In this article:
- Staggered/Cascading LED Bars
- One Big LED Wall
- Stage in the Center
- Stained Glass
- Unvarying Spotlights (And Fog)
- Horizontal LED Bars + Neon
- Angled Backdrops
- Getting Vertical
- Retro Storm Fixtures 780S
- All White/Cheaper Fixtures
- Interior Looks
- Don’t Forget About Instruments
- Jutting Stage
- Optical Illusion
- Staggered/Textured Backdrop
1. Staggered/Cascading LED Bars
Source: Igreja Multimedia
2. One Big LED Wall
Source: Church of the Redeemer
Sometimes we avoid the notion of a monolithic stage design. We think we need a huge variety of fixtures and set pieces. But LED walls are different. As you can see by this display, it can work quite nicely as the only piece. Look out for more “minimalistic” designs in the years ahead, especially with the church’s new focus on streamed services with tight camera shots.
3. Stage in the Center
4. Stained Glass
5. Unvarying Spotlights (And Fog)
Source: Midsummer Vilnius
You don’t need 12 different lighting fixtures to have a good stage design. In 2021, we saw many symmetrical spotlight arrangements form the centerpiece for churches and concert venues. Also, not the usage of fog here, which makes the spotlights look 10x better. It can be challenging to convince some pastors about fog, but it’s worth it.
6. Horizontal LED Bars + Neon
As we mentioned in the introduction, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for some ideas. This simple design proves the principle. They used four long horizontal LED bars and some fog to create an excellent look. Neon colors will cut through and produce the best aura as well.
7. Angled Backdrops
Speaking of balling on a budget, this is an eye-catching design from low-cost materials. We would do something similar with corrugated plastic and LED tape, making this arguably the most cost-effective design on the list. The angled backdrops are excellent for churches that have mostly converted to streaming studios. They catch the eye and then direct it downward toward the band or preacher.
8. Getting Vertical
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the “studio” vibe, don’t be afraid to go vertical. If your building has a high ceiling (like many do), then take advantage of it. This venue gave their music an epic feel with 30ft high LED walls with pars in between. A low-cost alternative: Remove the LED Walls, and you’re still left with a fantastic design.
9. Retro Storm Fixtures 780S
The Retro Storm 780S took the church world by storm (pun intended) over the past few months. It deserves its very own spot on this list. The simple-yet-elegant design can be implemented in almost any venue, immediately adding to the aesthetic. If we had our own Church Tech Person Awards (The Techies?), this would win Lighting Fixture of the Year for 2021. Note: It has several tiers and imitators to work with virtually any budget.
10. All White/Cheaper Fixtures
You don’t necessarily have to use the most expensive option of everything to have a fantastic design. Mosaic is well-known for their creativity in the church world. They recently went with an all-white design, using low-cost alternatives for their lighting fixtures. Retro minimalism is in, so take advantage of it. We all have an old fixture or two lying around that’s ready for its return to glory.
11. Interior Looks
Could Christmas 2021 mark the return of big set pieces? Obviously, this look is huge for Christmas. Having a couch and sitting vocalists even added a unique feel to this church's Christmas services. However, as every church has realized in the past couple of years, creating a look that fits live-streaming is absolutely necessary. So, we’ll be interested to see if interior looks come back for other holidays, like maybe Arbor Day?
12. Don’t Forget About Instruments
Source: Church of the City
13. Jutting Stage
Source: Elevation Church
We often only think about what goes on top of a stage…but the actual platform is part of the deal. If you have a room with anything resembling panoramic seating, consider having your stage just forward. We know plenty of churches that added temporary additions to achieve something similar for a season.
14. Optical Illusion
At first glance, it seems like this shot was taken with a wide-angle lens. But as you can see by the mock-up, it’s an intentional (albeit trippy) design. It’s meant to pull your eye into the action and keep you captivated. Props to whoever came up with it!
15. Staggered/Textured Backdrop
LED walls don’t have to be flat against the back of your stage. The versatility of their design allows them to be arranged in a variety of patterns, including this design from Passion 2022. This ensures that people can view it from multiple angles and adds a new dimension to everything happening on stage. You can accomplish something similar with fewer LED panels.
Source: Cody James
Finally, we have the work of LD Cody James. Sometimes we think a stage design has to incorporate multiple colors. But remember, lighting is all about the mood and experience you want to convey to the viewers. Oftentimes, that can be accomplished with monochromatic designs. Experiment with it next time you find yourself at the ‘ole lighting console!