By Jeff Carey
LED lighting has become a focal point of the visual aspect of churches, along with the benefits of energy and maintenance savings. Many churches are now open seven days a week, and effective LED lighting projects can offset a good portion of these costs.
Enhancing the worship experience has become a significant benefit for churchgoers who commonly report how much better they can clearly see what’s happening on stage. Creative colors and shades can also be used to create dynamics that engage the audience experience.
Imagine increasing your lighting capacity while also saving money on your monthly electric bill. Typical LED lighting fixtures have an average lifespan of 10 years or longer alongside attractive utility rebates and product guarantees.
Dimming and motion controls are now also common for many fixtures, allowing you to customize your lighting coverage for even further savings and versatility.
Here’s a quick rundown of key areas within your church’s footprint where LED lights offer great solutions.
Sanctuary, Stage and Primary Worship Areas
It is critical that any church lighting system is designed to ensure that all stage activity can be clearly seen by every seat in the congregation. With many now live streaming and expanding their video capabilities, it is also important for everything on stage to be sufficiently illuminated.
Without LED lighting, traditional lighting used in such environments was much less desirable. These fixtures used significant power and excess heat, along with less than desirable results for modern video technologies.
Wash lighting utilizing various color schemes and configurations can additionally be used to customize the look and feel you want to convey for your worship backgrounds. Matching these color schemes to your music and sermons creates a very professional and vibrant presentation.
Additional options include using moving head lighting fixtures for even more options of projecting lighting patterns to walls, ceilings, stage areas, etc.
Stage lighting is arguable the most critical area of your church’s lighting design. As noted, this is an area that will continue to expand as additional remote video services are added to your church’s programs future vision.
House Lighting and Video
Beyond the stage there are now very affordable DMX-controlled LED lighting options that allow you to cover technology to cover house lighting duties. Wide-angled wash fixtures with Chip On Board LEDs offer even coverage and uniform color mixing without shadows—ideal for lighting up an auditorium-type setting.
These allow your lighting people to easily control of how the choose to illuminate the main areas with various colors of light and or patterns at any point of your service—before, during or after. This type of lighting is often used for special events and presentations and when audience participation is encouraged.
Stage video has become a standard of most worship services. Text and images used to share the sermon’s key points, Bible passages, song words, etc. are now key components of a service for both those attending in person and the remote audience following along from home with remote video. LED video panels provide an affordable and reliable solution that increases brightness and clarity.
Foyers and Gathering Areas
Well-lit hallways are important in any building. When installing lights in your church, it’s important to be consistent with a design that enhances the coverage areas of lighting in areas where people spend time socializing and important literature and information is located. Adding motion sensors and dimming controls offer additional options to maximize energy savings.
Installing LED lights in high ceilings often located in foyers and gathering areas gives these spaces a clean and welcoming look, and significantly less maintenance for difficult-to-reach areas when replacing bulbs. LEDs are often rated at 50,000 hours or more. Energy and maintenance cost savings can be huge in these situations!
Offices, Classrooms and Daycare
Much like schools, LEDs are a great choice for churches because of their benefits in the classroom, offices and childcare areas. Their brighter light output has been proven to increase productivity and focus.
This increased focus has led to increased learning and more attentive students and teachers. Decreased flickering and eliminating substandard fluorescent lighting has been shown to improve the overall classroom environment.
Human-centric LED lighting solutions studies have shown positive improvement in five key areas:
- Circadian Rhythms
- Visual Activity
- Improved Productivity
- Energy Savings and Sustainability
The LED lighting fixtures for these types of areas are typically very affordable and easy to replace with a quick payback, making them a great start for those just starting to implement LED lighting.
Exterior and Parking Lots
An often-overlooked area for your church is where LED lighting can be used to enhance your buildings’ exterior. Signage, wall exteriors and parking lot lights offer great opportunities for more efficient and effective lighting upgrades. Many of these areas are lit up every day and can be some of your biggest electric usage and savings.
It should be noted that in today world, increased security is paramount to each and every building. High-resolution security camera footage is often only as good as the lighting provided in the area being surveyed. LED lighting solutions should be a mandatory consideration for your security infrastructure plan to maximize your investment.
As you can see, there are many different benefits that LED lighting provides in all types and sizes of churches throughout the world. Hopefully, this information provides you with some guidance in helping you plan your LED lighting project.
It should be noted that many churches have also incorporated very successful giving programs with money going specifically toward energy savings and efficiency projects, such as LED lighting and solar panels.
Finally, LED lighting is constantly evolving as new conditions and challenges arise, and it’s important to do your due diligence on the design, products, service and support you expect to receive as part of your new lighting projects.
There are also attractive rebates, grants, and other energy-efficiency programs that may be available in your area that can significantly offset your project cost!
Jeff Carey is over business development and marketing for Sitler’s LED Supplies. With locations in Washington, Cedar Rapids and West Des Moines, they are a premier Iowa LED lighting distributor, with their customers from design to installation, www.sitlersledsupplies.com.