Möbel Martin in Konz with a new control concept

Daylight determines the artificial lighting – BLE controls it.

Back in 2015, we were able to introduce a dynamic daylight lighting concept in a furniture store as part of the modernisation of Möbel Martin in Kaiserslautern. 
This was so successful that we have now been able to implement it for the third time in one of the operator's furniture stores covering more than 30,000 m².


The lighting concept provides for a seasonal and circadian tracking of the artificial light. For this purpose, we control the colour temperature and illuminance in the individual departments. In addition, we also react to special requirements. In the kitchen department, for example, with its large selection of surfaces, it is important that these can be evaluated as well as under daylight. In the lounge area, cosiness is important, and in the areas with daylight it is important that the adaptation areas are dynamically adjusted for a high level of visual comfort to ensure a pleasant transition from daylight to artificial light.


Since the project involved a conversion during ongoing business operations, in which department after department was modernised over a construction period of 6 months, we decided on a radio-based control concept with CASAMBI. Normally, it is only at the end of a refurbishment that lighting can be put into operation via a control system and then final lighting scenes can be set. However, this often leads to luminaires without a control system creating an uncontrolled lighting climate during the conversion phase. Since we closed, converted and reopened department after department in a weekly rhythm, we always wanted a fully functional lighting concept immediately after completion. This was achieved very well with Casambi, because it equips the luminaire with control competence right from the start. Another advantage of this radio-based solution was that no control cables had to be laid. In addition to reducing costs, this also significantly reduced the fire load in the ceilings. Spannung und Analogien zum Ort erzeugen darüber hinaus auch Lichtobjekte wir z.B. eine „Pergola“, die einen Sitzbereich überbaut. Sie steht sinnbildlich für den klassischen Münchner Biergarten und lädt zum entspannten Miteinander ein. In den unterschiedlichen Bereichen der Mall sorgen so immer wieder Lichtobjekte für Aufmerksamkeit und Abwechslung. So gibt es „schwebende Lichtwirbel“ oder übergroße Stehleuchten, welche die Lufträume der hohen Galerien schmücken.     If we look at the project in retrospect and compare it with other projects that have been implemented with wired controls, we can say that it has never been so easy and cost-efficient to put a project into operation.

Photos: Tom Gundelwein

From a beer garden to a cool shopping experience

The redesign of the OEZ in Munich

The Olympia shopping centre in Munich, owned by ECE Marketplaces GmbH & Co.KG, was refurbished. A new design structure and a new energy-saving and almost maintenance-free artificial lighting concept were created.


Spacious adaptation areas were created at all entrance areas, which pick up visitors from the respective daylight situation and accompany them into the artificial light. The lighting climate in the mall was designed in the sense of "Human Centric Lighting" and was also deliberately designed to be much more contrasting and diverse than would be implemented in normal interiors, for example. As this is a mall where a shopping experience is to be created, all decorative ceiling elements were equipped with lighting technology so that spacious diffuse light surfaces were created on the ceiling, equipped with sufficient luminous fluxes to simulate the natural sky. These were supplemented with luminaires that produce brilliant directional light and thus imitate the proportion of direct sunlight from nature. All luminaires are equipped with mixable white light from 1,800 K- 6,500 K and are infinitely dimmable. A lighting control system takes over the direction of all artificial light and adapts it to natural daylight in terms of illuminance and colour temperature. The mixture of different types of light ensures that a vitalising and inviting lighting climate is created at all times.


Light objects such as a "pergola" that covers a seating area also create tension and analogies to the location. It symbolises the classic Munich beer garden and invites people to relax and enjoy each other's company. In the different areas of the mall, light objects repeatedly attract attention and provide variety. For example, there are "hovering light whirls" or oversized floor luminaires that decorate the air spaces of the high galleries. Light objects such as a "pergola" that covers a seating area also create tension and analogies to the location. It symbolises the classic Munich beer garden and invites people to relax and enjoy each other's company. In the different areas of the mall, light objects repeatedly attract attention and provide variety. For example, there are " suspended light whirls" or oversized floor luminaires that decorate the air spaces of the high galleries.


With regard to sustainability, the lighting designers designed all the surface luminaires in a special luminaire design without exception. This design avoids diffuser foils completely, because they get dirty over time and the quality of light decreases in the long term due to the ageing process. In our case, the light is generated in a joint and distributed over the entire surface via a specially shaped and coated reflector. The light joint is integrated into the reflector architecture in such a way that an observer cannot see into it and therefore cannot be dazzled. As the luminaires have also been installed outdoors, all components are IP-protected. The open area light distribution works so well that only a very slight gradient is perceptible in the light distribution, which was also a desired aspect in the design of the technology. The aim was to create a curved shape that is much more dynamic and exciting than a smooth light surface. The work and initial studies for this luminaire concept began in 2017 and were consistently implemented until completion this year.

