We are lighting engineers and lighting architects.
We are inspired by light in all its facets: an invigorating sunrise, a glowing red sunset, the diffuse light of clouds, the brilliance of the sun’s rays, warm campfires – nature itself provides all the inspiration for the creative approaches of our lighting design.
Whether for museum or commercial applications, we use the creative power of the medium of light and emphasise the architectural concept of a building. For us, impeccable light becomes second nature. In addition to designing artificial light, daylight design is also part of our holistic concept.
We think and act in light.
Our building material is light, a medium that is invisible but that makes everything visible.
Our design approach
Our lighting design methods harmoniously combine people, technology and culture. Our concepts harmonise architecture, structure, colour, material, function and regulatory requirements. The costs of the lighting installation, its maintenance complexity and energy consumption are always taken into account.
Light is a medium that in itself is invisible, but renders objects visible on which it is cast. Thus, light is the basis of all visual tasks and the nocturnal appearance of architecture.
Light attracts people to salesrooms and creates atmosphere day and night. We combine daylight planning and artificial light planning to create a holistic lighting concept – in terms of design, technology and energy efficiency. In everything, people are the focus (Human Centric Lighting).
We strive to handle this medium in a creative and technically sensitive and responsible manner. Particularly in the illumination of art, the effect of shadowing plays a highly important role in addition to light. The conservational needs of artworks are always taken into account.
Methodically, we structure our designs according to the three tenets of American lighting design pioneer Richard Kelly: focal glow, ambient luminescence and play of brilliants.
In our projects we consider atmospheric, architectural, conservational and design specifications as well as the technical interfaces, e.g. to electrical planners, electrical contractors, ceiling constructors and luminaire manufacturers.
We give the daytime architecture of buildings another form of appearance in the dark – the architecture of night.
The way we work is based on the service phases of the German Regulations on Architects’ and Engineers’ Fees (HOAI - Honorarordnung für Architekten- und Ingenieursleistungen):
Analysis: We place high value on intensive analysis. We aim to work with our clients to understand the exact requirements and objectives of a project. We do not start with luminous intensities or luminaires, but try to establish the desired lighting effect and spatial impact, to transpose the colour ambience of the architecture and materials into colour temperatures of the light, to analyse the functionality and use of the building in detail and to differentiate according to circulation zones, common areas and work areas. We always focus on optimal use by people.
We plan and compute light in quantitative terms and compliant to standards.
Illuminating a museum is fundamentally different to illuminating an office or a shopping mall. Our design approach is qualitative lighting design based on the principles of perception psychology (HCL: Human Centric Lighting). In contrast to purely quantitative lighting designs, we start with the visual perception of lighting by the user, visitor or customer. This may differ fundamentally from a lighting design based purely on homogeneous levels of illuminance. For orientation in buildings we place high importance on the uniform illumination of walls (referred to as wallwashing) instead of floor surfaces, since, due to evolutionary reasons, humans have 80% of their perception on vertical surfaces and not on the ground. We use this approach to create atmosphere and well-being, while at the same time significantly reducing the energy-related connected load of the lighting system.
Visual comfort, i.e. the consistent avoidance of glare, is one of our primary design approaches. Eyes subjected to glare experience rooms and spaces darker than they actually are, and they tire more quickly. Glare also distracts from exhibits or product displays. Visual comfort can only be measured to a limited extent, but it is immediately perceived by users. You are welcome to experience these effects in our workshops or during sampling sessions. We present our designs by using mood boards, visualisations, 3-D simulations and, of course, lighting calculations for compliance with standards.
We design light for people, light for well-being, light for work and light for orientation.
Following joint approval of the design, we initiate the intensive phase of project scheduling. Our focus is always on the 'constructability' and 'feasibility' of the lighting solution. Our many years of experience and architectural background are paying off – lighting technology, building physics, electronic technology, control technology and, ultimately, compliance with the budget are just a few of our principles.
We plan in 2-D and 3-D (CAD & BIM) and various lighting design and simulation programmes. In some cases we draw construction details on a scale of 1:1 and develop and build special solutions and custom luminaires as needed. In addition to the energy balance, we provide detailed costing including TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) analysis.
We sample various luminaires and light sources with original materials and colours. We keep an extensive stock of sample luminaires and photometric accessories, or we procure specific luminaires for your project sampling needs quickly through our direct contacts to all renowned luminaire manufacturers.
We create atmosphere through light!
A good tender is based on precise performance specifications. We support the entire process of tendering, supplier discussions and final contract award. As planners, we are committed to the construction client and are manufacturer-independent. Only a clear demarcation of systems and technical interfaces guarantees smooth implementation downstream in the realisation phases and avoids undesirable reworking. We maintain good contacts with craftsmen, wholesalers and use our direct contacts with luminaire manufacturers for larger projects.
Many projects ultimately fail in the implementation stage. We accompany realisation as part of construction management or in the form of artistic direction to ensure that the design signature is implemented in the desired quality. In particular, consistent interface management between construction client, general contractor, architects, electrical planners and electrical contractors is a key success factor and is based on the experience harnessed from more than 150 completed projects.
And sometimes we like to roll up our sleeves ourselves...
On every film set and in every theatre the commissioning stage is an exciting moment and provides the finishing touch before things get started and the atmosphere becomes magical. The commissioning process in architectural projects follows after installation of the luminaires: in addition to precise alignment of the luminaires and the attaching of additional optical accessories, this phase includes the setting of colour locations, dimming values and lighting scenes.
It is only through commissioning that an optimum is extracted from planning, lighting design and installed hardware. This is also where our experience in stage and theatre lighting comes in.
We love this work and do not shy away from heights...
We have prepared case studies and offer workshops on various topics of lighting design:
Case Study Light4Work I Lighting design concepts for modern working environments
(link: https://www.kober-lichtplaner.com/projekte/workshop-fuer-museen-umruestung-auf-led-beleuchtung/ text: Workshop: Upgrading to sustainable LED lighting in museums
Case Study Museum Draiflessen Collection - LED upgrading for architectural & museum lighting
Please do not hesitate to contact us!
Converting a listed UNESCO World Heritage coal washing plant into a museum requires entirely different approaches and lighting design concepts than the construction of a new shopping mall of 100,000 square metres. We implement lighting solutions for exhibitions, new construction projects, renovations, revitalisations of industrial heritage architecture and energy consulting to optimise existing lighting installations. Our head office in Dortmund in the heart of the Ruhr region allows us to support projects on site throughout Europe due to the region’s ideal transport connections.
Find some of our projects here.
We would be happy to discuss your project in person at a non-binding meeting to get to know each other.