Transforming Your Space by Reflecting Light
Wood, Coroplast, and fabric aren’t the only materials that will catch and reflect light. A trip to the home center will provide you with plenty of inspiration to offer a variety of simple tools that can yield amazing results when hit with light.
Credit: Billi Cate Greenwell
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Lighting Design ResourceFor Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.
Big moving lights, haze in the air, a high-end console, and maybe even lasers … it’s every church lighting director’s dream to have an arsenal of fixtures and tools that rivals a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. But the reality is that most smaller churches don’t have the money to create the looks they see on magazine covers.
Lighting surfaces with LED fixtures can be an effective and inexpensive way to add a new dimension to your space without breaking the bank, especially since you can head straight to a local music store and buy a few inexpensive LED fixtures relatively easily. Even if you don’t own a lighting console, most fixtures allow you to choose from a palette of color presets, meaning you can just plug in the fixture to power and you’ll have instant color.
But if your space is like so many of ours, you may only have a bland beige wall or a black curtain behind your stage. Not much to write home about, when you light it with LED, right? Wood, corrugated plastic, and drapery can save the day when it comes to adding reasonably-priced, reflective surfaces to your space.
Wood is a fascinating reflector of light, because each piece is a different color and shape than the next. Even though cleaner, simpler lines and darker stains have replaced the mismatched look of light-colored palette board in church stage design, it’s still worth working with wood. Rough-hewn cedar fence boards are an inexpensive way to achieve a surface with detailed texture, and simple pine one-by-fours, sanded and stained, look fantastic in rows of horizontals or diagonals.
Another benefit to wood is that it looks just as great lit in a warm, traditional, incandescent up-light as it does with the cooler color temperatures of an LED fixture, giving you two very distinct looks. Wood is heavy, so when working with wood, always stay safe: don’t hang anything that’s not absolutely structurally sound, and be sure nothing ground-supported can tip over.
Coroplast, the brand name for corrugated plastic, has been a church stage design favorite for years. The first time we used it at our church we knew it would reflect light, but we were blown away when we shut off the work lights and aimed one single LED fixture at the white Coroplast: not only did the plastic reflect light, it seemed to glow in the light.
Latest ResourceWorship 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.