ANCHORAGE, AK – New opportunities often come when you are expecting something else. Such was the case with Rabbit Creek Community Church. A rapidly growing house of worship in the southern section of Anchorage, Rabbit Creek was looking to upgrade its audio system as part of an effort to enhance its increasingly popular video streamed services. With this in mind, its leaders called Stark Raving Solutions, a Kansas City firm well known for serving the audio, video, lighting and staging needs of churches.
As expected, the Stark Raving Solutions team provided Rabbit Creek with an audio system that enhanced the phonetics of its live and broadcast services. However, before the Stark Raving team packed and headed back to Kansas City, they suggested a small addition to the project that would have a big impact on the quality of the church’s services. Drawing on their experience lighting other houses of worship, they urged Rabbit Creek to add four Ovation E-190WW ellipsoidal fixtures from CHAUVET Professional to the church’s lighting rig.
“The major part of the project was to install an audio system,” said Jess Stark, General Manager of Stark Raving Solutions. “Lighting was only a small part of the whole project. However, when we saw the stage, we felt that the Ovation fixtures could make a major contribution to enhance the look of services both live and on video. Light output from Ovation is better in our opinion than other LED and non-LED options for 575-watt fixtures. The graceful dimming curve is very useful during the transition into worship part of the sermon.
“Since we were already engaged in the audio upgrade, we convinced the church to let us add some Ovation fixtures,” continued Stark. “It was easy for us to add the lighting upgrade and change their outdated control system while we were there, because the fixtures were in stock and could ship immediately. We didn’t need to make a second trip to Anchorage to install four fixtures”
Rabbit Creek, which started out in 1985 as a five-member church that met in the pastor’s rented home and later rented in the local YMCA, before moving into its current spacious and attractive building, has always be receptive to new opportunities, whether they take the form of new ways to engage worshippers or an unforeseen need for an outreach program.
Seeing an unexpected opportunity to enhance the visual quality of their video services, Rabbit Creek’s leaders agreed to have the four Ovation fixtures installed as front lights. Stark Raving Solutions installed the LED ellipsoidals in a front position on overhead truss about 10 feet to either side of center stage.
“The throw distance from where we positioned the Ovation ellipsoidals is about 40 feet,” said Stephen Ellison, lighting specialist at Stark Raving Solutions. “Given the output of these fixtures, they have no problem covering that distance. In terms of coverage, color temperature and even flat light field, they are equal to or better than any incandescent fixture. Of course as LED fixtures they also offer the benefit of lower maintenance and utility costs.”
In addition to providing superior lighting, the new LED fixtures offered Rabbit Creek Church clear cost saving advantages. The church saved in the installation process because the Ovation fixtures did not entail electrical contractor costs, since there was no need to change the existing electrical system other than adding outlets. Also, since the fixtures have wireless DMX control, there was no need to run DMX wire.
Rabbit Creek Church is also saving money because the LEDs consume less electricity and generate less heat. In the long run, the church will also benefit from the longer lamp life of the LED fixtures. Since the Ovation fixtures at the church are installed high off the floor, changing lamps in a different type of fixture would have caused maintenance headaches.
For their part, the church’s leaders and congregation could not be happier with the impact that the four Ovation ellipsoidals have had on the quality of their broadcast services. “The flat even light and color temperature really make a difference in the quality of the video productions,” said Ellison. “When you look at the stage lighting now and compare it to just a few years ago, it’s hard to believe that four fixtures could make such a big difference – but they do.”