Like all worshippers at the Tabernacle of Praise, members of the church's choir have been thrilled with the warm rich colors and engaging looks that the new all-LED lighting system from CHAUVET Professional has brought to their services. Going beyond visual aesthetics, however, choir members have an added reason to celebrate, as the switch from incandescent to LED fixtures has greatly increased their comfort level.
"It's amazing how the temperature on the stage has been lowered, especially in the choir loft, which sits in the back of the stage," said Brad Lyons, systems advisor for dB Audio & Video, which installed the LED system. "Recently when I was at the church, I had one choir member come up to me and ask if we installed a new air conditioning system! That's how dramatically different it feels on the stage, not only for the choir members, but for the pastor as well."
The reaction of the choir member is easy to understand. Prior to the installation of the new lighting system, the choir loft was illuminated by 16 incandescent par fixtures. Today it is lit by only five cool and quiet Ovation E-190WW LED ellipsoidal fixtures with 36° lenses from a 25' throw distance.
At the same time, the 24 incandescent par fixtures that had been used to light the stage have replaced by 14 of the Ovation ellipsoidals with 26° lenses from a 35' throw distance. "Anytime you replace that many incandescent fixtures with a smaller number of LED units, you're going to enjoy cooler temperatures," said Lyons. "Everyone involved in conducting worship services or singing in the choir is extremely happy."
Of course, ambient temperature was not top of mind for Senior Pastor Timothy McBride and Director of Facilities Mike Johnson when they decided it was time for a new lighting system. "This is a very dynamic and rapidly growing church, which had outgrown its lighting system," said Lyons. "The church was beginning to videotape its services, and the old lighting wasn't adequate for that; nor was it colorful enough to engage worshippers and keep pace with the high emotional energy level of the services."
Working with Pastor McBride and Director of Facilities Johnson, Lyons helped Tabernacle of Praise create a lighting system that reflected the church's vitality. "We created a very impactful concert/production level lighting system at the church that really engages worshippers, provides great light for broadcast and makes it easy to accent different moods during services, all while generating less heat," he said. "Unlike with the church's old system, the new one is able to direct light at different areas to create different effects."
To illustrate his point, Lyons notes that he has one Ovation E-190WW directed at the baptistery to focus attention on that area during baptisms. Other Ovation fixtures will focus on the pastor during sermons or the choir during songs. The church also uses CHAUVET Professional Rogue R2 Spots and Q-Wash 560Z LED moving washes to focus on different band instruments at key points during a service.
Having moving spots and washes at a church may have been rare a few years ago, but Lyons believes these fixtures are becoming more commonplace in house of worship settings because of the energy they bring to services and their effectiveness at engaging young people. "We have four Rogue R2 Spots and six Q-Washes flown on truss at this church," he said. "The response to them has been very positive because they create a good engaging environment. We use the gobo morphing and split color features of the Rogue and the zoom features on the Q-Wash to create a lightshow. We do this during services and when the church has concerts featuring gospel artists."
Lyons positioned four Rogue R2 Spots and four Q-Wash 560Z LED movers in the center area of a 26' by 24' truss structure built with trussing from CHAUVET Professional sister company Trusst. He also placed one Q-Wash fixture on either side of the truss structure slightly behind the eight center fixtures. This positioning creates added options when focusing light and also adds depth to different looks.
At the four corners of the stage are Intimidator Spot 355Z IRC 90-watt moving LED fixtures from CHAUVET DJ. Lyons uses these movers as "eye candy," directing them at the ceiling and wall over worshippers' heads to create a concert-like atmosphere. "These fixtures are often used at the start of services to engage people and capture attention," he said. "When the doors are closed and the windows are blacked, the Intimidators produce a very dramatic effect."
In contrast to the Intimidators, other fixtures in the Tabernacle of Praise system are used to provide subtle illumination of areas when they are not the center of attention. A case in point are the SlimPAR Quad 12 IRC washes that Lyons has positioned behind the choir loft. "We use these to provide a nice soft color for the choir when they are not singing," he said. "This allows them to be part of the environment and services, more than it would if we just kept them in darkness at those times."
Lyons also uses five Ovation F-165WW Fresnel fixtures as rear key lights on stage to remove shadows. He is especially impressed with the motorized zoom feature on these fixtures. "The motorized zoom is essential to getting the optimal coverage, because you almost never get Fresnels to hit exactly where you want them to otherwise," he said. "The other alternative would be to use barn doors, but that wouldn't look as good."
The new lighting system at Tabernacle of Praise is run on two DMX universes: one for the stage lights, and the other for "everything that is in the air." Currently the lightshows at the church are run on presets by volunteers at the console. "The volunteers love working on the system," said Lyons.
Johnson, the Director of Facilities, shares this view. "What dB Audio & Video designed and installed for us, it's a game changer," he said. "The new lighting system has had a major impact on how we worship here. We are truly blessed."