Throwback: Angled Glow Lines

Josh Ferris from Praise Church in Beaumont, TX brings us these tech glow lines for the back of their stage. (Originally posted May 2014)

After researching several LED strip suppliers, they chose for their product quality, customer support, and design assistance. The specific product they used was the RGBWW 5050 ColorPlus. The added warm white LED allows for more subtile colors as well as a pseudo-incandescent look.

Their budget for the entire project was $3k.


The LED shapes were hung on a framework of black aircraft cable. Vertical sections of cable were placed on 4’ centers and anchored to the deck with a 3/8” rated eye bolt. The opposite end of the cables were anchored to purlins at ceiling level with rated purlin clamps (Caddy PHSW6). Turnbuckles were added at floor level to adjust tension. Aircraft cable ends were hand swaged with thimbles.


Since the LED product came in 16’ rolls, all shapes used various combinations of 4’ sections to minimize waste. They used cabinet-grade pine 1×2 and corner brackets for the shape frames; these were painted flat black. The LED strips have an adhesive 3M backing which was adhered directly to the face of the painted frames. Each intersection of LED strip was wired and soldered. To facilitate a quick install, the overall design was done in Adobe Illustrator to scale.

Low voltage

Based on specifications received from Environmental Lights, the “wall” was comprised of 3 zones. Each zone was sourced by a DC power supply and controlled via a DMX decoder. Terminal strips were used to accommodate the number of “shapes” on each zone (each shape required 5 conductors). Currently, the entire backdrop is programmed as one 5 channel DMX fixture. In the future, shapes can be divided into separate channels by purchasing additional power supplies and DMX decoders.


LED strips –
Aircraft cable –|
Purlin clamp –







9 responses to Throwback: Angled Glow Lines

  1. Looks Awesome!
    How many 16′ strips did you have per decoder and power combo?Strips/(dmx+power).
    Just trying to figure out how many we’d need.

  2. You can only run 16 linear feet in series, but you can wire multiple 16′ strips in parallel. If I remember correctly, this is a limitation of the decoder. Our design is split into 3 zones, each having (1) 192 watt power supply and (1) DMX decoder. Hope that helps!

  3. We’re in the process of building this back drop in our student area right now. Cannot wait to see how it turns out! Thanks for the post!

  4. Josh,

    I’m curious as to whether its worth the extra money to purchase lights from environmental as compared to cheaper led strip lights on amazon. Amazon is significantly cheaper (nearly 10x) and I’m a bit nervous that I really might get what I pay for. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    • I have used the Amazon lights on several occasions and have never had a problem with them. You can find them for 26ish dollars for 16ft of lights. The whites are not exact but we were using them for the color change ability. I cannot see paying 200+ dollars for some led strip lighting.

      I always say get what you can afford but be smart about it. Do your research and get what will fit your needs. Hope this helps some….

      • Joseph, I cannot even begin to tell you how misleading this comment is. Having dealt with Amazon lights AND premium strip, I can tell you without any doubt that for a large application – such as a worship space – you do NOT want to rely on an unregulated and cheaply made LED strip. Understanding what goes into developing, binning, and testing LED diodes is important when measuring premium products against premium LED products. When you say “do your research” what you really mean is compare prices – it seems that is all you have done.

        Call in to a company that sells premium LED products. Let them know you aren’t looking to buy lights, but are instead looking for some information about what sets their lights apart from Amazon strips. Whether it is Environmental Lights, Tresco, Light Gear, or any other reputable LED manufacturor, you will quickly learn why they are trusted, sought out, and utilized from undercabinet jobs to complete Audio-Visual systems.

        In my personal experience, when you buy from Environmental Lights, you are getting more than just strip. With each order comes accountability, engineering, tech support, and more. They helped me to design a custom retail fixture for my storefront, and from them I received wiring diagrams, in-house assembly, and tech support when my contractor messed it up. Try calling Amazon when your lights don’t work, and let me know how much that helps you. I’m interested.

  5. Hi,

    What was the total cost of this project?


  6. Natalie des Fontaine April 19, 2016 at 1:22 am

    We have done something similar but our congregation are complaining about headaches and seizures. We have put them on a 20% brightness but still are having complaints. Please help!!!

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