The best light for the highest culinary standards celebrates good food at three-star level. Perfect illumination sets the scene for gourmet art.

As part of the redesign of his three-star restaurant on the Moselle, Thomas Schanz relied on noble interiors and atmospheric lighting. The light is so finely adjusted that it transforms every plate into a stage for delicacies - and itself remains discreetly in the background.


In Piesport on the Moselle, gourmets will find a top address for upscale enjoyment: Thomas Schanz runs his restaurant and hotel there as a family business. He has already received several awards for his culinary compositions, and in 2022 the Michelin Guide awarded him three stars. Even before the current redesign of his restaurant, Tobias Link GmbH was entrusted with the lighting design..


The main actors within the lighting concept are the dishes, which are draped delicately on the plate and transport the guest into a world full of culinary delights. Each dish was to shine in all natural colours, glare-free and with the best visual quality. An ambience full of intimacy was desired via the light, which makes it possible to recognise one's counterpart well while at the same time gently fading out the surroundings.


The interior was designed by the architectural studio Britta Tibo. Materials such as slate and oak wood, bronze-coloured fabrics and light natural tones characterise the interior. In addition, there is a dark floor, which also appears in the ceiling colours. Darkening the ceiling was part of the lighting concept in order to integrate the main light there "invisibly". The ideal luminaire was found in the form of a glare-reduced recessed spotlight from Dydell. It provides a narrow beam angle (20°/40°) as well as high colour rendering via CRI 90 and can be controlled via Casambi. The luminaire can be flexibly adjusted and provides an extremely small light outlet of only 8 mm in diameter. The entire concept is based on this one luminaire type.


The light is directed towards the centre of each table. The food is always the centre of attention, and at the same time the reflection across the table surface is sufficient to illuminate the faces of the people. The mood of the room lives from these deliberately placed islands of light. The colour temperature is 3000 K, the luminaires are dimmable. If required, individual tables can be lit individually via the Casambi control system while the overall harmonious impression is maintained.


With translucent curtains, it is possible to separate tables a little. In the evening, the delicate fabric appears as a luminous waterfall: spotlights cast fine scattered light downwards from the upper cove. This design element is intended to be reminiscent of the waters of the Moselle.


After dark, it is pleasant for restaurant guests to still be able to see the exterior from the inside. Thanks to the low vertical lighting, very little is reflected in the windows. The lighting outside only covers selected details. A grazing light runs from below over the natural stone pillars, bollard luminaires draw graphic light patterns on the floor of the terrace. In interaction, this creates a harmonious transition.

Photos: Susanne Schug

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.

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


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