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Lighting setup price???

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  • Lighting setup price???

    My chapel is being renovated in the next year or so, hopefully. (When I say chapel, I mean The worship space on campus at the Florida United Methodist Children's Home). It seats around 140. All of our lighting is commercial lights just set in the ceiling. And they are either on or off. No dimming. Hopefully with the renovation, we will re-do the lighting so that the ambient lighting is on a dimmer and also we can install theatrical lighting.

    I had some guys come look at our space and they sent back a $14-16k proposal. They suggetsed putting 16 PAR lights in the sidebeam rafters at the ceiling to shine onto the stage. Obviously there are all the other things like dimmer boxes, controller, etc.

    16 sounds like a lot of lights. Our stage is probably 8 feet deep and about 30 feet wide. Then there is another 10 feet before chairs. Then the chairs fill the rest of the space. Its not a huge room.

    But I know nothing of lighting design, setup, or price. I'm just curious if some more experienced people had any guiding thoughts for me as I begin this process.

  • #2
    Are these LED PAR cans or conventional? Are they all the same fixture?
    Travis Paulding,
    Production & Technology Director, St. Simons Community Church


    • #3
      It's hard to tell what is too many without a picture of the area. That being said, 16 par lights is not too much, but it laos depends on what you are looking for. It sounds like they want to put 8 together in the rafters shining on the stage. This would eliminate the shadows somewhat, but unless there are some directly in front, you will still have shadows on faces. How far away from the stage are the rafters? Light dissipates the further away from the place you want illuminated gets, so if it is a long way (more than 40-50 feet) you will need lights that can produce a lot of lumens. If you try LED lights, you may not be happy because the technology isn't quite there to light up a long stage from far away. If you use conventional, you can get some pretty bright lights, but then when it comes time to replace bulbs or add or remove GOBO's you will need some way to access them - usually with a lift. We went with LEDS to light up a shorter but deeper stage, and they are about 35-40 feet away with moveable heads and cans. We spent about 5K, but still need to get the leprechauns (DMX surge suppressors) for our 4 cans and 2 moveable heads. We installed ourselves - isn't that difficult. Lastly, don't get your hopes up about dimming house lights. If they are not incandescent, they can only be on and off. Ours are mercury vapor, and need a 15 minute cool down if turned off and back on. Even if they can be dimmed, they would need to be on their own dedicated circuit so the noise produced by the dimming process won't bleed in to your sound system.