Church LightingSince early times, people have gathered together to worship God. Whether at house churches, large Romanesque, gothic and renaissance churches, or churches with more simple architectural design, worshippers have gathered. Light was often an important part of the worship experience and symbolized awakening or goodness to the worshippers. Early churches had little or no illumination. Members gathered by moonlight at night, perhaps supplemented by torches, candles, or lanterns. During the day, sunlight bathed the churches with light via wall, skylight, or clerestory windows. With the advent of electricity, light bulbs and light fixtures became the main source of light for those gathering spaces.
Natural light may still be used to illuminate church interiors during the day. But when natural light wanes at the end of the day or dim weather sets in, artificial light is needed. Church lighting helps the congregation to meet and function. Basic general light is needed for reading. Other types of church lights are used to help direct and hold the congregation's attention on the speaker and to influence the mood of the audience. Use of display screens and video recording cameras necessitate that a variety of lighting is installed and effectively controlled.
Hence, a church lighting designer becomes a valuable source for the architect and the church members. A lighting designer has the skills to evaluate the overall space and to present quality, cutting-edge lighting solutions that meet the objectives that a particular building needs. The designer will consider light intensity, light color, lighting layout and control features, as well as light fixture designs that enhance the architect's overall plans. A lighting designer will also consider budget for procurement and installation of the lighting system and provide a complete plan to the church committee for approval.
Whether the church lighting is for a remodeled building, new construction, or retrofitted original fixtures, most congregations want aesthetically-pleasing, cost-effective, and energy-efficient lighting.