We will shortly be moving existing customers to Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers, and new customers will be hosted on AWS too.  Some questions you may have:

Why are you moving?

AWS offers a more scalable and resilient setup than we can deliver on our existing host.  Because AWS provide this platform at such a large scale they are able to invest in technologies that take care of some of the hard server problems, so that we don’t need to.  Hosting on AWS should improve the resilience and performance of Lamplight – it’ll be quicker and less likely to experience server problems.

Where will our data be?

In London (UK!).  We are using the AWS London region exclusively.

Is it secure?

Yes, and in some ways more secure than at present.  As currently, databases and files are encrypted at rest and in transit.  Servers exist in private networks that are inaccessible from the internet.  Security features already present will continue.  Amazon do not access your data.

Snapshot backups of databases are automatically taken nightly, encrypted, and multiple copies stored on Amazon S3 storage.  These can be restored quickly if needed.  File storage also uses S3 and multiple copies are automatically created and stored to ensure high availability.

What will change?

Two things.

  1. The web address will change to https://lamplight.online, and your login at https://www.lamplight3.info will no longer work.  Your existing username and password will continue to work on the new server.
  2. You will not be able to send emails out directly using the Lamplight servers.  The only emails we can send are passwords for operators.  For other email you will need to either
    1. Link Lamplight to your own email server
    2. Use Mailchimp

This Setting up Email Accounts document will explain what settings you need, and how to enter them into Lamplight.

If you use the publishing module you will need to update your implementation when the changeover happens, to use https://lamplight.online instead of https://www.lamplight3.info.

When will the change happen?

We can schedule that to suit you.  There will be a short period of downtime (ranging from a few minutes to a couple of hours for customers with large volumes of files and data).  System administrators will soon see a screen when they log in asking them to accept the change to the hosting agreement (as our previous host, Elastichosts, are referenced in it), and asking when they would like to schedule the move.

Why is my question not answered here?

Because we didn’t anticipate it! Please Contact Us and we’ll update this page with other Q&As.

We’ve been recruiting for new team members recently, and from our experience want to jot down a few points that will help you, and us, if you want to apply in the future.

We advertise in the Guardian and elsewhere, depending on the role and location requirements. We also advertise posts on our jobs page, and on Twitter.

We’ll produce a job description which will include the things we’re looking for. We’ll ask you to send us a cover letter and CV.

If you’re thinking of applying – thank you! We’re glad that you think you might want to join us.

First tip: It makes our life easier if the filename of your CV starts with your name. If you send a cover letter as a separate file (please do!) also start that with your name. So your files might be called something like:

Matt Parker – Lamplight cover letter.pdf
Matt Parker – CV.pdf

You probably won’t hear from us until the closing date (which is generally a month after we start advertising). Don’t worry!

After the closing date, we may do a first sift of the applications. If you’ve just clicked an ‘apply’ button without giving us any indication that you’ve read the job description, there’s a high chance that your application won’t proceed any further.

The members of the recruitment panel will each use the requirements in the job description to rank the applications we’ve received. For example, if the role description says ‘Excellent Interpersonal Skills’ we’ll look for evidence of this in your cover letter and CV. We’ll score each skill / characteristic / experience / knowledge we’re looking for, and add up the total scores. We’ll then use this in our discussions about who to invite to interview.

Second tip: write a cover letter.

Third (and main) tip: write a good cover letter.

What is a good cover letter to us? “Please find my CV attached” is not a good cover letter. You don’t need to reprise your CV. You need to make our lives easy, frankly. Pick out the role requirements from the Job Description (it’s easy, they have bullet points) and for each give us 2-3 sentences telling us how you meet that requirement. If you don’t have relevant experience in an area, tell us that too. But perhaps tell us why you’re interested in learning more about that / gaining that skill etc.

Your cover letter probably doesn’t need to be more than 2 sides of A4, and a CV up to 4 sides is digestible – more than that gets hard to take in.

We’ll hope to interview around 6 people. If we don’t feel that we can offer an interview, we’ll let you know fairly promptly, and we’ll let you know why. At the risk of cliché, up to now we’ve been really delighted at the quality of the applications we receive, and it’s often just that other people had a little bit more relevant experience etc. But if you’re putting in the effort to apply, we’ll make the effort to respond as fully and as helpfully as we can.

Two or three of us will interview you.  We may also ask you to prepare a brief task related to the role, which you’ll have about a week’s notice of.  This shouldn’t require a lot of preparation, just a bit of thought.  We will want to get a sense of your manner and approach, and may be looking for particular characteristics in action – for example, an analytical approach, if that’s in the job description.

We heard great news today from StreetDoctors, one of our customers. StreetDoctors use volunteer student medics who teach much needed emergency lifesaving skills to young people at risk of violence.  See them in action here:

StreetDoctors have been validated as a Level 2 by both NESTA and Project Oracle. Project Oracle is the evidence hub for Children and Young People set up by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. The monitoring and evaluation data they have collected has demonstrated that StreetDoctors sessions have a positive impact on the young people we are teaching. Some of the data analysis they submitted shows:

  • 90% of young people (YP) agreed they understood the consequences of violence.
  • 87% of YP agreed they could provide medical intervention to a haemorrhaging/unconscious person.
  • 79% of YP said they would be willing to act if first aid was needed.

Led by the Research and Evaluation taskforce, StreetDoctors volunteers continue to measure impact by conducting session observations and debrief focus groups. In April the taskforce presented their findings at the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health conference and were awarded the best oral presentation by the Paediatric Educators Specialist Interest Group.

In June StreetDoctors were honoured to receive a Highly Commended at the Civil Society Charity Awards, the sector’s most highly-regarded excellence recognition scheme.

Jo Broadwood, StreetDoctors CEO, said

Bringing in Lamplight has made a huge difference to our confidence in our data!


Our congratulations to StreetDoctors – have a look at their website http://streetdoctors.org to find out more.

If you have good news you’d like us to share please drop us a line.