Code restriction limits adequate lighting in broadcast setting

Calvary Chapel of Melbourne found a LED solution for its new Viera campus.

By Eric Zink

It was late in 2008 when Calvary Chapel of Melbourne, FL was informed of a code restriction regarding the lighting in the sanctuary of their soon to be built Viera campus. The purpose of this code is to limit watts per square foot in order to decrease energy usage.

Unfortunately, the code did not take into account the need for adequate lighting in a facility that provides live-for-broadcast productions, not to mention how the common solution used to address this code (a combination of dimmable fluorescent lights and dimmable incandescent down lights) can cause some interference with the broadcast signal and the sound equipment.

Also late in 2008, Affineon Lighting was completing the design of an LED “House Light” fixture and had approached Candela Controls Inc. for assistance with the design for DMX dimming control. Already working on the stage lighting at Viera, Candela heard of the issues that Calvary Chapel was having, and approached them with this new LED solution, along with the ability to add it to the completely integrated control system being installed. It was the answer they sought. On Saturday, November 14, 2009, Calvary Chapel of Viera held its first service and the response was overwhelming.

Being a first-of-its-kind installation, it was useful to follow up with the Calvary staff to see how the system had performed since going live. We turned to Christina Jessup, the director of production at Calvary Chapel of Melbourne (which includes Viera, Melbourne, Sebastian, and Orlando). Here is a portion of that interview:

EZ: Since the Viera facility opened, about how many services have been held here?

CJ: We have had about 80 services since our opening of the Viera campus. About 30 of those were onsite services and the other services were the video streaming services from our main campus in Melbourne.

EZ: Have you heard any feedback from the pastors or performers regarding the house lights?

CJ: Campus Pastor Dean Corns is very excited about the cost savings. He noticed right away the difference in the quality of the lighting.

EZ: Is this the first time you personally have worked with LED houselights?
CJ: This is the first time we have used LED houselights, but I have had experience with LED lighting for video production in a studio setting.

EZ: You also have the opportunity to work in different facilities, one with and the others without LED houselights?

CJ: Yes, our main campus is almost seven years old. The only lighting we had to choose from back then was incandescent. Our new campus is under a year old with the LED lighting.

EZ: Do you feel one of the two lighting systems is superior to the other and which one is that?

CJ: Certainly the LEDs.  The money we save in the long run is worth the money we spend up front.

EZ: If another worship facility approached you and asked for your opinion on the use of LED house lights, what might your response be?

CJ: You will be glad that you can match your light levels from the stage to the house.  This has always been one of our greatest challenges at the main campus. Our video engineer struggles to balance the difference in exposure levels between going from a wide pan of the crowd to a close-up on the stage. In Viera, having the LED lighting in place has changed the value of the video production.

EZ: What might you recommend to them that they should be aware of?

CJ: Make sure you know your codes. Code compliance is the reason we were forced to look at the LED lighting. Code required us to have to mix our light design with incandescent and fluorescents. Fluorescents add feedback to the sound system and can’t be used when it’s crucial. You’re left with two different light fixtures — one of them you can’t use during the church service. With the LEDs, we have one consistent lighting mixture.

EZ: Anything else should they take into consideration before making the leap into LED house lights?

CJ: It will cost more up front but don’t let it detour you from the cost 
savings. We felt that as stewards of God’s money we wanted to make sure we were setting ourselves up for costs savings in the long haul.

Comparisons not possible

We had hoped to provide some comparisons on operating expense between Calvary’s older facility in Melbourne and this new facility in Viera, but it would be inaccurate due to the different size of the two buildings being compared, as well as the age difference of the various building systems.

However, if we look at the power consumption of the DL-1500 compared to what it would typically replace, you will see a remarkable difference. The DL-1500 has a power rating of 85W and it would replace either a 150W Metal Halide or a 1000W Incandescent fixture.

If the 76 fixtures at Calvary were on 12 hours a day and we used an average power rate of $0.08 per kilowatt hour, the incandescent fixtures would cost $72.96 per day and $26,630.40 per year to operate, the Metal Halide would cost $10.94 per day and $3,994.56 per year to operate, and the DL-1500 would be about $6.20 per day and $2,263.58 per year to operate. That amount is for all 76 fixtures too. Additional savings will also be seen in HVAC operating expense since each DL-1500 will run cooler than their typical replacement.

Eric Zink is manager of marketing and communications for Candela Controls Inc., Winter Garden, FL. Integrated Lighting Control System Specs Total project cost: $324,600


Integrated Lighting Control System Specs

House lighting: 76 DL—1500 (Affineon Lighting)

Stage lighting: 90 SRC4 Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlights (ETC) & 40 SRC4ParEA

Enhanced Reflector Spotlights (ETC) with raceways (SSRC), any necessary barn doors, top hats, or gobo holders (City Theatrical), and all DMX connectors

Control system: Three Sensor+, SR48+ dimming racks (ETC), 1 VISTA lighting console with dual monitors (Jands), five remote wall-mounted control stations (ETC), one LCD custom touchscreen control station (ETC), one custom wall mounted 40 space, networked Lighting Control Rack (Candela), all necessary wiring, plug connectors, junction boxes, raceways, plus 24 pipe, wall, or floor mount boxes for power, Ethernet and/or DMX.


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