St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church has shown itself to be much more than simply a house of worship over its 87-year history. In that time, it has steadfastly combined worship with social-justice pursuits; for instance, it was the first black church in Dayton, OH to provide facilities for a civil rights meeting, as well as the first black church in the city to have its own radio broadcast.
To keep the focus on both its spiritual and social missions, and to continue its efforts to use the best technology available to reach beyond the church’s walls, St. Luke’s staff recently chose to install a dozen elektraLite Stingray Profile Warm White spot fixtures in its 900-seat sanctuary, the centerpiece of a 26,000-square-foot worship facility that also includes a 300-seat Fellowship Hall and 10 educational rooms. The move was meant to further improve the visual aesthetic of the space for the church’s online presence, which began as part of its COVID response, as well as to help make the interior brighter and more inviting for the 1,000-plus member congregation worshiping there.
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Dayton-based integrator Eagle Eye Design installed the elektraLite fixtures, along with a 12-button preset controller that lets the church pick its lighting levels reliably and easily. The new Stingray Profile Warm Whites are the vanguard of a more extensive lighting and technology upgrade, explained Eagle Eye owner Tom Sellars, who also installed three remote-robotic cameras as part of this first phase of the upgrade.
“We led with lighting because how the church looks online is very important to communicating its message through streaming, and we used elektraLite because, from a performance and a cost-effectiveness basis, they’re simply the best,” he said. “The Warm White’s single-COB, 300-watt LED gives us a rich, consistent warm white at a balanced 3,200K color temperature. It’s a true theatrical white light with no hot spot, which is great for streaming. Plus, the church’s existing architectural lighting has the same type of color and temperature, so it was a good match that let us keep the same feel in the sanctuary that they were used to and liked.” Sellars adds that he’s deployed the Stingray fixture at other houses of worship and has had only positive experiences and comments from customers.
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There’s another key feature that Sellars says he really appreciates: elektraLite’s shining customer service. “Anytime there was ever any issue, they were always there for us,” he said, adding that in one instance, Norman Wright, vice president of technical support for Group One Limited’s lighting division, which manufactures and distributes the elektraLite brand, drove in from Long Island, New York to correct an issue. “Not a quick drive—now that’s quality of service,” said Sellars. “And they keep improving the products. The RDM protocol is now included on the Stingray, which makes control so much easier. Really, why would you choose any other light or any other manufacturer?”