Project Feature: First Presbyterian Church

Project submitted by Hartranft Lighting Design (Diane Rodriguez)
Client: First Presbyterian Church

Project Description: National Register of Historic Places First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte undertook a 16-month renovation of the 1895 Sanctuary and 1947 Welcome Center. Lighting played an important role in the successful transformation of these spaces.

Name at least one unique challenge associated with this project? FPC had specific requests for the lighting design: 

  • Enhance lighting quality with an appealing aesthetic 
  • Increase lighting levels in sanctuary  
  • Specify luminaires to enhance televised worship services 
  • Limit new sanctuary lighting to existing openings in historic ceiling  
  • Sanctuary lighting controls with preprogrammed scenes encompass morning, evening, Tenebrae, and concert uses

What factors contributed to the success of this project? Improved general lighting employs discreet sources and allows historic decorative chandeliers and sconces to create sparkle and unique character. New aimable cylinders provide general lighting significantly increasing lighting levels, crucial for reading hymnals and bulletins. Accent lighting at chancel renders officiant shadow free. Retrofit LED lamps dim to zero in historic chandeliers ensuring various scenes, long lamp life and minimized maintenance. Interior historic stained-glass window (to the side of the chancel) is backlit with tunable white LED up / down wall washers. 

Design ensures Sanctuary control flexibility with individually addressed DMX luminaires. Several preset scenes are programmed for variety of sanctuary uses. Interior stained-glass window backlighting tied to an exterior / roof-mounted sensor follows change of Kelvin throughout the day to match exterior-lit windows.

Design Team:
Lighting Design: Diane Rodriguez | Hartranft Lighting Design

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