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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Ever wonder, “How did they do that!”?  Kinetic lighting is one of those gorgeous lighting tools, that until recently, has been hard to break into.

A good hoist design can play off of depth, creating not only multiple heights of fixtures, but also corresponding rows of fixtures.

In the past, it has required a huge budget and a ton of expertise.

We are going to delve into what kinetic lighting is, how to create amazing kinetic designs, how to work with kinetic lights, and how to fix issues when they arise.

Kinetic lighting is an awesome design fusion. A DMX-controlled motor lifts a DMX controlled LED luminaire. This allows for a moving orb, column, or dot of light that can change position vertically on the stage. This makes it incredibly easy to create lots of different sets or positions, with a small number of fixtures. These movements can be programmed to follow a specific path and are able to create incredible movements that are amazingly energetic!

There are a few different DMX hoist manufacturers, but most kinetic lights are built in a similar fashion. They are built around a central shaft that is moved by a low voltage motor. A Kevlar-coated cable then winds around this shaft. This cable does the lifting of the LED orb. At the end of this lift cable, there is a connector to attach the LED and a circular stop. This stop helps the motor set its position.

At startup, the hoist will retract its lift line, until the circular stop forces a momentary switch on the bottom of the hoist to engage. This sets the top limit for the motor. Within the Kevlar-coated cable, there are low voltage wires that drive the LEDs that are attached to the bottom. All of the electrical components for the LEDs, other than the diodes themselves, are built into the box that houses the motor. This keeps the weight low on the hoist, enabling it to move faster.

The flexibility of Kinetic lights helps to create lots of incredible 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. The places these shine even better, though, is in the slow subtle movement they achieve. Imagine a wide, tall look. One that has lots of high beams of light, with bright orbs near the ceiling in a celebratory song. Then that song transitions into an acapella chorus. The lighting slowly fades to a low light with the hoist moving very slowly into a lower position. This lower position creates a visual ceiling. The 3,000-seat room you are in can quickly appear as a small room with low ceilings.


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 · Diodes · DMX · Element · Expertise · Fixtures · Hoist · All Topics

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