In 2010, Southland Christian Church decided to embark on, “a resurrection project.” By transforming the site of an abandoned Lexington, KY mall into their third campus — a multi-use project featuring classrooms, open spaces, administrative functions, and the project’s largest space: a 2,800 seat auditorium.
Because of unexpected engineering issues, savings had to be found — lighting was one area of concern. A successful package would have to weigh the cost of luminaires and controls, consider long-range energy costs, and use creative ways to lower lighting-related expenditures. In the end, most of the lighting and controls in the building came from Acuity Brands, including Lithonia Avante surface-mount luminaires, DOM LED downlighting, RT5 volumetric fixtures, and Sensor Switch occupancy sensors. But perhaps the most interesting story in the building revolves around the auditorium, where a new Acuity Brands product — Gotham IncitoTM LED Downlights — are helping to change some of the thinking about theatrical house lighting.
Matt Cooper, the church’s lighting designer, said “one of the absolutely unique things that didn’t exist in any of the products we had looked at prior to Incito was the way the fixture deals with light output. It has a reflector, there are beam options — in other words, it looks, feels and deals with light just like we’re used to with a traditional tungsten downlight.”
Another challenge that had vexed him was “an area where ceiling to floor is maybe 12-ish feet, and then there’s an area where it’s basically 40 feet from the ceiling to the floor. We needed a fixture that could be both pendant-mount and recessed.” According to Cooper, Incito was the only product he saw that not only offered that option, but handled all the varied ceiling heights from a compact 6” aperture. And it was available in the beam angles and lumen packages he needed to get everything to work together seamlessly. Every luminaire — regardless of lumen output or ceiling height — dimmed at the same time, and went off at the same time.
Southland got exactly what they wanted, and more. When recounting the first full test of the new system not long before the building was to open, Cooper said “We finally kill all the work lights and we’re doing our first test and everything boots up. So we click it on and we walk out of the equipment room and onto the stage and look out.” That was the Aha! moment. “It really just kind of blew our minds. Especially when you see it on that scale. You had to pinch yourself that it was LED.”