How To Set Up Church Stage Lighting
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How To Set Up Church Stage Lighting

How do you set up church stage lighting?

First, you must choose the right type and size of lighting fixtures for your stage. Several types of lighting are available, including spotlights, floodlights, and wash lights. It is also important to properly position the lights. To adjust the intensity of the lights, position them correctly.

How to Set Up Church Stage Lighting featured image

Select the right light fixtures for your church

It is difficult for beginners to set up church lighting properly because there are so many different types of lights. Before purchasing any equipment, you should be familiar with the various types of lighting fixtures. There are three main types of stage lighting:

  • Floodlights
  • Wash lights
  • Cyc lights
  • Spotlights
  • Beam lights

Floodlights are simply large lights that produce a broad beam. The floodlight can be used to cover large areas and doesn’t require controls. Simply aim the fixture at the stage and it will flood it with light. These lights are mostly used to light backdrops.

For large areas, wash lights are required. They have greater control than floodlights and offer more coverage. Wash lights can be used with many different types of light fixtures, such as Fresnel and Par Can lights.

Par Cans produce bright light with soft edges. Par Cans are difficult to control and can sometimes produce uneven lighting. Par Cans have the advantage of being inexpensive and can be made with narrow beams or wide beams.

Par Cans are a good option if you don’t have the budget to wash your stage. Fresnel lights work best for washing the stage. Natural light can be added to the stage to make the performers visible. This is a great option for recording and broadcasting an event.

Cyc lights can be compared to less powerful floodlights. They can be difficult to control but provide wide coverage. Sometimes they are used to tint the stage or create stage washes. To give the stage a faint glow, you can use Cyc lighting in dimming settings to create colored Cyc lighting.

Spotlights let you highlight one performer. Spotlights are designed to follow the performer. They may need manual operation unless the performer is stationary. There are two types of spotlights: soft-edge and hard-edge.

Beam lights emit bright beams and are mainly used to create effects. The beam lights can often be seen as colored beams that cut through the other lighting in concert photos. The beam lights are often placed in multiple places, which allows lighting engineers to cross them.

Place the light fixtures, and test the layout.

Once you have installed your lighting console and lights, position the lights and adjust the settings. To ensure the lighting is correct, you should check the layout of the church stage lighting.

You have five options for lighting the stage. The mood you wish to create will determine the position of each fixture. These are the main positions:

  • Front lighting
  • Backlighting
  • Side lighting
  • High-side lighting
  • Downlighting

Your main source of light is the front lighting. It helps to illuminate the stage and prevent shadows from the performers.

The front lights should be positioned mid-level. You can create shadows underneath the eyes and chins of performers if they are too high. You can splash the shadows onto your backdrop if the lights are too low.

Backlighting can be used to create 3D effects on the stage. This helps to distinguish the performer from the background. For backlighting, a dim, soft-edge light, such as Cyc light, may be used,

Side lighting can be used to highlight your performers. You may place your beam lights on the sides of the stage in a small church.

High-side lighting is used to illuminate the performers’ upper parts, while down lighting is used for the entire stage.

You need to adjust the angle of your lights to get the lighting just right. The light is directed toward the ground at 90 degrees. At 0 degrees, the light is directed straight across the room.

Avoid shadows by placing light fixtures at angles between 15 and 45 degrees.

To Control Your Lights, Install Your Lighting Console

The lighting console controls the lights. The lighting console, which is similar to your audio mixer, allows you to control multiple inputs and create a master mix. You can adjust the brightness and color of the LED lights. Advanced consoles allow you to save routines and program light display programs.

It is important that the person who controls the lighting console be familiar with all the controls. These consoles may have sliders and faders to adjust the lighting.

There are two types of controls: master controls and channel controls. Channel controls can be used to control individual lights. Master controls allow you to adjust all lights at once. You can also control multiple lights with sub-masters.

To make managing it easier, you can group more than one light fixture together. Group them together if you have Fresnel lights that create your stage wash.


Depending on your church’s size and what look you are trying to achieve, setting up stage lighting can be a simple or difficult task. Using a few basic lights, you can create a lighting scheme for smaller venues. A lighting console is not necessary.

If you want to make a spectacular display, plan your stage lighting. You must choose your spotlights, beam lights, wash lights, and beam lights. Also, be aware of the location of these lights.

Avoid placing lights at extreme angles. You can create shadows by placing the lights too high or low. Mount the lights lower if they are required to be close to the stage. Mounting lights far from the stage may require you to mount them higher.

Once the lights have been placed, you can adjust the intensity and dimming of the lighting scheme using a lighting console.

We hope you found this article helpful in setting up church lighting.


Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.