Drawn with LED

Jason Christensen from Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, Michigan brings us this LED tape mountain range.

This stage build was for our churches One Heart Youth Conference. Every year we put on a conference for students in 6th grade up to 12th grade.

This year the theme for the conference was Arise.

Coming up with design to reflect the idea and concept behind the word Arise was a challenge and in the end we settled on this abstract mountain range.

To start, I took a black and white photo of the stage and printed a few copies so I could draw and sketch ideas and concepts on them.

Once we had the design in place and everyone agreed upon it, I started taking detailed measurements of the stage so I knew how much space I had to work with.

Once this was determined, I planned out my space on the floor and begin plotting my build with gaff tape.

To get the overall structure built I purchased a total of 45, 2x4s. The main outside lines and structure were a full 2×4 and all the inner diagonal lines were 2x4s ripped in half to make a 2×2. Believe it or not, do this actually saved money.

I assembled all my pieces using 2.5 inch screws and liquid nail to give it strength. I used a basic miter saw to get all the angles and I basically followed the design I played out on the floor with gaff tape. Once I had my overall structure build for each side of my stage I broke the pieces down into small chunks to make it easier to move onto stage.

To light my design I used basic RGB LED tape I found on Amazon. This design took a total of 40 rolls to light up.

The majority of my lights are wired up in a parallel circuit. This helps keep the power, color, and brightness even and consistent over the entire set. Running LED tape in a chain can get weird as I’ve learned in a pervious stage build. The longer the chain the dimmer your lights get. Wiring LED tape in a parallel circuit eliminates this problem.

To help diffuse the LED tape I purchased 4’x8′, 1/4 plastic Coroplast sheets and cut them into 2″ strips on a table saw. Once I had my strips I used clear push pins to raise the Coroplast off the lights and used hot glue to attach the Coroplast to the push pins.

In order to power all my LED tape I purchased 2, 360w power supplies and 2, 8 channel DMX controllers which I found on Amazon.

All LED lighting was then patched into our lighting system via DMX.

I had a total budget of $2000 to pull this design off. I used roughly $1500 for materials and the remainder of my budget was used to rent intelligent lighting from a local audio visual company called Division 16.

The bulk of my budget was used to purchase theLED tape, power supplies, and DMX controllers. Lumber and Coroplast is relatively cheap.

In a nut shell this was a very fun stage to build and the conference was a big success. I learned a lot about LED lighting and design durning this stage build and look forward to learning more.

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36 responses to Drawn with LED

  1. Such talent! That is an amazing stage!

  2. This is really nice

  3. Jason – really great stuff. So inspiring to see you build such interesting shapes. You said you rans strips in parallel – how did you decide the correct balance between current and size of strips, and number of strips? I’m quite intrigued as I have had the same power issues in the past with long strips. Would you have a wiring diagram you would be willing to share? Again- so fun!

  4. Hey Jason, I’m planning on doing some work with LED strips in the next few months and would love some insight into how you powered and patched everything. I’ve been getting lost in the sea of power consumption for LED strips. My email is kris@watersedgechurch.net

  5. Hi Jason, great design!! Could you please include me a copy of the lighting notes. I have a great source for lighting and dmx boards but the wiring process you mention i’m interested in. Email is colemankent@hotmail.com. THANK YOU

  6. Looks great! Can I get a link to those white connectors you use for attaching the LED’s together? seanb@christianfaithcenter.org

  7. Hi Mark,

    I have seen this website for awhile, but what you did just blew my mind. Can you help us out with what name brand you bought from amazon and notes of how to connect the lighting system? Hope you can help me out! :-)

    Hector Soto
    ciudadelshaddai@gmail.com

  8. Jason, you guys did an awesome set on your backdrop for your church, a question could you send me the link where you got your LED lighting, I’m having trouble lighting some of my Cora Plast, Kevin

  9. Great look and design! Is it possible to also get the product list and wiring info from you as well? Thanks for a great resource & setup explanation. jkoepke@portlandbiblecollege.org

  10. wow Jason… great stuff you did
    would also love to receive the info
    odunahyah24@gmail.com

  11. Jason Christensen February 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments and for showing so much interest in my design. I’ve been rather busy the past few days so If I haven’t sent you info that you have requested please let me know so I can get that to you ASAP.
    If you have any other question let me know and I will do my best to answer them for you.

    Thanks again! I do appreciate it!

  12. Hey Jason.
    You did a perfect job, I am planning to do something similar. Would you please send me the information of the wiring diagram, products on amazon, how you set up the lights etc.
    I am really interested it

    ricardo.serrano.urbina@gmail.com

  13. Humberto Renovato February 23, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Could you email me that information as well. Really appreciate it. Blessings!

  14. Jimmy Robeson March 7, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Hey Jason. I would love the info on what you used and how you wired it. Thanks!

    jimmyrobeson@yahoo.com

  15. Hey Jason! Great set! Could you please send me any details you have on this set. Im sure you can just copy and paste what you have sent other people

  16. Jason Christensen March 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Hello Everyone!
    I found something that may be useful for anyone running LED tape in a parallel circuit. My original build I used these cheap, plastic spring clips. Since building my stage I have learned these are not the best choice and I have since been searching for a suitable replacement.
    Today I found a 4 pin terminal block that I looking to purchase as a replacement.
    I have included the link below.

    https://www.amazon.com/Position-Covered-Screw-Terminal-Strip/dp/B008DS266M/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1489338055&sr=8-6&keywords=terminal+block

    Thanks again for all the great comments and I hope this link is helpful.

  17. Hey Jason, I’m the 73rd person to ask this, sorry I’m so late to the game, but I’d love your wiring notes as well….wonderful job on the set piece!

    jburns@westbowles.com

  18. This is great. I was thinking of trying it with white yarn and lighting it up with led parcans

    • Tiffany- interesting idea. If you have LED par cans, and they happen to have UV output (some do these days!), try turning that on, and use fluorescent yarn colors.

      Or just try plain blue- it’ll make the color of the yarn pop (bright yarn colors work better!)
      Have fun!!!

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