3 things to consider before adding moving lights to your worship environment

Moving lights are all the rage in worship lighting now. The introduction of LED moving lights has brought the cost of ownership way down for this category of light which brings them well into the church lighting budget. But before you jump into the moving light space there are several things you should consider.

Is it really worth it

Moving lights look cool. But they are not going to bring to Christ, and if they do, maybe we should have a different conversation. Of course, they can do a lot to enhance the look and feel of a service element like a song or scripture reading, but the can also very distracting if not done well. And we don’t want people coming to church for the lights, we want them coming to church for Christ.

Ask your self a few question.

  1. Is there something we can not do without a moving light? If your answer is, “make them easier to focus”. Your not a lighting person and please go hire one.
  2. If I had four or five conventional lights could I do the same thing? This is about the cross over point in regards to cost. If your one moving light is going to do more than what 6 other lights, then it would be worth it.
  3. Are you lighting for Camera? If you are lighting for Camera, adding moving lights for the first time is going to throw the whole system out of balance.
  4. How much extra time do you have to program? Adding one moving light is equal to adding 20-30 conventional lights when it comes to programming time. Just adding 4-6 moving lights will double the amount of time you need to spend programming the event. Do you have that time?
  5. 4 fixtures is not really cool. Do you have enough money to buy 8 or 10? To get the look you think you want you really need double that amount. Do you have the money?

Can you run smoke?

If you want that really cool beam look that everyone thinks you need moving lights for you are going to need to smoke, or haze if you would prefer. Some churches are not ok with this. Some are ok with this but don’t know how to turn the fire alarm off. Please investigate this before you spend a lot of money on fixtures. Without smoke, it would be a huge waste of money. After all, the only thing moving lights can do that conventional fixture can’t, is move. If you can’t see the beam move you are stuck with using lights for what they are made for. Casting light on things.

Do you know how to use these kinds of fixtures?

I have a hard and fast rule when I am consulting with clients. If you don’t know how to use it, you can’t buy it. What I suggest is you do a trial run. Rent some fixtures for an Easter or Christmas event and make sure they work for your space.

Rent the exact fixtures you want to buy before you buy them. Do this for 2 reasons. First, make sure that they work for your space. That they are bright enough and big enough, or small enough for what you need. Do you need color mixing like the MK1 or not like the Rouge R3. Second, make sure you only buy fixtures from someone who has more to rent you. These will break at some point and you will need to replace them.

If you purchase something from a local supplier they will #1 be able to repair them and #2 be able to rent you a spare. #3 they can also arrange a demo of multiple fixtures for you and even come help install them for little or no extra cost. Please don’t buy them from Amazon. They honestly don’t know and don’t care if the light is going to be good for you or not. Start a relationship with someone local who can take care of you in the long term.

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