Elation in LED retrofit at Olive Baptist Church
Wednesday, 29 January 2020
olive-baptist-church33Olive Baptist Church has grown into one of the largest Baptist churches in America
USA - In 2019, Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola made the decision to upgrade the stage and house lighting systems in the main sanctuary – a significant undertaking that meant replacing over 600 lighting fixtures.
“We decided to replace every tungsten light that illuminated in the room with an LED fixture,” says Bobby Taylor, tech director and director of communications at Olive Baptist Church, “and for the stage lighting project chose a full complement of Elation LED fixtures.”
Olive Baptist Church was founded over 125 years ago and has grown into one of the largest Baptist churches in America. Under the leadership of Dr Ted Traylor, Olive Baptist is an active and growing ministry with a large worship space designed to hold about 4,000 people. In any given week, the sanctuary may host anything from weekly services, weddings, or funerals to full concerts and community events.
Taylor says the existing lighting system was getting old and he knew they were going to have to replace it, also the dimmer racks, at some point. “As parts would fail, the room began to get darker in sections,” he says. “We did some studies internally of the money it was taking to maintain the tungsten light fixtures with manpower and lamps. We also looked at the wattage loads we were using and determined it was best to upgrade the entire system to LED technology. The pay back made financial sense to us to make this change.”
Taylor, who has a long-standing relationship with Elation manufacturer rep firm Freed Sales and company head Dustin Pesnell, travelled to Elation’s South Florida showroom in Opa-Locka to explore the possibilities and, working together with Pesnell, came away with an Elation and ADJ gear spec. Begun in early August, the lighting upgrade was finished in time for a Christmas programme in early December.
Because of the electrical complexities of the space, the project was looked on as two construction projects within one - a general house lighting project and a stage lighting project. The existing house lighting system of 522 500W fixtures was replaced with colour temperature adjustable white lights and RGBL fixtures, while the old stage lighting system of roughly 100 575W ellipsoidals and 1000W PAR cans was replaced with a new Elation LED system of moving heads, Pars, battens and ellipsoidals. Elation dealer Everlast Productions supplied the lighting to Olive Baptist for the retrofit.
The church was fortunate to have the ability to do the project in house, and acting as their own in-house design build contractor chose the fixtures, tested them and proved the design concepts. They then subcontracted out the installation work to Current Solutions (Chris Mock), who handled the electrical for the house lighting, and All Pro Integrated Systems, who handled the sACN infrastructure, components, cabling and design. Because of the experience the church has on staff, the stage lighting was designed in house.
As the needs for the space are great, the stage lighting system is quite extensive. Taylor decided to go with an assortment of LED moving heads, choosing a pair of award-winning Artiste series fixtures - the Artiste Picasso and Artiste DaVinci - along with Dartz 360 and Platinum 1200 Wash units. “The choices that we made were based not only on the performance of the fixture but the fact that they are easy to maintain,” he comments.
Placed at various locations on stage, the Dartz 360 were chosen as a cost-effective fixture primarily for beam effects.
A combination of tungsten fixtures and Elation WW Profile HP warm-white ellipsoidal spots, all with 10-degree lenses, serve as key and backlighting on the stage. Elation SixPar Z19 six-colour Par wash lights are used for stage back wash and choir down-fill.
The result is a makeover that has enhanced church activities and lifted the space to a completely new level.
(Jim Evans)

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