Photos: Tom Gundelwein

Refreshing redesign

A new visual appearance for a shopping centre

With a sales area of 76,000 square metres, 200 specialist shops and over 7,000 parking spaces, the Nova Shoppingcenter in Leipzig is one of the largest shopping centres in Germany. The mall, which was built in 2006, has now been completely renovated. The aim of the repositioning was to develop Nova into a theme park for leisure and sports for the whole family. Then as now, the project was implemented by ECE as the centre operator in cooperation with the lighting designers from Tobias Link Lichtplanung und Produktdesign. 


Visitors enter the mall through the multi-storey car park in frontside and immerse themselves in the interactive light and sound installation "The Living Seas", which has welcomed visitors unchanged since the opening. Here, the lighting designers created a 56m-long room installation that rests in deep blue light. Visitors entering the room occasionally hear the sound of a drop of water from the silence of the space. When the visitor walks in, he triggers light waves that mix with sounds and blossom in the most beautiful colours the maritime world has to offer. 


The task for the lighting concept was to follow daylight with colour temperature and illuminance. For this reason, all luminaires were equipped with mixable white light from 1,800 K - 6,500 K. The photos show how the lighting climate changes at different times of the day, analogue to daylight. The change runs unnoticed and fluidly from a glorious sunny June day to a beautiful warm white sunset the same evening.  


The installation seamlessly welcomes and accompanies the visitor into the centre of the mall, divided into the 3 large themed areas "Play", "Eat" and "Relax". These were set off from each other in the colours yellow, orange and dark violet.  The spacious promenades between the themed areas are kept in neutral beige and sand tones, with high-quality wooden surfaces mixed in. This colour scheme is continued in furniture and wall and column panelling as well as in lamella ceilings, creating a beautiful accent and, in combination with artificial light adapted to the daylight, ensuring a feel-good atmosphere.  Whereas in the past the ceiling surfaces of the entrance areas were kept discreetly coloured in order to set the scene by means of coloured light, the refurbishment focused on strong colours for the surfaces. The lighting, which can be controlled in white tones, can be used here to intensify the colour impression and, in some cases, to soften it to some degree.


In the Relax area, an artificial tree has been created with countless shade lamps to create a dreamy atmosphere. This is achieved by the sophisticated double-walled construction of the luminaires: they thus create a wonderful lightness and are able to emit soft diffuse light as well as brilliant light for a beautiful contrast in the room. Smaller versions of this light sculpture scatter as if by chance in the connecting areas of the large avenues. The mall has 4 large rotundas, the centres of which are decorated with spiral-shaped cloth-covered luminaires that look like inverted fountains.  The single-storey parts of the shopping streets were designed with light-beam ceilings that create a visual elevation of the space and pick up on and continue the colour scheme of the adjacent areas.  The food court forms the centre of the mall with its clerestory and wave ceiling. Illuminated pylons, which create dynamic light effects from within with an LED matrix, dominate the space and can be illuminated in different ways for different occasions. 

Photos: Tom Gundelwein

Seeing better with dynamic lighting

Tunable white lighting adds to comfort and convenience in an ophthalmology practice

Constantly changing lighting conditions are part of everyday life in an ophthalmologist’s office and have an influence on a person’s circadian rhythms. Both staff members and patients benefit particularly from lighting that changes according to the rhythm of light throughout the day. This is demonstrated in the refurbished offices of the eye consultants Augenspezialisten Saar in Püttlingen.


The shift between light and dark determines the daily work routine in an ophthalmologist’s practice. External examinations of the eye, reading and colour tests require bright lighting of 1000 or 500 lux according to DIN 12464-1. The surroundings need to be darkened when examining the inner eye using a slit lamp and lens. These everyday situations require varying lighting levels. Generally, this means that doctors or their assistants often need to open and close the curtains and switch lights on and off using wall switches. This was also the case in the Püttlingen clinic of Augenspezialisten Saar, before it was modernised in late 2020 and an innovative lighting concept was implemented.


The practice rooms do not have much natural light and the waiting room is the brightest area. Dynamic natural lighting resulted in an enormous improvement in conditions for conducting examinations. It also made a noticeably more comfortable atmosphere for patients during their time in the practice. Tunable white LEDs simulate the natural pattern of light over the course of the day to harness the positive effects on circadian rhythms as defined by human centric lighting (HCL).


