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Solomon Awards 2018 – New Hope Church (Design and Installation of AVL System, Major Technology Upgrade [existing building])

The main auditorium at New Hope Church used 78 incandescent fixtures for their house lights. Since the main campus was built in 2006, three satellite campuses have launched, all utilizing full-color LED house lights. LED lights, which allow for color temperature matching from the stage to the room, fully immerse the congregation during vocal worship. The goal for this project was to replace the aging incandescent fixtures with full-color, energy efficient lights similar to those utilized by the satellite campuses while minimizing cost.

Four fixtures were tested, before selecting the Chauvet Ovation H605FC. To minimize cost and installation time, original fixture wiring was used. Each 500W incandescent light was replaced with a 139W Chauvet Ovation in a one-for-one swap. New Hope purchased UL listed hardware (octagon box covers, 3/8 swivels, and 3/8 all thread) to connect the new Chauvet lights to the original lighting boxes. DMX installation was done in bundles: instead of creating a massive DMX daisy chain, the new lights were integrated in eleven rows using a Doug Fleenor 1212-DIN 1-to-12 DMX Splitter. This type of integration offers advantages for future troubleshooting. The new house lights (fixtures and power) were installed on their own DMX universe and routed to a keypad so that volunteers or staff can turn the lights on without knowledge of the lighting system.

Because New Hope Church has worship services every Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, the light upgrade needed to happen as quickly as possible to avoid interfering with services. To reduce cost, New Hope performed the installation themselves. Five staff utilized four rented lifts (one-man, two-man, and a massive atrium lift) to complete the upgrade in less than a week. Installers wore headlamps and hung external lanterns to illuminate their working area because the power had to be off in the room. Installation began on Monday. By the mid-week service, about half the fixtures had been installed, but only nine house lights were working. Those nine lights produced more illumination than the thirty-eight incandescent floor lights previously used for service. The installation was completed late Thursday evening.

The total project cost of $97,500 included lift rental and all wiring, supplies, hardware, and fixtures. This price also covered 12 additional fixtures for future replacement and/or expansion use. Should a fixture need to be sent out for repair, it can be swapped out with one from the reserve stock. Four of the twelve fixtures are earmarked for installation in current under-illuminated areas.

New Hope Church’s mission is to known Christ and make Him known. The New Hope Production Department does this by using tools, technology, and technical gifts to create an atmosphere of spiritual and technical excellence. Now completed, the upgrade not only provides an 80 percent power savings (an entire transformer is no longer needed), it increases illumination (intensity and coverage area), and allows full inclusion of the congregation during worship.

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