It would be hard to imagine another technological upgrade to a heritage house of worship that could have quite the immediate impact as the introduction of LED based Church lighting. The Light Emitting Diode, once a humble on-off indicator replacing a tungsten or neon lamp on a car or electrical device, is now being employed to provide an uplifting, environment altering, energy saving, creativity inducing, maintenance free enhancement to spaces worldwide.
The vast array of modern light fittings, providing opportunities for multi beam angle (spotlights, floodlights and everything between) and variations of colour temperature (warm, cool white, daylight etc), can be used alongside digital control (not as scary as it sounds) to add to the character and versatility of our traditional spaces. Provided the current power infrastructure meets regulations, the LED lighting fixtures can be direct replacements for existing fittings, without any additional control cabling, reducing cost and making the whole upgrade process more palatable to diocese, faculty and congregation.
Wireless digital control can be used to establish ‘scenes’; setting pre-programmed lighting scenarios around the space for a range of functions/activities or to highlight an architectural feature within the building. These can then be recalled at the push of a button to immediately set the lighting prior to an event with no further thought needed. A ‘visitor’ switch is recommended to allow the lights to be simply turned on and off (last one out please!) although you get to decide which lights the visitor is in control over and how they will appear when on. See, told you digital control isn’t scary.
One can’t talk about LED church lighting without considering the energy saving and subsequent benefit to the environment. It is considered that lighting accounts for 20% of the energy used in the UK which means it also accounts for a significant chunk of our energy bills. LED lamps use less than 15% of the energy of their tungsten counterparts which impacts directly on CO2 emissions, and let’s not forget the benefits of a product that boasts a lamp life of 55,000 hours when it comes to scaling the dizzying heights of the existing light fittings at 8, 10, or 12 meters, usually with annoyingly limited access, utilising mobile towers taking a minimum of two individuals, just to change some lamps!! Let alone the cost of the lamps themselves.
Great Somerford Church
A good example of what can be achieved can be found in an excellent Facebook post by Rev Steve Wilkinson at Great Somerford Church. Steve guides us round the improvements that he experienced after an upgrade to LED lighting and commented “The lights and the controls are fully flexible allowing us to focus attention on different areas of the building according to need. We are really pleased with the back-lit internal stained-glass window which was previously ineffectively lit. It is now a real feature and draws the eye”. Click Here to visit the Great Somerford Facebook Page to find out more.
St Mary’s Church in Standon, Hertfordshire is a Grade 1 listed building whose original structure dates back to Saxon times. Bequeathed to the Knights of St John in the twelfth century, this beautiful processional Church has experienced many architectural embellishments over the years, all of which have served to add to its character as a significant link to a rich historical past
In recent times, the church authorities had concluded that significant improvements were required to its internal facilities. The growing use of the space for a wide variety of functions meant that the existing lighting provision was inadequate and the church turned to Essex-based AV specialist, Clarity in Sound, Light and Vision Ltd, to determine the best way forward. Clarity is a leading installer of tailored, flexible and easy to use systems, with great experience of the house of worship sector. As well as the practical aspects of re-lighting the church, there were many important aesthetic considerations to be taken into account. There was a strong wish to highlight the beauty of a number of the church’s historical internal features, as enhancements to creating a warm, welcoming and beautiful space.
The sensitivity of the interior fabric of the church demanded that Clarity was painstaking in its approach to the installation. The delicate ancient floor could not support heavy machinery, so ceiling access was obtained by the careful use of scaffolding. Every part of the job demanded careful attention to detail.
Different feature areas of the church were lit with appropriate fittings from across the ETC ArcSystem range. In the chancel, two important tombs were lit with ETC MR16 fixtures, with the same units being chosen as uplighters for the ceiling. A combination of Pro One-Cell and Pro Four-Cell units were used in the nave, with ArcLamp fixtures employed in the entrance portico. Pro Two-Cell fixtures completed the picture in the aisle. The resulting installation looks stunning, highlighting the rich architecture of the building whilst offering a warm, bright, practical lighting solution for the staging of worship and events.
To see more transformational Case Studies and inspiration, view our other Case Studies below:
Clarity in Sound Light & Vision supply, install and service a comprehensive range of AV equipment for sound, projection, stage & ambient lighting, systems for the hard of hearing, drapes and stages. For more information please Email or call us on: 01245 231 266.