Spotlight Interview Spotlight Interview
Trends in Lighting caught up with Thomas Nell from Spotlight to talk about the future of theatre and lighting.  Spotlight brings 50 years of... Spotlight Interview

Trends in Lighting caught up with Thomas Nell from Spotlight to talk about the future of theatre and lighting.  Spotlight brings 50 years of design and production to light the most famous theatres and museums across the globe.

TiL: What sort of projects do you get involved in?

TN: Indoor illuminations of large architectural buildings, especially those who are part of our cultural heritage like museums, historical monuments and churches. Where not only huge spaces and distances present a challenge, these projects really push standard LED products to their limits.  Here is where Spotlight enters the stage.

TiL: How has your journey evolved over the last 50 years?

TN:  During the last 50 years Spotlight has been dedicated to research, development and the manufacturing lighting solutions for special and custom needs.  For us, energy saving was a must decades ago. We have adapted the business to assist customers lighting the most difficult spaces. The biggest challenge with historical buildings are the large volumes and related distances, heights where you cannot easily arrive and maintenance are becomes quite difficult.

TiL: Could you tell us about your approach to lighting design?

TN:  We aim to preserve the artistic value of the illuminated objects foremost, and the environments generally require “invisible”, non-invasive lighting products capable of generating very high light outputs, able to project very precisely onto certain objects without disturbing others. The light itself becomes the story teller, and draws the attention of the viewer onto those features that the lighting designer would like to highlight.  Adding awareness and reflection, with the capacity to communicate: the architectural volume receives an individual light body, able to transmit a deeper message and not just flooding everything with too many lumens.

Light is an important element in the architectural design of space, it sets off details, it warms a room, it defines the edges of darkness, it creates and modifies shade, giving shape a three-dimensional look to surface, it creates emotional situations for those who live in it.

TiL:  How do you achieve customisation for your clients?

TN:  In order to guarantee the best visibility of the architectural details and their various functions, drawing the attention to feel the space also under different circumstances, special customised lighting products are requested.  For this art of “painting with light”, you’ll need to use such noninvasive spots, where you even don’t know where they’re positioned and in the same time they must offer many lumens for those spaces and distances. The expertise and experience we have at Spotlight offers a very large portfolio of more than 200 different types of LED solutions.

TiL: Which cultural heritage projects are you most proud of?

TN: We are proud to be part of the vast ongoing installation of our FlumLED fixtures at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza, Cairo. Nearly 1000 of these ultra-compact fixtures give light to the Tutankhamun Pharaoh Gallery from a 900 sq metre mesh roof and to the Children’s Gallery. A journey of history and imagination guided by creative lighting effects that move the visitor like on the desert dunes, with the surprising view of the TUT collection.As far as artificial lighting products for cultural heritage are concerned, the most of classified buildings are staying under the protection of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and its illumination had to comply with ministerial provisions.   Just giving an idea of the many LED Products in a customised solution, here some performance of the smallest PINSPOT of the Spotlight’s family – the 3W FlumLED’s gives light to Tutankhamun:

TiL:  What are your favourite products for this type of project?

TN:  The power, compactness, design and performances are key for our projects.  FLUM is extremely versatile, it can perform both in a choir and as a solo.  This LED offers a very high quality precision of light, in a miniature shell.  It’s  a Micro LED fixture designed for accent and elegant lighting, as versatile as a stage luminaire and refined as a design lamp, suitable to highlight artworks.  A high light efficiency LED combined with a transparent high efficiency lens (equal to a 92% of transferred light) allows FLUM to have remarkable performances, especially when compared to other fixtures of the same power and size. It can light objects at great distance with a maximum consumption of only 3W per luminaire.  It is a product born to thrill technicians, lighting and interior designers, decorators, engineers and architects thanks to its peculiar versatility to give accent to small details as well as join into clusters or line-array for a larger team-work.


Spotlight Milano, with over 50 years’ experience of manufacturing lighting for architecture and the performing arts, together with its Lighting Designer Thomas Nell, are offering their dedication and expertise for customised solutions in this particular lighting field. Nell, whose academic qualifications include a Master’s in the illumination of cultural assets, took part in the 2012 International Festival of Scenic Arts in London, with a seminar on the importance of LED in architectural lighting. To view the showroom in Milan contact Thomas Nell



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