Stage Designs

Throwback: Skyscraping Dots Set Design

Tony LaMarca from North Way Christian Community (Wexford Campus) in Pittsburgh, PA brings us this cool set design incorporating Ikea lights. (Originally posted November 2013)

They do two different kinds of stage sets at NWCC. The teaching team tends to like “props” or stage sets that tie in with their teaching theme. The production team tends to like the more abstract looks that are just a stage set because they can be more creative with them.

This stage set is one of the abstract styles that they had a lot of fun with.

One of their favorite places to go for inspiration (other than CSDI) is Ikea. They came across ceiling dome lights that were less than $5 each and decided to work those into a set somehow.

Tony worked on a design that would allow them to do a “concert feel” backdrop that still utilized their giant screen. As a multi-campus church, they like to keep the center of the stage very clean so that the video they capture for other campuses looks the best.

They bought 16×15/32″ plywood and predrilled holes for the wiring and mounting of the lights. They then painted them all flat black. They got a team of 7 guys plus their 4 staff members together for a few days of mounting and wiring the 288 Ikea lights.

Overall it took about 90 man-hours from start to finish.

Each panel had 18 lights with standard 40 watt bulbs, and they were wired in parallel in sets of 9. So each panel had 2 channels that made up a square of lights.

Tony ended up putting 3 sets of lights in each dimmer channel because he did not have enough channels to do them all individually.

To mount the panels vertically, they started by bolting 6 pairs of panels together with three 2x4s per pair. They then used chain lifts that they already had to raise the top sections into place. The sections directly below those were then attached with more 2x4s and they also rested on the ground to avoid swaying. Other panels were either mounted to studs on the walls, or to the edge of the stage.

Finally, once they had everything tested, they added some leftover black Coroplast to the backs of the panels to cleanup and hide all of the wiring.

As of the end of October, they are moving into their 3rd series using this stage set. That is a huge win for the production team since there was a time when they were changing stage sets for every series.

Total Final Cost: $2300

















LED Logo Lines Structured

7 responses to “Throwback: Skyscraping Dots Set Design”

  1. Great job tony! thanks for all of the construction details!

  2. Great job Tony! Thanks for the construction details!

  3. Geoff McLarty says:

    I really dig the concept. Instead of just lighting the pre cut holes from behind, the extra money and time you used to wire individual lights makes this design look so impressive! Great job!

  4. Jonathan says:

    I might be missing something obvious but how are you changing the color of the lights? thanks

    • Tony LaMarca says:

      The lights didn’t actually change color. They did however reflect the color they were hit with pretty well when not lit from inside. So we had color washes that were our main wash lights for the stage focused up a little higher than usual.

  5. Joshua o. Godwin says:

    This is really beautiful… I luv it. Pls how can learn how to do these and other great designed ? Thank you

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