Collaboration with Interstate Lighting & Sound gives extra zing to contemporary worship at this growing Nashville church

Back in the dark days before LED lighting illuminated Highland Park Church, Pastor Dale Robble was a customer at Interstate Lighting & Sound. He would go there for lamps and gels for his conventional fixtures. He occasionally also asked about LED lighting; he’d heard about its longevity and its color-mixing capabilities but the technology just wasn’t there yet, certainly not at an affordable price point. “We were still dealing with a lot of cheaply made, and very dim, quarter-watt fixtures, which weren’t even powerful enough to light a broom-closet, much less a stage,” Brian Savage, installer at Interstate Light & Sound, explains.

Before long, 1-watt and 3-watt LED fixtures came onto the market, and Pastor Dale finally opted to trade in his lamps and gels for LED diodes. Starting out with Elation Elar 180 RGBAW Pars, which he used for front washes, and a Show Designer 3 console for control, the transformation was complete; “he fell in love with his lighting again,” Brian tells us, “and the rest is history!”

When Pastor Dale was ready to take his LED lighting up a gear, he returned to Interstate asking them to provide and install a range of new LED lighting. This time the company went with ADJ fixtures – not only for their affordability but for their quality too. Interstate has in fact been an ADJ dealer since the company’s early days, and there is a healthy rapport between both businesses. “When LED stage lighting technology started to mature we noticed ADJ was at the forefront of manufacturing quality, affordable products,” says Brian. “I specifically remember us ordering the Flat Par Tri 7s for store stock, and quickly realized we couldn’t keep them in stock.”

Due to their powerful TRI LEDS, the Flat Par Tri 7s were “not only bright but also beautiful to look at”, and from that point on Interstate took along ADJ LED demo units to customer site surveys and kept their showroom stocked with functioning ADJ fixtures for their walk-in customers to check out. Of course, one of these customers was Pastor Dale Robble… which brings us full circle to Interstate’s latest install at Highland Park Church, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Adding ADJ lighting has given the church a new aesthetic and a unique visual dimension; allowing Dale to integrate the colors of their projected graphics with their stage lighting, which, when combined with the lighting on the auditorium walls, makes for an eye-catching and inspiring lightshow; drawing the eyes of the congregation to the stage. “The set designer really knows how to play with materials and angles, creating artistic shadowing and luminescence – and the result is a dramatic departure from the days of hot lamps and fading gels,” Brian tell us, explaining the benefits of the transformation. “Take away the limitations of restricted stage power and heat and you can do just about anything!”

Brian is enthusiastic about a number of parts of the installation: the 40-degree Flat Par Tri 18s were “fantastic” for close-range, broad color washes; the 25-degree Flat Par Tri 7s also worked well, giving more throw and proving “ideal for up-lighting and illuminating individual stage performers”; while the EPAR Tri cans created “concentrated columns of color” due to a narrow 10-degree beam angle, ideal for down-lighting the auditorium’s curtains and stage sets. Interstate also installed eighteen ADJ Mega Tri64 Profile fixtures, which serve as the most versatile units within the lightshow; the church has utilized twelve units for upstage back-lighting and another six for wall washes, with the 25-degree beam angle and big lenses giving the fixture a huge amount of punch.

“While it’s hard to nail down my favorite single element, I’d have to say it’s the accent lighting on the stage floor and the upstage back-lighting that really capture my attention,” Brian tell us. “From the audience perspective, being able to see all twelve of the Mega Tri64 Profile fixtures shift color, and illuminate the performers, will really draw them in. Both of these elements, in combination with the Flat Par Tri 7s and 18s on the floor, really add a dramatic, engaging atmosphere to the stage.”

When Brian, together with his colleague Scott Reigle, came to do the install, they soon realized that a big hassle for the church was having to re-gel and re-aim each fixture every time they wanted to try a new look. Not only this, but when they got a certain look they were stuck with one or two color-schemes due to the limitations of their conventional fixtures. The new flexible LED-powered color mixing fixtures addresses these issues giving the team at the church a whole new level of creative freedom. “The creative control factor was huge for Highland Park because they are a contemporary church who likes to keep things modern and fresh; they do amazing things with their set design, and they try and change it up at least a few times a year,” Brian explains. “Now he [Pastor Dale] is able to integrate the colors of his projected graphics with the color on the stage, and can even change it up several times over the course of a service.”

Another issue that Brian and Scott sought to address was the fact that even with 1,000-watt fresnels and dichroic color filters Dale wasn’t able to get the sort of depth and punch that he wanted. However, following the install, he was thrilled to have been given expansive control over his stage, especially when it came to enhancing his services by utilizing deeper colors, such as blue and purple.

“I am very much looking forward to the next phase, too,” Brian tells us. “We are currently talking with Dale about adding a couple of sets of movers to the package, to help add texture to the room by utilizing the pattern gobos and prism effects – I’m thinking four ADJ Vizi Beam 5Rs would fit the bill nicely!”

While Brian finds it hard to gauge whether attendance at the church has increased on the merits of lighting alone, he certainly views the install as “the icing on the cake”. Aside from the fact that the lighting will continue to showcase the already stellar level of talent and dedication of the staff at Highland Park, it’s clear that ADJ fixtures have added a cohesive feel to the church, and that the emotion which Pastor Dale and the church’s music ministry conveys to the congregation has been amplified by the beauty that the new stage lighting provides.

“Contemporary worship is as important to the eyes as it is the ears, and when you can get that visual element without breaking the bank then it gives an organization like Highland Park Church a powerful tool in helping to grow their ministry,” Brian enthuses. “In short, the ADJ LEDs were a game-changer – it’s like being in a whole new church!”

Full list of products installed:
Elation Show Designer 3 (main control)
6 x Elation Elar180 RGBAW Pars (front wash)
2 x Elation Image Pro 300 (church logo gobos on either wall)
2 x ADJ Flat Par Tri 18 (Color wash behind gobos)
4 x ADJ Flat Par Tri 7 (Front Fill)
6 x ADJ Mega Tri 64 Par Profile (Side Wall Color Wash)
8 x Elation ELED Tri Par 56 (Curtain/Set Downlights)
12 x ADJ Mega Tri 64 Par Profile (Upstage Wash)
6 x ADJ Flat Par Tri 18 (Scene/Instrument/Foot Lighting)
8 x ADJ Flat Par Tri 7 (Scene/Instrument/Foot Lighting)
2 x Elation DMX Branch 4
All Accu Cable DMX Cabling and line termination

Dealer/Installer: Brian Savage & Scott Reigle, Interstate Lighting & Sound

Photo credit: Brian Savage

For more information Contact ADJ:
U.S. Office - Tel: 800-322-6337/+1-323-582-2650 • Web: www.adj.com