The illuminated counters in the Lufthansa Skybar at Munich Airport are equipped with light panels made from PLEXIGLAS® LED.

© vorne-sitzen.de

Seven meters to take off and land

Watch the hustle and bustle of Munich airport from the Skybar in the Lufthansa Business Lounge: Two seven-meter-long illuminated counters with PLEXIGLAS® LED light panels frame the view of the runway.

The most exciting moment of flying is the second the wheels leave terra firma and you know: now we’re in the air. The stage is perfectly set for this spectacle in the Lufthansa Skybar at Munich Airport. While relaxing at the bar and enjoying a snack at the illuminated counter in a comfortable yet sophisticated ambiance, passengers can also peer straight through the bar shelves and the window facade to the runway and watch airplanes take off and land.

Every meter counts

The upscale ambiance of the bar is highlighted by the two illuminated counters which frame the area on both sides. Their length was a significant design factor, and is as extraordinary as the impact made by the counters themselves: “A seven-meter-long illuminated front panel was a real challenge for us,” says Felix Szak, the developer of the light panels and member of the board at axis GmbH & Co. KG, provider of individual lighting solutions for architecture and interior design, as the area had to be as smooth as possible and illuminated homogeneously. “We could only achieve this effect by using PLEXIGLAS® LED,” explains Szak. “Other plastics are not capable of distributing the light evenly. To ensure acceptable light distribution with these materials, they need to be laser processed using elaborate methods.

Multiple layers for homogeneity

The basic requirement for a pleasant ambiance is even, glare-free lighting. Lighting has a huge influence on the feel-good factor of a room alongside the impact of the design. The light panels from axis GmbH & Co. KG have proven to be the perfect choice for this application as they provide exceptional lighting quality. This quality is achieved through a combination of different PLEXIGLAS® layers. The result is an elegantly illuminated surface which enhances the appearance of every design thanks to its consistent lighting without hotspots.

Die Lightpanels bestehen aus einer Reflektorplatte, einer Platte PLEXIGLAS® LED und einer Platte PLEXIGLAS® Satinice, die von einem Aluminiumrahmen zusammengehalten werden.

How the Lightpanel frameless works

An aluminum frame holds the three different types of panel together: A side-light-emitting panel made from PLEXIGLAS® LED is placed in front of a reflector panel, while the surface of the light panel is a diffuser made from PLEXIGLAS® Satinice or even real glass. The aluminum frame provides the light panel with the necessary stability, contains the LEDs and simultaneously aids cooling.

© Axis Expotechnik

Joints as a design element

Despite PLEXIGLAS® LED panels being available in large sizes, each counter was so long that three panels had to be placed side-by-side. This created another challenge for the lighting experts: how to find an aesthetic solution for the joints. “Despite the fact that our Lightpanel frameless has been designed for applications where the frame should be barely visible, we decided to make the joints visible here. As such, they are part of the design and match the shelves on the back wall and the window frames,” explains Szak. One option would have been to dispense with the powder-coated aluminum section of the light panels at the joints, but this could have risked the stability and the homogeneous illumination.

PLEXIGLAS® is indispensable when designing a seven-meter-long counter with perfect illumination properties and a low overall depth.

Felix Szak
Lightpanel developer and member of the board at axis GmbH & Co. KG

Round corners

The rounded counter corners were another issue which required a unique solution. PLEXIGLAS® can be cut exactly to measure, but the standard aluminum profile of the Lightpanels is not designed to accommodate curves. To ensure a perfect fit, they were therefore made out of plastic using a 3D printer and inserted in the rounded corners of the aluminum frame.

Slim counter with low energy consumption

Lightpanels made from PLEXIGLAS® LED not only save space, but also a lot of energy.

Felix Szak
Lightpanel developer and member of the board at axis GmbH & Co. KG

As well as lending the Lufthansa Business Lounge its elegant ambiance, the use of PLEXIGLAS® LED also provides many advantages behind the scenes. The Lightpanels not only enable the bar to be as long as it is, but also reduce the depth required by the lighting elements. As the Lightpanels are only illuminated from the side using LEDs, saving both electricity and space, the area which would have housed the electronics can now be used as storage space for the bar. Additionally, the homogeneous illumination of the panels only requires 10 percent of the electricity, which in turn means significantly lower heat emissions. This has an impact on the temperature behind the counter as a whole, thus avoiding the need for additional cooling of the electrical devices such as refrigerators and freezers. There are therefore many reasons why Lightpanels made from PLEXIGLAS® LED are the undisputed first choice for illumination: They not only provide elegant lighting accents, but also provide more space for an exclusive ambiance and can help save up to 90 percent of the original electricity requirements.

Die Lightpanels aus PLEXIGLAS® LED können in unendlich vielen Farben leuchten.

More than 16 million colors available

The RGB LEDs used to illuminate the Lightpanels provide an incredible choice of 16.581 million colors. The colors can be determined exactly based on the RGB color scale, enabling the Lightpanels to be adjusted to shine in accordance with every desired corporate identity or even culinary topics. Thanks to the excellent transmission values of PLEXIGLAS® LED, the colors displayed barely deviate from the RGB color scale.

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