Elation lighting upgrade supports contemporary worship at Living Word Church

Lighting Ministries designs and installs new stage and house lighting systems while emphasizing service at Houston-based ministry.

When Living Word Church in Houston, Texas, was having trouble maintaining their sanctuary lighting system – partly due to problems acquiring spare parts – they reached out to Eric Bernstein of Lighting Ministries (www.lightingministries.com), who quickly surveyed the situation and prescribed a lighting upgrade of Elation stage and house lighting fixtures.

“I know that whatever fixtures I specified would need to be serviced and I wanted to assure the prospective client that these lights could be easily repaired when needed,” stated Bernstein, alluding to the client’s poor experience with their previous AV integrator. “I chose to go with Elation for this job since I have dealt with their service department since 1992 and have a personal relationship with several of their key personnel. I know replacement parts can easily be obtained by us or any of their dealers and/or service centers throughout the country.”

Live and on camera
Like so many other projects begun pre-pandemic, the lighting upgrade experienced delays. The extra time, months of Covid adjustment in which live streaming became more of a focus, led to the realization that any design needed to look as good on camera as it does live. Following several on-site demos, a moving head package of 6 Artiste Van Gogh™, 6 Smarty MAX™, 12 Fuze Wash Z350™ and 4 Fuze Profile CW™ was chosen for stage lighting impact, while 20 Fuze Pendant™ LED wash lights provide a dynamic house lighting solution. Bernstein and Lighting Ministries handled design, specification and installation of the new system.

Forgoing an overhead truss rig, Bernstein installed upstage support shelves on which the Artiste Van Gogh and Smarty MAX fixtures sit, resulting in a cleaner, more traditional look. He says the choice of the hybrid Smarty MAX with its 4000-hour Platinum FLEX 400 lamp, 20,000 lumens of power and 160mm front aperture was a conscious decision in order to achieve a true beam look that only a lamp can produce while the ability to instantly switch to a wash look creates a very versatile fixture.

The Artiste Van Gogh, LED wash moving heads with CMY/CTO color mixing and framing, and Smarty MAX fixtures work with a Therma Tour 600™ haze machine from Magmatic atmospherics to create stunning visuals. The decision was also made to add full color lighting to the baptistery in the form of ADJ WiFly bars, which add more depth to the platform without added clutter.

Mounted on downstage support beams and used as front light are Fuze Wash Z350 LED washlights with barndoors and Fuze Profile CW LED profile spots. Bernstein comments: “It is important for the programmer/operator to be able to control the light and direct it accordingly. The use of zoom, framing shutters and barndoors greatly assist in this and the ability to control those functions greatly enhances the looks achieved and keeps unnecessary light spill to a minimum.”

House lighting
The full-spectrum LED downlighting Fuze Pendants have replaced 20 outdated discharge-based pendants resulting in at least a 65% savings in energy, according to Bernstein, while offering a full color palette, color temperature adjustment and CRI over 90. The new system gives the church the ability to light the complete sanctuary or highlight a specific area in any color or white color temperature at any time. “Color is emotion,” Bernstein says, “and with the Fuze Pendants they can really make an impression.” One inspiring look he describes is when the pastor is highlighted in white light while the house and stage lights match in blue. “It’s a powerful look and the contrast is striking.”

Living Word’s new dynamic lighting has added vitality to their contemporary service, helping the ministry spread its message live or via broadcast yet allowing them to maintain a more traditional look when desired.

Living Ministries – www.lightingministries.com