Meyda Custom Lighting Creates Authentic Candle Lights and LED Lanterns to Illuminate the Ark at Cornerstone Church School in San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas – Over 28,000 visitors recently attended the grand opening of The Ark at the new school Sunday school building of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.  Authentic lighting and spectacular architecture captivated the visitors during their tour of the Ark inside the 26,000-square foot facility.

The church pastor, John Hagee, and his son and pastor, Matthew Hagee, wanted to build a classroom building for 800 children ranging from age three to five, to serve as a nursery school for the Church. The central lobby was designed to look like the inside of the Ark.  It is filled with the biblical imagery of Noah's Ark in order to introduce the children to The Scriptures. Displayed on the floor are 17 animal figures representing a portion of all of the world's animals gathered onto the original vessel. This includes nine animatronics, ranging from a trumpeting elephant and a roaring lion to a Macaw that talks.  Animal Makers Studio of Moorpark, California, created all of the animal replicas.

"Our greatest challenge was to provide light where we needed it throughout The Ark while concealing the fact that they were electrical lighting fixtures," explained Dan Wigodsky, AIA, President of Wigodsky Architects. "We used 400 Meyda candle covers over track lighting heads to give the impression of candles lighting the space.  They give overall general lighting, and also hide the spots that light the animals. The track fixtures sit on top of a 'light shelf' mounted nine feet above the floor. Besides providing the appropriate height for the lighting spots, the shelf also gives the space a more human scale in height."  Danny Derrick, AIA, an architect with the firm, was also involved in all details of the project.  

The 400 resin candlelights were designed and manufactured by Meyda Custom Lighting.  They cover energy efficient 32-watt LED track fixtures, and can be positioned anywhere along the track. The Meyda candles create a warm ambient glow, recreating the authentic look and mood of real candle lighting before the discovery of electricity. "Meyda candles were a perfect complement to the Ark's design," Wigodsky continues. "The candles are featured in three heights:  six, eight, and 10 inches.

In addition to the candle covers, custom designed lanterns are used outside of the Ark to light the wood stairs to the second floor and the entry vestibules. The 30" tall fixtures are used both as pendants hanging below the stairs, and as post mounts for illumination in open spaces.  Each lantern contains a six-inch diameter candle cover over 32-watt LED fixtures.  Light from the fixtures shines upwards, and bounces from a reflector above to provide ambient lighting while still concealing the source. The lanterns provide long life, and operate as emergency lights.  The painted finish simulates rust and was designed specifically for this project.

The Ark boat-shaped walls are made from rustic knotty hardwood. The handrails on the second floor are made from the same wood, as are the custom doors.

Inside The Ark, the ceiling is painted like a blue sky with wispy clouds, and is accented by two 30-foot long LED shooting stars. The sky changes color from sunrise to sunset from illumination from Red, Green and Blue LED strip lights in a cove below.  

Flanking the lobby Ark are 13 classrooms.  Each classroom is themed like the stalls in the Ark, with 3-D murals depicting additional animals, carpet that replicates wood planking, and acoustic ceiling tiles painted with a broom to resemble wood planks.

About Cornerstone Church

John C. Hagee is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.  It is a non-denominational, evangelical church with more than 20,000 active members.  Pastor Hagee is President of John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his radio and television teachings throughout America and in 245 nations worldwide.

Pastor Hagee received his theological training from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, a B.A. degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, a Masters Degree from North Texas University, and Honorary Doctorates from Oral Roberts University, Canada Christian College, and Netanya Academic College in Israel. Pastor Hagee is author of 32 major books including four on the New York Times Best Seller's List. Over the years, John Hagee Ministries has given more than $60 million toward humanitarian causes in Israel.  Pastor Hagee founded, and is National Chairman of, Christians United For Israel, a grass roots Pro-Israel Christian ministry with over 750,000 members, and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world.

About Wigodsky Architects

Established in 2001 with a focus to bring valuable creativity and extensive experience to the design of buildings, Wigodsky Architects believes that buildings affect the way people live, their experiences, and their thinking, and believes that it is the firm's responsibility to make people's lives better. The firm believes that creative design, quality detailing, and careful construction can make buildings that are uplifting, that work, and that are affordable, and the firm recognizes a responsibility to the environment, to the earth, and to the future. The design should draw from its context and its surroundings, and it should be sustainable and energy efficient. President Dan Wigodsky has 34 years of experience in a wide variety of project types.

About Meyda Custom Lighting

Meyda Custom Lighting is a Meyda Tiffany Company, the nation's leading manufacturer and designer of custom, Tiffany lamps and decorative lighting. Although founded in 1974, the firm's roots actually date back to the early 1900s, supplying the Master Louis Comfort Tiffany and his Tiffany Studios with lighting products, and creating the original Coca-Cola stained glass lamps and chandeliers. With years of designing and manufacturing expertise, Meyda Custom Lighting has developed innovations, technologies and value engineering that transcend architectural lighting for any budget or economy, in today's commercial and residential markets. 

The company's diverse group of designers and engineers create custom fixtures, lamps, windows or accessories to meet the exact specifications of any residential or commercial project.  A variety of lighting diffusers include stained glass Tiffanys, mica, fabric, fused glass, sand-carved glass, blown-glass and acrylic.  Fabricators work with steel, iron, aluminum, bronze, brass and copper, while employing a variety of craftsmanship techniques including forging, welding, forming, plasma cutting and soldering. The company's extensive palette of finishes features many textures and colors achieved by employing gilding, hand painting, power coating and electroplating. Conventional and energy efficient lamping solutions are available, including LEDs, compact fluorescents, incandescents and more.

For more information, contact Meyda Custom Lighting Toll-Free at (800) 222-4009. Website:, Email:

Meyda Custom Lighting is headquartered at One Meyda Fine Place, 55 Oriskany Boulevard, Yorkville, NY 13495.

More from Software

All Topics