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Southern Baptist Convention Soars With Elation Platinum Beams

Southern Baptist Convention Soars With Elation Platinum Beams

elation_southern-baptist-convention-2012.jpgNEW ORLEANS, LA – (For Immediate Release) – Everything about the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is big. As the largest Protestant body in the United States, the 167-year-old organization boasts over 16 million members from 45,000 congregations. The SBC's 2012 annual meeting, held in New Orleans last month, drew nearly 8,000 messengers, who packed the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for two days of worship, business meetings and conferences, including the historic election of the group's first African-American president, Fred Luter. Hundreds of thousands more viewed the meeting via live online broadcasts.

Such a big event deserves “big” lighting. There was no shortage of that in New Orleans, thanks to Dodd Technologies, Inc. (Pendleton, IN), the longtime provider of lighting, projection, rigging and soft goods for the SBC's annual meeting.

To achieve a look in keeping with the magnitude of this year's event, Dodd lighting director Andy Meggenhofen built the design around an appropriately big and bold light -- the Platinum Beam 5R DMX aircraft landing-type moving head from Elation Professional. Sixty Platinum Beam 5R units were used in truss and on the floor in a 224,000 sq. ft. auditorium in the Morial Center, primarily on the worship band stage.

The room, which has a seating capacity of 10,000, presented its own “bigness” issues as far as rigging was concerned. It features a unique ceiling with a gabled peak, which required a variable rigging steel height that soared from 28' on the low end up to 65' at the top of the peak.

Filling up such a cavernous space posed no problems for the brawny Platinum Beam 5R. An extreme ACL effect, it produces a tight, narrow searchlight-type beam that's incredibly bright and powerful. Yet, the cETLus-approved unit is just half the size of a traditional ACL effect of comparable output and draws only 189 watts of electricity, thanks to its ultra-efficient Philips MSD Platinum 5R lamp.

One major factor in choosing the Platinum Beam 5R was the fact that its high output and strong beam definition could cut through thick video wash lights, said Scott Renick of Dodd Technologies. “The client gave our lighting team a lot of freedom in designing the lighting, provided it was respectful of the content,” said Renick. “Andy Meggenhofen, our lighting director, has extensive experience working with the house of worship market and understands the reverence required of a lighting design for such events. One of the most important aspects of the design, and a great reason to use the Platinum Beam, was the ability to cut through an extremely bright video lighting wash. The event is broadcast live online, and the video team appreciated being able to discern the effect lighting through our video lighting wash.”

Unlike older style ACL lights, the Platinum Beam 5R is not merely bright, it's also equipped with a variety of effects – another thing that made it ideal for this application. Among its many features are 12 dichroic colors; 8 rotating/indexing gobos; an 8-facet prism; and a frost filter that diffuses its hard-edge 2.5°-angle beam, allowing it to do double duty as a hybrid beam/wash effect.

“The lighting team used the frost and prism effect to soften the look,” said Renick. “Those two features created some incredibly full lighting looks on the stage.” Electricians/Programmers for the event were James Lederman and David Seitz.

All associated with the event were quite impressed with the Platinum Beam 5R, Renick reported. “The video team loved the looks they created on screen, the production team loved the looks that the fixtures created on stage.”

For more information contact:

Elation Professional at 866-245-6726 or visit

Dodd Technologies, Inc. at 765-221-5010 or visit

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