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LED Lighting For Churches

The 5+ year warranty-backed LED church lighting solutions from MyLEDLightingGuide work great in parking lots, hallways, and more; and reduce energy usage by 75%.

We have helped many churches upgrade their exterior lighting to LED church lighting solutions. Reduce your energy, reduce your maintenance costs and create a brighter safer environment for your congregation. 

LED Lighting for Churches

Churches in the 1800s were equipped with state-of-the-art kerosene lamps, with tall chimneys and brass fonts that housed the oil. They had beautiful etched glass shades to diffuse their light and minimize glare as well. The lamps were raised and lowered for cleaning and refueling through spring systems.

With time, electric lighting took over, but some churches maintained their original glass fixtures, adapting them for electrical use. Today, some still utilize some of the old hooks used for the kerosene lamps.

With the rising costs of energy, churches all over the U.S. are faced with a lighting challenge very unique to them. Should they replace their cherished antique fixtures with newer, energy efficient, and higher-quality lighting technology?

Church lighting and its need for an upgrade is a multifaceted problem - needs that go beyond ordinary building lighting needs.

Church Lighting

Challenges of Church Lighting

A church has unique architectural difficulties to it, which include large open rooms with high ceilings. The lighting needs of these buildings are often very artistic in form, from the bulb, fixture shape, light distribution, and the height of the lights. These aspects significantly impact the amount of light availed, and this is why most sanctuaries often appear under-lit.

The other issue is technical. Most church buildings are old by today's standards, designed in an era before electrical wiring was a crucial consideration in building design. Their electrical wiring can hardly cope with increased wattage, let alone additional bulbs.

With traditional bulbs, the solution to adequate church lighting is often increasing the wattage of the lamps or doubling their quantity. This not only causes skyrocketing energy bills but overloads the buildings’ electrical system, leading to electrical instability that could cause various hazards.

Sanctuaries require lights that create captivating scenes, changing the entire ambiance of the space. The light required is not purely for lighting purposes but for mood setting and to change the atmosphere. The lighting in a church should not only provide dimension but depth and also create feelings of confidence and comfort.

The Solutions
  • A lighting solution that brightens the sanctuary
  • New light fixtures or retrofits that complement or match the décor in the church
  • Modern lighting solutions that are energy efficient and easy to maintain.

Factors to Consider When Picking Church Lighting Solutions

Illuminance of Tasks

When a lighting fixture is installed in a place, it is because there is a task area that requires illumination. Places of worship are no different, and the illuminance of their task areas should be the main criteria used when installing lighting. The light levels of the area should allow for the accomplishment of tasks done in them safely and efficiently. Proper light levels also reduce eyestrain, enabling comfort during long hours of use.

Illuminance, measured in lux or foot candles (FC) is the amount of light falling on a given surface. One footcandle is the total amount of light that hits a 1-square-foot surface when light is shined on it from a foot away. 1 FC equals 10.8 lux.

Building standards and regulations use illuminance to ensure that the minimum light levels are availed for specific environments and tasks. These regulations ensure that workspaces do not have the typical shortcomings of too much or too little lighting.

The sun's illuminance on a clear day is about 10000 lux. Indoors, areas closest to windows, which receive natural light, can hit 1000 lux. It is typical to find low levels of light in the middle of larger buildings, necessitating the use of additional artificial lighting.

In church buildings, 20-30 foot candles of light are recommended for ease of reading. The light fixtures should also be evenly distributed to eliminate shadows and bright spots.


Plane of Task

The lights installed in a church, synagogue, chapel, mosque, or temple should offer adequate illuminance on the vertical and horizontal plane. Horizontal illuminance is the total amount of light that lands on the building's horizontal surfaces, such as the pews. The vertical illuminance is the amount of light that falls on vertical surfaces, such as the sanctuary's walls.

Vertical and horizontal illuminance is also measured in foot-candles or lux. The right illuminance on all planes prevents shadow formation. In churches, it is quite common for tasks to occur on both vertical and horizontal planes. Most churches tend to provide very low illuminance on the vertical plane thanks to the narrow distribution of luminaires or an insufficient number.

Buildings with high ceilings have very sensitive lighting requirements. The horizontal plane's illumination levels may meet the required recommendations while the vertical plane's levels are non-uniform and reduced.

The use of broad light distribution luminaires can help solve this problem but the spacing of the light fixtures may have to be reduced. When using traditional bulbs, reflectors are used to mitigate the imbalance of light. LED church lights, on the other hand, have unidirectional light that moves in a single direction. Conventional bulbs are multidirectional, dispersing their light in all angles, therefore wasting much of it.

With LEDs, the light directed to a task area will be delivered to the area. But with multi-directional bulbs, much of that light hardly reaches the task area, which is why they are often coupled with reflectors. Reflectors are still a crude way of redirecting light and do not perform optimally, which means they may have to be coupled with higher wattage bulbs, resulting in increased energy usage.



