Illuminating the Inspirational Details in Stained Glass Artistry

For centuries, stained glass artisans have been using their art to bring color and life into homes and houses of worship. In a way, stained glass windows were the original color filters and talented artists throughout the ages utilized the pigments and color mixing techniques available to them in much the same way designers use modern day lighting and architectural elements today. Our Rosco Architectural team has recently come across a number of jobs where they’ve used Rosco’s Custom LitePads to not only fully illuminate some of these gorgeous pieces of art, but they also showcase details in the glass that have previously gone unnoticed.

St. John’s Stained Glass Windows – Before the Renovation
Photo and Project Credit: Barbizon Lighting

Part of the renovation plans at St. John’s Church in Cold Harbor, NY was to remove the aging and damaged stained glass windows behind the pulpit, restore them, and then replace them on a newly constructed wall that would shelter them from the exterior elements. This, of course, meant that the sun wouldn’t ever reach the stained glass windows either, so part of Tom Venturella from Venturella Studio’s challenge during the restoration process was to find a slim, light-weight, light source that would evenly illuminate the church’s beautiful stained glass windows.

Installing the Restored Windows and LitePads Onto the New Wall
Photo and Project Credit: Barbizon Lighting

The church created videos showcasing their renovation process, including the removal of the original windows and the construction of the new wall – all of which illustrates the amount of caring effort they put into the new home for their beautiful, newly restored, stained glass windows. Our Rosco Architectural team, working with The Barbizon Systems Group provided Custom LitePads that were installed behind the windows on the fresh new wall and the church’s prized stained glass windows shone again in all their glory for the congregation.

St John’s Stained Glass Window – After the Renovation
Photo and Project Credit: Barbizon Lighting

Another benefit of lighting up stained glass with LitePad, instead of relying on the unpredictable sun to shine through it, is that the LitePad is completely under your control – allowing you to decide when it’s lit up, when it’s not and how bright it needs to be. This control aspect became particularly appealing for St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Toronto.

St. Anne’s Stained Glass Cross – Unlit
Photo and Project Credit: Christie Lites

For many years the church has had a large stained glass cross hanging above the pulpit. The concept was to have the stained glass cross tie-in to the large stained glass windows nearby, but because of its position, there was no effective way to get light to shine through the glass – stifling the beauty and craftsmanship of this exquisite piece. The church tried for years to light the cross using conventional lights, but nothing ever worked quite right.

St. Anne’s Cross – Lit with LitePads
Photo and Project Credit: Christie Lites

The Rosco Architectural team, working with Christie Lites, installed nine segments of Custom LitePads into a thin frame that was mounted behind the cross that evenly illuminated the cross from top-to-bottom and side-to-side. The church had not only finally achieved a beautifully lit, stained glass cross above their pulpit, but they can also dim the cross to balance the light level of it with the existing lighting in the sanctuary – full brightness when the sun is shining through the nearby stained glass windows, dimmed down for evening masses, etc. The church’s gloriously lit cross was presented to the St. Anne’s congregation at this year’s Christmas Eve mass.

St. Anne’s Cross with LitePads next to Stained Glass Windows
Photo and Project Credit: Christie Lites

Dean Ebben, the exhibition designer for the Museum of Biblical Art in New York, was tasked with building light boxes to house and illuminate ten Tiffany windows on loan from various collectors for their new exhibit – “Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion.” Dean reached out to Kyle Chepulis of Technical Artistry who presented LitePad as a simple option to build clean, slim light boxes that would make these works of art – some as big as 13’H x 8’W – glow majestically.

MOBIA’s Tiffany Windows Illuminated by LitePad
Photo Credit, Gina Fuentes Walker

By using LitePad, each window was evenly lit, and every detail; texture, color, depth, was enhanced, giving further insight into how Louis C. Tiffany wanted to present the story. The LitePads kept the coloration of the windows true – the deep reds are powerful, almost velvety, while the blue skies are soft, yet powerful.

MOBIA's Tiffany Windows Illuminated by LitePad

MOBIA’s Tiffany Windows Illuminated by LitePad
Photo Credit, Gina Fuentes Walker

During the design and installation process, Dean expressed to our Rosco Architectural team several times that they are beyond impressed at the quality of light from the LitePad. After the exhibit opened, Dean wrote us to say “I was told that when people entered the gallery on the opening night, they literally gasped at how beautiful the windows and the installation looked.”

MOBIA’s Tiffany Windows Illuminated by LitePad
Photo Credit, Gina Fuentes Walker

If you’d like to see these exquisite works of stained glass art, MOBIA’s exhibition dedicated to Louis C. Tiffany continues through January 20th.

If you’d like to contact the Rosco Architectural team – and to see another great before-and-after Stained Glass project showcasing LitePad illuminating the Tiffany window at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York – click here and let our global team of lighting experts help illuminate the details of your next project.

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Joel Svendsen

About Joel Svendsen

Content Marketing Manager: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. Joel's knowledge about Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our different marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.