The lighting is up and down at this Italian HQ, and that’s good

Sept. 29, 2021
Zumtobel works with architectural firm to combine ceiling-facing indirect and floor-facing direct luminaires with the sun.

In a deployment that is decidedly architectural as opposed to “IoT,” Zumtobel has outfitted the redesigned headquarters of an Italian industrial machinery company with LED luminaires that in some spaces give way to natural daylight, but in interior areas serve as the primary light source.

Zumtobel used its Tecton and Preluce luminaires across the facilities of Salvagnini in Sarego, a town situated in hills about 50 miles west of Venice.

In the wide-open common areas which architects Traverso Vighi designed for plenty of daylight, Zumtobel mounted Tecton to deliver indirect illumination that fades or brightens in response to daylight sensors wired via a traditional KNX scheme.

Further inside the glass, wood, and steel structures, out of the sun’s reach, Zumtobel pointed Preluce and other luminaires downward in a direct lighting scheme.

The modernized Salvagnini headquarters — the company makes equipment for processing sheet metal and Zumtobel uses its equipment in manufacturing Tecton — has two main structures connected by a two-floor “tunnel.”

Costabissara-based Traverso Vighi aimed to blend the premises and the natural surroundings. The two main buildings each have open spaces — one a showroom and the other an events area within a building that Salvagnini calls its “Academy.” The showroom is an expansive 230×98 ft and soars to 37 ft at its highest point. The Academy measures 184×105 ft and is 23 ft high, with a structure inside of it that houses classrooms and a theater.

Both benefit from natural daylight. Zumtobel outfitted these areas with the KNX-connected sensors and the upward-pointing Tecton luminaires, which also include wall washer optics.

“The luminaires themselves fade into the background,” a Zumtobel spokesperson said. “Instead of direct lighting, new concepts support natural daylight, set accents and skillfully accentuate the architecture. The combination of indirect artificial light and natural lighting moments creates a unique atmosphere at Salvagnini's headquarters.”

But natural light can’t reach everywhere. In spaces such as work rooms, conference rooms, classrooms, and a theater — some of which are located in the Academy’s cylinder — Zumtobel installed its Preluce models for direct lighting. It also provided spots for accent lighting in a bar area, a reception area, and work cubicles.

In total, Zumtobel provided 523 luminaires and 73 emergency lighting fixtures. It declined to reveal pricing.

Notably, the project is not laced with IoT functions such as asset tracking and wayfinding. As LEDs Magazine has been reporting, IoT progress has been slow, something which earlier this year drove smart lighting pioneer Gooee out of business. Light for light’s sake, while it does not come with the caché of connectivity, remains a business driver, such as at a Signify tunnel lighting project in Sweden and a Thorn Lighting street lighting deployment in Scotland (Thorn is part of Zumtobel).

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.