Glare is a sensation of the eyes brought on by a light source's uncontrolled brightness. Glare can be very uncomfortable and disabling in higher quantities. There are two types of glare:


How to Reduce Glare


Glare can be reduced by the use of light diffusers for intense LED lights. These are features that cover the lens of the light fixtures to give off a softer beam of light without glare. Luminaires can also be installed in a way that they discharge some of their light upwards to diffuse it, and where possible, relocated to reduce glare and maintain proper light output.


LED Optics Image

Color Temperature

Color significantly affects how people feel or think, bringing on feelings of relaxation and calmness in a worship atmosphere when used right. The color temperature of a white light indicates its tint. But when it comes to light, there are many shades of white.


LED Temperature Bulbs Image

Warm white, for example, has a yellowish tint to it while cool white is a bluish kind of white. Daylight white, on the other hand, lies in between both whites and is the whitest white light there is, comparable to the sun's light at midday.

The system used to indicate the tints of light is known as the correlated color temperature (CCT). Light does not have temperatures, but the system is designed to compare light colors to the colors of a metallic item, for example iron, has when heated up.

Warm light colors invoke feelings of coziness and comfort and are very common in the home environment and the hospitality business. Cool blue lighting is more common in industrial settings with high bay lights having color temperatures ranging between 4500-5000K. Higher color temperatures of above 6500K are often used in specialty applications like jewelry display.

In the church interiors, warm light that goes well with the worship environment is more preferred. Fluorescent lighting, for example, has cold lighting (luminescence) that evokes feelings of gloom and lack of comfort.

Church buildings in cold areas also benefit from warm color lighting because they may be difficult to heat in cold weather. When they are illuminated by warm light sources (with a color temperature between 2700K-3000K), they look more cordial to the users. Lights with differing color temperatures can also be used to highlight specific areas within the church.

Solid state LED lights offer a high degree of finesse with light output. Not only do they have a perfect color rendering index (CRI), but their color temperature can be changed when required. The mix of sophisticated software and mixable LED modules is what makes tunable LED lights so beneficial to the church.



Conventional religious architecture can cause a lot of interior obstruction to the distribution of light. There are often wooden cross beams, heaters, vertical stone pillars, and banners that impede the uniform distribution of light, causing shadows.

To reduce obstruction by overhead beams or stone pillars, the light fixtures should be positioned below the obstruction level. Where there are large obstructions in the sanctuary, all parts of the space should be lit by a minimum of two luminaires that can be roof mounted or mounted on the obstructing pillars or walls.

The spacing between light fixtures should be reduced to eliminate shadows. LED lights are compact and are easy to install in small or tight spots because they lack the common impediment namely bulbs. They replace metal halide and halogen lamps and produce bright, focused light that eliminates dark spots and shadows in areas where there are obstructions.

Environmental Conditions

Most church buildings require heating, but on occasions where they are in use for many hours each day, heating the spaces becomes very pricey. What’s more, in winter months, conventional light fixtures that are adversely affected by cold conditions may refuse to power up.

LED church lights are ideal even for churches that are not heated all winter because they operate most efficiently under cold conditions.

Benefits of LED Church Lighting

LED Church Lighting

1. Low Energy Consumption


LEDs use minimal amounts of power compared to conventional bulbs. They produce a high quantity of lumens with a minimum amount of power. So, where a 20 amp circuit of power can only hold a maximum of four 500-watt light fixtures, it can hold 15 to 40 LED fixtures!


2. Color Effects


LEDs have an extensive color temperature capability and help create the required ambiance in different spaces. They make spaces look just as bright as they would be during the day.


3. Consistency in Lighting


LEDs discharge light unidirectionally and their light is better distributed than the light produced by conventional bulbs.


4. Long Life


With tens of thousands of hours of use, it is easy to see why LEDs are perfect for church buildings. You will have fewer maintenance costs which can be prohibitive and very inconveniencing in church buildings with high walls and even higher ceilings.


5. Low Heat Production


A church can heat up pretty fast under the infrared heating produced by conventional bulbs. LEDs are perfect for stage lighting. They maintain a cool temperature and ensure that churchgoers do not get burnt if they accidentally touch the light fixtures.


6. Very Lightweight


Most LED church lights are compact and highly portable and can be installed in tight spaces. They are also lightweight, allowing for easy installation and maintenance.


7. Better Church Experience


Churches can provide a better worship experience and appeal when illuminated properly & efficiently. Create a better experience with LED church lighting. We will work directly with you to create a perfect church lighting design that is professional, sustainable, and enjoyable for all church visitors.


8. Safer and Brighter Church Parking Lots


LEDs ability to output quality illumination enables visitors to feel safer. Dark parking lots are easy for crime to occur in, by getting rid of under-lit areas & lighting fixtures that flicker or buzz (which is common with other lighting technologies such as HID, Metal Halide, HPS), you enable your churches property & visitors to remain safe.


Outdoor Church Lighting

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