Citylife Media from Citylife Church in Tampa, FL brings us these giant glowing letters.
Brave was the theme throughout their Women’s Ministries. The goal was to design and build something that made an impact and complimented the message being taught during a special women’s service. The letters could be moved around as events took place in different areas of the church. They also knew that they wanted to use the letters as part of the worship set lighting for the women’s service.
They used SketchUp to design the letters and layout all the light bulb holes. This allowed them to look at different fonts and light bulb spacing prior to actually cutting anything. Once the design was done, they simply projected the image on a sheet of plywood and traced the lines, including marking an X where they needed to drill the holes for the bulbs. The four foot tall size was determined based on how they would fit on the stage and being able to use a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood for two letters. They used 3/4 inch plywood that they left natural to tie in with their pallet wall backdrop. Once the letters were cut out and all the 1 ¾ inch holes were drilled for the bulbs, they used 16/2 lamp cord to wire all 64 lamp holders. Each letter had multiple dimmable zones so that they could use a lighting effect through the letters, rather than just dimming a whole letter all at once.
Then they wrapped the letters in 10 inch metal flashing. They stapled the metal flashing in place with a staple gun, ensuring that the staples didn’t go so deep that they ripped through the metal flashing. The metal flashing was positioned with about 7 inches in the front of the letter an 2 ¼ inches in the back to balance them because they knew they would be sitting on the floor whenever they were used. The metal flashing wasn’t quite sturdy enough for their comfort, so they added some bracing to the back of each letter anyway.
They used 40-watt, soft white, clear, instant on, and dimmable light bulbs. The letters were plugged into four dimmer packs that they already had at the church to give them 16 dimmable channels for all the letters. When used in other areas of the church, they could plug all the zones in a letter into a power strip and the current draw would still be low enough for each letter to plug into a standard outlet.
The project took three people about eight hours to complete.
Here is a breakdown of the materials:
3x – ¾ inch plywood ($26 ea.)
64x – Plastic keyless lamp holders ($1.40 ea.)
1x – 16/2 X 250ft lamp cord ($60 ea.)
2x – 10in X 50 ft aluminum roof flashing ($25 ea.)
16x – Plug ends ($2 ea)
64x – 40 Watt light bulbs ($1.65 ea.)