The 45-year old Lighthouse Evangelism in Singapore has undergone a major refurbishment of its two halls which, set over two campuses at Woodlands and Tampines, have a combined capacity of 3,500 people.
A complete revamp of the entire church stage, LED wall and lighting design was called for, with the latter being undertaken by well-known lighting designer, Michael Chan of Lighting Insomnia, for which he chose 14 laser-sourced Ayrton Cobra, 8 Ayrton Khamsin TC profiles and 9 Ayrton Zonda 9 Wash fixtures. These were supplied by Total Solution Marketing and installed by systems integrator Soundsmith Solutions.
“I am always happy to work with a good lighting manufacturer,” says Mr Chan who explains why he chose to work with Ayrton fixtures to enhance the weekly services of praise and worship.
“The design concept needed to fulfil a few objectives: firstly, we needed a brighter and more versatile face light system to replace the four existing moving lights front-of-house; secondly, we wanted to update and improve the effects lighting with more beam fixtures and a very bright backwash that could also do pixel effects. This would give the weekly operators more options to play, design and program with. Lastly, we wanted to ensure the live broadcast and streaming looked good, which meant we needed to make sure the new lighting fixtures had both high CRI and TLCI.
“We wanted to avoid metal halide fixtures for ease of maintenance, but needed fixtures with a high lumen output that could stand their ground against the 20m x 5m LED wall in the centre of the back wall. So, whether they were effects, wash or face lights, they needed to be able to compete with the brightness of the giant LED wall.”
Of particular concern to Mr Chan was the appearance of the side wings: “These are very often just black drapes, which do not form an aesthetically pleasing backdrop in the camera side shots so we needed something to break that monotone.”
Mr Chan was careful to keep an open mind when choosing the correct fixtures for the church environment and a shoot-out between three manufacturers was organised giving everyone a fair chance to showcase their products, not just to Mr Chan, but to the church AVL team as well.
“To be frank, when we started the process, I only had Khamsin down as a reference for the type of face light fixture I wanted,” he says, “but the Khamsin TC stood out among the competition due to its brightness and high RF, on top of all its other great features. It can be used not just as a simple face light wash, but also to spotlight a banner, person or set piece, and for ballyhoo effects and more, from the audience to the stage. And Cobra is the same. The Cobra literally drew a ‘wow’ from the church team when we first turned it on. The texture and sharpness of the beam is something I think you have to see in person to fully appreciate. There’s something about the way the light beam cuts through the air that makes it so special. I think the secret is in the phosphor laser source.
“The Zonda 9 Wash was more straightforward in that it is one of the brightest wash fixtures around and it could achieve both the pastel tones for preaching and normal service, as well as the saturated colour tones that the praise and worship songs need for extra drama. With a bit of creativity, these fixtures are able to fulfil multiple roles and functions. They are very versatile.”
The Khamsin TC fixtures are installed on the FOH lighting truss and primarily used for face lights and audience gobo break ups. The Zonda 9 Washes are hung entirely on the lighting rig above the stage and used for back washes, highlights and pixel effects.
Nine of the Cobra are hung in between the LED panels above the stage, and the remaining five are on the floor. These are used for mid-air effects, gobo effects and to add real depth and visual interest to camera shots.
“Cobra is one of our favourite Ayrton fixtures. Its prism façade is excellent and the beam produced is sharp and well-focused,” comments Kevin Yap, Technical Manager at Lighthouse Evangelism. “Khamsin’s CRI is excellent, it produces great skin tones on video and is very camera-friendly, and the Zonda 9 Wash provides excellent coverage and colours.”
Mr Yap also reports that the team is very happy with Mr Chan’s choice of Ayrton fixtures and the service it received from Total Solution and Soundsmith Solutions. “The technical staff at Total Solution have always been very helpful and obliging. They are always willing to show us any product we ask for, even if it means going through the trouble of setting it up from scratch. Tevin and Glenn have also been wonderful in supporting us. It is always a pleasure to see them at shoot outs and trade shows!
“The Soundsmith Solutions team has also been a great support throughout our project. From the design stage, right up to selecting the best suitable products, the team has been professional and brand neutral. This helped in keeping us well informed about what we were choosing from and making the best possible decisions for the organisation.”
Mr Chan has lit and consulted for many other churches in the region including the main auditorium lighting for the Heart of God Church and the lighting for the Chinese Church Hall at BBTC. Other installations include the PSA Innovation Centre at the PSA Horizon building, ‘Through the Lens of Time’, a permanent exhibition at the Singapore Discovery Centre and the Time Capsule attraction at the Singapore Flyer.