David Little from Church 2:14 in Peoria, IL brings us this fun kids look.
1. Order LED stuff on Amazon (Of course).
2. Cut LED strips to lengths of the aluminum Channel.
3. Solder 4-conductor wire to LED’s
4. Cover solder connection with Epoxy
5. Snap on diffuser cover, and end caps.
6. Wire other end of cable into connector (or directly to your LED drivers).
7. Mount LED’s using supplied clips and screws.
There’s your basic how-to steps above. Below is a little more detail, and history on the project.
Our church has been leasing space since we were planted about 5 years ago. We are now the only tenant in our space therefore we can now keep our stages setup permanently, both in our adult service, and kids. Prior to us being the only tenant we had to setup and tear down every week. Thus stage designs like this wouldn’t be feasible.
Some years back I did a stage design at my church using a variation of the anti-truss https://churchstagedesignideas.com/the-antitruss/ along with LED tubes. We didn’t have the budget for DMX controlled LED tubes… Enter LED strip lights. At the time the best option I found for diffusing the LEDs was a T8 fluorescent bulb with a plastic tamper cover on it. We just gaff taped the strips to the back of the bulb, and faced the lit side out towards the crowd, and tied into DMX decoders. It worked great.
Fast forward a few years. We now have LED strips, and accessories only a day away thanks to Amazon. This go around I ordered LED channel and diffuser covers from Amazon. Many of you have probably used these, or something like them.
The idea was basic. Add color and fun to a dark, colorless space. What better way than color changing LED’s?
Minus the Truss you’re looking at a grand total of about $380. We already had wire, and a few LED PARS so we only spent about $275 for all the tubes, and controllers.
Here’s a link to everything used in the design, except the trusses. Make sure you click ‘filter and sort’ at the top and select ‘purchased and unpurchased’ otherwise it will just show you a few items.
We soldered 4 conductor cable to each of the strips, installed a Cat6 RJ45 connector on the other end, and wired a 12 port network patch panel as a ‘distribution hub’ for the LED’s. This step isn’t necessary, as you could just directly wire the LEDs to your controller, but we wanted the flexibility to move, and reconnect at a moment’s notice. It also allows us to change which ‘channel’ each LED is plugged into, so we can assign groups of colors. I wired 4 sets of 3 groups in parallel on the patch panel, so we could have 4 different colors on stage at the same time. If you used a multichannel DMX decoder, you could wire each individually.
We then covered the solder connection with a 2 part epoxy to reduce the risk of breaking the solder joint, or shorting pins down the road.
The lights are simply screwed to the wall, and we taped the black wire to the (already) black wall with gaff tape. The LED’s on the truss are attached with zip ties.
We are using the RGB controllers that were included with the strip lights, so the kids church volunteers don’t have to run a DMX controller. They simply use the included IR remotes.
Comment below if you have any questions or input.