Stage Designs

Throwback: Dash Dot

AJ Guptill from Crosspoint Church in Fredericton, NB, Canada brings us this combo of glowing boxes and blinders for their stage. (Originally posted May 2014)

AJ got the idea from another design on the site called Glow Grid.

He made his glowing boxes different dimensions and out of different material. They used white shelve boards that were 1ft x 8ft.

They used an air nailer to nail on 1×3″ strips of trim to hide the LED strips under. AJ bought the cheapest RGB LED strips he could find on eBay.  He bought one 24CH DMX LED decoder to run the 8 panels and two 3CH decoders to run the top and bottom half of their projection screen LED strips.

Then they needed 4 power supplies to run the decoders. They used a combo of some 4CH wire he bought off eBay and some CAT5 cable to hook everything up. The Cat5 was easier to use and tidier in the end.

They switched from their 24X6ft triple wide screen back to a 16:9 (17.7x10ft) format screen. They built the screen out of 2×6 pieces of lumber and 10ft sheets of drywall. Then they crack-filled them and painted it. They use the same three 4,000 lumen NEC NP-2000 projectors (can find them as cheap as $250.00 on eBay) that powered their triple wide screen and built a “stacking” box to stack all three projectors to get an extra bright image out of it since they would be pulling the projectors almost twice as far back as the original set-up.




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14 responses to “Throwback: Dash Dot”

  1. matt says:

    hey quick question, wondering how you made the “tungsten” effect with the “can” lights? What material did you use to make the cylinders? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    -Matt Lewis

    • AJ Guptill says:

      Hey Matt,

      The “can lights” are actually just tin dollar store garbage cans. They’re about a foot deep and 8-9 inches round. I used a hole saw to cut a hole in the bottom big enough to fit the end of a standard keyless lamp holder through it. Then I slapped on an ocatgon box on the back of each one and wired them with standard 14/2 wire. I used 100W regular tungsten bulbs in them and its plenty bright for our crowd at full blast. The boxes they sit in were just made out of 1/4″ plywood and I used a jigsaw to cut the holes out for the garbage cans to sit in. Feel free to email me at if you want some pics.

  2. Andres says:

    Hello I was wondering if you could give me some more info on the LED Set up I’m am trying to set up some of my own but i don’t know what hardware i need for it. I also need help understanding how to connect it all together. if you could help in any way it would be greatly appreciated!!

  3. Jason says:

    Hi there!

    Are the LED strips flicker free? They work well with video?


    • AJ Guptill says:

      Yes they seem to be flicker free. Our videos are either 24fps at 1/50 shutter speed or 30fps at 1/60 shutter speed and I haven’t had problems.

  4. Ricky Simpson says:

    Your projection screen is pretty simple to understand but could you explain how you created the color frame effect around the edge of the screen. Thanks.

    • AJ Guptill says:

      I made my screen first, Then I added a 5-6″ border around the outside about an inch away from the front edge of the screen to leave room for the LED strips. Then I added my LED strips around the outside edge of the screen facing outwards (Not the 5-6″ board) then I added a small black piece of trim around the outside of the screen frame just overlapping enough to cover the LED strips. You can kind of get an idea of the process in the timelapse video although it happens pretty quick.

  5. Carman says:

    Hello! We love the stage. I have looked all over for the tin cans. I can not find any. Could you please tell me where exactly you got them? I have tried the $ tree, $ general and multiple websites. We are looking for 40 of them.
    Carman Brooks Heartland Community Church

    • AJ Guptill says:

      Hey Carman, I got them from the Dollarama in Canada. I’m not sure if this is a “Canadian only” store or not. You may find something equivalent at a place like Walmart but they may be a little more expensive. Another option I was going to use was smaller flower pots. They come in a little set of three with a small metal tray underneath them. They are quite a bit smaller but would still fit a light bulb in them.

  6. AJ Guptill says:

    For those of you wondering how to make the panels, heres some better intstructions on them.

  7. KP says:

    I love everything about this stage! Well done. I’ll be building something similar this summer so I may have questions for you then, but in the meantime, can you tell me what site you get your backgrounds from? I am always in search for clean backgrounds and like the looks of those.


  8. Byron says:

    Not including the big projector screen, approxamately how much did this set cost to build?

  9. Josh says:

    For projection stacking, how did you go about lining them up? Do they have to be a special kind of projector or will any projector do?

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