Initially Dan Chujko, VP of the DCA Group in Pittsburgh, PA was approached by the Assumption Grotto Catholic Church in Detroit to facilitate a sound system overhaul for the historical house of worship. While the overall sound system design was being discussed and analyzed, another issue surfaced: that the sanctuary lighting was sorely in need of replacement. Not only was the existing lighting ineffective and inefficient but also included a combination of discharge, quartz and incandescent fixtures causing a mismatch of color temperatures. Installing one uniform type with a controllable color temperature would provide an even and aesthetic visual look.

DCA’s scope of involvement expanded to include the co-design, coordination, supply and installation of an exemplary lighting system‚Äîone that would enhance the Grotto’s vibrant masses and services, but also reduce its energy and maintenance costs. Chujko’s proposal included 14 Elektralite’s 1018 LED fixtures, controlled via a DMX wireless transmitter, and numerous wireless receivers outfitting the interior expanse. Key players in the installation would include electro-acoustic engineer and audio analysis consultant Dr. Edward Wolfrum PhD. of Audio Graphics Services, William Ebeling owner of Tobins Lake Sales, who provided lighting co-design, hoists and rigging labor, electrical contractor Ken Sharp and owner of Brothers Services Group, Fr. Timothy Ferris, designer of the sound cluster frame, and Pastor Fr. Eduard Perrone.

The challenge, however, was coordinating all the installation construction without interfering with the vigorous daily activities of the church. Another problem for Chujko in plotting for a new lighting rig and cabling was dealing with the structural engineering of a building nearly 100 years old.  

“”In addition to large stone blocks, there was a double thick brick wall separating the sanctuary from the sacristy where the various lighting and motor controllers resided. Routing of the power, control and speaker cables were difficult to say the least and due to the outstanding architecture of the sanctuary and necessary requirements by pastor Fr. Perrone. With the certified riggers assisted by the electricians, the bundle of cables were camouflaged to blend with the color scheme and routed out of sight where possible in these high and precarious locations.””

Chujko chose the Elektralite 1018 LED fixtures because they more than adequately fit the criteria of the design, are very energy efficient and extremely bright, not to mention they offered very high quality at a reasonable price. This was especially important as the trim height for the fixtures was 40 feet. Added to this fact was the long LED life (50,000 hours-plus), great technical support, and lengthy warranty just made it an easy choice for DCA.

“”I’ve been a dealer and proponent for Elektralite and its distributor Group One for many years,”” he states. “”Their outstanding products, recommendations and technical support have made them a key go-to manufacturer. These great compact fixtures, which utilize 10-watt quad LEDs not single source multicolor LEDs, means not only do they cover the color spectrum, but they also have none of the normal LED drawbacks of color striation and very bad shadowing. The 1018’s include many features and are adaptable to fit almost any professional/commercial use. While many options are available, programming is simple and not task-intensive.””

Overall, the Elektralite fixtures solved several challenges for both integrator and facility alike: they tripled the light output and increase the projected color spectrum, offered multiple zone control of brightness and colors, provided configurable preset color schemes for different events of the church calendar, were easily reprogrammable for future uses, and also reduced overall energy and projected maintenance costs for the parish.

“”Everyone was so pleased with the outcome of the project, from aesthetics to economics,”” Chujko concludes. “”We plan to specify and provide various Elektralite lighting instruments in our upcoming projects and will recommend the Elektralite brand where best results can be achieved.””

Photo credit: Dr. Edward Wolfrum PhD./Audio Graphics Services