The Beauty of Traditional with the Versatility of Contemporary

As worship facilities look to upgrade their lighting systems they are often challenged by the desire to give their services a contemporary feel while wishing to remain true to their traditional roots. Such was the case at Highland Park Baptist Church in Hanahan, South Carolina, where Brandon Bailey, Church Interiors Audio/Visual (CIAv) (www.ciaudiovideo.com), worked with the congregation to bring them the best of both contemporary and traditional, and he did so using PLHouse LED and PL1 LED Wash luminaires from Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon.

“This was a retrofit installation with our parent company, Church Interiors, Inc. (www.churchinteriors.com) who provides complete renovations and all types of furnishings to the house of worship market,” began Bailey.  “We begin each project with a preliminary study where we spend the day with the church leadership gathering the necessary information to set about making the renovations they want taking into consideration what their worship preferences are and how they like to conduct their services.  We are seeing more and more houses of worship who desire the more contemporary service, but do not want to stray so far as to look like a rock-n-roll show.  What we like most about the PLHouse LED and PL1 Wash LED luminaires is that they allow us to keep the esthetic beauty of the architecture yet afford us the versatility of contemporary technology.”

 

With a congregation of approximately 400 people, the physical set-up of Highland Park Baptist Church is that of a traditional worship facility with a center platform and pulpit, choir seating behind the center platform, a baptismal pool, and balcony seating as well. Beautiful stained-glass windows line the walls and while it may be traditional in architecture, the congregation has a blended style of worship holding two services each Sunday with one being traditional and the other more contemporary.

 

 “We had to have lighting that was aesthetically pleasing because they wanted to make sure that the traditional generation represented in the church body was satisfied, but on the flip side they also have a contemporary worship service where we had to have lighting that could function in a contemporary environment.  With the traditional architecture of Highland Park Baptist, we had to be careful about what type of lighting we chose. We couldn’t go in and place a rock-n-roll style lighting rig in the air because it wouldn’t match the building.  We needed color, texture, and it had to be able to keep up with the new HD video and high-fidelity audio systems as well.  In the PL1 Wash LED and the PLHouse LED luminaires, we have just that.”

 

With their system design in place, Bailey and his team at CIAv got to work installing the PL1 and PLHouse luminaires using the existing lighting positions already in place, and while doing so they also helped the church overcome heat issues that were related to their old system.

 

“The installation process with the PL1 and PLHouse was very easy,” continued Bailey.  “With the PLHouse our electrician had no problem taking the high-voltage pig-tail and terminating it, but what surprised them was when we plugged in the Cat5 cable to show what the lights could really do.  So now with the PLHouse luminaires washing the chancel, the PL1 luminaires are hanging straight above the stage and are providing front light and color on the choir.  One of the issues they wanted us to address was the amount of heat on stage and they immediately saw a difference with the PL1 LED luminaires.  When I shared with them how the fixtures will also reduce the amount of work that the HVAC system has to do in general, they were very excited.  So now, not only is the new system energy-efficient and virtually maintenance free, they have the freedom to add color and texture any time they wish.”

 

The PL1 Wash LED Luminaire is the first light source that delivers full control of the beam color composition irrespective of intensity. Drawing on technology and specific insight, nurtured and developed, within the Philips Entertainment group, the PL1 features a broad color gamut with precise color mixing controls, a high-output LED light engine supporting color temperatures from 2300K to 9970K, an adjustable 14-50° soft edge beam which can be shaped using the barn door accessory, and a defined maximum energy consumption with power presets from 30 watts to full power.

The PLHouse LED luminaire is a fully tunable, high-output RGBW LED light supporting color temperatures from 2300K to 9970K and full color mixing that gives designers the control and flexibility to immerse the audience in color.  With a maximum output similar to that of a 70 watt metal halide luminaire, the PLHouse also has a quick selection of Warm White, Cool White and Daylight color presets to simplify the matching to existing light sources, and it also has an adjustable 20-45° beam spread. 

 

Bailey added, “Highland Park Baptist went from being a one-to-one, dimmer-to-fixture conventional dimming configuration to being able to layer with LED color and create chases.  We tried to make it as simple as possible for them and the Philips products allowed us to do that.  We are controlling the system with a Strand Series 200 console with a breakout DMX station that allows the user to not have to go back to the main console to bring up a desired look.  We did this so that the contemporary service could use the console to create all the looks they want, but the traditional worship service only has to push a single button on the DMX station to have the exact look they need.”

 

At the end of the project, Church Interiors Audio/Visual was able to create, install and fully deliver the exact lighting system upgrade needed. As Highland Park Baptist Church had the opportunity to fully showcase the new system on Easter Sunday, Bailey is confident that the PLHouse LED and PL1 LED luminaires will continue to offer the congregation the creative flexibility they desire now and well into the future.

 

Bailey concluded, “We are both a design integration company and a Philips Strand Lighting Dealer and when we choose to take on a particular product line we look at reliability, reputation, and product support.  The Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon line of products are reliable, they come from a reputable name, and they come with outstanding customer support.  Because of this, as we design systems going forward we often go exclusively with the Philips product line.”

 

Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon offer the world's most comprehensive and competitive range of luminaires, dimming equipment, control systems and software to answer the creative needs of lighting designers working in theatre, television, film, themed environments and sophisticated architectural applications. www.strandlighting.com. www.seleconlight.com.

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