I’ve recently noticed that the street lighting in my area has been replaced with LED units which cast a much more directional, brilliant white pool of light. The warm, romantic glow of the old sodium vapour lamps has been replaced by an other-worldly glare of icy white brilliance!
However, as we move further into these more eco-friendly times, one unforeseen consequence of the replacement of old fashioned tungsten bulbs in public spaces is the fact that it makes it very gloomy and difficult to see our music! Most church light fittings were designed to work with tungsten bulbs and are fitted with a diffuser to spread out the light. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with the low power, highly directional LEDs. In some venues we even wondered whether to issue the choir with miners’ helmets or those head torches so favoured by potholers?
After much discussion, we decided to buy our own set of stage lights to stop the more senior choristers on the back row (usually the men) complaining about the lack of light.
Previously, stage lighting has been very hot, very heavy and very expensive. However, this new LED technology has come to our rescue and we have now bought 2 sets of the LED lights below, one for each side of the stage.
These little beauties require a degree in astrophysics to set them up, but once we had read the instruction manual (now there’s a novel idea!) we made excellent progress. In short, they are a revelation and amazing value.
Each lamp can display every colour imaginable and can cycle through them all at the press of a button. We tend to use them set to pale straw, which is highly flattering to the ladies’ complexions and doesn’t reflect too much off the basses’ bald pates. However, I do have plans for some themed lighting: blue for the icy chill of winter, green for a summer meadow and red for a fireside glow on autumnal evenings. We can even get them to pulse random colours in time with the music.
I quite fancy using this facility in a couple of movements of Handel’s Dixit Dominus! Watch this space!