CHICAGO – (For Immediate Release)– When a house of worship wants to upgrade its lighting and video systems, it’s not enough simply to buy state-of-the-art fixtures, screens and projectors -- the church must also make sure it has the necessary infrastructure in place to support the new gear. Chicago Tabernacle, which was founded in 2002 on the city’s north side, faced this challenge recently when it set out to remodel its 300-seat main sanctuary.
In keeping with a growing trend, this Windy City congregation uses its auditorium for a variety of different purposes, including Sunday worship services, youth services, conferences, music concerts and full-scale theatrical performances such as an annual Easter production. Thus, its new lighting setup had to provide the versatility to handle a wide range of illumination needs.
“The church had a lot of ideas coming in about what they wanted to do,” said Duke DeJong, Church Relations Director for CCI Solutions (Olympia, WA), which designed and installed Chicago Tabernacle’s new lighting/video system. “They wanted to go low-power – meaning LED – for their house lighting, LED stage lights, lots of color for the stage and plenty of effects lighting for their productions.” While the church’s lighting needs for its Sunday services are pretty basic, their productions and other special events “have much higher demands, including the need for lots of color, spotlighting actors/actresses and painting the air with light and broken up beams. They also needed to be able to hang lights throughout the room to cover different parts of the room and at different angles, necessitating adding lighting positions throughout.”
Yet the church had “almost nowhere to hang all the new house lights, stage lights and projectors they wanted,” said DeJong. Adding to this challenge was the fact that church officials wanted any rigging structure that was built to be very discreet and unobtrusive.
CCI met these requirements by creating a nearly 50’ long and 30’ 4” wide ceiling-mounted infrastructure out of medium-duty box truss supplied by Dura Truss from Global Truss America. Before deciding to build the overhead truss structure, “we looked at a number of options,” said DeJong, “but there was limited placement of rigging support so we knew whatever we used would have to work over long distances with minimal rigging points.” Another factor that favored using truss was that the church liked the way it looked.
Still, from a design standpoint, church officials “wanted the truss to be able to disappear,” said DeJong. This issue was resolved by painting the ceiling a dark color and using black truss. Although it extends nearly the entire length of the room, the grid-like Dura Truss structure is subtle and inconspicuous, yet it provides an ample number of flexible mounting positions for house lights, stage lights, special effects and video projectors.
Once the decision was made to go with truss, DeJong said he immediately turned to Dura Truss because he was familiar with the brand. “I have worked with the company for years and found their products to be highly functional and reliable. When the project looked like it was going to call for medium duty truss, Dura Truss was the first truss we looked at.” While lightweight and affordable, the company’s products are also very strong and rugged, having earned TÜV certification, thereby assuring their safety and high standard of quality.
The truss structure in Chicago Tabernacle’s auditorium is anchored by two parallel 49’-2/1/2” truss segments that run almost the entire length of the room from the stage on back. Each these segments consists of three 5-meter truss pieces. “Basically each of the room’s two seating sections is split in two by a long, overhanging segment of truss,” explained DeJong. “Not only did these two truss segments provide rigging points from down stage to back of house, but because of their positioning they additionally provided ideal rigging locations for the LED house lights.”
Running perpendicular to the two 49’-2/1/2” length-wise truss sections are three 30’-4”cross sections of truss. Constructed from a mixture of 1.5 to 3-meter truss pieces, the three cross segments provide down stage lighting positions, mid-house lighting and projector positions, and back of house lighting positions. They hold weight loads of 650 lbs., 800 lbs., and 289 lbs. respectively, easily supporting the church’s lighting/video gear.
While Dura Truss box trussing provided the answer to Chicago Tabernacle’s rigging needs, lighting from the truss supplier’s sister company Elation Professional was key in helping the church meet its wide spectrum of illumination demands. One of the primary lighting fixtures chosen by CCI was Elation’s Platinum Spot 5R Pro, a versatile hybrid spot/wash moving head that utilizes the new Philips MSD Platinum 5R lamp. Although extremely compact and energy efficient, the Platinum Spot 5R Pro is packed with professional design features that allow it to serve a variety of applications, including a CMY color mixing system, variable 11°-42° zoom, 8 dichroic colors, 22 gobos, 3-facet rotating prism, motorized iris, variable frost filter (for hybrid wash effect), dimming, strobe and more.
“The Elation Platinum Spot 5R Pro has a fantastic combination of features at a great price,” said DeJong. “As a lighting designer my top features are color mixing, zoom and having plenty of gobos available. The Platinum Spot 5R Pro has those key features plus all of the other standard features at a price that’s hard to beat. Add to that the fact that it’s a quiet fixture and power efficient, and you can’t lose.”
For more information, contact Dura Truss at 323-415-6225 or visit www.globaltruss.com
Elation Professional can be reached at 866-245-6726 or visit www.elationlighting.com
CCI Solutions can be reached at 800-224-7978 or 360-786-9123 or visit www.ccisolutions.com