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


Light in context with traditional wine growing and contemporary architecture: Weingut Franz Keller in Oberbergen

Design of the lighting for this major project only got underway after the initial building phase had already been completed, when most of the installation points for lights and wiring were already in place. Wine growing and wine tasting, restaurant, events, sales and office spaces are spread over three floors.

Harmonious hillside vineyard

With its distinctive concrete and glass architecture, the new building for the Franz Keller vineyards blends in harmoniously with the terraced vineyards on the Kaiserstuhl. In this case, the lighting concept had to meet several conditions: adapt to the existing electrical connections, satisfy all lighting specifications and do justice to the high standards of design dictated by the structure of the building.

A view of fine wines

The room where the grapes are delivered is also available for events. In order to achieve lighting that is both atmospheric and also meets DIN standards for task lighting, we developed a bespoke LED light that operates both with two beam angles and two colour temperatures. The droplet shape of the glasses continue the theme of wine with their shape. In addition, cornice lighting using RGB colour mixing projects different mood lighting onto the ceiling. An additional cornice scatters amber-coloured light over the restaurant, providing a warm and intimate atmosphere.

Discovering wines

The lighting concept supports the open-plan layout and merges separate complexes such as the room for grape deliveries or the salesroom using visual effects. A glass strip in the floor that can be walked over gives a glimpse of the cellar below with the barriques and wood casks. All the wiring and data transmission lines run through a purpose-developed cable duct for the lighting. The housing for the lights is also a bespoke solution: it is made of special, acid-resistant stainless steel.

From the grape harvest to the light harvest

Bespoke lighting and light objects obviously relate to the wine-growing traditions of the family business and the landscape of the region. A chandelier with a canopy made of 50-year-old vines is suspended over the restaurant bar; in the tasting room a filigree pendant light decorates the oval table and reflects its shape and size. Lastly, an illuminated relief of the landscape illustrates the different layers of earth in the vineyard as a cross-section. The design was nominated for the German Lighting Design prize in 2014.

Photos: Tom Gundelwein



Star chef Johann Lafer runs the exclusive “Le Val d’Or” restaurant in the 1000-year-old “Stromburg” castle in the Hunsruck. As part of a new concept focussing on the seasons, a lighting plan was designed that would support the quarterly changes visually by using ‘lighting scores’ and video projections.


Johann Lafer welcomes lovers of gourmet cuisine to the “Val d’Or” restaurant. A native of the Austrian state of Styria, he sets store by regional and seasonal products and embraces this philosophy wholeheartedly. Guests experience this as they savour the culinary delights and enjoy their meal in surroundings where the interior design takes on the colours of spring, summer, autumn and winter. The role of the lighting is to create an atmospheric setting with changing coloured lighting schemes that provide visual accompaniment to the taste experience.


Swivelling ceiling spots ensure perfect illumination and faithful colour rendering for the food and drinks. They were designed as a bespoke light and provide flexible white lighting in the room and over the tables. The LED plugin spotlights, which can be dimmed and regulated, are installed as needed using miniature sockets in the ceiling. The connections are concealed by magnetic aluminium caps that match the colour of the ceiling.


The changing coloured lighting operates with LED technology via cornices, wall and cabinet lights. The ceiling and wall surfaces in the restaurant are illuminated in a different colour depending on the season. Both the wall lamps and the 1cm-wide glass display cabinet lights are custom designs.


Projections on the ceiling complete the lighting design. They are activated in the evening and are generated via a data projector in the glass display cabinets. The seasons are depicted symbolically using colours and motifs: spring is pale green, pink and white, summer is red, black and white, autumn is rust-red, green and brown and winter is silver, black and white.


The lighting schemes create an ambience for day and for night; the transition is gradual and is only perceived unconsciously. The white light from the wall lamps gives a cooler light of 5000 K in the daytime; in the evening the light is a warmer 2200 K. A special app is used to retrieve the four pre-set ‘lighting scores’ for the seasons and music; the brightness of the white and coloured light can be adjusted.

Fotos: Oliver & Tobias Link