OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – In 2013 Blue Valley Baptist Church concluded that the best way to fulfill its mission of reaching more followers would be, not to expand its existing 650-seat facility, but to become a multi-site church comprised of a family of smaller congregations. A big step toward this goal was taken last year when BVBC acquired a second church in nearby Olathe, Kansas. Two hundred and fifty parishioners from the original Antioch campus agreed to switch locations, giving the new site, known as the Ridgeview campus, a ready-made congregation from day one.
But although attendance wasn’t an issue, the 1980s-construction Ridgeview building presented its own set of challenges. Desperately in need of an overhaul, it was remodeled and repurposed to resemble the church’s original Antioch facility, giving BVBC a consistent look across campuses. As part of this renovation project, the lighting at both sites was upgraded, using CHAUVET Professional’s Ovation E-190WW warm white LED ellipsoidal as a mainstay fixture. Also featured in the project was the Freedom Par Hex-4, a battery-powered, wireless-DMX Hex-Color LED par from CHAUVET Professional’s sister company CHAUVET DJ.
“Both campuses needed lighting overhauls,” said Brent Handy, a designer and engineer for Advanced Sound & Communications (Kansas City, Mo.), which designed the lighting, video, audio and control systems for BVBC. “The Ridgeview campus just did not have the right lenses, instruments or control capabilities. Antioch’s instruments were aging and not easily accessible to re-lamp and gel. The stage heat and HVAC zoning were also concerns. Additionally, the music and youth departments desired lighting effects that would be an extension of their events and presentations.” Plus, with multi sites, BVBC would now be streaming HD video between campuses, which created a need for noise-free broadcast-quality lighting.
Added to all these requirements was the concern that the church’s lighting technology be standardized across campuses, Handy noted. “Like most churches, BVBC relies on volunteers, not professional production staff members. We needed professional, repeatable results, using high-performance, user-friendly equipment. The volunteers would need to be able to walk into either campus and use the same gear, the same way, with the same results.”
In order to determine which lighting products would best meet BVBC’s requirements, Handy conducted a “shoot out” involving one brand of traditional ellipsoidal fixtures and three brands of LED ellipsoidals. The CHAUVET Professional Ovation E-190WW LED emerged as the clear winner. “The Chauvet Ovations were the brightest, the most consistent from instrument to instrument, and produced the least amount of fan noise,” reported Handy, making the energy-efficient LEDs ideal for the church’s low-heat, quiet running, low-power-draw, repeatable performance and user-friendly requirements. Known for producing an exceptional flat, even field of warm white light, the Ovation E-190WW emits a bright illuminance of 4,380 lux at 5 meters (with 19° lens) and features 16-bit dimming resolution for smooth fades, selectable dimming curves, standard beam shaping shutters, a gobo/effect slot, and interchangeable lenses.
For the BVBC project, Handy used a total of 20 Ovation E-190WW fixtures with 19° lenses. The Ovation units were utilized “in the traditional fashion,” he said, “to provide white light on the stage and three point lighting for the pulpit area. In worship services, the lighting is used to set a mood or reinforce the content of the services.”
The Ovation fixtures are also capable of handling BVBC’s evolving broadcast illumination requirements, Handy reports. “The church streams between campuses and will soon begin streaming live. We capture HD video via BlackMagic Design interfaces and Apple computers, via Sony HD PTZ cameras and a Vaddio switcher/mixer. We approach lighting as if we were broadcasting on TV.”
For youth and children events, the LD said, “lighting is used to provide exciting effects. In the youth rooms (which include a high school and middle school room at each campus), the lighting does everything from subtle to crazy.” Here, CHAUVET DJ’s Freedom Par Hex-4 proved the perfect fixture for the job. With its Hex-Color RGBAW+UV technology, the compact battery-operated LED par can produce a limitless palette of hues, ranging from the most laid-back “subtle” to over-the-top eye-popping “crazy,” to illuminate the wide variety of youth events held at BVBC. Controlled by DMX via Soundcraft Performer 16 consoles, the Freedom Par Hex-4 pars are positioned along the stage and youth room walls for narrow cyc lighting effects, with a total of 20 units installed between the two campuses.
With its lighting design in place, BVBC has resolved a big infrastructure issue as it moves forward with its multi-campus philosophy, something by all indications the church intends to continue to do in the future. As it proclaims on its website, “The best vehicle for us to accomplish our mission is to grow BROADER, not BIGGER.”
A member of the BVBC congregation himself, Handy says that the church’s leaders and volunteers are very pleased with the broadcast quality, energy efficiency, user-friendliness and standardization of their new lighting. “They love it. They couldn’t be more happy with our design, installation and the equipment. We have earned their total trust and we will be doing the future projects,” he stated, adding, “We would like to thank our recently retired Chauvet rep, Jim Tipton, for years of service and support.”