Stage Designs

Throwback: Err Body in the Church

Ian Houser from Shepherd of the Hills in Porter Ranch, California brings us this awesome, bright design. (Originally posted October 2010)

The light box towers are accomplished with 8’x6′ skeletons made with various sizes of 2×4′s with white spandex wrapped around the front of the boxes. There are 16 Chauvet LEDsplash Jr’s inside of the frames…between insulation board on the back and sides for reflection.

Under the stage they fixed 6 3’x2′ Coroplast sheets to the platforms. They lit the front panels with 6 American DJ mega bars.

Finally, behind the drums they have a rear-projected projection screen with a really cool aurora borealis animation playing on it.

Pretty sweet, huh? Check out the pics for a diagram of the light box towers and to see how the lighting all worked.

Badged In the Darkness, Light

25 responses to “Throwback: Err Body in the Church”

  1. Sean O says:

    That's my church!!

  2. KJ, says:

    haha thats my church to

  3. jthtiger says:

    Are those pictures with front lights on? I'm having trouble seeing how a splash Jr. can light up those panels so effectively.

    I like this design a lot. I wanted to do something like this at my church, but they don't want to spend any money on new lights.

    -Tyler Herron

    • ianhouser says:

      For the pictures, I dimmed all other stage lights except for some intel's I have aimed at the side walls for color. I don't think they're visible here though.
      Yeah I was pretty stoked to see how bright each panel was. You could actually get away with using only 1 LED per panel, but you get a brighter effect with 2 (obviously). The key is having the white foam board all around so it's like a big mirror reflecting at the important angles.
      We light the stage so only the people are lit. If done right, you don't get any excess light bleeding onto the panels. But even then, those LED's are pretty stinkin bright.

  4. James says:

    I would love to see some video of those panels doing some type of led matrix chase with the LED's.

    Are you using any front light to light up the folks that are a few feet in front of your back wall panels? I would assume tossing any front light will kill your effect.

    Just curious. Great concept.

    @ jthiger

    You don't have to use led's…. you can use some low wattage par fixtures. I can see someone doing the same thing with four of those colored CFL lamps behind each panel section. You wouldn't be able to dim the light, but its cheap at $5 per lamp and $1 per socket.

    Also, if you shop around, you can find those color splash Jr's for $25-$35 Each.

    • ianhouser says:

      Yeah, the chase sequences and animations we set up are pretty awesome. I'll see if I can get some video this weekend.
      And yes, if you light people in front of the panels, you get some light bleeding onto them. Luckily, the only people standing there are our guitarists and bassists, so we don't usually light them more than their own silhouette from the panels.
      Surprisingly though, they handle front light very well. You could easily shine a par can directly on it at about 33% and have a barely visible effect.

    • jthtiger says:

      Yeah, the only downside to the pars, is you don't get the color mixing. Although, now that I think about it, I haven't looked at the splashs very closely. Do they have color mixing? or do they just have some preset colors? I wouldn't want to use a fixture that has presets, or doesn't fade between colors.

  5. Tyler Jacobs says:

    Just wondering James, where can you find them for $30 a fixture?

  6. Shaun Nepstad says:

    If we didn't want to have each section light up a Different color, how many LEDsplash Jr.'s could we get away with using to get the effect you have in the 1st Picture (All one color at a time)?

    • jthtiger says:

      Be sure to read ianhousers first comment ^^^up there. For one of those 8'x6' boxes, no less than four. They have foam board around the sides trapping the light, reflecting it back onto the spandex.

  7. shaun says:

    THANKS! Do you think the Splashjr's could light up the understage too instead of the strips?

    • jthtiger says:

      In theory they could. You'd need more than 6. The placement is different. The strips are pointed directly at the coroplast, whereas the splashjr's, I imagine, would need to be placed at the side shining across the panels.

      The splashes have a 17 degree beam angle. The Mega Bars they are using are not only 3 ft long(40.5 inches to be exact, each panel of the stage is 3 ft), but they have a 40 degree beam angle as well. You'd need 12 splashes to cover what 6 of the mega bars could do, I'm guessing. Which is cheaper, if you look at the right place.

      I got those angles and dimensions off the respective manufacturers website. On the chauvet website, the LEDsplash Jr's are discontinued. The have an LEDsplash 86b with a 19degree beam angle.

      So keep all that in mind. You can get discontinued products much cheaper, but if something goes wrong with them, it's best to just throw them away. Unless you have electrical background and can fix them yourselves. No warranty to worry about voiding. :P

      So, short answer, yes. They could. With enough of them.

  8. Shaun says:

    what kind of Spandex did you use and where did you buy… I've called all over and Seems like Everyone Has diff. Spandex they recommend:)

  9. matt says:

    what other lights do you use outside of what you use with the boxes and under the stage?

  10. shaun says:

    We're building a teared version of this. What kind of light board, dimmer pack do you use or recommend?

  11. jthtiger says:

    If you are using LEDs then you don't need a dimmer pack. However, if you are using conventional lighting like a par can, source 4, fresnel, or things like that then you will need one. If you're on a tight budget, I'd suggest picking up an American DJ DP-415 or two. We own two at our church and they've suited us well. We have 4 PAR 56 (300W) plugged into each.

    For a light borad, if you have an old computer collecting dust somewhere, break it out. Download Chamsys MagicQ PC and buy an Enttec DMX USB Pro. Then you have a full intelligent lighting console at your fingertips for about $150. It's a great bargain! Again, that's what we use at my church.

    If you have a budget that's more flexible I'd go with an NSI or Leviton dimmer pack. I don't know a whole lot about them. I know that one or the other doesn't use DMX, so you might be careful about that. I'm not sure.

    As far as a more expensive lighting controller. . .I think I'd still recommend Chamsys MagicQ PC. Maybe you could skip the Enttec dongle and buy one of the Chamsys PC wings. They are pretty sweet!

    I'm not affiliated with this design, so I don't know the specifics on what they are using. Other than what is stated in the description and comments above.

    Hope this helps!

  12. Shamichael says:

    That's a nice set!

  13. This is really weird. I just designed a wall panel that is almost exactly like your design! Same fixtures and everything. That was a bit freaky, but at least now I know that they will work! Going to do it a bit different and build it out of MDF with a white laminate for the inside to reflect the light, but the concept is still the same, and using translucent, non-reflective acrylic panels for the front rather than spandex. Hopefully that doesn't effect the light transmission, but at least I know that I can scrap it and stretch some spandex, and I am good to go!

    • Ian Houser says:

      I was thinking about doing the acrylic, but I decided I liked the spandex look better. The main sanctuary here did something similar with the acrylic panels and it looks good, except I prefer the way the spandex looks on our set since the acrylic has an odd reflective quality. Have you made yours yet?

  14. Chad says:

    Where did you get the spandex?

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