ADJ Brings the Community Closer at Gulf Cove United Methodist
Complementing the welcoming, community feel of Gulf Cove United Methodist Church with some subtle but super-effective COB-LED color washes, lighting designer Russell Byas chooses adaptable ADJ products for his latest awe-inspiring project.
A modern building set amongst greenery in a prime water-side location in Port Charlotte, FL, the Gulf Cove United Methodist Church looks as appealing outside at it does inside. Providing a beautiful environment for worship, the homely feel and lightly-colored décor of its sanctuary makes it a welcoming venue, while the close seating and open layout offer the sense of community that’s vital to communal prayer.
However, with an old and fairly limited lightshow installed, Gulf Cove was in serious need of a lighting makeover! That’s when lighting designer Russell Byas of Creative Sound Solutions was called upon. And he decided to bring in a series of ADJ fixtures to provide an all-encompassing, flexible lightshow worthy of this stunning sanctuary.
A key element of Russell’s game-plan was to create a lightshow whose effects could be felt throughout the venue, drawing church members together during worship, in keeping with the community ethos of Gulf Cove and the close-knit feel offered by its snug seating. Russell chose to incorporate 22 ADJ COB Cannon Wash units and, inspired by the type of expensive pendant lighting often seen in churches, decided to hang them from the ceiling, providing impressive coverage of the whole room thanks to their ultra-wide 80-degree beam angles (which can also be reduced to 40-degree or 50-degree using the included replaceable lenses).
“Pendant lighting has always been popular in churches, in sanctuaries. But the LED solutions that have come out in recent years are really expensive – don’t get me wrong, they’re high quality, but the price range is out of a lot of churches’ budgets,” explained Russell. “I don’t know if these [ADJ COB Cannon Wash] fixtures were ever designed to be pendant lights, but with the casing and the yolk the way it is we were able to utilize them as pendant lights and with the long-throw beams we were able to get nice coverage on the floor. So, for a small budget, we were able to meet the church’s needs and get rid of the nasty fluorescent house lighting previously used during services.”
It wasn’t just the floor-filling coverage that made the COB Cannon Washes the perfect units for the job, but also their ability to create smoothly-mixed customized colors and sleek warm-white washes. Now, lighting users at Gulf Cove are able to produce beautiful washes of the whole floor in every shade from deep blue to warm white to vibrant pink, enabling a variety of moods and atmospheres for worship, from subdued to energized, depending on the color. Moreover, thanks to the power of the units’ 150W quad-color COB LED sources, these washes are always highly effective, even during the daytime.
“We get a nice warm-white out of it, but then we can also change the colors to match the stage or create a mood during the service, during worship,” said Russell. “They have a lot of ambient light in the sanctuary, which is tough. But we were able to overcome most of that. And for the budget we were on it was perfect.”
Elsewhere in the sanctuary, above the stage, Russell utilized a selection of 5P Hex and 12P Hex par units, providing coverage of the stage from the front and sides: “We put the Hex pars on the stage, which was really nice,” Russell said. “Before [the church] just had the old ADJ R64s, but not enough to light the whole stage. So we used the 12P Hexes on the front bar and the 5Ps on the side bars.”
Equipped with powerful HEX-LEDs (RGBAW+UV) and an all-encompassing 30? beam angle, the 5P Hex and 12P Hex units bring smoothly-mixed, UV-infused color washes to the stage inside the sanctuary, creating a vibrant, luminous area on which speakers and performers can share their beliefs and music with the congregation. For an even wider wash, Russell can also use the optional diffusion filter on the 12P Hex, providing extensive coverage for projecting UV-inflected color effects out across the entire venue.
Showing that lighting plays an essential part in the day-to-day events of modern churches, Gulf Cove also boasts a neat ‘front of house’ area at the rear of the sanctuary, where myDMX 2.0 (combined with an Elation OPTO Branch DMX-splitter) is used to control the new ADJ lighting. While the church’s volunteer lighting programmers do have limited experience, the accessibility and user-intuitive design of myDMX 2.0 means they have no problem operating it, and Russell has programed various lightshows which the volunteers can easily trigger using the software.
So, with a wholly immersive lighting display in place and a simple but effective way of controlling it, Russell’s vision is complete! But what do the management team and congregation members at Gulf Cove think of the new setup? “They love it,” Russell answered, clearly pleased with their reaction, “they could not be happier!”
Working on a budget, it was our affordable but versatile lighting fixtures that allowed Russell to create a unique mood and achieve those unbeatable, atmosphere-enhancing color washes inside the wonderful main room. In addition to this – using myDMX 2.0 and the Elation OPTO Branch – he was also able to provide the volunteers who run the Gulf Cove lightshows there with a simple-to-use control setup and a series of pre-programed shows to help them during future services, performances and events.
Thanks to Russell’s vision and the versatility, power and uniqueness of ADJ products, Gulf Cove United Methodist Church now has a low-cost but highly effective lightshow that’s perfectly suited to its stunning water-side sanctuary. It’s this seamless integration between venue and lighting which makes projects such as this so worthwhile and a pleasure to be involved with.
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