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LED Lighting for Outdoor Revival
Lighting the Revival

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Green LED Lighting for Outdoor Revival at Morning Star Ministries with Todd Bentley

Outdoor Revival Lighting
Lighting Design for the Todd Bentley Revival
Design Dialogue by Jack Kelly
Morning Star Ministries | Fort Mill, SC

Article in PLSN America March 2009

LED Lighting for Outdoor RevivalLED Lighting for Outdoor Revival

22 Chauvet Colorado 3
29 Chauvet Colorado 1
44 Color Kinetics Colorcast 14
26 Elation Opti RGB
6 Martin MAC 250 Krypton

3 Elation EWDMX Wireless DMX System
2 Martin Light Jockey
2 Dell Laptops
Rapco DMX Cabling
Global Truss Clamps
LED Lighting for Outdoor RevivalLED Lighting for Outdoor Revival

Todd Bentley is one of Christianities most inspiring and controversial characters. He has a very unconventional communication style that has stirred America. Inspiring thousands to change their lives, Bentley challenges our boundaries invoking a new way of thinking. Inspired by the weekly pilgrimages to Todd Bentley’s home church in Florida, the leadership of Morning Star Ministries committed to bringing him to Fort Mill. Unable to house the expected crowds in their sanctuary, Morning Star Ministries decided to have the meeting in an open field in front of the abandoned Children’s Castle on their property.

Taking on a huge project involving landscape architects, GC’s, electricians, traffic logistics, audio engineers, video specialist, event planners, and lighting designers; Morning Star staff had great vision and needed to stretch every dollar as far as they could. Andrew Ketchum, multi-media director at Morning Star, needed a cool and inexpensive solution to light the stage. The Cause, a neighboring ministry, donated their mobile audio, staging, and lighting system. With a small inventory of Colorado 1’s and 3’s, they called on Eye Dialogue to design their production.

We have been blessed to work with Morning Star Ministries since they purchased Heritage. From repairing antiquated dimmer packs to large scale productions, we have developed a mutually beneficial partnership. We have been given the opportunity to design for great men and musical artist, as well as provide solutions to video lighting dilemmas. Andrew called to ask me for ideas wanting a plan as soon as possible for budgeting.

Seen and ignored for years, I hadn’t really looked at the Castle on the property. Arriving on site, the castle put me in a trance. Old and run down on the inside, the Castle’s lighting potential on the outside was unparalleled. LED’s weren’t around when Bakker’s Heritage was operational, so I would be the first to tackle the project with LED technology. Much like the first ski on fresh powder, nothing is more exhilarating than getting to be first.

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My Castle design completely surrounded all three levels with LED’s. With thousands of guest on a massive property, the castle would make a clear beacon leading the guest to the appropriate location. Stunning and completely over the top, Andrew reeled me in. Presenting a budget, he asks if I could scale it down. The first step was to eliminate all cross rental gear and limiting the castle lighting to what was visible from the audience immediately in front of the stage. Eye Dialogue currently has an inventory of 150+ LEDs in 12 different styles. My design skills had to create the most coverage with what we had on the castle face.

The natural characteristics of the castle’s stucco walls are beautifully displayed with uplighting. Every bump and crevice is accentuated with shadows, creating visual stimulation and interest. The first level of the castle had a large overhang. By using linear cove lights (Colorcast 14’s), we created an even glow along the castle’s rim. The rocky highlights on the perpendicular wall made a nice contrast against the smoother line of the 45° overhang.

The second floor was flat and contained giant archways. Sacrificing the space directly above the archways, I could still achieve balance and symmetry. The traditional curtain-style upwash played a nice feature against the smooth wash of the first level. Each corner torrent was accented with two medium LEDs, creating a smooth wash along the protruding rim. Although the stucco wall in between the third story towers lit brilliantly, the towers were completely smooth and colored. The smoother the surface, the less light the material can capture. The darker the color the less light a surface can reflect. Three lights were used for each tower, spaced in thirds. Although the light wasn’t completely fluid, the impact was obvious. Incidentally, the ring around the top of each tower created a nice finishing feature for the castle.

For the stage, we used Colorados and Kryptons. Blinders on the front of stage provided both short throw lighting for the cameras and long throw lighting coloring the crowd nearly 100 yards away. Plagued by rain, we could only set up the Colorado’s. Day of show, we had a mad rush to set up everything. In order to focus during the day, we had to burn the pupil. Although lights have nearly no effect in day light, a light flare is visible when one’s eyes are directly in front of the fixtures beam. One of the crew stood in our desired lighting positions out in the field waiting for the light to burn their pupils. The blinders provided an exciting visual display as well as a practical wash filling the dark audience voids for video.

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On stage, Colorados cross washed every position on stage. The musicians were positioned and confined to the back half of stage so precision focus was possible. Traditional three point lighting was used for each position. The back light provided a definitive break from the castle even when the stage and castle color was the same. No one was lost in the background. Todd Bentley is a traveler, so the wash across the front of stage couldn’t have gaps. If I had to do it all over again, I would have used the 30° lens instead of the 15° for the speakers lighting. With less than a 20’ throw, the narrow lens created subtle shading between beams across the stage, fortunately unnoticed by the crowd. Without the aid of a followspot, the movers were used to spot keynote people outside of the stages boundaries.

In the beginning the blinders, glowed blue and the stage remained white. As the sun set, the energy on stage and in the castle subtly increased. After the sermon, Leonard Jones began worship. For solos, I had programmed each section with a suitable white override, providing each musician and singer with their own special in different shades. During worship, the band becomes a part of the décor as their natural characteristics are compromised with rich color saturation. The worship/music leader, defined by the white light, is surrounded in deep color themes. For example, cool white solo specials were used to contrast against the aquatic stage breathing of blue and aqua hues. Warm white complimented the worship leader among a fiery combination of yellows, oranges, and reds. Playing with the shade of white, the LEDs provide a vast palette of vibrant primary and secondary colors as well as the delicate variations of white. Meanwhile the movers used only as follow spots up to this point began to sweep shapes through the crowd further stimulating their vision. Using fluxes, sweeps, sparkles, strobes, and flicks; the lighting partnered with the music, seamlessly flowing within the spirit of worship.

For the climax of the evening, everything from the castle to the stage exploded with effect. “Signs and Wonders”, an original dance praise song by Leonard Jones, captured Todd Bentley’s message and drove it home. The emotional impact shook even the most apathetic listener out of their seat lifting their praise into the air. Funny enough, I joined everyone, dancing around as I ran the lights.

Regardless of where one stands on the spirit of Bentley’s ministry, the evening’s impact was undeniable. In the warm southern air, the LEDs provided a nice cool alternative to the sweat created by conventional lighting. Comfortable on stage, the leaders could focus on leading and not uncomfortable sweatiness. Using very little power, the lighting needed less than a hundred amps, easily accommodated by the onsite generator. The considerable color options offered by LED technology satisfied the traditional needs of speaker lighting as well as the dramatic needs of worship. Providing both solutions and creativity, Eye Dialogue was honored by the opportunity to be an instrument in Todd Bentley’s visionary message.

LED Lighting for Outdoor RevivalLED Lighting for Outdoor RevivalLED Lighting for Outdoor Revival
LED Lighting for Outdoor RevivalLED Lighting for Outdoor Revival
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