Towering over the Thuringian city of Eisenach, Wartburg Castle today fulfils a number of different roles. As well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important monument to world history, the imposing complex is also now the venue for a special national exhibition entitled "Luther and the Germans", planned to mark the Year of Martin Luther. SUPERSYSTEM II from Zumtobel caught the eye during the tender process for the new lighting solution, impressing the exhibition organisers with its perfect blend of LED technology, flexibility and minimalist design.
UNESCO made Wartburg Castle a World Heritage site in 1999, confirming its status as a prime example of architecture from the feudal period. The late Romanesque great hall and the architectural renovations from later centuries impressively illustrate 950 years of German history. The complex from the 12th century is the most popular Luther-related cultural site in the world, with more than 350,000 visitors each year coming to see where the famous reformer translated the New Testament into German, laying the foundations for a standardised German written language.
The latest lighting technology from Zumtobel has been chosen for a new national exhibition, organised as part of a series of celebrations to mark the Year of Luther, replacing a lighting system that was more than 20 years old. The multifunctional SUPERSYSTEM II LED light system can now be found throughout large swathes of the 1000-square-metre exhibition space, providing a striking new look for both the venue itself and around 300 exhibits. The miniaturised modular system with a low-voltage track and a wide range of light inserts delivers special lighting accents and a variety of different lit effects.
Zumtobel lighting solution offers high versatility and excellent design flexibility
Miniature spotlights that measure just 45mm are mounted on a sleek track, which is only 30mm high and 26mm wide, to guarantee outstanding design flexibility. This enabled Zumtobel to make full use of the existing cable outlets in the Wartburg, as the historic ceiling negated the possibility to install new wiring. The versatility of SUPERSYSTEM II has also been shown by the integration of various different spotlight versions with heads that can be rotated 360 degrees and swivelled 90 degrees. The careful combination LED boards, lenses and foils helps shape uniform light distributions with high intensity and a smooth lighting transition – without the unwanted presence of stray light. The interchangeable foils enable different light distributions, as a mixture of contour, flood and spot versions illuminate the Wartburg and the items on show. A potentiometer has been mounted directly on the spotlights to make sure that the lighting level does not exceed 50 lux, helping to preserve the prized exhibits.
The delicate and restrained design language of the lighting system emphasises the historic architecture of Wartburg Castle. In addition, different colour versions of the die-cast aluminium light heads support the subtle integration of the luminaires into a wide range of decors and architectural settings. Zumtobel selected black-lacquered luminaires for the rooms with a 15th-century wooden ceiling, while white versions have been installed in spaces with a lighter ceiling.
The Wartburg Foundation in Eisenach benefits from the new lighting solution in several ways. As well as presenting the special exhibition in the best possible light, high efficiency and longer maintenance intervals have led directly to a reduction in energy and maintenance costs. The design of the SUPERSYSTEM II range also means that components can be easily retrofitted and replaced during day-to-day operation.