One Direction

Michael Ferris from Vineyard Cincinnati Church in Cincinnati, Ohio brings us this cool arrow design.

From Michael: I’m in charge of tech for a ministry at my church called Momentum56. M56 is for 5th and 6th graders. We still have regular weekend services like every other age group, just with a different curriculum specifically geared towards the stage of life that 5th and 6th graders are in. We just had our summer camp and were looking for good ideas to make our very boring room look less…. boring.

On our house truss, I had 6 ColorSource LED PARs pointed around the outside of the room to give the whole room a nice glow, as well as two American DJ Blacklights pointed at the stage and 2 Elation Design Spot 250s. On our stage truss, I used 2 ColorSource LED PARs to light up the panels on the sides of the stage and 4 Rush PAR 2 Zooms in the middle of the truss and crossed the beams on both sides so that I could have a look with nice, tight beams crossing or widen the focus and get a full stage wash with a little spilling out into the crowd, too. I put 4 Rush PAR 2 Zooms on the front of the stage, 2 Chauvet RGB Geysers on either side of the stage pointed diagonally up, and 4 design spots towards the back of the stage with the middle two being further back to give more depth to the design. The organization that came to run the camp brought some props relating to the theme of the camp that they hung from the ceiling on stage and also placed on either side of the stage in front of 2 trusses that I stood up.

It looked really cool, but my favorite by far was our LED Arrow that we made. Our logo is an arrow that says Momentum56. We had previously painted 3 arrows onto the wall of the stage, but after a while they just got rough to look at. I had an idea to make this arrow and put LED tape around the edge to give it a nice glow.

I designed it in Autodesk Inventor and sent it to our facilities team to see if they could make just the actual arrow part for us(I’m 17 and don’t have the tools nor the time to construct it). After making some small design changes, we agreed on dimensions and our amazing team had it done within a day and a half. Once that was finished, I had the lighting and staging specialist for the church (Kevin) come and help me install the LED tape. At first we were going to glue the LED tape onto the arrow and solder wires to connect the strips around the curves since LED tape can’t bend sideways around curves. After trying that for about 30 minutes we realized there was no way we could do that for every single piece on every curve. After brainstorming for a couple minutes I came up with the idea to drill screws in around the perimeter of the arrow and just run the tape around the arrows. Kevin went and found the right size screws and some zip ties and we split the arrow into 4 sections so that when we controlled this via DMX we could have more flexibility. We ran the LED tape around the screws and then at the end of each line we wrapped it around and put 2 more zip ties to ensure that it stayed in place. After running LED tape around the whole arrow, we fixed a power supply and 4 DMX decoders to the back of the arrow and wired all of the LED tape to the decoders, ran power to the decoders, and then ran DMX through all of the decoders. We painted over some parts of the white arrow that was originally painted on the wall because it was showing around the outside of the new arrow.

We wanted to be able to control what color the front of the arrow was as well, so we bought a SlimPAR T12 and hung it on our house truss pointed at the arrow and it looks AMAZING. Unfortunately we had to return all of our lights after the camp was over and go back to 6 ColorSources on the stage truss and 6 on the house truss, but we get to keep the arrow and the SlimPAR and we’re very excited to add cool things like this to our stage design in the future.

Overall we were very happy with how this turned out and the kids absolutely loved the change in lighting since we don’t even have a haze machine on the weekend. I included a picture of the stage and lighting from last year. The staff at the church commented on how you wouldn’t even believe that it was the same room! Eventually we’re hoping to make that room always look as good at it did at camp!

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