Gemini uses Canto USA’s RETRO Series to Light Up Cross City Church’s Worship Center


Gemini Light Sound & Video and Canto USA, recently assisted The Cross City Church in Texas in upgrading the lighting in its main worship center following three years of campus renovations. Canto, spoke with Brad Powers, Media Director for Cross City Church, about their experience with the installation and performance thus far of the RETRO series.

What prompted you to upgrade your lighting? 

We had just finished three years of campus renovations, excluding our main worship center, and it quickly became apparent that our main worship center now looks like the oldest building in the church, when before it was the newest! Ever since the building opened in 1999, we’ve received occasional complaints about people not being able to see their bibles and notes, but the expense of correcting that has always been too high and labor intensive. When we finished the renovations, we began hearing more complaints about the uneven coverage and darkness of our worship center when the rest of our facility was saturated with bright daylight lighting. We’ve changed our worship styles over the past several years and really needed to modernize our lighting to complement that.

What made you choose Canto USA and the RETRO series for the job?

We discussed our goals, and the biggest goal was to have even and nondistracting house lighting. We decided against investing in RGB house lights and landed on just going with a smooth, dimmable white light. We reviewed several demos of products from different manufacturers, but the RETRO series offered the simplest solution. With the RETRO we could simply swap out the lamp and do some basic updates to our current dimming system. We could use our existing housings in their current positions, existing wiring, and most of our existing ETC dimming system. This quickly became more cost-effective due to the simplicity of the work.

We struggled with what brighter lighting would reveal in our aging auditorium. That’s a real thing! Since we didn’t desire to have color-changing house lights, we had many discussions about what color temperature would look best. Canto USA graciously made several demo units of custom color temperatures for us to see in our space. Gemini, a Live Events company, based in Dallas and Jason with Horton Controls were there for us every step of the way. We ended up going with 4000k. The installation process went relatively smoothly and quickly once we had everything we needed. They originally gave us PAR64 adapters when we needed PAR56, but they quickly overnighted the parts and kept us on schedule.

We sent Canto USA a spare house light fixture we had in storage for them to evaluate and see if they could adapt it for us. The joy of this install was the minimal need to retrofit our hardware. Canto USA provided the custom part that fit into our house light fixture and held the new LED light. We could use all existing wiring and dimming. We did end up updating the ETC Sensor Rack electronics so we could have better customization of our dimming curves.

How long did the installation take?

When everything arrived on site, installation took just under five days with only one boom lift. There was additional work on our dimmers that was done the following week, but the lights worked with our old system for that one weekend.

Canto USA Cross City Church Before RETRO Install During Service
Canto USA Cross City Church After RETRO Install During Service
Canto USA Cross City Church Before RETRO Install
Canto USA Cross City Church After RETRO Install

What was everybody’s initial reaction when the job was done? 

Our worship center has been completely transformed! It’s way brighter than before and has become a much more welcoming place to enter to worship and learn. Our custodial crew put in overtime after this installation because you could see all the imperfections in the room! These lights are so bright we run them at about 45% at the brightest point in our service.

Canto USA Cross City Church Before RETRO Install Pano
Canto USA Cross City Church After RETRO Install Pano

How does everybody feel about how the RETRO is performing in the space?

Once we ironed out the dimming curve settings, they’ve been wonderful fixtures and very reliable. We’ve only had one fixture fail, but it started working on its own again. We do occasionally see brightness flutters when they’re dimmed at 30-50%, but that could totally be bad voltage coming into the building.

Have you seen any energy savings yet? 

We are waiting to hear back from our admin, but we did apply for a rebate with our utility provider and received a return. We went from using 78,000 watts of house lights to 11,232 watts after the upgrade! 

Canto USA has been a great vendor for us – always available to give answers and resources to help us find the right solution for our space. We’ve been extremely happy with our experience on this project – with Canto USAGemini, and Horton Controls. I wish we would’ve considered this for our smaller worship space as well. It’s the perfect solution for us.

Brad, thanks for talking with us about your experience with our product.


About Gemini

Gemini Light Sound & Video brings over 40 years of quality light, sound, and video expertise with an expansive equipment inventory for installation, rental, and sales. Located in Dallas, TX, Gemini serves corporate, sports, houses of worship, music, and special event clients.  Providing end-to-end live event production services, Gemini is part of the Live Events house of brands.  Learn more at and

About Live Events  

Live Events is a full-service entertainment production company with 135 years of collective experience in the entertainment production industry and five generations of fireworks and special effects display leadership. Live Events is committed to creating memorable experiences that move and delight audiences of all sizes, backed by imaginative and hardworking people who are the core of their success. Headquartered in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Live Events divisions and offices span nationwide from Pennsylvania to California. For more information, visit and follow Live Events on social media.

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