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Old Monday, November 24th, 2008, 06:10 PM
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how many lux do you need?

How many lux or candle power do you need for house lighting and stage lighting? We are doing a new install on our church and I am unsure of how many watts the fixtures need to be or how far apart to space them n the sanctuary. For the stage I can plan the placement fairly well but I am unsure of how many lux are needed. I am thinking of using LED pars for this. Does anyone have any experience with them?

Thanks

Scott
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Old Monday, November 24th, 2008, 07:46 PM
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I don't think in terms of CP/lux, though I probably should learn to at some point. But for stage lighting, you usually want 1KW or "KW-equivalent" units (that is, the new generation 575-watt lamps). For house lighting, I wouldn't go below 300 watts per unit if possible .. this is presuming PARs with wide lamps, and units spaced appropriately to overlap at or above six feet above the floor.

My gut instinct is that LED PARs aren't going to have enough punch for a front or a colorwash unless they're really really close .. I think I remember hearing they're about equivalent to a 300-watt PAR, and I think that was the good ones. I'd really try to get some conventionals for your money fixtures.
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Old Monday, November 24th, 2008, 07:58 PM
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Scott,

Honestly, it depends. Are you preparing to broadcast on TV? If not, you can shoot for around 80 footcandles on the stage, and maybe half that in the house. If you are lighting for video or broadcast, you should really be after 120 footcandles on the stage and not much less in the house if you are planning on doing reaction shots or audience shots. The camera sees a lot more than the naked eye does.

As far as how far apart to space things, try to find the photometrics on the fixture you are thinking of, then see what the beam angle is at the distance you want to throw. For a stage wash, you will want an even coverage so you don't see dips or dark spots if you have a mobile pastor who likes to move around. A good rule of thumb is to put the edge of one beam at the center of the previous one since the falloff of one light will be covered by the hotspot of the next, thus giving you an even spread.
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Old Monday, November 24th, 2008, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millamber View Post
A good rule of thumb is to put the edge of one beam at the center of the previous one since the falloff of one light will be covered by the hotspot of the next, thus giving you an even spread.
Yep, that's a great way to make an even wash. Steve Shelley calls that the "Slinky" method. Always start at center and work out from there.
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Old Monday, November 24th, 2008, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millamber View Post
The camera sees a lot more than the naked eye does.
Did you mean to say that the camera needs a lot more light than the eye?
At lower light levels, the eye can see much more than a camera, unless it is a nightvision camera.

SteveV
Orlando, FL
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Old Monday, November 24th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspadp View Post
How many lux or candle power do you need for house lighting ....?
Do you have an architect involved with your project? There are published standards for this that s/he can reference.

SteveV
Orlando, FL
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Old Monday, November 24th, 2008, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Vanciel View Post
Did you mean to say that the camera needs a lot more light than the eye?
At lower light levels, the eye can see much more than a camera, unless it is a nightvision camera.

SteveV
Orlando, FL

I did indeed.

I think what I meant to say was that a camera sees more variation in the brightness of the light, so it is important to get an even level on camera more so than the eye.

At least, that's what my head was thinking...
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Old Friday, January 23rd, 2009, 06:45 PM
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I dont know of any minimum recommended light levels in churchs!
probably because there are too many variables, and also personal preferences,
You will have to experiment a little.
But remember lighting plays a big part in setting the atmosphere, so dont over do it!
I am still trying to get the perfect house lighting, its not easy, its a challenge.
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Old Friday, January 23rd, 2009, 11:49 PM
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Wanna know an amusing story. A church I recently worked with worked with an Architect before I was brought on board. The architect was trying to convince them that they needed something like 500 lumens per foot for house light (like 1500 lux give or take). Well they asked for a precise picture of what that would be. So they asked what the light level was in the room they were meeting (plenty bright), so they got out a photometer and as it turns out it was about 200 lumens per foot (about 600 lux). So when they brought me on board I cut 3/4 of their recessed can house lights and all the flourecent fixtures (no idea why those were in there in the first place). They were worried the whole time if it would be enough house light (because the architect recommended all the cans and the flourecents). Turns out they never run the cans they have over 70%. *lol*

The moral of the story? If you are building an office building, let the archtects handle the lighting. If you are building a worship center, bring in a professional.

Mike
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Old Sunday, January 25th, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Provided that this professional knows the difference between a worship place, were atmosphere is critically important, to an office or a factory.
Unfortunatly most dont!
Even with on the job experience its a constant challenge.
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Old Sunday, January 25th, 2009, 08:09 PM
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Illumination Engineering Society - North America www.ies.org

and

International Association of Lighting Designers www.iald.org

Both have very specific guidelines for all types of spaces based on solid scientific research into human perception and eye fatigue among other factors.

Both deal with all aspects of lighting far beyond the narrow confines of subjective entertainment (theatrical, church) lighting.

SteveV
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Old Sunday, January 25th, 2009, 08:28 PM
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I find published "standards" are a great place to start, but please don't end there! I have walked into too many churches with wayyy too much house light, or that are using florescent lights as house lights. It is more like walking into an office building than a church. Usually when I asked who consulted on the lighting it was the architect.

Let the architects light office buildings. Pick up a professional for your worship center.

Oh and yes, you need to make sure your professional has experience in theaters/churches/etc. That is why a good design consultant is critical.

Mike
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