(Issue: August 2021)

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

Submitted by Associate Members, Altech Electronics and Avi-On Controls

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.
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 Studniewski was looking for a commercial fixture that fit the scenery of the Church. Thus, St. Peter’s Church turned to Salsbury Electric—a contractor in the area for completing multiple successful lighting church projects—for a suitable solution. 
As a result of the objectives the customer provided, Salsbury Electric coordinated with Allround Energy to procure Altech Electronics’ energy-efficient LED UFO High Bay fixtures and Avi-On Controls to provide energy savings and controllability to the Church’s operations. 


Avi-On provided both remote and onsite tech support and commissioning to ensure the lighting scenes were functioning as desired, during and after installation.

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 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. Coupled with the high lumen efficacy and uniformed distribution of the LED fixtures, the color of the marbling and granite surfaces were simply breathtaking under the French stained glass on a sunny day.