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Lighting Positions for Worship

Choosing lighting positions is one of the most important decisions you can make as you start planning for a new lighting system. The first step is determining what it is that you need to light. While each worship facility is unique, most share at least a few common features such as Pulpits, Lecterns, and Baptismals. Many contemporary worship facilities also have a need to light choirs, praise bands, and soloists. Beyond regular services, consider what other events may require specialty lighting. Your lighting design may need to accomodate:

  • Weddings / Marriage Ceremonies
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Dramas / Plays
  • Children's Groups
  • Special Musical Performances

Key Lighting Positions for Worship

From each spot on your platform, find 45 degree angles to the left and right, and 45 degrees up from your chest. This will determine the optimum position of your key and fill lighting positions.  Without fail, some of the optimum positions are occupied by windows, air handlers, organ pipes etc.  Don’t worry- The lighting police will not close your church because you had to compromise a few feet to find a suitable mounting location.  

Backlighting Positions

Intended to light the head and shoulders of your worship team, Back lights work best placed 45-75 degrees up and directly behind the focus area. Irregularly shaped rooms may require that backlight be delivered from off center, but still, the lighting police won’t bar the doors. You’ll just need to be cognizant of how the backlight is interacting with your key or fill colors and adjust intensities accordingly.

Accent Lighting Positions

Placement of accent fixtures is determined by the specific architecture and the desired effect. Lighting vertical features can be accomplished by placing fixtures at the top or bottom (uplighting) to create a streak of light across the surface. Use Accent positions to draw attention to details such as:

  • Vertical Columns
  • Horizontal Beams
  • Walls
  • Wood or Aluminum Truss
  • Decorative Architecture