Used Lighting: Account for Mix of Pros, Cons When Deciding To Buy New, Used

Few churches are set up to buy everything at that new price tag, but we all have a desire to do what is best for our church, to where used gear becomes a consideration to get the best value.

Used Lighting: Account for Mix of Pros, Cons When Deciding To Buy New, Used
A view of the worship space at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas, with a series of the approximately 300 intelligent lights being used during a recent service.

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Used Lighting: Account for Mix of Pros, Cons When Deciding To Buy New, Used

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As a church lighting designer, it’s important to keep up with technology and design trends.

In order to properly leverage the look and feel that your church needs, you must understand how to stay relevant in your realm of authority. Spend some time checking what everyone else is doing, what they’re using, what the new gear that is coming out this year looks like and what it does, and how you could implement each of those things at your church.

What do you do when you don’t have the resources that the other guys have or you can’t afford the light you want? That’s when you look to buying used gear!

I for one am a huge advocate of used gear. I buy it often, and I love it.

Let’s face it, few churches are set up to buy everything at that new price tag, but we all have a desire to do what is best for our church. If we are going to be 100 percent honest with ourselves, not many people are going to notice the difference in what that brand-new MAC Encore moving head light by Martin can do, versus a bit older MAC III, also from Martin, at a fraction of the cost.

What are the pros and cons of buying used gear? Let’s break some of it down, to help you make an educated decision.

Let’s start with some advantages to buying used gear:

• You’re getting it much cheaper than you would be with brand new gear, so this gives you a couple of options. A.) you’re going to save your church some money, which is always a plus, and B.) you might be able to buy a higher quantity light that is also used, and really give your stage that big look that it has always needed.

• Used gear typically comes with a 48-hour warranty, if you buy from a reputable dealer, such as GearSource.com or UsedLighting.com, so you aren’t really taking a risk, as long as you’ve done your research and bought the appropriate light for the function you are trying to achieve (which has to be done when buying new fixtures as well).

• Contrary to popular belief, maintaining and repairing older lighting gear is not that difficult. You just need to be ready to spend some time getting to know the ins and outs of your new (to you) lighting fixtures. And when it does come time to repair those lights, you will need to get in good with the guys over at LightParts in Austin, Texas. They have helped me so many times over the years, that I can’t even begin to count them.


More About Kevin Penrod
Kevin Penrod has been studying lighting design for 11 years. He attended college at West Texas A&M, where he studied Theatre Arts with concentrations in Lighting Design and Business Management. He is currently the Lighting Designer at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas, where he manages the creative lighting design, scenic elements, and their implementation. In his free time, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and newborn son and remodeling his home.
Get in Touch: kevinpenrod@tfc.org    More by Kevin Penrod

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Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
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