction in the number of escorts required, time on site to complete the work and damage limitation to existing structures.

LYA’s retrofit gear trays and housings are designed to be accommodated in the current architecture and comply to latest legislation. Customers consult on site at our dedicated manufacturing plant where products are made to meticulous standards and are built to last.

For more information please get in touch.

About Light Years Ahead

LYA became part of the wider Daro Group in 2017 and benefits from a range of resources and symbiotic relationships for the benefit of organisations that we work with.

Working with us you can be assured that we wholeheartedly listen to understand your exact needs. Having a deep understanding of your brief means we’re able to utilise our expertise to design, manufacture and deliver best-in-class products that match your budget.

Customer relationship is at the heart of everything we do. We guarantee 100% on-time delivery, every time. We’re able to achieve this by having robust supply chains and precise stock management via our dedicated manufacturing resource planning software (MRP). We aim to work to minimum lead times and can usually deliver within weeks of receiving an order.

Our Values

Our core values of continuous investment, innovation, quality assurance and pride in our levels of customer service mean that since 1997 we have built a reputation as a trusted UK partner to manufacture and deliver the best quality specialist lighting and systems available.

LYA provides personal and proactive technical support to all clients and provides mechanical and electrical engineering consultants and contractors, following each project from conception to design, manufacture and final completion.

Our clients include prisons, police stations, law courts and the mental healthcare sector nationally in the UK and beyond our borders globally.

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Trusted UK Partner

Trusted since 1997 with a quality assurance and price that is of the highest level.

Technical Support Icon

Technical Support

Personal and proactive technical support to all clients throughout the entire process.

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Secure By Nature

LYA clients are wide ranging from prisons to mental healthcare in the UK and beyond.

Meet The Team

Lee McCarthy

Lee McCarthy

of Lighting

Lee joined Daro Group in 2000 and with 30 years of in the industry brings a wealth of knowledge in the design, manufacture and application of lighting. Lee is responsible for leading the specialist lighting division.

Steve Shefford Profile Image

Steve Shefford

Key Account

Steve brings eight years’ experience in the lighting industry plus five years in project management – giving him an excellent grasp of design, from concept to delivery. Working in conjunction with his colleagues, he develops and maintains relationships with architects, consultants, specifiers and contractors for custodial and healthcare lighting.

Suzanne Gunn Key Account Mananger - Light Years Ahead

Suzanne Gunn

Key Account

Suzanne brings over 25 years of experience in the lighting industry, possessing vast experience in Lighting Solutions. Her focus lies in building and maintaining strong relationships with distributors, contractors, and specifiers for custodial and healthcare lighting. Suzanne’s expertise assists clients in making well-informed decisions; ensuring they receive exceptional service and support.

Lisa Price

Lisa Price


Lisa joined the lighting industry in 2014. Her product and sector knowledge along with her organisational skills are hugely valuable to the team and the successful delivery of our projects.

Luke Bowman - Marketing Executive

Luke Bowman


Luke joined Daro in 2022 having worked in marketing and design for 12 years. He brings a wealth of industry experience from various sectors including branding, campaign and event planning. He is responsible for the marketing strategy of Light Years Ahead and the specialist lighting division.

Supported By

Mervyn Douglas

Mervyn Douglas


Mervyn joined Daro in 2016 bringing 20 years’ experience in business and finance. His role is to lead the strategic direction of Daro, managing continuous investment in resources to enable people, businesses and the group to achieve their long-term objectives.

Sarah Pennock

Sarah Pennock


Sarah is Group finance director and a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA). Since joining Daro in 2004 Sarah’s role has continuously developed to now overseeing group finance and human resources.

Light Years Ahead - Part of Daro Specialist Lighting

Paul Fox

Director of

Paul joined Daro in 2023 bringing extensive experience as an operations leader in various manufacturing businesses. Paul is responsible for leadership of the manufacturing operations and driving a culture of excellence and continuous improvement.

Matt Pilgrim Profile Image

Matt Pilgrim


Matt joined Daro in 2021, bringing 19 years’ engineering experience and leads Quality, Health & Safety and Environmental standards across the Group. Matt is NEBOSH and IOSH qualified, ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 and 31000 trained as well as holding a Green Belt in Six Sigma.

Ian Bianchi

Ian Bianchi

Account Manager

Ian joined the group in 2001 and has experienced almost every aspect of the business, with particular expertise within the vacuum forming division. Since 2017 he has been the account manager for Light Years Ahead specialist anti-ligature and vandal resistant lighting.

Light Years Ahead - Part of Daro Specialist Lighting

Becky Bishop

Management Accountant

Becky joined Daro Group in 2022, bringing 16 years of accountancy experience with her. Becky’s primary role is overseeing the management accounts across the group. Her excellent organisational skills, methodical working processes and very approachable nature make her excellently suited to the role.

Rachel Miles

Rachel Miles

Finance Assistant and
Business Support

Rachel joined Daro in 2017. In addition to making our customers, suppliers and visitors feel very welcome she assists with the accounts and works closely with all of the business divisions where needed.

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