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Author Topic: Church stage lighting  (Read 585 times)

Gary Gurtler

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Church stage lighting
« on: January 24, 2020, 07:50:20 pm »

I am the sound tech for a smaller church.  Our stage is about 16 feet deep by 40 feet wide.  It is poorly illuminated by 12 recessed lights in a angled bulkhead in front of the stage.  I recently had a friend offer us 8 ADJ Mega Par Profile Plus flat led par cans which have 10 mm leds in the following colors 26 red, 45 green, 36 blue and 1 uv led.
I guess my question is would these lights be of any use in our type of setting?  If so, more for a wall wash in either up or down lighting, front lighting or back lighting?
I have done sound for years, but lighting is a new game.  My friend that has these lights had them left in a rental property and knows nothing about them.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 08:31:44 pm »

I am the sound tech for a smaller church.  Our stage is about 16 feet deep by 40 feet wide.  It is poorly illuminated by 12 recessed lights in a angled bulkhead in front of the stage.  I recently had a friend offer us 8 ADJ Mega Par Profile Plus flat led par cans which have 10 mm leds in the following colors 26 red, 45 green, 36 blue and 1 uv led.
I guess my question is would these lights be of any use in our type of setting?  If so, more for a wall wash in either up or down lighting, front lighting or back lighting?
I have done sound for years, but lighting is a new game.  My friend that has these lights had them left in a rental property and knows nothing about them.

Wall wash maybe, they're pretty old technology.  I'd focus on lighting the people on stage first, otherwise lots of light on the walls could make the people on stage seem even more dim.

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 10:10:38 pm »

Hi Gary, I’m going to say “no” for a couple of reasons. 

- The RGB (plus 1 UV) isn’t going to give you any real worthwhile wash.  Since the whites and ambers will be mixed, you’re just not going to get a natural look from fixtures like this.  They’re fine for a DJ or bar band, but not anything where a natural look is desired.

- They don’t dim well.  Again, fine for bands and DJs, not for theater and other live applications.

- You don’t have enough to wash a stage of that size.  That means you’ll have a very dark and/or patchy look to the stage which is usually not desirable.

I’d consider these lights suitable for uplighting or truss-warming in the right application, but as Caleb already mentioned it might be more of a distraction than what’s intended.  We can certainly help spec some proper lights if you have a sufficient budget, but I wouldn’t plan on snagging these for any real applications.  Hope this helps!
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2020, 02:59:13 am »

Hi Gary, I’m going to say “no” for a couple of reasons. 

- The RGB (plus 1 UV) isn’t going to give you any real worthwhile wash.  Since the whites and ambers will be mixed, you’re just not going to get a natural look from fixtures like this.  They’re fine for a DJ or bar band, but not anything where a natural look is desired.

- They don’t dim well.  Again, fine for bands and DJs, not for theater and other live applications.

- You don’t have enough to wash a stage of that size.  That means you’ll have a very dark and/or patchy look to the stage which is usually not desirable.

I’d consider these lights suitable for uplighting or truss-warming in the right application, but as Caleb already mentioned it might be more of a distraction than what’s intended.  We can certainly help spec some proper lights if you have a sufficient budget, but I wouldn’t plan on snagging these for any real applications.  Hope this helps!

This is all true, however, we don't know what "style" your Church is. If you guys do rock and roll Church you could hang these up in the rear and make flashy-flashy lights to add some excitement.

As mentioned they can (maybe) be used as wall washes, but that depends on how much ambient light you have in the room already.

If you video your services, these will likely flicker on the video.

Don't even try to use them for front lighting. Not only will it look horrible, but it will be so dim that you will wonder why you even bothered.
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Steve Garris

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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2020, 03:03:14 pm »

I am the sound tech for a smaller church.  Our stage is about 16 feet deep by 40 feet wide.  It is poorly illuminated by 12 recessed lights in a angled bulkhead in front of the stage.  I recently had a friend offer us 8 ADJ Mega Par Profile Plus flat led par cans which have 10 mm leds in the following colors 26 red, 45 green, 36 blue and 1 uv led.
I guess my question is would these lights be of any use in our type of setting?  If so, more for a wall wash in either up or down lighting, front lighting or back lighting?
I have done sound for years, but lighting is a new game.  My friend that has these lights had them left in a rental property and knows nothing about them.

I’ll second what everyone is saying here, but if by “offer” you mean “free”, then I would certainly take them over nothing. They will throw a narrow beam, and only RGB will look natural ( no amber or white without color mixing). These should only be used as backlighting IMO. You need very good lights for a front wash, and these won’t cut it for that.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 03:42:55 pm »

Plus, these old style discrete LED fixtures are very uncomfortable for the talent if they are in their sight lines.
The specularity is VERY bright compared to the actual light output.

For LED key lights, a lens type is 'essential'.
Also the quality of the light seems to be directly proportional to the cost, so the more expensive, the better,
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Gary Gurtler

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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 10:06:14 pm »

I’ll second what everyone is saying here, but if by “offer” you mean “free”, then I would certainly take them over nothing. They will throw a narrow beam, and only RGB will look natural ( no amber or white without color mixing). These should only be used as backlighting IMO. You need very good lights for a front wash, and these won’t cut it for that.
Yes he was offering free, just need to pick them up or have them shipped.
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Gary Gurtler

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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 10:10:18 pm »

Thanks for all of your replies.  As I expected these lights have a very limited use for my application.  I will probably tell my friend to hang onto them until I can pick them up.  Never know what other use for them may arise, and I don't want to see him just throw them out.
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Luke McCready

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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 06:41:50 pm »

If I were you, I'd take them. Put them along the back wall of the stage, on the floor pointing up. They will throw a bit of color on the wall and the stage ceiling (if it's not too tall). Adding splashes of color gives depth and dimension to a stage.

If you use cameras and if they flicker, that's a reason not to use them, but it's worth trying. I doubt these will be bright enough to make the singers somehow appear dark by comparison.

As soon as you're able, add some front-lighting that's a bit higher quality to better see the musicians. Most churches go for a minimal lighting look that isn't too flashy or busy, but some front lighting and colored up-lights aren't offensive to pretty much everyone.
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Re: Church stage lighting
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 06:41:50 pm »


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