Light Cloud
A Circle of Care

UCI Luxe – Cinema, Potsdam, Federal Republic of Germany


UCI is rolling out a new brand of luxury cinema experience venues: ‘UCI Luxe’ brings a business class experience, extremely comfortable leather seats that are reclinable with headrests and footrests. 4K Video and 3D sound complete the digital makeover.

UCI’s early 90s venue in Potsdam was the first of eight cinemas to be transformed. The reconstruction of the new multiplex was the responsibility of Ellis Williams Architects’ Mikro Gabler.

The new luxury image is all-pervasive in the refurbished areas, and the lobby and food and beverage areas received a dramatic new interior design.

A key part of this was decorative illumination; UCI engaged the famous lighting design office of Kardoff Engineers in Berlin to develop a lighting solution.


Photo by: Linus Lintner


Photo by: Linus Lintner

Deutschland, DEU, 27.05.2019, UCI Kino, Lichtobjekte und Planung, Kardorff Ingenieure Berlin mit ONWARD Bremen;
[©Linus Lintner Fotografie,, Tel. +49 30 264 15 71,; Veroeffentlichung nur gegen Honorar, Urhebervermerk und Beleg / permission required for reproduction, mention of copyright, complimentary copy; Bankverbindung / bank account and sorting code: GLS Gemeinschaftsbank, Kto 114 581 9900, BLZ 430 609 67; IBAN: DE 8743 0609 6711 4581 9900, BIC: GENODEM1GLS, U.St.ID / V.A.T.: DE 155 512 142]

Photo by: Linus Lintner


Photo by: Linus Lintner


Jan Wichert is an expert in dynamic lighting at Kardoff Engineers. He created a lighting concept he called ‘Lictwolke’ which means ‘light cloud’. It constituted 400 internally illuminated spheres to be suspended from the ceiling at different heights and in a seemingly randomised pattern comprising a 3D illusion. Each sphere was to be individually controllable for colour and intensity; according to Jan Wichert, the cloud of spheres should be used to create different emotional lighting scenes. Martin Opolka, illumination Physics’ European manager, handled the liaison.


illumination Physics was required to develop and manufacture the products in a very short time frame. A very high quality was required, and the highest fire rating was necessary because the luminaires would be suspended above a public area.

The Kardoff design envisaged that the spheres would be 200mm in diameter. Our first task was to design a LED light source that would evenly and brightly illuminate the sphere without any colour aberrations. This process involved prototype mouldings as well as experiments with the LED type and how they were clustered.

There were limitations with the material used for the sphere: Because glass was to heavy and fragile, a polycarbonate was ideal, but we were limited to materials that could achieve a suitable fire rating. Numerous trials resulted in a lightweight and perfectly formed sphere with uniform wall thickness and diffusion.

An extremely lightweight collar would form both the attachment point of the sphere and the mounting for the 12 RGBW LED illuminators. The weight of the sphere and collar was so low that the combined power and data cable was all that was required to suspend the 3-watt luminaire. Ceiling hooks were to be placed at random distances from the central mounting node.


In consultation with the lighting designer, it was decided that a group of ten spheres would be connected to a central circular mounting node (eventually dubbed Spiders) containing a power supply and the custom DMX driver. This allowed the AC power and DMX data distribution to be significantly simplified in a single specially designed cable.


The cables that connect the spheres to the spiders varied in length to create the randomised effect the lighting designer was seeking.

The spheres and the spiders were factory assembled and tested as a complete unit to streamline the installation. Each complete spider and its ten spheres were pre-addressed in our factory and packed as a numbered unit according to the designer’s designation on the installation layout drawings. illumination Physics’ custom design service includes making the installer’s task more efficient as this effects the overall cost.

Before shipping, all the DMX addresses were set in the factory to reduce time and cost for the programmer on-site in Potsdam.

This is part of illumination Physics’ circle of care – it begins with a concept and is completed by every assistance we can provide to the installer.

After completion of the installation, which was carried out by an installer commissioned by the customer and accompanied by Illumination Physics in the form of a Supervision of Installation, the programming was carried out by Illumination Physics in coordination with the lighting design office and according to customer requirements.


  • 40 x IP custom spider fixtures consisting of:

    • 400 x IP custom led sphere RGBW with custom cable lengths
    • 40 x IP Custom spider central hubs
  • 6 x IP WMP DMX splitters
  • Ecue control system with Glass touch panel