Stage Lighting

Throwback: Scattered Light

Matt Groves from The Naz in Grove City, Ohio brings us this starry light ray effect. (Originally posted Apr 2013)

This effect was achieved with twelve sheets of 4’x8′ 1/2″ plywood vertically standing in between the truss sections upstage. They randomly drilled holes in the plywood using 2″, 1 1/2″, and 1″ hole saws. After drilling the holes, they painted the wood with flat black paint. Then they stood the plywood up against the truss and zip-tied them to the top horizontal truss for stability. After placing the lights behind the wood to shoot out of the holes, they saw that they were going to have to contain the light because of it spilling on the projection screen behind. So they draped black puppet curtains behind the truss to create a “nook” for the lights to sit in. The seams in between each sheet of plywood were seamed and covered up with black gaffer’s tape. To achieve the “light ray” effect they placed two small hazers in front of the wall to catch the light.




Triangle Projection Screen Triangle Pyramid

13 responses to “Throwback: Scattered Light”

  1. Craig Taylor says:

    OK, I’ll show my “ignorance.” What’s a hazer? Love the look, btw.

    • Ryan Spencer says:

      Kind of like a fog machine, but produces thinner haze via water or oil. It’s what allows you to see a light beam. Totally a game changer for lighting as this design shows. Without haze, this design would not work.

  2. Ryan Spencer says:

    BTW… Looks sweet. What lights were used for behind the plywood sheets?

  3. Jonathan says:

    What type and how many lights are you using behind your wall? Would love to see a behind the scenes pic. Very cool look. Very impressed.

  4. Serene Tang says:

    Oh this is very very lovely. Mmm Mmm Mmm. Very nice beams and colour choice.

  5. Marion Sims says:

    Is there any chance of emailing some pics from back side of light walls?

    • Matt Groves says:

      I wish I would have taken some behind the scenes pics of the set, but I didn’t. I honestly didn’t even think about it at the time. I do however have another set being posted in the next week or so and I do have behind the scene pics of that one. If there’s any questions you have, I’ll be more than happy to answer them. You can email me directly at Thanks for checkin it out!

  6. KatOfTheWalk says:

    You guys at Grove City Naz and your fancy light shows . . . wish our pastors would let us get away with that kind of stuff!
    Btw, I work at the big Vineyard in Westerville, and I keep hearing people talk about how you run stuff. I’d be interested to come by and see your setup sometime.

  7. Jonathan says:

    What kind of lights were used here?

  8. This setup is really cool. Churches need to keep exploring with lighting design, because there is so much you can do.

  9. Barry Carter says:

    AWESOME! Love to see churches being creative with basic materials… Having an awesome stage design can be cheap and affordable and still look amazing like this set!!! #imachurchnerd

  10. Elgin says:

    Be warned, this doesn’t work with cheaper led lights. They need to be powerful. We’ve tried this using the exact same approach, but with lower quality LED lighting, and at most, you get a barely noticeable, very faint beam. You’ve got to use the pro or near-pro quality lights.

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