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General Lighting Stage lighting, special effects and more!

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Thursday, November 3rd, 2005, 01:33 PM
franklyspeaking
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Small Church Lighting Design

We have a very small church and we are in the process of renovating our building. The pastor's daughter is a recent interior design grad and she is the designer. In the sanctuary she wants to have 14 - 400 watt pendant light fixtures to provide lighting for the congregation. She also is installing recessed lights over the piano, organ, and the communion table and a couple of eyeball floods on the pulpit. She wants to add 28 recessed lights along the side walls. The total room dimension is 30 x 80. We will not be using any type of video, but will have a simple sound system.

The kicker is she wants all of the lighting to be dimmable. Adding up the wattages of all of the lighting comes to 8400 watts. If we use wall mounted dimmers we have to have 8 of them ranging from 600 w to 2000w. The 2000 watt dimmers for the main 14 pendant lights are pretty expensive ($200 plus each). Is there a less expensive and more efficient way to provide dimming capability?

Thanks.
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Old Thursday, November 3rd, 2005, 03:24 PM
wjferguson's Avatar
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You're looking for architectural lighting dimmers.

I'm not sure you'll save money, but you'll have a better system if you go with one of these.

Leviton/NSI http://www.nsicorp.com
Leprecon http://www.leprecon.com
Lightronics http://www.lightronics.com

We're looking to move away from a wall panel full of dimmers to the Leprecon Litescape system. 12 channels of 20 amp DMX-controllable (and/or via wall controls).

Bill
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Old Thursday, November 3rd, 2005, 05:08 PM
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I would have to agree with WJ of trying to avoid the wall of dimmers. I would recommend a dimmer rack system with architectural control stations for control. A question though, does your church do much in the way of drama, or concerts, or other "artistic" events?

If you do decide on an architectural dimmer rack you may want to consider beefing it up, or making sure that it is expandable for future growth.

Along with the companies WJ listed is would recommend ETC.
ETC homepage

The one problem that I do not like about the Leprecon Litescpaes is that they are so big. The wall space that they take up in my opinion is too much for the amount of power they give you.

hope that helps.

Jonathan
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Old Thursday, November 3rd, 2005, 05:36 PM
Johnnycat's Avatar
Roccie di mezzi
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Well, I'm going to suggest a different route. Look into a "commercial" lighting controller like the following:

http://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/default.asp

http://www.lutron.com/radiotouch/default.asp

They will be more affordable and you don't need to worry about "dimmer packs"
There are others out there, but this way you use standard/existing electrical lines
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Old Friday, November 4th, 2005, 01:55 PM
wjferguson's Avatar
Will design for lattes

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Wills
The one problem that I do not like about the Leprecon Litescpaes is that they are so big. The wall space that they take up in my opinion is too much for the amount of power they give you.

hope that helps.

Jonathan
You're right, size matters. We were willing to live with that because the primary reason they are so large is the heat sinks. They use convection cooling only, no fans. We didn't have the luxury of installing the units sufficiently isolated from the sanctuary to be sure that fan noise would not be an issue. And we only need one. Another thing I liked about the Leprecon setup, since I'm hoping to supplement it later with stage lighting control, is the relatively seamless integration between the wall controllers and DMX, so the basic situations could be controlled using usher-proof pushbutton controls for simple situations, and a full lighting console for running a full-fledged dramatic production.

I didn't know about the ETC solutions, (I thought all they had was stage and portable stuff). Otherwise, I'd have put them on the list, too.

Bill
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Old Friday, November 4th, 2005, 05:50 PM
dmurphy's Avatar
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just food for thought:

It sounds likes she is an interior designer, and probably a good one. But you might want to get some second opinions on the stage lighting from an experienced light designer, as architectural lighting and stage lighing are totally different worlds.

just a thought
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Old Monday, November 7th, 2005, 08:50 AM
franklyspeaking
Spectator

 
The Pastor's daughter consulted a lighting designer and got the recommended lighting design from him. I doublechecked the lighting level with a calculator I found on GE's website, and I got about 40 ft-candles at the seating area. So I believe we have got the design pretty well planned, but I am still not set on how to dim all of these lights.

I should also add that my church is a reformed church of the old school, and there is no plans for drama or extensive stage lighting. However, we do want architectural control of the lighting levels in the sanctuary (ability to have different scenes for Hym singing, preaching, communion, etc).

Lutron has a model HP-6 dimming module that looks promising, but so far I can't find anyone who sells them, and don't know what they cost? I would be able to hook up all of the pendant lights to this module, and with one dimmer I could control them all! Pretty cool!
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Old Monday, November 7th, 2005, 12:41 PM
benwilhelm's Avatar
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If this is leaning more towards architectural I'd contact a local electrical contractor, there's likely one who'll handle Lutron. Otherwise contact ETC and they can put you in contact with a contractor in your area that does ETC stuff. Given your situation you sound on the right track overall. One last note, you may want to select a system that allows DMX512 control so that expanding say 10 years from now you'll have options.

Ben
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Old Monday, November 7th, 2005, 03:13 PM
franklyspeaking
Spectator

 
Ben Wilhelm or anyone,

If I use DMX 512 Dimmer Packs, do I have to use a control board to control them? I really would like to have a single dimmer control on the wall to control the house lights. That's 5600 watts and three circuits worth of lighting. I could use 3 DMX512 Dimmer Packs rated at 20amps each to do the job, but don't need the lights distributed to the 12 channels with separate dimmer controls for each channel.

Thanks.
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Old Monday, November 7th, 2005, 03:49 PM
benwilhelm's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklyspeaking
Ben Wilhelm or anyone,

If I use DMX 512 Dimmer Packs, do I have to use a control board to control them? I really would like to have a single dimmer control on the wall to control the house lights. That's 5600 watts and three circuits worth of lighting. I could use 3 DMX512 Dimmer Packs rated at 20amps each to do the job, but don't need the lights distributed to the 12 channels with separate dimmer controls for each channel.

Thanks.
You could do what you need to using dimmer packs. However wiring the lights to them may or may not be a code problem. When helping my parents church I was able to do the install using dimmer packs because the inspector was OK with me connecting the wiring from the lights to SJ cord running out of the breaker panel to edison plugs to the dimmer packs which were wall mounted in the breaker room. I used packs and a 24 channel console and then a wall mount preset panel. For that application I was controlling 3000 watts of house lighting and 3500 watts of stage lighting. So this worked well, however this does depend on code and what the inspector is OK with. I can tell you that this setup is electically sound but you should check with your inspector and he can tell you if it meets code. I can give a more detailed description but not right now.

Ben
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Old Friday, November 18th, 2005, 03:09 PM
cambo1000
Spectator

 
The NSI rack dimmer here holds 2400watts per channel, with 8 channels. We have these in a room with 2 wall mount dimmers, one in the tech booth, and one down on the wall for cleaning crew to use.

You might only need one of those dimmers it sounds like..?
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Old Monday, November 21st, 2005, 07:59 AM
franklyspeaking
Spectator

 
Any ideas on what one of these would cost?

Where do you get the 10 volt control power from in your installation.

Thanks.
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