Shining Bright at the Guardian Angel Cathedral
4Wall Senior Account Executive Barbara Brennan updates the lighting design at the iconic Las Vegas house of worship with Gallery and Spectra Cyc 100 LED luminaires
Originally built in 1963, the Guardian Angel Cathedral has been serving both residents and tourists in Las Vegas for more than 50 years. With a multitude of stained glass mosaics created by world-renowned artists Isabel and Edith Piczek, the sanctuary inside is a stunning showcase of color and architecture. Desiring an updated LED lighting system to more effectively illuminate their worship environment, the church worked with lighting consultant Bill Brennan, principal with Just Lighting, Inc., and 4Wall Entertainment who supplied the design with Gallery and Spectra Cyc 100 luminaires from Altman Lighting.
“This was the first time that 4Wall had worked with the church which was originally built in the 1960’s, and it really is a Las Vegas landmark,” began Barbara Brennan, 4Wall Senior Account Executive. “Their existing lighting system was about 10 years old, so we were brought onto the project by the lighting consultant to update their outdated conventional fixtures. They wanted to look at an LED solution for both the power and maintenance cost savings, so we installed a system with the Gallery and Spectra Cyc 100 luminaires to light the sacristy and the large mosaic behind the altar.”
As the team at 4Wall got started on the design, it would be imperative that the new lighting solutions be able to blend in with the sanctuary, while still being able to overcome the challenges of the architecture. In an iconic house of worship known for its straight lines, Brennan knew they had to find the right fixtures to make the design a success.
“It’s a very interesting structure that is actually in the shape of a triangle with a really high roof,” continued Brennan. “Part of the challenge of the project was that there was nowhere to place the fixtures as they wanted to maintain the aesthetics of the historic building. Originally, it seems the space was designed to use a lot of daylight for the worship services during the day, so there was not a lot of places to actually hang fixtures. We really had to focus on what were the right fixtures for the job to help us overcome the lighting challenges of the project.”
Turning their attention to solution needed to light the sacristy and altar, the fixtures would need to be in a small form factor, but still capable of providing a broad, even wash of light. Having seen the capabilities of the Gallery LED Series on a previous project, Brennan was sure they would be up to the task.
“As we were looking at the fixtures to light the sacristy, the church did not want the fixtures to be overpowering, and they didn’t want to see them,” explained Brennan. “On a previous casino project, Tim Bachman had shown me the Gallery product line, and since it is such a powerful fixture in a small casing, with multiple lensing options, we knew it would be a great solution. We now have 24 total fixtures, 12 on each side, attached to Unistrut and tied back into the dimmer rack. Additionally, the fixtures are using the Beam Wash lens option to cover a lot of area with minimal light loss, and it works perfect.”
The Gallery Series is a family of LED luminaires designed to serve as the most versatile solution available, through profile, beam wash, wall wash and flood options across a variety of color temperatures. With a 92+ CRI engine, 4000 lumens of output and dimming options that include local on-board dimming, Mains Dimming, DMX/RDM, 0-10VDC and DALI, the Gallery Series also offers a number of mounting options making it an ideal lighting solution where aesthetic and performance expectations are high.
“When I looked at the large and colorful mosaic behind the altar, I saw it as almost a backdrop or a theatrical cyc,” added Brennan. “To light it, we needed to have a dynamic white, so we used the tunable white Spectra Cyc 100 luminaires because they could give us a really nice, flat wash all the way up. For their placement, there is a marble façade on stage that allowed us to tuck the cyc fixtures behind it in a ground cyc application that looks beautiful.”
The popular Spectra Cyc cyclorama/wall wash luminaire family utilizes a diverse line of LED choices including RGBA, RGBW, 3000K, 5600K, and tunable white versions, to blend beautiful, rich colors via a patented LED blending lens. Available in Cyc 50, 100, 200, and 400 models, individual units can be linked side-by-side for greater saturation.
“After we commissioned the new design, the church was very happy,” admitted Brennan. “They really liked the 4000K color temperature we chose because their old 3000K system was a little too muddy. They get so much ambient light coming through the stained-glass windows, we needed to use a color temperature that would balance and not be washed out, and the Altman fixtures gave us the light we needed.”
Now that the new lighting design was complete, the Guardian Angel Cathedral was ready to continue sharing their message with the Las Vegas community. With services held seven days a week, it was now time for their updated LED worship environment to shine.
“Being that the church was originally built in the 1960’s, it has really clean, straight lines, and the form factor of the Gallery worked really well,” concluded Brennan. “They are only 50-watt fixtures, but their punch is phenomenal, and they put out a great amount a light. It is an extremely versatile and elegant lighting solution from a company that stands behind their products with excellent customer support.”