The new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. features an exciting immersive experience about the Hebrew Bible, brought to life with the latest technology.
The Hebrew Bible is a 25-minute immersive journey located on the 3rd floor of the museum, known as the Stories floor. The 15,000 square foot space is divided into 5 mini-theaters and 10 highly theatrical walkthrough environments, each dedicated to part of the Hebrew Bible story (also known as the Old Testament). In this experience, The Hebrew Bible is “the story of a family and their relationship with one God.”
Clearwing Systems Integration was contracted to install the lighting and haze systems that make the Hebrew Bible come to life. The Hebrew Bible experience was created, designed, and produced by BRC Imagination Arts, an experience design and production agency out of Burbank, California. BRC designs and produces cultural attractions and creates transformative brand destinations all over the world. Clearwing specializes in the permanent installation of audio, video, lighting, control, drapery, and rigging in performance venues, arenas, churches, and museums. Together, BRC and Clearwing selected Gantom Lighting & Controls and Chroma-Q to help make BRC’s creative vision a reality.
Gantom Lighting & Controls, founded in 2010, manufactures special effect lighting equipment specifically for low-light and constrained spaces where traditional fixtures are unable to be used. Clearwing worked closely with Gantom to develop integrator-friendly control and distribution boxes, and to modify the fixture connectors to make them more robust and permanent.
Kurt Schnabel, Clearwing’s Design Engineer on the project, worked for about four years with BRC to help choose the appropriate fixtures for the different applications. “Gantom has been exceptional in their flexibility on this project,” he said. “They have worked with us to design and engineer fixtures that met the unique requirements of the exhibit design. The result was a combination of fixture and control distribution that was both easy to integrate and designer friendly.”
Quan Gan, Founder of Gantom Lighting & Controls, said, “after several in-depth discussions with the Clearwing team, we developed a ‘plug and play’ system with a reduced number of connections and cables; that system substantially increased the reliability and installation efficiency.” These modifications helped make fixtures and distribution boxes, “easy to install and maintain, yet capable of highly sophisticated effects for the needs of the shows,” he said.
Four different types of Gantom fixtures are used throughout the Hebrew Bible: Gantom One, Gantom DMX Flood and Spot, and Gantom Precision Alpha. All were chosen for their compact footprint, ease of installation, mounting versatility, and powerful output; different models were selected based on the need of their specific installation site. Gantom One fixtures are compact yet very bright, require very little maintenance, and radiate minimal heat, which made them perfect for installing inside of the show set. Around the size of a chess piece, the DMX Spot and Flood fixtures (below) were chosen for their color changing and programming capability while remaining easy to mask.
Gantom Precision Alpha fixtures (above) were chosen for effects lights because of their slim size and narrow beam focus.
The picture above represents “The Great Flood,” one of the scenes inside of the Hebrew Bible. Inside each box pictured, Gantom One fixtures backlight the design shown on the glass. There are over 125 of these fixtures in this scene.
“Judges of Israel,” another part of the Hebrew Bible, has Gantom Flood fixtures mounted inside of the cracks of the show set, giving dimension and color to the asymmetrical panels. The fixtures were integrated seamlessly in the walls as their small size gave the designers the capability of hiding the fixture itself from view of the audience.
Another key manufacturer chosen was Chroma-Q, an award-winning entertainment and architectural lighting manufacturer that has been designing lighting fixtures since the mid-1990s. They create high-quality, innovative, and reliable LED fixtures which includes their color changing range. Chroma-Q fixtures deliver a high-performance level in today’s most demanding applications: museum exhibits, theatre, film, TV, and more. A.C. Lighting is the lead distributor in the United States for Chroma-Q products.
Chroma-Q’s Color Force II fixtures are high output, 4-color, linear flood lights with individually controlled cells, and homogeneous lenses. This lens makes them superior for color blending and smooth even coverage. In “A New Beginning” of the Hebrew Bible, Color Force II fixtures were the perfect choice to recreate a bright and lively rainbow. The fixtures are controlled in four-inch increments and programmed to smoothly track the colors of the rainbow throughout the length of the room. Below are two stills of the rainbow as it TRACKS through the scene.
Reliability was the primary concern when choosing fixtures for “A New Beginning”, as the lights are mounted above the ceiling and are inaccessible for servicing. Equally important was light output. “We were very impressed with the light output of the fixtures as they only run around 60% intensity. Clearwing was confident in both the quality and reliability of the product line of the Color Force II specifically,” Schnabel said.
Clearwing also installed several Chroma-Q Inspire RGBW House Lights as general wash and emergency lights in the “Devotion of Ruth” and the New Testament Theater. These fixtures were the optimal choice as they provided a color changing option in a house light, allowing the flexibility for creativity in programming. This saved money in the budget, as one fixture accomplished two functions.
Both Chroma-Q and Gantom fixtures help make the Hebrew Bible a stand-out experience. The selected products enhance the experience with their award-winning and professional attributes chosen specifically for this creative vision.
BRC also designed the New Testament Theater, located adjacent to the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament Theater shows an 11-minute film that tells the story of the early followers of Jesus. The theater seats around 120 people, runs about five times every hour, and features 16 Chroma-Q Inspire RGBW Houselights.
The Museum of the Bible is open to the public. The 430,000 square foot technologically innovative and educational institution offers visitors the opportunity to engage with the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible. The museum has six floors with both permanent sections and temporary exhibits. Also in the Museum is a gift shop, restaurant, and an area where kids specifically can experience Bible stories through interactive games. Both The Hebrew Bible and The New Testament are included with admission to the museum. For more information about the museum, admission fees, or hours of operation, visit: www.museumofthebible.org
For more information about BRC Imagination Arts, Clearwing Systems Integration, Gantom Lighting & Controls, Chroma-Q, or A.C. Lighting, please follow the links below: