Press Release April 2008: Church Lighting...

Let There Be Light Years ago, “church lighting” meant sunlight streaming through pristine stained-glass windows, illuminating the building’s interior with brilliant color and luminosity. These days, churches approach lighting in a whole new way to accommodate their time-honored activities: • Contemporary worship services • Dramatic theatrics and pageants • Weddings • Luncheons • Baptisms With proper planning and strategy, any church –new or old, big or little –can purchase a cleverly-designed and cost-efficient lighting system. Here are some the four most important things to keep in mind when choosing a lighting system:

1. Consult a professional. First and foremost, it’s important to consult a professional before the implementation of any lighting system, whether upgrading or starting from scratch. Any new entertainment lighting added should work accordingly with the built-in, architectural lighting of the building. The goal is to enhance any available light when needed then diminish it if not.
2. Consider the needs of your church and congregation. When the choir sings, should the light over the congregation be dimmed? How much light is needed to dramatically illuminate the hanging crucifix for an Easter ceremony? Which lighting combinations best showcase a beautiful bride about to walk down the aisle? Answering these questions will draw a concise conclusion about which lighting systems will work best for your church.
3. Familiarize yourself with the functions of each part of the lighting system. • Controllers, a.k.a. switch panels, have rows of sliding buttons to mix variations of light intensities. Some even have memory capabilities for storing several preset options. • Processors add flair and effect to other architectural lighting –think intense color and pattern like that in a concert. • Fixtures, as their names suggest, are the permanently mounted lights that are the only visible part of the lighting system. These lights can add soft illumination or an intense, radiant beam aimed at one specific spot. • Dimmers work with the controller to vary the amount of electrical power sent to each light. In some situations, they can be just as complicated as controllers.
4. Lastly, shop around. Weigh different cost options to ensure that you’re getting the most out of what you are spending. Expensive doesn’t always constitute value so even if your church is on a tight budget, plenty of options still abound. Keep an eye out for reputable brands at closeout prices, and remember, quality can be affordable. By taking the steps to learn about and recognize the importance of lighting in your church, the implementation of a well-designed system can easily be attained. Remember, a few properly installed, strategically-placed lights can usher your church into an entirely new realm of worship and fellowship without costing an arm and a leg. And that’s something to thank the Lord for.

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