At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Nashville we were thrilled to help update the lighting at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Nashville. What’s different about this project is that we worked on the church’s interior lighting, not the exterior. What’s also different is that St. Bartholomew’s is the home church of the founder of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Nashville, Bob Lyons, Sr.
While Bob, Sr., is semi-retired, the church rector at the time asked for our assistance with updating the lighting in the church sanctuary. The sanctuary’s interior lighting was innovative when the church building was constructed in 1964. Actually, the entire building was innovative, designed as an upside-down ark.
Why would a church want to update its interior lighting?
The original lights along the side walls of St. B’s sanctuary were metal halide lights, most commonly used in street lights, parking lot lights, stadiums and sports fields. The church’s altar lights were quartz halogen fixtures. Operating costs for these lights is high especially compared to today’s LED technology, which is much more energy efficient. LED did not exist when the church was constructed. Another issue was the warm-up and restart time of the lights along the side walls. These lights could take up to 15 minutes to warm up, and once you turned them off, there was another delay in which they would not come back on right away. Finally, after many years these lights were experiencing color shift.
The challenge for us was to produce the same effects that the original lights produced. Bob Lyons, Sr., and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Nashville were up to the challenge! We were able to retrofit the side wall lights with LED, and we replaced the halogen fixtures for the altar lights with LED fixtures. We persevered in our effort to recreate the original lighting effects. We literally aimed and re-aimed the fixtures as many times as it took to reproduce the original effects.
Mission accomplished—and beautifully!
The end result is that St. B’s sanctuary lighting is as beautiful as ever and much more energy efficient now. When you replace 1000-watt and 440-watt fixtures with 150- and 200-watt fixtures, the energy savings is significant. We don’t want to get too technical here, but overall we replaced and/or refitted 30 fixtures that used a total of 16,840 watts with 30 units using 4,900 watts, and we were still able to keep the original lighting design.
Another advantage of the new LED lighting is that these new bulbs last many times longer than the original—another cost savings for the church.
Special meaning for our founder, Bob Lyons, Sr.
While we told you that St. B’s is the home church of Bob Lyons, Sr., founder of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Nashville, there is more to the story. For Bob, this story is about more than lighting, it is about destiny and life coming full circle. He first became aware of St. Bartholomew’s when he was in college in the mid-1960s. He wrote a paper on church architecture and saw a photo of the beautiful sanctuary lighting at St. B’s. He later went into lighting as a career, working for GE as a lighting sales engineer. When he and his wife relocated from Memphis to Nashville and were looking for a new church home, he walked into St. B’s sanctuary and knew he had seen it before. He was home.
While Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Nashville primarily focuses on exterior lighting, our work reflects a range of diversity that also includes lighting for special events, hospitality lighting, commercial lighting, holiday lighting — and YES, interior lighting, too.
If you have special lighting needs of any kind, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Nashville can help. Contact us today at (615) 697-4629.