LXQ: How to Improve Our Setup With Color? – Learn Stage Lighting .com

LXQ: How to Improve Our Setup With Color?

By David / 5 years ago

Lighting Questions are sent in from readers of our FREE email newsletter, or via our contact page.  With the permission of the writers, we share the Q&A’s here so that we can help others who have the same questions!

Today Stefan writes in to share some pictures and experience from his church setup.  Then, we answer his question on how to get some more “pop” out of his LED fixtures! 

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Church Lighting

Photo from Stefan

Hi David!

Thanks for the very informative website, it’s helped me a lot!

At our church, I ended up doing the lighting.

I don’t have any experience with it, I’m actually a computer programmer by trade.

We have just built a new hall at our church, because the old one had become too small.  We now have room for 300 people.   For budget reasons, we only have a front truss, with some thirty long 300W par cans.

We can’t have more traditional pars for lack of sufficient power supply.

Currently, all band members are lit with two par cans, and we don’t have a wash that covers the entire stage. It works well though, especially during worship. All band members are lit well, and since we don’t do video, slight intensity differences are no problem.

I would like to do more with color.  We have a 10 LED pars uplighting the backwall and three small moving heads (2 on stage, 1 in the truss).

The leds are not really powerful enough to make much impact. (see the pictures to get an impression.)

Church Lighting Design

Photo from Stefan

I would like to do more with color, but am not sure how.

I’m very hesitant to do colored front lighting, as I’m afraid lighting people’s faces in colored light will not turn out to look nice.

Do you have any tips on how to improve our setup with the equipment we currently have?

I have access to a whole bunch of gels as well, I just don’t use them currently.

Thanks very much!

PS, perhaps a tip for other churches:

We use a software DMX controller called QLC+, which I would highly recommend.

It is very user friendly, free and open source and very powerful.  It is also actively being worked on and gaining features quickly.

For easy control, we use a Behringer EUROLIGHT LC2412 in midi mode as input, as well as a BCF2000.

We use the Enttec Pro DMX interface for our DMX output as well.



Hi Stefan,

Thanks for writing in with your question and for sharing the pictures from your church.

As for adding more color to your setup, you’ve got a couple of great options:

The first thing I’d do is experiment with moving some of your LED’s off of that back wall and onto the front truss. Then, point them out across the ceiling into the room – when you’re focusing them, you’ll have the end of the beam putting a spot on the top of the walls.

uplight LED

Uplights on a stage backdrop.

Make some sort of symmetrical pattern and I think you’ll really like how the color makes an impact on the dark room. In worship settings I really like to do this because it helps bring the room together and unify the stage and band with the room.

Another variation on this option would be to move your LED’s around the room as uplights, shooting color directly up the walls in various places – same effect.

You mentioned not wanting to front light people with color, and for worship lighting, that is a typical way to roll.

When I’m lighting worship, I almost never, ever light the singers in color, but I do sometimes light the band in color.  I think the singers need to be in white to keep from creating a barrier between them and the congregation.

You could experiment with some of your gels in the par cans on the band members, and see what you think.

It’s all about what works best for you and your church!  Every ministry, show and/or theatre is different, so experiment and figure out what fits your vision of lighting.  But don’t be afraid to try new things, you might accidently find a new lighting angle that you really love.

For more info on different colors and moods and how to use them, check out this post as well.

And I will certainly look at that lighting controller you mentioned – I had never heard of it, but it looks cool.  FYI LSL community – Stefan did get back to me and said that QLC+ has been rock solid for them!

Thanks Stefan! Feel free to write back with any other questions you have!


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