When First Baptist Church in Lewisville, Texas decided it was time to install a new lighting system in its Fellowship Center, a GDS Pro Range ArcSystem met the challenge of illuminating the space. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of GDS fixtures in North America.
"The house lighting for the room originally had dimmable metal halide pendant lights and high sconces in the ceiling of the Fellowship Center. Unfortunately the room was dark - just 12 to 30 footcandles - and had an extreme color temperature of 5620 Kelvin and terrible color. Everyone looked pale green," says Keith Buresh, a consultant and lighting designer who specified the new GDS fixtures. "The church had investigated replacing the house lighting with incandescent fixtures, but they didn't cover the space, added heat and they would have required extensive ceiling renovations. LED house-lighting fixtures were right on the edge of being usable, though. GDS had just come out with some new lights, and Jeff Mabray, a Specification Sales rep with Edwin Jones Company, and I worked with A.C.T to bring in one of the first ArcSystem prototypes to Dallas to test".
"We sampled the GDS ArcSystem units with dimmers, and the dimming curve was really solid," Buresh reports. "We also liked that the LED lighting module was recessed deep within the reflector, which reduced the glare factor - a real problem with numerous LED products. And its color rendering and output were great for this application."
The First Baptist Church acquired (16) 8-cell Pro Range ArcSystem 4000 Kelvin/37degree fixtures tailored for wide areas and high bay installations. They are finished in white to complement the building's architecture and were supplied by Barbizon Dallas.
ArcSystem LED auditorium lighting fixtures are designed in the UK for environments where dimming, quality of light and ease of installation are paramount. They are available in single-cell to multi-cell units with a range of beam angles incorporating high-efficiency optics and LEDs. ArcSystem is able to produce a rich, warm light with a CRI in excess of 90. A wide range of color temperatures is available to suit any environment.
All of the fixtures at the First Baptist Church are controlled wirelessly using ArcMesh, GDS's proprietary mesh networking protocol that allowed the product to be installed and commissioned without installing control wiring to each fixture. "That reduced costs," Buresh says. "All we had to do was pop in a junction box with a power receptacle to each unit; that's very handy and simple for any sort of maintenance issues. And the wireless control unit is very easy to monitor. Any problems can be resolved quickly and easily."
The ArcMesh transmitter receives DMX instructions from an ETC Paradigm Architectural Control Processor system, allowing a completely integrated single control mechanism for all architectural lighting. Part of the renovation included a new architectural control system, dimmers, light board and six wall control stations to allow users to activate lighting looks from numerous entrances into the room.
"We ended up changing over the entire house lighting for the room, including can lights, high sconces and wall sconces. So, at this point the entire Fellowship Center and overflow space have dimmable LED lamps in the fixtures. It took some trial and error but we were able to find A-bulbs and BR40 lamps that had appropriate Kelvin, Color Rendering Index values and dimmable curves that used the existing fixtures. We saved a lot by not having to retrofit fixtures." Buresh says.
"The GDS fixtures are a great fit for the application, we've been really impressed with them. Configuration and integration into the Paradigm system was a breeze, one of the smoothest that I've seen," reports Chris Leffel, the installer and project manager with Barbizon Dallas.
The overall light level with the new fixtures reaches up to 90FC in places, an increase of almost four times the level of the previous installation.
"Everyone has been very supportive," says Buresh. "GDS was very helpful in getting the installation up and running for us, and A.C.T and GDS have been very open to suggestions and problem-solving."
Tim Zednick is the technical director at the First Baptist Church, and has been very involved in the process and totally on board with programming the control system to work smoothly with the GDS ArcSystem software and units.