Upgrading the Lighting Systems and Controls at St. Peter’s Church, Washington D.C.

  • The Opportunity 

St. Peter’s Church Lighting Project 1

Originally planned in 1664, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. was completed in the 1820s. Due to its proximity to the United States Capitol Building, frequent members of the church include Congress and congressional staffers. Located on a 400 acre lot in Capitol Hill, the Church hosts weekday and Sunday video mass services, along with Saturday Vigil. The Church began renovation processes in early 2020, and as a result, adequate lighting was needed to effectively illuminate the aesthetics of the Church during mass service hours.

  • The Objective

St. Peter’s Church Lighting Project 2

Previously, church staff were required to go to the panel and switch breakers, in accordance with each service type, to modify the lighting scenery. As a result, Father Gary Studniewski had an objective to accentuate the altar and chandelier, while being able to conveniently schedule different light patterns for specific services. In addition, to efficiently light up the sanctuary, Father Gary Studniewski was looking for a commercial fixture that fit the scenery of the Church. Thus, St. Peter’s Church turned to Salsbury Electric — a renowned contractor in the area for completing multiple successful lighting church projects — for a suitable solution.

  • The Lighting Solution

As a result of the objectives the customer provided, Andy Burgess from Salsbury Electric, coordinated with our trusted rep in the D.C. Area, Wayne Starr from Allround Energy, to properly procure Altech Electronics’ energy-efficient LED UFO High Bay fixtures. In addition, we teamed up with industry-leading smart controls vendor and fellow NALMCO member, Avi-On Controls, to provide further energy savings and controllability to the Church’s operations.

  • The Controls & Integrations Solution

With Avi-On’s remote controllability and smart platform, lighting scenes and schedules were easily customized. Furthermore, Eric Fournier and his team at Avi-On provided both remote and onsite tech support and commissioning to ensure the lighting scenes were functioning as desired, during and after installation.

  • The End Result

St. Peter’s Church Lighting Project - LED UFO High Bay

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic church realized immediate savings. With the combination of Altech’s LED fixtures and Avi-On’s integrated controls system, the Church is now enjoying approximately $3,000 in annual energy savings. The total control of the lighting systems greatly facilitated the customization of different lighting scenes, and further optimized visibility at the altar and sanctuary during mass service rituals. Furthermore, with the 80+ CRI rating of Altech’s LED UFO High Bay fixtures, small crosses that were etched onto the marbled walls over a century ago, during reconstruction, were found and visible, and were subsequently painted gold. Together with the uniformed distribution and high lumen efficacy of our LED fixtures, the hues of the marbling and the granite surfaces looked breathtaking under the French stained glass on sunny days.

This project was made possible through outstanding collaborative and coordination efforts between the contractor, Salsbury Electric, our manufacturer’s rep, Allround Energy, and Avi-On integrated controls system with Altech Electronics. The unique solution we all provided further demonstrated the dedication our many partnerships bring in meeting the needs and challenges of the end user, St. Peter’s Church. As a result of the seamless process and successful completion of the project, St. Peter’s Church has requested to proceed in providing a lighting systems solution for their Bell Tower as well. Stay tuned for more updates!

  • The Customer Testimonial

Father Gary Studniewski's feed back on Altech LED UFO High Bay

Father Gary Studniewski had this to share, upon successful completion of the project:

“Our new church lighting system provides a quantum leap in improvement of lighting quality, versatility and ease of use and maintenance. I couldn’t be happier.

I like that lights can be controlled easily, individually or in programmed groups, by a slick app installed on a tablet or smartphone. I no longer have to be at a main console of switches to control the lighting. I can do it as I move around the church, or even during a liturgy from the altar, if I needed to.

One of the features that I have found most useful is the ability to combine individual lights or groups into scenes with varying light intensities. We have created scenes for the kind of lighting we desire based on the time of day, or the brightness of the outside sky, or the particular mood we are trying to create. With the simple push of a button, I can turn on the scene that corresponds to a particular liturgy. My sacristans love this because there is no need to fiddle with multiple lights and switches.

At our Easter Vigil, our most dramatic and solemn liturgy of the year, we pre-programmed four different scenes that were turned on during the liturgy as we wanted to highlight a particular part of the sanctuary or create a different effect. A non-technical parishioner changed the scenes with a remote controller right from her pew! The scene changes were executed flawlessly, and I was so very pleased with the enhancement of our liturgy with the help of a versatile, interactive lighting system.”

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