The face of the church is constantly changing. No longer do you step in the average church and see huge elegant pipe organs, stained glass windows, and all lights turned 100% by one flick of a switch. Today, much more consideration with lighting is used to accomplish the needs of illumination while also bringing a new element of atmosphere that enhances the worship experience. Changing the lighting in a church can be a huge step towards modernizing while as bringing forth a big investment toward a more dramatic presentation. Realizing this investment is a significant financial commitment, careful consideration is required by a church’s decision making team.
When making a decision on the lighting that best suited for your House of Worship, there are many factors that should always be kept in mind. In this article, I’m going to focus on one thing: selecting the type of Lighting fixture to best suit your church, as well as offer three different lights from a brand of which may not be familiar to you.
Keep in mind the entire process of a typical Sunday morning and consider your church’s need for the lighting from when the first person walks in, and to the last person walks out. In addition to the process, decide what tone your church plans on setting with the lighting from for welcoming congregation members, the musical worship, to the preaching, and through the end of the service. Every church has a different perspective on the “walk in look.” Do you want the lights bright so that everyone can walk around easily and encourage communication with other members of the church? Or do you want to keep it dim to prepare one’s heart for worship? Consider how your lights will be used in each step of your worship time. If used correctly, lighting can be used to create a whole new worship atmosphere.
How does your church plan on using the lighting during the sermons? Many churches pull the trigger on wanting all these colors in the church but fail to consider things such as house lighting for the congregation to have while reading their Bible or being able to write notes. Not one of those considerations have a single right answer. Instead, your church has to decide what is best for your congregation that creates the best facility for exalting Christ in your church.
There are tons of blogs and articles that list many of the best Lighting fixtures for the church use. Therefore, I want to take a different approach and select one specific brand that you probably have never heard of that provides excellent quality at an incredibly affordable price. I’ve selected three different lights from three different categories. I have personally have used these lights in worship settings and gotten impressive results. All of these lights are from the same brand:
The Epsilon TrimPar 9VR is a powerful 5-in-1 (RGBWA) low profile LED wash light with (9) 10 watt LEDs that provides a bright output with incredible color options. This fixture delivers bold and brilliant color mixing with smooth and even outputs without shadows for professional production in your worship setting. If you have used LED lighting you know how much of a pain it is when working with RGB type fixtures while trying to get that correct color you want from the light. This fixture solves that problem by including White and Amber pixels that give you endless new options to dial in exactly the color you are looking for. You can even save time and extension cords/power strips by daisy chaining the IEC power cords together.
The Epsilon Mini Z beam is a fixture that when compared to it’s competitors is smaller, yet, it’s nothing to overlook. It serves the same purpose as the 9VR now with a zoom capable moving head fixture that provides even more options and uses. The Mini Z-Beam is the first ultra-compact high-intensity 80 watt Zoom LED Beam Moving Head fixture which features 12 watt 4-IN-1 (Red, Green, Blue, White) Flicker Free LEDs in a professional compact yet easy to carry design that delivers a big punch. The Mini Z-Beam’s linear zoom motor allows total control and flexibility offering a variable beam angle of 10-65 degrees, 8/16 bit Pan/Tilt as well as smooth electronic dimming. The zoom is my favorite part about this fixture. This light can be used as a wash light and point the light anywhere you want with a touch of a button from your controller while also being able to adjust the beam size at the adjustment of the zoom channel.
The Epsilon E-beam 2R is a lightweight and powerful 132 watt beam moving head that is perfect for church venues looking to blast colorful yet intense narrow beams to create spectacular mid-air aerial effects while also being used to spot specific areas desired. The E-Beam houses separate Gobo and Color Wheel including 14 different Colors and 14 Gobos that will provide countless different looks and settings. The electronic Dimmer, Strobe, and adjustable speed for strobe effect add endless possibilities combined with its 8-facet rotating prism and motorized focus.
Church lighting should never tell the story or steal the show no matter what place of Worship you are in. Instead, lighting should be used as a tool, a resource, an aid to set a tone and atmosphere that never distracts the worshipper’s focus away from Christ. For the experienced lighting directors, this information may be nothing new and may have a different approach and attitude towards using lighting in worship. However, most churches are not fortunate with having someone with knowledge in lighting. Therefore, this writing is for both the experienced in seeing a different perspective, as well as the ones who are just now looking into lighting. The main thing to keep in mind is; Lighting is subjective.
There is no right or wrong way of using lighting as long as it is accomplishing the purpose you have for it. However for worship, our purpose is worshiping not the lights, the people on the stage, or even the music. Our purpose for using lighting in worship is to always make decisions when shining lights, that it is only shined for Christ. Because of this, the “less is more” approach is a great step one when operating your lights. For example, use only a few color changes throughout the first few worship services and be careful on where you aim the lights. For starters, only aim the lights on back walls and specific structures that you can up light with. The 9VR’s are perfect for this application. Take the time to position the lights in different places and experiment what looks the best while not causing any interference.
Every church works on a budget and some are tighter than others. However, no matter your budget, every church has the same considerations. There are thousands of lighting fixtures out there, the three I have selected are three that I believe in and feel suit the church in creating an effective, inviting, modern worship atmosphere.