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Case Study: Illuminating Stained Glass at Night

Beautiful stained glass windows can shine with the sunlight during the day, yet appear dark and foreboding by night. This was the case with First Methodist Houston in the downtown area.

The church initially reports trying an installation of four 400-watt metal hallide ceiling lamps to illuminate the glass from the inside. But this approach met with limited success because passersby had to be very close to the building to spot any illumination.

The church then tried another approach with the help of Stagelight Inc.'s Houston office. First Methodist's Stan Adams, director of engineering, teamed with Stagelight's Jim Elliott to come up with a lighting solution that wouldn't detract from the natural beauty of the room. The goal was to develop lighting that would help accentuate the beauty of the stained glass and make the building seem warm and invitingeven at night.

The solution Adams and Elliott employed was the Bulldog fixture from K9 Lights. "I admit I was rather skeptical," says Adams. "I didn't think the Bulldogs would have enough power to properly illuminate the glass." Adams admits, however, that he was happily surprised.

"The affect of the color scheme of the light and the candle power of the fixture illuminated the glass much better than I ever thought possible," Adams states. Each stained glass window at First Methodist is now illuminated with three LED K9 Bulldog 25-degree fixtures on each side of the building from a position in the balcony, 50 feet away from the windows.

Another big surprise, Adams reports, was the colors emitted as a result of the fixtures' red, green, blue, and white LEDs. Each LED made the colors in the glass pop more brilliantly than just conventional white light would do, Elliott reports. And Adams adds, "The stained glass windows can now be seen from several blocks awaythe feedback we have received has been great."

Another benefit, according to the duo, is the fixtures' small size. The fixtures are reportedly mounted behind a pillar, only visible from the church's side balconies.

Yet another benefit is the LEDs' low power consumption. The six Bulldogs are reported to use 46% less power than the four conventional fixtures used before.

www.fmhouston.com; www.stagelight.com/k9

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