St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church of Newport Beach, California has added Ayrton Khamsin-TC profile luminaires to its equipment inventory for worship services and special events.
St. Andrew’s has been in the Newport Beach community for about 70 years and is known as a neighbourhood church with global impact. It holds three-weekend worship services, both modern and classic, and maintains a staff to handle audiovisual production needs.
“It’s been our long-term goal to offer live streaming on the internet, and our recent camera and lighting purchases are designed to aid us in live streaming services and events,” said Erik Alkire, lighting designer at St. Andrew’s.
The church has six Panasonic cameras, four of them remotely controlled by the technical director and two manned on tripods. Its extensive lighting complement includes 90 conventional fixtures plus some ageing moving heads.
“The entire roof of the church is glass,” noted Erik, “so beautiful sunlight streams in during Sunday morning services in the sanctuary. But the sun creates a lot of shadows on faces when we’re shooting video. We were looking for some bright lights to reduce those shadows and provide a quality of light that mimics tungsten sources and can be used as a key light if necessary.”
Erik launched “quite a research project” to find the right fixtures. “None of the lamp options were going to work because we don’t have a budget to constantly relamp a set of moving lights, so we knew we needed LEDs. That narrowed the field.”
Erik discovered that Ayrton’s Khamsin “ticked all the boxes with no compromise.” He was especially impressed by Khamsin’s 6000-Kelvin light engine that required less colour correction to achieve a high light output. St. Andrew’s purchased a complement of Khamsin-TC models with custom white bodies that match the enclosures of the church’s other fixtures.
While St. Andrews has been live-streaming its services since January 2019 the new fixtures, which were installed in October, have significantly upgraded the quality of live streaming for worshippers following services on the web.
“The Khamsins are mounted as front lights,” Erik explained. “They give the pastor a massive boost of intensity during sermons; he can walk through the sunlight and shadows, and we still see his face.” In addition, the Khamsin fixtures “take the place of follow spots for the singers with the praise band in our modern services, and they bring up the intensity of speakers or the liturgy during the classic service.”
The Khamsin fixtures are expected “to play a big part” in St. Andrew’s upcoming Christmas concerts. “In the past, we’ve tried to make the sanctuary more magical for Christmas,” said Erik. “The concerts are generally at night so we’re not fighting sunlight. We bring in haze and additional lighting equipment to get an extra layer of prettiness. But we also need to light faces for special moments in the concert, and the Khamsins will give us that ability.”