Northcrest Baptist Church completes retrofit update with Philips
WORLD: Looking to complete a retrofit update to its existing lighting system to better complement its live HD broadcasts, Northcrest Baptist Church in Mississippi, US, recently turned to Creative Sound and Lighting, which supplied the HOW with a comprehensive lighting package that included PLProfile4, PL3 and PLCyc LED luminaries along with a Vision.net Control System, a 250ML Control Console, Rama Fresnels, plus a C21 Dimmer Rack and S21 LED Raceway from Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon.
‘Our partnership with Northcrest Baptist began after we attended a convention in New Orleans and they invited us to do a demo of lighting, audio and video solutions,’ began Russell Byas, Creative Sound and Lighting. ‘During the demo we found they were currently operating with an older 48-channel dimmer rack and a limited number of PAR 64s with a few older ellipsoidals. They wanted to create a new second lighting position further back in the space with instruments that could provide rich colour mixing for their HD broadcasts, plus they wanted to update their full control system. Being mindful of their budget, we needed to bring them the latest in dependable lighting technology, so we created a complete package with lighting tools from Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon.’
Mr Byas and his team began with an update to the dimming package. Knowing the old 48-channel dimmer system could no longer handle the load requirements, they installed a C21 dimming system from Philips Strand Lighting.
‘One of the mandates they had on the project was that they wanted a dimming system that would still be working in 10 years and would be rock-solid dependable,’ he reflected. ‘The C21 rack is very durable and you know it will stand the test of time.’
Keeping budget concerns in mind, Mr Byas decided that in order to keep the installation and wiring costs at a minimum, installing an S21 LED Raceway from Philips Strand Lighting directly at the location itself would be the best option.
‘We are using the S21 LED system in the new second location so that we could quickly create the entire lighting infrastructure directly at the location where needed,’ he said. ‘We also love the fact that we can combine the relay modules for the LED fixtures with the silent IGBT dimming modules for the conventional fixtures. The S21 dimming systems were quick and easy to install and then we were off and running.
‘As far as the LED lighting goes, we wanted to use the PL3 and PLProfile4 luminaries because I don’t think there are other products out there that could handle the throw distances needed from the new location while still giving us the rich colour saturation needed,’ he furthered. ‘The church really wanted great colour mixing abilities for both the choir area and the main stage, so we used two PL3 and two PLProfile4 luminaries hitting each of the locations giving them eight total LED fixtures each throwing approximately 15m and they are giving us unbelievable saturation. With the Rama Fresnels, I simply love how rock-solid and dependable they are. Always keeping in mind that we want our systems to be as trouble-free for our clients, the Rama fixtures are a fantastic option with their power and long-lamp life.’
Northcrest Baptist also wanted to give its baptismal area an update, and so Mr Byas decided to install PLCyc LED luminaries from Philips Selecon.
‘Needing to wash an area approximately 16- tall by 8- wide, we wanted the same rich colour mixing provided by the PLProfile4 and PL3, so we decided to install three PLCyc luminaries,’ he explained. ‘Since they all operate from the same LED light engine, we knew the colour matching would be spot on, plus since we were able to daisy-chain them all together we could operate all three from a single 20A circuit which alleviated any additional power concerns.’
With an outdated lighting console currently in place, Mr Byas needed to install a control system that would be able to handle the needs of an intelligent lighting system, but one that would also be easy to program and operate as the church often uses volunteer technicians. To accomplish this, a Philips Strand Lighting 250ML control console and Vision.net control system were installed for maximum flexibility and control.
‘To be honest, I was not initially sold on the use of the 250ML console, but once we started comparing it to comparable boards on the market I found it to be much more user-friendly as far as programming LED and intelligent lighting with many more capabilities,’ he admitted. ‘Plus, in the future, when the church decides to expand into moving lights, they will have the capability already in place. Most comparable boards are fader-based control, but the 250ML has both fader and encoder wheel controls giving the programmer so many avenues to create a show. When we were doing the commissioning of the system, I would say that within an hour the church technician John David Ainsworth was creating his own cues and scenes right off the bat.
‘When it came down to the architectural control stations, the Vision.net system was perfect for this application because since the church often uses volunteers they now have a 7-inch touchscreen along with a series of wall stations that give them the ability to quickly and easily change the lighting looks for any need they might have,’ he enthused. ‘If they want to have choir practice, or if they need a wedding scene, they don’t need John David on site to run the console. Any of the volunteers can call up the desired looks on the touchscreen and wall stations with the simple touch of a button, plus we were able to put layers of security into the touchscreen where someone can enter a password to access a little bit deeper lighting control if needed.’
Mr Byas concluded: ‘When looking at the products to put into an installation, we try to focus on what the customer needs and their budget. We are not always so brand specific, but for this installation with their desire to have rich LED colour-mixing and dependable dimming with quick and easy lighting control, the complete package from Philips Strand Lighting and Philips Selecon was the obvious choice for us.
‘When we were going through the tech training at Philips Entertainment we found that the warranty and support services provided were second to none. We didn’t want to specify fixtures, dimming and control that we would have to be fixing once per year, and in my opinion the most attractive benefit of using the Strand and Selecon systems is the quality, durability, and support. I bet that if I picked up the phone right now, I could speak to a live support technician and immediately begin the process of troubleshooting any issues that may arise. That’s a significant advantage!’