Spectacular light art installation with String LED module chains and Butler S2 lighting control

Fraunhofer Institutes – Aachen, Germany

One focus of German artist Annette Sauermann is context-based large-format work in art and building projects. Since 2015, one of her works of art – the interactive “Networks of Knowledge” lighting system – has been adorning the facades of the two neighboring Fraunhofer Institutes in Aachen, ILT (Institute for Laser Technology) and IPT (Institute for Production Technology). Integral parts of the dynamic light art installation, which emphasizes both the association and the independence of the two institutes, are LED modules and DMX lighting control systems from OSRAM Lighting Solutions.


Category: Office
Location: Aachen, Germany
Technology/Services: Luminaires
Year: 2018

Dynamic and interactive LED lighting installation

The patterns incorporated into the glass facade of the buildings are abstract representations of the institutes’ research focus. The lines on the ILT facade are derived from the straight line of laser light, while on the IPT facade they symbolize the circular motion of removal and grinding processes. Even during the day, the interplay of sunlight and shadow always creates new images and perspectives. But it’s only at night that the complete work of art reveals itself. 410 String LED chains featuring 6560 individual LED points, and 25 Butler S2 lighting control systems from OSRAM Lighting Solutions transform the two “glass paintings” into a spectacular LED lighting installation bursting with color: bright red at ILT and white, blue and green at IPT.

The two light art works from Annette Sauermann have an extremely vivid effect because they reflect the intensity of data traffic in the institutes’ computer networks. The more information exchanged electronically in one day, the brighter and more dynamic the “Networks of Knowledge”. Lukas Gössling, Managing Director at LightLife and the person responsible for programming the lighting control said: “One of the sets of data we are evaluating is ‘user active’, in other words it indicates how many employees are present. In the past it was captured by time clock, today it’s done digitally. These values and others are transmitted to the internal building control system, and the activities that are happening inside the buildings are then displayed outside in the form of light.”

LED module chains and DMX lighting control from OSRAM Lighting Solutions

Each String LED module chain consists of five flexible and robust strings with 32 pixels each. A total of 160 individually controllable LED points can display large-format graphics, text and video content in low to medium resolution. The string system meets IP67 protection, is UV-resistant and can also withstand adverse weather conditions.

The Butler S2 is a DMX512 interface with RDM support. In small- to medium-size projects it serves as a standalone system, saves up to 99 preprogrammed cue lists and plays back up to eight cue lists simultaneously. In combination with the Butler XT2 as the master, the Butler S2 can be used to create clusters for up to 16,384 DMX512 channels in 32 universes for standalone operation. In online operation with the e:cue Lighting Application Suite (LAS), up to 65,536 DMX512 channels in 128 universes are rendered via e:net/Ethernet.

Project partner

Lighting design Annette Sauermann, Aachen
Planning, programming and installationLightLife, Köln
Copyright Notice:Lightart: Annette Sauermann
Photography: Christa Lachenmaier
Architecture: JSWD Architekten