The lighting controls operate with Casambi. It adjusts the colour temperature and illuminance continuously over the course of the day according to the actual time. A sensor in the waiting room registers real-time data and transmits them to the controls. This modern wireless technology is also easy to integrate when refurbishing an existing building. It allows you to program different lighting moods, for example for specific examinations.


The light in the offices in Püttlingen varies during the day from warm white 2700 Kelvin to cooler 5000 Kelvin and back again to 2700 Kelvin. This curve is variable and easy to adapt to fit the requirements in each case. The lighting consists of three components. Light strips on the ceiling provide diffuse light, comparable with the daylight sky. Downlights emit brilliant light directly. Swivelling spotlights in the track system in the ceiling afford improved spatial perception.


Casambi offers several interfaces, e.g. the app, a wall-mounted or wireless switch. These are easily within reach during examinations. A reed contact is integrated in the slit lamp. This contact switches the light on or off with fade time as wished. This interrupts the programmed brightness curve; the controls are then restored exactly to the current mode. This maintains the sense of continuing to experience the diurnal rhythm consciously.

The project has been awarded with an "Honorable Mention" at the LIT awards 2021.

Fotos: Sarah Pulvermüller


From practice to theory: Tobias Link appointed lecturer for Interior Works/Light at Trier University of Applied Sciences

In the 2019/2020 winter semester, Tobias Link taught fifth-semester students at the faculty of interior design at the Trier University of Applied Sciences Design Campus. Along with learning the theory, students were able to experience the medium of light first-hand during field trips and workshops.


In 1991, Tobias Link founded Lighting Design Studio Tobias Link together with Oliver Link. He has accumulated expertise from the many years he has spent working as a lighting specifier, luminaire designer and developer of control systems. As a lecturer he wanted to get across to students in a tangible way how light works and how it influences people. His message: if you know what good lighting is, then you can also put it into effect in a project for the client so that it functions successfully and is aesthetically appealing.


Tobias Link shared his profound knowledge of the subject by way of experiments and workshops. His curriculum for the short semester also included three field trips. At Broy Lichttechnik in Trier, students had an opportunity to slip into the role of the specifier and find out about contemporary lighting design and the current standards of technology. The visit to the Saarland State Theatre in Saarbrucken took in the artistic aspects, of how to use light to create mood and which illuminants to use for this. The visit to Möbel Martin in Saarbrucken provided students with greater appreciation for a large-scale project realised by Lichtplanungsbüro Tobias Link, where a biodynamic lighting concept was implemented in accordance with the Human Centric Lighting (HCL) principle. Here, the topic explored was that of lighting controls and directing light within various ceiling systems.


These intensive practical aspects constituted an entirely new approach for students and met with an extremely positive response. Students’ final papers proved that they had no difficulty in putting what they had learned into practice. The ten prospective interior designers had to design a luminaire and also draw up a lighting concept for a floor plan for a living and working space. Designing a luminaire involved developing a light attachment for the Plug & Light socket from Insta Lighting, who provided the modules. Students used the university’s own workshops to build their prototypes. At the end of the semester, they presented their work in the form of drawings, 3D models and storyboards. Students will be submitting their luminaire designs as part of the “LUXI - Der Licht-Preis” design competition run by the Licht journal in 2020.

Students’ reactions: “We’ve learned an incredible amount; that’s something we realise whenever we talk to students who are farther on in their courses. “We learned so much in the course, we’ve never explored subjects in such depth. Before this, we’d never had anything to do with Light Distribution Curves, for example.“

Tobias Link’s reaction: “I’m delighted that after just one semester they have all gained an understanding of the subject area. They are familiar with the terminology and they’re well informed about LED technology. That’s huge progress.”

Many thanks to iGuzzini and Insta Lighting for their friendly support!


The lighting in Merzig municipal park has been designed so that it provides a subtle interplay of light and shade.

When it came to redesigning the public park in the Saarland town of Merzig, a new lighting concept was developed to bring the great variety of trees and plants to life, even after dark.


Merzig municipal park is used by residents and visitors to the town as a place for relaxation and recreation. Its location is central for the town centre, the civic hall and the river Saar. The park is characterised by a wide range of mature trees, some of which are decades old. In order to make this green space more attractive, the town planners commissioned a facelift of the park. The lighting concept plays a key role in this.


The underlying concept for the lighting design is to pick out individual trees and groups of trees, accentuating their form and beauty. The park overall has been planned similarly to that of a stage in a theatre. The protagonists are the trees, which radiate light from the inside, without the luminaires themselves being visible.


