Dedicated to creating a welcoming and authentic relationship with their congregation, Bannockburn Church is a sanctuary filled with encouragement and bonded through a common faith. Located near Austin, Texas, the church recently made the decision to renovate their outdated production design behind the worship environment, and they needed a partner to make the design a reality. With preparations of their own already underway for the opening of a new office in Texas, the design and integration specialists at 5 Words Media were ready to take full control with a design utilizing Chalice downlights and AP-150 LED Par luminaires from Altman Lighting.
“We were traveling a lot in Texas for a number of projects in the House of Worship market, so we began looking at the possibility of opening a new office,” began Daniel Gourley, CEO, 5 Words Media. “Strategically located in the middle of San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Austin is a very progressive entertainment environment, making it an ideal expansion possibility. Since we knew Dustin Parker from our work with him at Life Austin Church, we did our best to convince him to join us and it’s been a natural extension for us as we continue to grow year-after-year.”
“When I first spoke with Daniel, I was doing a lot of in-house projects, but then also working on additional AVL freelance projects with other churches throughout the area,” added Dustin Parker, Sales Engineer, 5 Words Media. “My true passion is to help congregations get the most out of the worship experience, so when I had the opportunity to join 5 Words Media, I really took it and ran with it.”
As discussions began with Bannockburn Church on how they would like to renovate their production design, it became clear that the architecture of the sanctuary was a valued aspect of the worship environment. Wanting to both highlight and accentuate the design characteristics already in place, the team at 5 Words Media would need to completely revamp the antiquated lighting technology.
“When talking to tech director Chase Fullerton, we knew they wanted to maintain the beautiful aesthetics of the space with the wood ceiling and its octagon-shaped, support beam infrastructure,” continued Daniel. “Previously, they were using a lot of flood uplights for the ceiling, and then only a few incandescent lights shining down on the orchestra and seating areas. In the balcony, they were relying on the bounce from the ceiling light, and under the balcony, they were using outdated fluorescent fixtures. We were really dealing with a tale of three different light levels throughout the sanctuary, so we needed to renovate the entire system with one-to-one fixture control and a more balanced lighting design.”
Focused on selecting the most advantageous solutions for the new design, Gourley began to visualize how to create an all-encompassing lighting experience. Understanding how the church struggled with varying color temperatures in the past, he wanted to make sure to give them a consistent and even wash of light in the updated sanctuary design.
“When choosing the replacement downlights for the space, it was very important to maintain a consistent color temperature and also provide one-to-one control, which is why we chose the Altman Chalice luminaires for the space,” admitted Daniel. “The DMX-controlled 150W and 70W luminaires allowed full control of each fixture independently at a 3000K color temperature, and they also provided multiple mounting options, including recessed and yoke-mount, which were used throughout the space to create a consistent and elegant installation.”
The Chalice LED Series is the most diverse range of downlights available with mounting options that include pendant, recessed, aircraft cable, wall and yoke mount, plus dimming choices ranging from Mains Dimming to DMX. Additionally, with a wide variety of LED color or white light options, and numerous lens or reflector choices, the Chalice LED Series is the most versatile and easy to integrate downlight solution available today.
With the sanctuary lighting now in place, Daniel and the 5 Words Media design team now wanted to create the accent lighting for the design. Knowing the importance of the architecture of the building, he developed a clear vision of how LED color-changing could open up a multitude of design possibilities.
“As we started to look at what to use for the ceiling, we wanted to give them the ability to really tone the room or use a deep colour wash to accentuate what might be happening on stage,” explained Daniel. “Since they love the architecture of the ceiling, we mounted the Altman AP-150 LED PAR luminaires on the peripherals of the wooden beams which gave us the ability to utilize their colour-changing and zoom capabilities to really open them up and wash the entire ceiling. It was great to see that what we wanted to achieve, and what we did achieve, were one in the same.”
The AP-150 PAR is a compact and lightweight, 135-watt RGBW LED wash which produces deep, saturated colours and soft, delicate pastels, while maintaining a smooth, uniform beam throughout the entire motorized zoom range. Weighing only 11 pounds, the AP-150 replicates the soft output of a traditional par wash light with control states from 8 Bit, 16, Bit, RGB, and HSIC. Its factory and custom colour presets allow for the quick selection of the most widely used entertainment colour choices, and it also adds the ability to record colour presets directly to the luminaire for custom colour playback.
“We ended up running DMX all over the building, along with a streaming ACN network to connect the house and stage lighting systems, and then we programmed all the fixtures via RDM,” added Dustin. “The RDM settings on all the Altman luminaires were outstanding as we were able to be on the ground and address all the lights in about 2 minutes. The system is now using a theatrical console with DMX e-nodes and architectural wall stations to control the lighting, along with a timeclock using on-off snapshots activated at multiple time schedules. Everyone was very pleased with the new design, and it was great to be able to give them all the control they wanted.”
With the installation now complete, the design at Bannockburn Church is creating an entirely new worship environment while solidifying the reputation of 5 Words Media as a trusted integration partner throughout the area. Operating under a design principle centered on “See, Hear, Feel, Design and Build”, Daniel is extremely pleased with the performance of the technologies that helped bring the renovation together.
“While there are a lot of zoom par and LED downlight luminaires on the market, there are a lot more features in the Altman fixtures, over others I have seen,” concluded Daniel. “With a lot of multi-cell fixtures, you see all the striations and individual light emitters striking a surface, but with the Altman AP-150, the output is very homogenized and the colour we get at 30-feet away is the same we get at 3-feet away. As an integrator, the Altman fixtures give you so many options and it comes from a company with a really good track record for quality and support.”