CUMC’s state-of-the-art broadcasting capabilities includes new LEDs
Steeped in the timeless traditions of faith and charity, Cokesbury United Methodist Church touches the lives of people in the Knoxville area with an active volunteer organization involving some 400 congregation members, food drives, a recovery program and other outreach activities. At the same time, though, Cokesbury is also a very modern, forward-looking mega church with three distinct campuses that draw over 3,500 worshipers every week, ministering to them with a blend of traditional and contemporary services; the latter offering “the freedom to worship God with your hands raised, your dancing shoes on and a heart ready to be drawn into His presence.”
In keeping with its commitment to reaching worshippers in today’s high-tech world, Cokesbury has state-of-the-art broadcasting capabilities for live streaming services two days a week, and outstanding audio systems throughout all three campuses — and most recently — a new LED lighting system, designed by Ken (“KP”) Patterson of A Tennessee Lighting Company in Knoxville.
Featuring a variety of LED fixtures from CHAUVET Professional and CHAUVET DJ, the new lighting design gives Cokesbury Church the flexibility to go from soft accents to dramatic visual effects for the varied mix of traditional and contemporary services held at (and broadcast from) its three campuses, all while enjoying the energy and cost savings benefits associated with LED technology.
“The church has three very distinctively different areas for services, and the church leaders want all of them to have modern lighting technology to complement their extremely high powered audio system and sophisticated television production capabilities,” said Patterson. “My goal was to give the church a lot of bang for its investment in lighting by providing it with a versatile LED lighting design. I elected to go with Chauvet fixtures, because I’ve had good experiences with the company and its products.”
Patterson’s choice of gear included 26 COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tour wash fixtures, 12 Q-Spot 460-LED 70-watt moving yokes, and 8 COLORdash Accent RGBW LED effects from CHAUVET Professional as well as 12 SlimPAR Pro RGBA washes, and 2 Intimidator Spot LED 250 moving fixtures from CHAUVET DJ, 6 Data Stream 4 optical splitters, dozens of Chauvet DATA cables and “Chauvet’s great CLP-15 clamps all over.”
“We used primarily existing locations from the old lighting rig to hang the new fixtures,” said Patterson. “The positions already had power and were located so as to give good angles and also good front light for the cameras. The church does quite a bit of live stream broadcasting, so this was an important factor. We control the lighting in Epworth via an ETC Ion console with 4 DMX universes and Ethernet distribution. The other two rooms have Strand 250 ML consoles utilizing two DMX universes. The Data Stream 4s are used for DMX distribution all over each building.”
On the subject of broadcasting, Patterson points out that the Chauvet fixtures offer a number of features that make them well suited for this application. Quiet and flicker free, the fixtures don’t distract from broadcast services, while their color rendering and smooth dimming capabilities enhance the overall visual quality of productions.
Patterson was especially enthusiastic about the COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tour, a powerful RGBW 10-watt LED unit with a zoom range of 6°-31° and five dimming curves. “This fixture has a good zoom range, and the latest version with single four-color chips is even brighter than before and there are no color shadows. The dimming seems to be smoother with every new fixture. Smooth dimming is absolutely a necessity for me in choosing a fixture with this much impact on the overall lighting.”
The COLORdash Accents are used throughout the three Cokesbury campuses. “We have distributed DMX downstage right and left, as well as upstage right and left,” said Patterson. “The church changes its sets weekly, and they use the Accents very nicely to ‘color things’ close up.
“There’s an excellent tech team at Cokesbury and they love working with the lighting equipment,” continued the LD. “This team consists of a main lighting tech and three part-time staff, all of whom know their technology. They know how to utilize every facet of the lighting system, but at the same time they’ve also reduced some operations to simple button stations so that a Mom leading a Bible study can still have good light.”
Aside from being user-friendly, the new LED system is also earth-friendly, thanks in large part to its low power draw, which also made the installation process easier. “I converted lots of existing 20 amp dimmer circuits to non-dim and changed the connectors from stage pin to Edison NEMA 5-15 female, to end up with 10 times more power than I could possibly use,” said Patterson. “Power was never a factor. When you have a large incandescent system in place already, you have plenty of copper everywhere. The power draw requirements of the LED system are much, much lower.”
Given the diverse range of benefits it’s brought to this large and diverse church, it’s easy to see why the Chauvet lighting rig has been so popular at Cokesbury Church. “Everyone loves the lights,” said Patterson. “I’m happy with the way the equipment has performed, and the church is happy to have a lighting system in place that meets the high standards they established with their audio system and broadcast capabilities.”
For information on A Tennessee Lighting Company visit www.tennlight.com
For more information, please visit www.chauvetprofessional.com