Neon Jailbreak

Dan Brown from Barnwell First Baptist Church in Barnwell, SC brings us these LED tape jail bars.

For their 2015 DNow weekend, Barnwell partnered with Hagood Ave Baptist (Also here in Barnwell), and they decided to build a stage that centered on the idea of their weekend, “Set Free.”

Having never done church stage design before, Dan started small with his ideas, but was encouraged to go bigger. The early sketches only planned on about 16′ of staging, and they ended up with a 28′ monster.

They used 7 pieces of 4×8 OSB particle board as their walls, and from them they cut out 2 5×3 windows on either of the ends, and the large “break out” from the middle. Now, these windows came out of two boards each, so they put each of the two end boards of frames by themselves. So, what you have is a wall that breaks into 3 pieces, the middle is a 12×8 section, and the sides are two 8x8s.

The letters you see spelling out “Set Free” were in the same font they used on all their material for the weekend. They printed it on a transparency, traced onto a piece of polystyrene insulation, and then cut the letters out. But what they then did is use the same projection to size up the letters for their wall. They found where they would sit, and then traced a jagged line around them.

Now, the windows. For those, they wanted a nice bar effect, and so it was over to Amazon for LED lights. But, taking it a step further, they cut PVC to make a trough for the lights to sit in and direct their reflection out. The white pipe worked fantastic as a way to direct the lights as they turned and slumped (3M backing did not work well on PVC, Electrical tape did.) So they wired up the 30ft of lights, set them in their trenches, and hot glued the whole thing to their windows. Then before the final mounting, they took black sheets and stapled them taut behind the lights and hole in the center, just to hide the frames they were going on.

They stood everything up, fastened it to the frames, and then ran the wiring across the gap. Next, they simply added hot glue to the letters and fixed them onto the sheets. They weren’t going anywhere. Finally, they put the whole monstrosity on the stage and added some LED cans for uplighting.

They spent less than $200 on everything:
7 sheets of OSB Particle board
20 ft of 1″ PVC
32′ of LED lighting
(You will need to make sure you have power, wiring, soldering tools, a digital decoder, and a power booster)
Can of paint
Sheet of 1/2″ polystyrene extruded insulation
Lots of lumber for building the rear frames

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