When Lord of Life Church, built in 1997, its leaders wanted to create an open uplifting atmosphere inside its spacious worship area. With this in mind, they included plenty of windows and skylights in the design of their building, so the sanctuary would be flooded with natural sunlight. The clear rays of a Minnesota morning sun played off beautifully against the oak wood stage and sandstone walls of the church during Sunday services, just as its designers had planned.
Unfortunately, the ample splashes of solar light also made it impossible for Lord of Life to incorporate video displays into its services a few years later when that technology became available to churches. That changed recently though when Excel AV Group provided the church with a video wall that was bright enough to stand up to the sun by installing PVP X3 modular indoor 3.9mm pixel pitch LED panels from Chauvet Professional.
“The church really wanted to incorporate video into the worship area because of its power to engage people,” said Kevin Crow, President of Excel AV. “We’ve worked with Lord of Life church for quite some time on various projects and have a great relationship with them. Over the years, traditional video projection was demoed for them, but nothing ever came of it, because the large amount of ambient light made the images very difficult to see.”
When Chauvet Professional introduced the PVP X3, with its high contrast, dense surface (16,384 LEDS over a 500mm sq panel) and illuminance of 1,560 to 2,100 NITS, Kevin tried again. “As soon as we demoed the PVP X3s, it became apparent to everyone that these panels would stand out even on the brightest days,” he said. “There so much black level on the panel’s LEDs that colours show up brilliantly even when there’s a lot of natural sunlight, so the decision was made to install them.”
The Excel AV team installed a massive 14ft – 7.75-inch wide by 8ft – 1.75-inch high video wall just to the right of a large circular stained glass window at the centre of the church’s sanctuary. Just to the left of the video wall overhead is a large skylight. On sunny days, the rich colours of the stained glass play off beautifully against the video wall’s images, which are highlighted by rays from the skylight. “The brightness is so intense from the panels that they actually work with the sun as a design element,” said Kevin.
Although the new video wall blends harmoniously with its surroundings, installing it at Lord of Life was not without its challenges. Since the roof of the church slants down sharply just over the video wall, hanging it from the ceiling was out of the question.
“The only practical way to hang the video wall was from the back,” said Grant Kluempke, Vice President of Excel AV. “We couldn’t get at it directly from the back because of the way it was positioned next to the wall. So, we cut a hole in the wall behind the video panels and connected them to steel studs. We worked with a Structural Engineer and created universal attachment points for attaching the panels. The end result was a secure seamless video wall with high output and brightness and a very wide, 130°, viewing angle that offers an excellent view from every seat in the church.”
Worshippers from those seats can see an array of images on the PVP X3 panels. Working with ProPresenter Worship Software, the church shows graphics, inspirational photos, videos and text on the panels. IMAG live video images are also shown during services, as well as at weddings and baptisms.
“There is a lot of text shown on the panels during services,” said Kevin. “It may be biblical passages, words to a hymn or an inspirational message – whatever text is shown on the panels is easy to read from any seat because of the 3mm pixel pitch. The RGB colours also stand out; they’re very clear, distinct and rich.”
Overall, said Kevin, the PVP X3 demonstrates how far LED video technology has come in the house of worship environment. “Not that many years ago, a video panel that was really visible in a bright room like this would have been out of the reach of most churches. Technology has really made it easier for all churches to enjoy the benefits of video walls.” Kevin concluded.