Harry Frankenfeld from Northshore Baptist Church in Kirkland, WA brings us this great use of pallets and lighting.
They ended up building their own pallet structures, because they wanted a rougher look than they could get with from pre-built pallets. Construction was stud-grade 2×4 for the verticals, green wood (air-dried, not kiln-dried) 1×4′s and 1×6′s for the face. They wired each flat with 30 surface-mount light sockets, mounted from the back, with plenty of clearance around the bulbs to avoid bulb-to-wood contact. Each pallet was wired as a single circuit, then hung by carriage bolts and lock nuts to a vertical stud tied to the grid. Bulbs were standard A-series, a mixture of clear, frosted, and flood, ranging from 40 to 70W.
They debuted the set on Good Friday, but by washing it with ETC Vivids, they were able to give it a very different look for Easter morning. They kept the set up for three series’, using different wash patterns to differentiate. For the last series, “The Art of Neighboring,” they removed the color wash, letting the incandescent bulbs give the wood a natural glow. For this series, they also hung pendants irregularly along the front edge of the stage, made from a stripped-down light socket, a pre-wired lamp repair line, and a 6″ clear 40W globe bulb.
The value of the green wood was that it was already discolored and weathered, and as it dried further on stage, it warped and cracked, giving it more interest.
Total cost ~$1000, but they’re going to be breaking down and reusing the flats for another set. The pendants cost ~$8 each in parts from a hardware store.