Moving Lights for Worship Technology — Stage Wash Thoughts

Adding moving lights over the stage is what the vast majority of churches — both large and small — are installing for their intelligent lighting.

Moving Lights for Worship Technology — Stage Wash Thoughts
As shown in this example with the singer, Flana, at Victory World Church in Atlanta, side lighting can add a dramatic blue or a bold red-orange look to the people performing on stage.

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Moving Lights for Worship Technology — Stage Wash Thoughts

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There is a lot more to a moving light rig than many people may think at face value. We as technicians may understand the specific nuances of different types and classes of moving lights, but sometimes articulating the uses and needs for those different types are lost on others in your church organization. I hope to, ahem, shed some light, to help them better understand some of those aspects.

Moving lights, by their very definition, move. We can all get on board with that. But let’s simplify and divide their purpose into two different parts of your auditorium. Let’s call it over the stage or over the audience or congregation.

Fixtures for Small or Large Churches

Adding moving lights over the stage is what the vast majority of churches — both large and small — are installing for their intelligent lighting. There is nothing wrong with that! This is what we use to illuminate the stage set, set pieces, instruments, musicians, provide aerials into the audience, beams, texture, color—you name it.

An often overlooked part involves installing moving lights over the audience in the worship space. I’m not saying we are going to use these to illuminate the audience, but for the action on stage. Many stages are illuminated in a basic stage wash, whether it’s a rack of ellipsoidals or PARs, a couple Fresnels, or even some track lighting.

I much prefer the use of moving lights for stage wash than the use of ERS, or Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlights, or other traditional tungsten fixtures. The reason for this is that I try to minimize the amount of spill hitting unnecessary parts of the stage. And that is knowing that for the most part, a person can perform inside of a 6-foot circle.

So if I can make light circles for individual performers, as opposed to a giant wide white wash, then we can cut down on the amount of wasted light. What this ultimately does for the designer is that it can enhance the over-the-stage lighting package. This wasted light might also be washing out your projection surfaces. Before, you may have seen a small beam of light coming from the lens of your fixtures. Now that we’ve cut down on the amount of light bouncing around, though, the texture, beam, color, or whatever is now making its way all the way down to the floor.


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: [email protected]    More by Charlie Pike

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Article Topics

Technology · Lighting · Visual Arts · Lighting Design · Ellipsoidals · Framing Shutters · Fresnels · Lighting · Moving Lights · Musicians · All Topics

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