Replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs has not only been a government-mandated trend but a blessing in disguise for Paducah, Kentucky's Lone Oak First Baptist Church where are all worshipers can now clearly see their Bibles, hymnals and bulletins thanks to a recent installation of nearly 100 elektraLite Dazer LED fixtures.
Analysis showed that a substantial portion of the campus' total electric bill was previously consumed by the sanctuary's antiquated lighting system, points out Joe Mize, Lone Oak's music, media and production manager.
"The old lighting fixtures also didn't evenly cover our sanctuary, making it difficult in some areas to see printed materials," Mize says. "We wanted the entire congregation to have adequate lighting no matter where they are located within the worship area."
After consulting with Paragon 360, a Springfield, Missouri-based systems design firm, "We made a decision not to wait, but to go ahead with newer LED technology lighting," Mize explains, alluding to the anticipated incandescent phase-out. "Replacement parts were becoming harder to find." Not having to change out light bulbs and the subsequent cost savings in monthly maintenance were other selling points, he notes.
"We faced many challenges trying to retrofit a 1960s facility with modern technology," he adds. "The greatest challenge was how to install a large amount of lighting equipment and fixtures in a totally open area, and make it look pleasing to our members and guests."
In regard to selecting elektraLite as the LED manufacturer, Ron Robertson, Paragon 360's chief design officer, notes: "We had used the Dazer as a house light solution before and knew it was a perfect fit for this venue as well," he says. "We had to be conscious of the budget and get them the best solution available."
The church's worship area features a vaulted wood-plank ceiling with exposed wooden support beams arranged in a six-sided design. It's adorned by several large chandeliers in the main area with ceiling-mounted fixtures and was previously equipped with a large number of 100- to 250-watt incandescent light bulbs above and below the balcony area. Fixtures each featured two to four bulbs, often totaling 1000 watts per box, which emanated heat exceeding 200 degrees.
Paragon 360 replaced all house light fixtures on the main floor and balcony with 94 elektraLite Dazer fixtures. "The new LED Dazer house lights have upped the light output and quality of light compared to what was originally installed," comments Robertson.
Mize notes that the church "looked at options before and during the design, but the Dazers seemed to be the best option for our facility."
An added benefit, notes Robertson, is "having the lights achieve a standard incandescent color, plus being able to color the audience at times. A lot of congregants have noted how much better and easier it is to see in the worship center," he says.
Mize agrees that the new house lighting upgrade has won over Lone Oak First Baptist's worshipers, many of whom have praised the modernization of the space. "We have gotten many hearty 'amens' for the new lighting," says Mize. "It's much better than the old system, which wasn't bright enough or evenly dispersed. We now have lights that are reliable, cost effective and, most of all, provide adequate lighting so that the congregants can stay focused and engaged in worship."
Regarding the expected energy bonus, Mize adds, "Although it will take a little time to gather reliable data, we have already noticed a significant drop in power costs for our worship area."