People are influenced by the sun and the moon that give rise to poetic images of light and shade. Just as in nature, in Merzig park the light comes from above and is projected straight down. The luminaires are mounted in the trees, as high as 30 metres up. They cast both distinct and blurred outlines of the branches and leaves onto the ground. This atmospheric impression is achieved by using three different beam angles with just a single model of luminaire.


Each tree is individual, one of many solo performers on the ‘park stage’. After consulting with the landscape gardeners, it was decided how to distribute the luminaires. Ultimately, priority was given to adjusting each individual luminaire on site, using cherry pickers to install them. The beams of light have been configured in such a way that the paths are washed with glare-free 3000 K light. A few uplights are used to pick out low-growing plants.


A multi-use pavilion was designed as an entranceway to the park. Downlights have been integrated unobtrusively into the pavilion ceiling and provide uniform wall washing. New lighting masts (mounting height of 4.50 m) now illuminate the approach and reveal the immediate surroundings of the civic hall. In-ground, recessed linear luminaires trace the outlines of the architecture and highlight the benches. Lighting for the natural salt spring will follow once restoration work has been completed.


As visitors enter Merzig municipal park, there is welcoming light to guide them and provide a sense of safety and tranquillity at any time of day or night. The natural balance of light and shade, brightness and dark is retained.

Photos: Tom Gundelwein


Natural light dictates the lighting at Möbel Martin in Saarbrücken

Back in 2015, during refurbishment of Möbel Martin in Kaiserslautern, dynamic controls for natural light were introduced successfully in a furniture and furnishings store. So when a new branch opened in Saarbrücken in 2019, an improved version of the modular lighting system was used.

Holistic approach to lighting design in the newly constructed premises

We were able to coordinate plans for the lighting concept for Möbel Martin in Saarbrücken with the architect from the outset. The dynamic controls for natural light were to be installed using a modular LED lighting system as in Kaiserslautern.

Artificial light and influx of natural light

The architecture of the four-storey building is characterised by its high atrium, generous glass surfaces in the entrance area and a clerestory. Calculating incidence of natural light over the year was fundamental in planning for artificial light. A threshold meter mounted on the roof measures illuminance and colour temperature in four directions and transmits the data to the lighting controls.

Bespoke funnel-shaped ceiling in the atrium

The entrance area is illuminated by funnel-shaped, pendant luminaires; they continue the linear nature of the architecture. Built-in day/night LED lamps adjust to the time of day using a tunable white lighting system; their radial Fresnel lens system delivers brilliant, diffuse light. In the atrium, bands of light on each floor accentuate the vertical lines. The blue component of the light is increased slightly towards the top in order to reinforce the impression of the sky.

Biodynamic light in the sales area

The showroom area is illuminated by a modular LED system, comparable with that installed in Möbel Martin in Kaiserslautern. Narrow and wide-beam collimators are used; various brackets have been chosen to be compatible with the ceiling structure. Two variable colour temperatures (2700 and 5000 K) create a natural atmosphere, which adjusts to the natural light and supports circadian rhythms in line with the principles of Human Centric Lighting (HCL). A high colour rendering rate enables customers to survey the range of products under lifelike conditions.

Tempting catering menus

The restaurant demonstrates a uniform reflected ceiling plan, which takes up the graphic lines of the atrium. Direct and indirect lighting is provided by downlights, wall-washers, picture and accent lighting, and pendant luminaires. Lines of light on the floor of the bars break up the circulation areas.

Sophisticated, effective design

The lighting concept aimed to deliver customised, cost-saving solutions. It has been possible to increase average illuminance substantially, resulting in a pleasantly bright and airy environment with energising contrasts.

Photos: Tom Gundelwein


Lighting scenes for spa and garage at a Swiss property

The lighting design extended over the 300 m2 spa area of the house and the 150 m2 garage, which also serves as a function room and showroom.

Light for relaxation

The property is built into a slope. The view from the spa over Lake Zurich and the Alps opens out from a glass façade. In order to balance natural and artificial light, a room-size sculpture was designed that accentuates the pool and ensures a sufficient level of illuminance on the ceiling. The wave, composed of white wooden slats, incorporates RGB-controllable LED stripes, which shine indirectly onto the surface of the ceiling. Lights at the bottom of the swimming pool project the movement of the water onto the wave sculpture.

Flowing light: from the wave to the step

There is a heated bench alongside the pool, into which the steam bath, sensory shower and sauna are integrated. There are changing rooms, showers and a massage room along the stairs. The connection between the pool area and sauna zone is designed as a stairway of light with changing colours. This custom structure composed of glass brick steps and bespoke LED lights (planes) was designed for easy installation.

