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Lighthouse turns to Elation following Michael’s aftermath

Lighthouse turns to Elation following Michael’s aftermath

Lighthouse turns to Elation following Michael’s aftermath


When Hurricane Michael ripped through Florida in October 2018, Lighthouse Church’s main building was one of many structures that was laid to waste. Up until June 2021, parishioners were forced to meet in the church’s children’s building until a more suitable space was found. Ultimately, a former theatre in Panama City Beach was extensively renovated as the new campus and Worship Centre.

Tennessee-based production and systems contractor AVLX was called upon to design and install the audio, video and lighting systems for the new church campus. The refit included an all-Elation lighting rig featuring Fuze Series luminaires for elevating the worship experience. AVLX systems designer and previous Lighthouse staff member Joey Riggins completed the full system designs with AVLX’s Erik Parker handling lighting design for the Worship Centre stage.

Riggins noted that the ministry had set goals of being a technology pillar church in the local area with modern streaming and broadcast systems, including the lighting needed to support them. “We designed a package that gave them a variety of washes, beams and battens, plus house pendant lights,” he stated. “Because of their price point, we went heavy on the Fuze series.”

In addition to quality lighting for broadcast, the church also specified a dynamic house lighting system like the one that had existed in their previous building. “It worked well for their style of worship in the old space, so it made sense to carry it into the new space,” furthered Riggins. “They wanted to maintain the look but with a more modern design that worked well any time they needed it. We were able to achieve that with the Fuze Pendant.”

In a church setting, where the goal is to move the audience to participation in worship or message, the need to feel connected and engaged is important. “The creative use of dynamic house lights can reinforce the service and engage the audience to participate in the experience,” commented Riggins. “They also raise the aesthetic of a space.”

In total, 52 Fuze Pendant downlighting fixtures were installed over the seating at Lighthouse Church. Housing a full spectrum 230W RGBWL array and capable of colour temperature adjustments from 2,000–10,000K, they can wash the entire room in high CRI white light, pastels or saturates. Silent with no fans, output is up to 11,000 lumens. “I think the Fuze Pendants are the hero of the entire lighting rig,” Riggins remarked. “The whites are really nice, there are no harsh spots and the colour saturation is really deep and warm. There is even coverage across the entire space.”

Having previously specified Fuze series luminaires for churches in Nashville, AVLX had no hesitation in specifying their use for the focal point of the 850-seat space. Mounted above the stage on a pipe grid are six Fuze SFX Spot FX moving heads, six Fuze Wash Z350 PAR moving heads and 11 Fuze PAR Z175. Ten SixBar 1000 colour-changing battens add wash looks from a floor position, while 12 WW Profile HP ellipsoidals work from positions at FOH.

“From a volunteer perspective, we wanted to provide an ample variety of lights where they could use them successfully but also offer a flexibility to change the stage around if they wished,” stated Parker. “It’s a very active church and, because they engage a lot with the community, the space will be used for a lot of different activities. Giving them a flexible system that is easy to use will be a great benefit to them as they expand use of the stage to different activities.”

Both the Fuze PAR Z175 and Fuze Wash Z350 use single-source RGBW COB colour mixing that gives a homogenised field of light without the multi-shadows created from traditional LED wash fixtures. The lens face appears as one colour instead of individual LED diodes for more classic wash looks. Both luminaires also house zoom systems.

Manufacturers’ rep firm and Elation dealer Freed Sales played an important role in working with AVLX on the project. “We almost work exclusively with Elation today because, if something goes wrong, our representative will handle it and we’ll get a quick response,” added Parker.

Lighthouse Church’s Worship Centre now operates as a fully functioning venue, including live broadcast, special events, conferences, plays or concerts in addition to the ministry’s weekly services. “We were happy to help bring the room back to life and launch them into a space that I think already feels like a home to them,” Riggins concluded. “When we were about to do doors for the first service in the new sanctuary, the pastor said it felt like he was at a much larger church.”

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