Beams, Spots and Washes: Dizzying Array of Fixtures for Church

Technology has come a very long way regarding light source options. LED will have an LED light source, whether it’s multicolor additive color mixing, or if it’s a white source, utilizing subtractive color mixing.

Beams, Spots and Washes: Dizzying Array of Fixtures for Church
An vast array of different light fixtures, including spots, during a recent worship service at Victory World Church in Atlanta.

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Beams, Spots and Washes: Dizzying Array of Fixtures for Church

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If you are looking to purchase a few new lighting fixtures for your worship space, you might be wanting something more than just a couple static or even color changing fixtures to suit your needs.

Don’t all lights produce a beam? The simple answer: Yes.

Maybe you want the wiggly-doos for your light shows.

From there, you look to poke around by opening up the ol’ internets, after which you then realize that there is a dizzying array of whirly-dirly lights to choose from.

Let’s boil down some of the choices that are available to you.

We can start with a type of light you should never buy:

1)  Anything that’s meant to sit on top of a t-bar at your buddy’s wedding.

2)  Anything that sits still and shoots out multicolored gak onto a dance floor. It might look “cool” at first on the *insert hotel name* ballroom floor, but in reality, inside a worship experience, it’s just not such a great look. Especially if you plan on letting that joker of a lighting fixture run in sound active mode.

Let’s take a look at some of the other choices, such as beams, spots and washes, along with LEDs and hybrids, and everything else.

Once again, it can be a lot.

First, to make a couple things clear from the beginning. When someone references a fixture as an “LED” or “tungsten” or “discharge,” they’re referring to the lamp source.

Technology has come a very long way regarding light source options. LED will have an LED light source, whether it’s multicolor additive color mixing, or if it’s a white source, utilizing subtractive color mixing.

Beams

Don’t all lights produce a beam? The simple answer: Yes.

Beam fixtures do this by producing a very narrow, very bright shaft of light. While spot and wash fixtures can produce relatively sharp beams, their beam ends up being conical.

A beam fixture, by contrast, has specific lensing and reflector features that reduce these conical shaped beams to less than 3 degrees. Beam fixtures shouldn’t be your first choice of light, not until your lighting rig has a nice combination of many other types of fixtures.

Beam fixtures don’t often have color mixing, but will have fixed color wheels. These fixtures will also include gobos, which we will cover in detail in the next section. These gobo and color wheels tend to be very simple given the compact size and shape of these fixtures. These fixtures are intended to be very small, so they are lightweight, and can move very quickly, giving you some very dynamic effects and movements.


More About Charlie Pike
Charlie Pike has been in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years. As a company owner, Charlie had traveled the country to work on various government, corporate, and private events, as well as many electronic music tours. He closed his company in search of serving in a ministry, where his talents could better be put to use. In August 2013, Victory World Church was in need of someone with Charlie’s specific skills, after which he has been able to help Victory improve their already immense production departments, as well as lend his services to other churches in need.
Get in Touch: cpike@victoryatl.com    More by Charlie Pike

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Technology · Lighting · Visual Arts · Lighting Design · Additive · Beams · Color Mixing · Fixtures · LEDs · Light Source · All Topics

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