Along with injecting color into the services, the lighting would be required to handle scenic elements and illuminate various other events held in the 2,500-seat sanctuary, such as onstage skits for vacation bible school students. Brainard, who has been a touring lighting designer/director with major acts like Hootie and the Blowfish, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd and 3 Doors Down, fulfilled the church's requirements with a lighting package from Elation Professional, purchased through Phoenix Lighting.
The gear list consists of 10 x Elation Design LED Par Zooms with 60 x 1 filters; 4 x Elation Platinum Spot 5R Pros; 2 x Elation Opti Tri Whites; an Elation Opto Branch 4 DMX distributor; Antari HZ400 haze machine; and an Elation EWDMX wireless DMX system that includes 1 x EWDMX transmitter and 3 x EWDMX receivers.
The DLED Par Zoom, an RGB color-mixing par can with 36 x 3W LEDs, was one of the key pieces because it features a 7°-49° motorized zoom, explained Brainard. “Knowing how Ken (Smith) likes to do things, I knew right away there would be some scenic elements,” Brainard said. “The DLED Zooms were instrumental in this application because of the zoom function. Adding the 60 x 1 filter allows the light to wash the (stage) platform or cut in to highlight just the scenic elements. Ken likes to throw low light on the band playing, so the filters and zooms give him that option. Being able to spread out the light is the key for him.”
Church personnel also wanted to include moving lights to turn up the visual tempo during songs and other high-energy moments. Here, Brainard chose Elation's high-output Platinum Spot 5R Pro moving head DMX hybrid spot/wash fixture. Utilizing the new energy-efficient Philips Platinum 5R lamp, the Platinum Spot 5R Pro emits the brightness of a 575-watt discharge fixture, yet it's half the size and draws half as much power. It also has a full array of pro features such as a CMY color mixing system, 22 gobos, a rotating prism effect, mechanical dimmer, shutter/strobe, motorized focus, motorized iris, variable frost filter, and 11°-42° variable zoom beam angle.
“The Platinum Spot 5R Pros were selected because of their punch,” commented Brainard. “Ken likes to have some movement with the lights during songs, and he also likes to have that light bounce off of ceilings and walls. The Platinum Spots were ideal for this. Nice color mixing and really nice gobos, and this choice was a no brainer.”
Perhaps the Platinum Spot 5R Pro's most important feature – as far as the Northside Christian Church installation is concerned --is its built-in EWDMX wireless DMX receiver. Going with wireless DMX was really a necessity in this situation, said Brainard, given the positioning of the lights throughout the stage area. Some of the fixtures are mounted in two separate catwalks, while other lights are used on the floor of the stage platform, and still others hang above the stage from pipes attached to beams.
“Because of this, it only made sense to run everything wireless to keep from having to pull data lines all though the room to splitters or other fixtures,” Brainard noted. “Plus with the (Platinum Spot 5R Pros) already wireless, it only made sense to use that function throughout the whole application.” The EWDMX wireless system “worked like a champ,” the lighting designer reported. “As soon as the units were synced, everything took hold and was off and running. It was a nice surprise to see how well it really worked, as it was my first time using wireless DMX from Elation. Even having a receiver in the catwalk posed no problem for the whole setup.”
Rounding out the church's new lighting package are the Opti Tri White par cans, which contain 18 cool white, 18 warm white and 18 amber 3-watt LEDs. The Opti Tri Whites were chosen for their ability to mix any shade of white/amber and thus match the color temperature of the church's existing ellipsoidal lights, as well as for their low power draw.
As is often the case with HOWs, budget was a big concern in putting together Northside Christian Church's lighting package. With Elation, Brainard said, he was able to give the church the most “bang for the buck.”
“Elation has come a long way in quality and the price is exactly what was needed,” he commented. “I prefer to take a budget and see how much I can get for the money. It does the client or me no good if all they get is part of their needs because a fixture costs too much. Elation was priced exactly as needed to be able to get the worship service up and running without ever hearing, â€˜If only we could have gotten more.' Church members were amazed at how much the 10 DLED Zooms, 4 Platinum Spot 5R Pros and 2 Opti Tri Whites added to the overall feel of the worship service.”
For more information, contact Elation Professional toll-free at 866-245-6726 or visit www.elationlighting.com
Lighting Designer Bobby Brainard can be reached at 937-336-1832 or firstname.lastname@example.org