By Tom Murphy
A church should be a well-lit place for its worshippers. Good church lighting only enhances the environment as it is essential for different places within the building. There are three main areas that church lighting can be utilized at its best.
Where church lighting works best:
Main Stage – You more than likely have been to a concert before, even if it was held at your church. The way technicians light a concert is the same as they do for some church services. The idea is to use stage lighting to highlight areas of the stage that are used the most. When the term church lighting is used, you can identify it with other types as well such as concert and event lighting.
Choir – The choir is an area that you will see church lighting being utilized the most because the choir seems to be the main focus of any service. In order to light members, a spotlight is utilized to present them to the congregation. This light is normally placed directly overhead or on the left and right sides of them. When done correctly, the members will be the main center of focus.
Congregation – Many times the congregation requires direct church lighting. This is done through the use of recessed lighting. This lighting is unlike stage lighting and event lighting because it presents more of a softer focus onto the congregation. The reason soft lighting is utilized is so members are able to read their hymnals and able to observe the speaker when presenting the service.
A church has always been known as a center for worship, but modern day constructs of it have allowed for an expansion of the traditional type and permit for a more updated appeal with such additions as event lighting and stage lighting. This is something that is mostly overlooked by the congregation and best left to the technicians who do this type of electrical work.
With stage lighting and event lighting a church is able to do several things, such as brighten up an area for the special events that it puts on. Special event lighting adds to the environment as it creates more of a natural setting, one that members are used to. There are many things to consider when lighting these areas, such as the lighting levels that will be required and the types of fixtures needed.
Lighting fixtures – There are only two main ways to light a church, direct and reflector flood bulbs. Direct is for areas of the church that are dark. High ceilings play a major role for direct lighting as it is used overhead to light these areas. There are also indirect fixtures that work well off of different ceilings such as white and wood. They also feed off of low ceilings and perform the same objective as it does for high ceilings. Many times direct and indirect are used in a church for effects that balance each other.
Lighting levels - Lighting levels depend on several things, one of them being the congregation. It is ultimately up to a lighting technician to decide how it will work best. The lower the lighting the more the atmosphere is going to feel comfortable as brighter lighting is made to focus on a subject. The central focus for balancing light is to rid any part of it from shadows. Many churches are equipped with dimmers, which allow for the manipulation of light. Dimmer controls are made available in theatrical and general types.
In order to have the most suitable lighting fixtures for church, there are several factors to consider such as what types of lighting will be needed and where. Stage lighting is great for concerts and other events, but event lighting is good for brightening up the choir. Both are utilized in most churches but for different things. Stage lighting and event lighting are only two ways in which light can help as there are many other types that can be used. No matter what your lighting needs are, make sure you make the effort to shed some extra light on your church.
Founded in 1978, Vincent Lighting Systems provides theatrical, film/video and architectural lighting for a wide range of businesses, including performing arts centers, educational and religious organizations, corporations and special events. Their event lights will make any occasion memorable. Whether you need to purchase, rent, install or repair a lighting system, Vincent Lighting is always ready to help.