Essential Church upgrades with ADJ and Elation
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
essentialEssential Church has made online services a major priority this year
USA - Earlier this month, Essential Church in Huntsville, Alabama, upgraded their stage lighting to improve the production quality of both in-person services and the footage they capture for online broadcast. Conventional fixtures were replaced by energy efficient LED lighting from ADJ and sister company Elation Professional, improving the aesthetic appeal of the stage and at the same time reducing the church’s energy bill.
Like most religious congregations around the world, Essential Church have made online services a major priority this year. However, as they experimented with filming their worship and teaching in their auditorium, they realized that the lighting setup, while adequate for those attending in person, was limiting the quality of their video recordings. They brought in Christopher Watts of Watts Technology to advise on a cost effective, efficient and effective solution to add creativity to their stage lighting and also improve the quality of their online broadcasts. In turn, Christopher brought in lighting designer and regular collaborator Thomas Griffin of Lti Productions.
After visiting the church and discussing with leadership what they were looking to achieve from their lighting, Thomas designed and specified a new system. The current conventional front lighting fixtures were replace with LED fixtures, new LED pars and battens were installed above the stage, while a small number of existing LED fixtures were repurposed and integrated into a new DMX control system, which Thomas programmed to be easily operated by the church’s volunteer tech team.
Four of ADJ’s Ultra Hex Bar 12 LED colour wash battens were fitted to lighting bars hanging above the stage, parallel to the room’s apex ceiling, with the inside pair positioned towards the back of the stage and the outside pair towards the front. Each of these versatile fixtures feature 12 x 10W hex colour 6-in-1 LEDs (RGBAW+UV), which are grouped into six individually-controllable pairs. Offering a beam angle of 40-degrees, the units feature ADJ’s magnetic ‘Quick Align’ end locking system that means multiple units can be easily positioned end-to-end for a seamless output of light with no break in the spacing of the LEDs.
“The addition of backlight was an important part of the solution to the church’s broadcast lighting problems,” explains Thomas. “When you film someone on stage with just front light they look flat, the backlight adds a bit of a halo effect and separates the person from the background and makes them look more three-dimensional and lifelike on camera. I like the Ultra Hex Bar 12 because it is a double hit fixture, you get a nice wash but you can also use the pixel control (in groups of two) to create chase patterns.”
To further enhance the church’s online broadcast quality, as well as the look of the stage in general, Thomas put in four of ADJ’s 5P Hex LED par fixtures. These were positioned beside the rear Ultra Hex Bar 12s and angled backwards to wash a series of four scenic elements the church had constructed, each consisting of multiple white rectangles.
To replace Essential Church’s power-hungry conventional front lights, Thomas chose the Seven PAR 7IP from ADJ’s sister company Elation Professional. With seven 25W 7-in-1 RGBAW + Lime + UV LEDs and a CRI of 90, it is an extremely bright fixture ideal for washing a stage in absolutely any colour that is required.
To provide the church with a powerful, flexible and intuitive control solution, Thomas introduced them to the ONYX platform from another of ADJ’s sister companies, Obsidian Control Systems. Alongside the ONYX PC software, he put in an NX Touch, which is a powerful yet simple control surface that features 14 touch faders and 20 velocity-controlled pads.

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