Kinetic Lighting: Offering Numerous Options For Design

The movement that can be created with kinetic lights isn’t found in any other production element. Large synchronized movements can be very impressive and feed into the energy of the room.

DMX hoists create a stunning visual as the worship team at Journey Church in Norman, Oklahoma, worships with the congregation as part of a Christmas 2016 performance at the church.

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Kinetic Lighting: Offering Numerous Options For Design

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Kinetic Lighting: Offering Numerous Options For Design
Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
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Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.
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For more energetic moments, effects using the height of the hoist can create visual waves, fan outs, and convergences. Further than that, with some good effects building, you can create effects that look like endless movement up or down, by alternating dimming and height effects.

One key consideration to design with DMX hoists, is depth. As with other forms of lighting, the more depth you have, the more visual options you will be afforded in your design.

A good hoist design can play off of depth, creating not only multiple heights of fixtures, but also corresponding rows of fixtures. For example, a back row could be at 5 feet, a middle row at 10 feet and a front row at 15 feet, which creates a raked feel to the stage. Intermix this with some lighting, and you can have an outstandingly moving visual.

One of the keys with depth, however, is to ensure there are adequate numbers of fixtures to communicate the visual. Having too few fixtures will create a sparse look, one that can feel out of place.

Another consideration for kinetic lighting design is height. It is almost always best to have the hoist motors hung on the same elevation.

Since the lift cable winds around a central point, much more lift line is dropped in the first few revelations, compared to the last few. When hanging fixtures at multiple heights, it becomes nearly impossible to move groups of fixtures at the same speed.

Sightlines should also be considered in your hoist design. These fixtures should be evaluated along their entire travel. Many times a hoist or hoist cable can intersect with a front projection cone, creating awkward shadowing on screens. The same can be true for front lighting, but this is typically less of an issue.

Along with the incredible opportunity to create with kinetic lighting there are a few challenges that must be overcome. In many rooms height can be an issue. It is possible to program heights to ensure hoists do not travel fully to the floor. This takes a bit more setup and programing time, but can save a potentially bad day.

DMX hoists are designed to have constant tension on their lift lines. This tension holds the lift line in place around the motor shaft. If there becomes a slack in the line, it can, and most of the time will, become tangled. A tangle in the line creates a maintenance nightmare, which requires the entire motor to be disassembled in order to respool the line.


More About Steven Hall
Steven Hall serves churches through his company ModScenes.com in Norman, Oklahoma. Mod Scenes creates easy-to-use stage designs that are affordable and flexible. Steven has worked in churches as a lighting director, production manager, and scenic designer for more than 10 years. He currently serves his home church Journeychurch.tv as a volunteer lighting tech. Steven is a graduate of Full Sail University. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma, with his wife, Sara, and son Dorian. You can reach Steven on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stevenhallav.
Get in Touch: stevenhallav@gmail.com    More by Steven Hall

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Technology · Lighting · Visual Arts · Lighting Design · Element · Expertise · Fixtures · Hoist · Kinetic Lighting · LEDs · All Topics

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