Luminaries in 3D from Nulight

© Nulight

Small lighting revolution with big potential

Revolutionizing the sector with sustainable luminaries is the ambitious vision of the Berlin start-up Nulight. For this vision, the founders of the company are relying on recyclable LED light tubes made from PLEXIGLAS®.

Breakable glass, toxic ingredients, leaking gases – the environmental footprint of the fluorescent tube, also known as neon tube, is far from good. Nonetheless, it is still a popular illuminant, for example for illuminated lettering and other three-dimensionally shaped lighting objects. The start-up Nulight aims to change this and creates individually crafted, recyclable luminaries made from PLEXIGLAS® that are to render the classic neon tube superfluous as a mass product in the long term.

Sought and found

The vision provided the foundation. After that, the founders of Nulight – Ludwig Voigt, Sebastian Mähler and Peter Wagner – begin searching for a suitable material for the luminaries. “We had a clear idea how the lights should look and function. So it was difficult to find a suitable material. We eliminated the option of glass from the start, as it was too fragile for our models,” says Wagner, summarizing the start-up’s first steps. The ideal material was to be easy to shape, be as UV-stable as possible, heat-resistant, light-conducting, unbreakable and scratch-resistant.

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The team finally found what it was looking for in tubes made from PLEXIGLAS® LED. “PLEXIGLAS® LED meets all our requirements. It distributes light evenly across the room and is also recyclable.” After all: Environmental compatibility is not a luxury in the eyes of the three founders, but rather a central component of their light revolution. Every light is recyclable to 90 percent and is made from PLEXIGLAS®, copper, aluminum and energy-saving LEDs. “Sustainability and innovative design go hand in hand here. That is what sets us apart from most of our competitors,” emphasizes Wagner.

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Research meets design

In order to design their lights three-dimensionally, the founders then developed their own process for forming PLEXIGLAS® LED Wagner and his colleagues received a scholarship from the Berlin University of the Arts to drive their innovation. The founders feel compelled to do research: “We are inventors. Every light installation is the result of two years of research.” This means, at the moment, every light from Nulight – whether illuminated lettering, subtle light tubes or other three-dimensional models – is unique.

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Keeping an eye on the mass market

PLEXIGLAS® LED meets all our requirements. It distributes light evenly across the room and is also recyclable.

Peter Wagner
spokesperson for Nulight

The start-up is currently mainly selling the one-of-a-kind pieces to restaurants and showrooms or at events and trade fairs. In March, Nulight developed a DMX-controlled illuminated sign with the Smart claim “>> Be first.” for the agency JEFF Berlin and its client Smart. However, the founders from Berlin are aiming to enter the mass market. “We want to start a light revolution and replace environmentally harmful neon tubes once and for all,” says Wagner confidently. This means the sustainable luminaries need to become affordable for average consumers. Keeping an eye on this goal, the light pioneers are now working on broader areas of application such as smart-home systems and free-floating lights illuminated by lasers. “There are many projects that we can only put into practice together with larger customers, which is why we are always pleased about adventurous clients.” Wagner firmly believes that Nulight’s vision of a sustainable lighting sector will one day become reality: “We are still far from reaching our goal, but I am confident that our sustainable luminaries fit with the spirit of the time.”

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