Dynamic lighting effects with changing colours

Four lighting moods are available, the general white light and three dynamic colour programmes (red-orange: fireplace, blue-white: ocean freshness, green-yellow: spring). One colour programme can always be combined with the white light; brightness and degree of colour saturation can be varied. Cornice lighting and recessed ground lights accentuate all sandstone-clad walls, which are adjacent to the cliff face.

Photos: Tom Gundelwein

PLUG & LIGHT – the plug socket for luminaires

A new interface between architecture and light

Plug & Light revolutionises how we manage light. Luminaires can be connected to conventional sockets using magnets and coordinated to match the design of the switch. At the heart are three concentric circles which transmit power as well as data.


The Plug & Light socket is based on a concept designed by Tobias Link Lighting Design. It is a product innovation resulting from a collaboration with Insta GmbH, a subsidiary of the specialist for building services automation and switches Gira und Jung. It was first presented at the 2018 Light + Building trade show in Frankfurt. Conventional, concealed sockets form the basis of the modular system. To date they can be combined with two different luminaire models – wall washers or spotlights.


The connection between the plug socket and the light is made using magnets via an attachment containing the technology. This attachment forms the heart of Plug & Light and on the inside reveals three golden concentric circles: they transmit power and data. This design drew its inspiration from the Bronze Age symbol for the sun that depicts similar rings to represent light.


“Plug & Light” has been designed as an open system, which is easy to install and whose appearance can be adapted to match the design of the switch. The luminaire can be attached without need for disconnection and rotated 360° on its own axis. This means light can be directed to suit individual requirements. Depending on the model, the luminaire socket can be switched on and off, dimmed or changes in colour controlled. Portable rechargeable lights are also feasible in order to connect them to smart home functions via Wi-Fi. The selection of compatible luminaires can be constantly expanded in a network, independent of manufacturer. With just a few single components, Plug & Light enables a wealth of potential applications, whether for installation in walls, ceilings or furniture.


Plug & Light was awarded the 2018 Innovation Prize for Architecture + Technology by the AIT and xia Intelligente Architektur architecture journals in conjunction with Messe Frankfurt at Light + Building 2018. In addition, Plug & Light has been nominated for the 2019 German Design Award.

Photos: Gira, Jung, Insta
Photos of Award: Tom Gundelwein


A lighting concept for the urban environment in a ‘shared space’ in Bertrange

The traffic routes and usable space in Bertrange, Luxembourg were redesigned to achieve traffic calming in line with the principles of ‘shared space’ that enable all road users to share the space on equal terms. The lighting plan plays a key role in this and is based entirely on LED technology.


The Bertrange council applied the concept of ‘shared space’ to the town centre with the aim of reducing traffic and improving safety. This approach originated in the Netherlands and is based on all road users being equally considerate of other users, without the need for traffic signs or demarcations. Using targeted lighting of the public place has made it possible to guide drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and children alike and to improve the quality of the leisure space.


The master plan concentrated on five areas: traffic routes, footpaths in the park, parking spaces, accent lighting in changing colours for individual buildings and atmospheric illumination of historical buildings and green spaces. It is like the direction of a theatre production, with a backdrop of vertical surfaces in the form of buildings and trees and the shared space as the stage.


Lighting masts with asymmetric lens systems project light onto the traffic routes. Their mounting height (5 m) is lower than that of the other street lights in the district. Posts that emit rays of light stand along the side of the church; they light up the footpaths. Pale-coloured paving and the uniform illumination level of 3000 K go to create a Mediterranean atmosphere.


On the paths through the park, non-glare illuminated cube seats are arranged along the paths through the park, they also serve to break up the green spaces at the events pavilion, which, along with the town hall, is among the new buildings. Another key feature is the climbing frame that, once illuminated in colour at night, resembles a light sculpture. Lighting schemes in alternating colours, which change with the seasons, were designed for the town hall. Mid-range LEDs have been incorporated on the inside of the windows and provide homogeneous light in the rooms. High-power LEDs with a narrow beam project light onto the concrete columns outside. The operator of the pavilion for hosting events continues with this play of coloured light. Illumination of the historical church and Schloss Schauwenburg castle is more distinctive with sweeping warm-white light, which accentuates surfaces and detailing.


Lighting of the parking spaces is slightly dimmer, with narrow beam illuminated bollards and low lighting masts (MH 3.5). Only a few models of luminaire are used, making maintenance easier and resulting in a harmonious overall impression. This is how to design an urban open space that conveys a sense of safety and invites people to linger.

Photos: Tom Gundelwein
Aerial View: Marc André Stiebel