ACME Bayside Community Church


ACME Children’s Ministry at Bayside Community Church

Florida, USA


Lighting / Visual Designer:
Ben Graham, Crown Design Group, USA

Crown Design Group

Project Submitted By:


Bayside Community Church was founded in 2002 in Bradenton FL, and now has multiple campuses across the central Gulf coast of Florida. The East Bradenton building was built around five years ago, but unfortunately, as budgets were tight, the space for their children’s ministry – ACME (All Children May Enter) – wasn’t as highly-specified as originally planned. However, when the time came for the area to be refurbished, this was rectified with a new installation carried out by Ben Graham the owner and lighting designer of Crown Design Group.

The children’s ministry at Bayside Community Church has its own dedicated space within the church campus, with separate classrooms for different age groups and a large central space where live performances are held every weekend, reaching around 2000 children aged from 0 to 5thgrade. Almost a megachurch in its own right, each ACME session involves music and worship, and a live lesson from the stage.

The brief for the lighting installation was maximum energy, bright colors and high visual engagement, while keeping power usage to a minimum and adhering to a defined financial budget. This was achieved through a creative deployment of a variety of ADJ LED-powered lighting fixtures.

The centrepiece of the stage set is an arrangement of 61 ADJ 3D Vision panels, with the hexagonal fixtures arranged in a rectangular honeycomb design. Measuring 15.8” x 15.8” (400mm x 400mm), the face of each 3D Vision panel is covered with a frosted white acrylic panel which diffuses the light from the 72 3-in-1 RGB LEDs beneath.This creates a vibrant backdrop to the centre section of the stage and serves as the visual anchor for the whole set.

ADJ Focus Spot Ones are also installed as part of the rig, on ceiling-mounted lighting bars – one above the stage and a second out above the auditorium. This fixture is a 35W LED moving head with a 3W UV LED included for an additional blacklight effect. These are used to project GOBOs on the walls and floor as the kids are arriving and can also be used as spotlights for the stage if required. ADJ Inno Pocket Z4 fixtures, which are extremely compact LED moving head wash fixtures equipped with mechanical zoom, are used to add addition movement and color to the light show.

The trussthat makes up the stage setis lit with ADJ 5P HEX and Saber Spot fixtures. The Saber Spots were chosen for the screen surrounds due to their tight beam angle, created by a built-in ACL (Advanced Collimator optic Lens) that produces a razor sharp shaft of light, so that light wouldn’t spill out and interfere with the projectors.

More Saber Spots are positioned on top of the truss circles on stage, while ADJ Penta Pix fixtures are mounted on the lighting bar above, which are used to create mid-air beam effects. The Penta Pix is a five-head beam effect with pixel zone control and features five 15W 4-in-1 RGBW LEDs with ACL lenses. These particular fixtures were chosen due to their brightness and also the tightness of the beams they create.

For house lighting 22 ADJ COB Cannon Washes were installed, mounted on a twelve-foot grid fixed to the ceiling. The ADJ COB Cannon Wash is an LED par fixture that uses RGBA C.O.B. (Chip On Board) technology to create extremely smooth color mixing with no shadows. It has a powerful 150W LED light-source and a wide 80-degree beam angle, making it ideal for this purpose. They are used to wash the whole room with saturated colour which creates a more welcoming atmosphere than stark white light. The creative team from Bayside Community Church can also color match the house lights with the screen graphics to help create a more immersive worship experience.

The new lighting system allows the church to engage its young congregation with vibrant color washing that extends throughout the whole room as well as striking beam effects and a stage set that is brought to life by saturated color and exciting visual effects. The use of LED fixtures means that energy usage is kept to a minimum, while the lack of filament lamps that require regular replacement means that maintenance is also kept simple for the church’s volunteer tech team.

The room’s ceiling height is relatively low, which meant that compact fixtures had to be chosen that were still powerful enough to fill the large space. The stage was also already in place, which meant that the trussing system that forms the stage set and fills almost the whole of one end of the room had to be carefully designed so that all of the elements joined together into one single structure that also fit the available space. It incorporates a central goalpost, the mounting for the 3D Vision Panels, two screen surrounds and four truss circles. Designer Ben Graham worked closely with Global Truss to ensure that it would fit onto the pre-existing stage, using a myriad of spacers to achieve an exact fit between each of the individual elements.

This creative installation perfectly matched the original brief, using LED technology to create a system that is both visually engaging and economical to run. It is a good example of lighting technology being used in an imaginative way to create engagement and enhance the atmosphere within a space designed for a very specific audience.