Bringing Light to Worship

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PROLIGHTS and Vista by Chroma-Q enable cost-effective lighting and volunteer-friendly control for a Washington, DC House of Worship

Citizen Heights Church is a contemporary house of worship reaching the north-western Washington, DC community. However, they were experiencing a mismatch between their style/ministry goals, and the ability of their lighting system to support those goals.

“We had previously installed an LED video wall upstage,” says Joey Olmo, technical director at the church, “and our front lighting was not able to adequately light those standing downstage from the video wall. Additionally, our lighting console was difficult to use, and without a lighting expert in the congregation, training volunteers to run lighting was problematic.”

The church invited Kingdom Technology Partners (KTP), a trusted service provider for several years, to discuss their lighting challenges and recommend options for improvement.

“My company partners with churches to take them from where they are to where their mission is taking them,” says Pete Guyette of KTP. “Therefore, we started with exploring what lighting enhancements would align with their mission. Citizen Heights’ style of worship, similar to Hillsong in Australia, lends itself to a more contemporary approach with full stage lighting, intelligent effect lighting, and hazers.”

Guyette adds that staying aware of the church’s budget and ensuring good stewardship in their recommendations were also critical to any plan. After a demo at 4Wall in D.C., PROLIGHTS STARK400 wash fixtures and PROLIGHTS JETSPOT3 spot fixtures were selected as automated fixtures for the project to provide back-lighting, stage wash and beam effects. KTP hung a custom-built black truss upstage to support the fixtures. Additionally, PROLIGHTS ECLIPSEFS profile fixtures were selected to provide key lighting for the stage, ensuring even illumination for their vocalists and band.

“The ProLight fixtures are a perfect fit for this venue,” states Guyette. “additionally, the LED light sources for these fixtures make for lower cost of maintenance, lower power consumption, and less generated heat than tungsten-lamped fixtures.” A Look Solutions Unique 2.1 water-based hazer, controllable over DMX, allows the church to “paint the air” and add significant environmental enhancement to their worship experiences.

To handle the control concerns, Guyette installed Vista by Chroma-Q lighting control software with a Vista EX programming wing.

“We explained to the church that we’ve been training non-technical people to program the Vista control system for years,” comments Guyette. “It’s ease of use makes it ideal for a volunteer-driven production environment.”

With such a large video presence on stage via the video wall, it’s important for the lighting to complement the video and not fight with it. Once video clips are chosen for the service, they are sent to the lighting team for reference. “The lighting team will program their cues based on the colors and speed of the video clips,” Olmo explains. “They program in complimentary colors and match the movement speed of the PROLIGHTS fixtures to the speed and mood of the video clips. The idea is to make a cohesive presentation where all technical elements work together to create a well-coordinated visual environment.”

“The new lighting and control systems have been fantastic,” says Olmo, “and have added so much to our worship experiences. We are very excited and pleased with the results.”