Every location has unique needs when it comes to the right lighting plan. When planning church lighting, it may seem like an overwhelming task with many facets to consider. From the stage to the pews, lighting this type of location doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are a few suggestions to help you achieve the right church lighting for your location with ease.
Stage Lighting Basics
The stage is the central focus of a church since it is where the sermon will be given and you want all eyes naturally drawn to this area. Lighting is the best way to make it the focal point of the space.
- Choose stage lights that are directional. When you choose overhead lights that are easy to adjust as needed, you create a lighting plan full of versatility to meet the changing needs of your location.
- Create layers of lighting for the stage. Having one light source for a stage, even a smaller one, will surely create some issues. It is best to have a row of lighting which will illuminate directly overhead of the stage to allow for soft shadows to be created. When you combine this with additional spotlight style fixtures, you create lighting that is focus driven for the audience, as well as layered enough to not be too harsh on the eyes.
- Use more than one light to illuminate the main focal point of the stage. While you don’t want to flood the podium with too much bright light for the sake of the comfort of the speaker at the podium, you do want to create ample light. The best way to do this is to use layered directional spotlights in opposing directions. For instance, placing a light to light the podium from the front with another fixture to light it from the back is a great way to create a more focused light while keeping the concentration more manageable for the eyes. You can also opt for a three-way or four-way light directional set up, depending on the size of the stage with a larger stage or larger congregation area requiring more light for better visibility.
Congregation Seating Lighting
This area presents its own unique lighting considerations. Since this area needs to have clear visibility of the stage from all angles, here are a few tips for this area of church lighting.
- Layer the lighting as much as possible. The key to this area of lighting is to mix different levels and sources of lighting to find the appropriate outcome. If the area has natural lighting of any type, whether from windows or skylights, it is important to utilize that light source. This will help cut down on lighting costs because you will need fewer artificial lighting solutions, but it also serves to create a lighting plan that is gentle on the eyes. If you can combine natural lighting and artificial lighting together in effective layers, the congregation area will become much easier to light properly.
- Keep in mind reading needs. Many congregation members will bring their own reading materials, in addition to provided pamphlets, hymnals, and church communications that are handed out upon arrival, Lighting should be concentrated enough to provide a reliable level of task lighting without being overbearing. A good rule of thumb for this is to keep either your lumen output higher with warmer temperatures or your lumen outputs lower with cooler temperatures. This will offer the right balance of gentle and bright.
- Install diming lights where applicable. If the setup allows for dimmable lights, this will allow you to adjust the lighting throughout the service for the best result for the congregation. For example, having brighter lights which are dimmed during songs or prayer can not only create a more peaceful experience perfect for the setting, it can also help with keeping the congregation focused on the message being delivered.
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