In the beginning, which in this case was 1974, a small group of believers established a church plant in "The Little White Church," home of the First United Pentecostal Church of Rockville, Maryland. In the decades since, the congregation has outgrown three locations and, in the process, changed its name to the Christian Life Center (CLC). Now occupying a 2,000-seat sanctuary in nearby Ijamsville, CLC's new home is a virtual showcase of contemporary worship technologies with all audio, video, and theatrical and house lighting systems designed and installed by All Pro Sound (APS) of Pensacola, Florida.
According to APS Vice President John Fuqua, "The goal for this project was to provide the very best--to not only meet the client's current needs, but to incorporate future proofing initiatives with respect to the sound, video and lighting elements."
In detailing the gear chosen, Fuqua says that APS utilized several fixtures for the theatrical package, which included the ElektraLite Dazer WW (Warm White, 3,400K), Dazer RGB and 1018-AI 12-watt RGBAWI LED fixtures along with ellipsoidal fixtures from ETC. In particular, a total of 64 Dazer WW fixtures were used for house lighting. "We chose ElektraLite," Fuqua explains, "as we have had good experience with their fixtures and they stand behind their products. Also, the ElektraLite Dazer WW has great output for the cost and smooth operation in house light dimming configurations."
Installing this many fixtures and still maintaining a clean and unobtrusive appearance was a challenge met by working closely with the electrical contractor. "Fixtures of this nature could not be typically installed in a finished ceiling due to the connectivity requirements," he says. "The open, blacked out ceiling provides the best option for this type of house lighting. The lights are installed at a specific distance from the floor in a 'light plane' so that everything above this plane is blacked out."
The stage at Christian Life Center is actually on two levels, allowing for numerous performance options. However, this created some special installation considerations. Fuqua notes that the APS crew "used two different dispersion lenses for the house lighting: a 25 degree and 40 degree where the levels changed. This is another unique feature of the Dazer--four lens options included with each light." The fixtures are controlled via DMX512 and have Doug Fleenor remote stations for day-to-day operation. An LSC Clarity VX10 serves as the main controller, while some Applied Electronics truss mount dimmers for the conventional ellipsoidal fixtures and two 1x5 DMX Opto-isolators for signal distribution round out the package.
The heat from the Dazer is nearly 1/5th or less that of conventional fixtures, yet to eliminate the possibility of issues caused by heat, a quiet, temperature-controlled cooling fan was added. APS worked with ElektraLite engineers to modify the fan control by adding temperature control and a shut down feature to extend fan life and conserve power.
The other benefits of LED house and theatrical lighting are the efficiency of the fixtures. The original design called for a 96-channel conventional dimming rack that required a 600-amp, three-phase service just for the lighting. The LED house lighting only requires eight 20-amp circuits for the entire system, which afforded a significant savings in electrical distribution equipment.
At the end of the day, it's all about meeting the needs and objectives of the customer. Fuqua and the team at APS report that CLC's staff and pastors have been very pleased and excited with the quality of the systems provided. The house lighting has exceeded expectations for coverage and light levels throughout the seating areas. The savings in electrical costs coupled with a significant reduction in the amount of power required to run the facility has also been a big plus for the owners.