The latest designer hotel in Munich, Hotel Anna, has been created with a focus on dynamic, color-changing, and energy-efficient light. The owners of the hotel wanted to create a distinctive atmosphere in the bar area that would set it apart from the competition.

To create clean lines and dramatic effects, the architect and designers needed to work with a flexible, powerful light source small enough to be built into fixtures and fittings. They needed a lighting solution that was smaller, sleeker, and lighter in weight than conventional sources, to create new silhouettes and invisible light points. The energy-efficient lighting scheme, developed by German company Bocom, incorporates Lumileds' RGB Superflux and Luxeon 1W technology.

LEDs were chosen for several reasons. Advances in solid-state lighting technology have increased the brightness of LEDs, challenging incandescent or halogen sources for both interior and exterior lighting. Low power requirements result in low operating costs and ongoing energy savings. The longevity of LEDs is another benefit, bringing lower maintenance costs and more flexible deployment; plus, LEDs stay brighter longer, providing high performance for a greater time period. Other LED benefits include instant illumination, full dimmability, precise beam control, minimum glare, low UV, and a cool light beam that is safe to the touch.

Joachim Dahms of architect Atelier Dahms worked closely with Bocom and Lumileds' Luxeon technology recommendations to develop the concept, providing control over the color, atmosphere, and mood at the touch of a button. All LEDs used in the project are RGB; 1,800 Superflux LEDs and 24 Luxeons with optics were used to create the control and flexibility needed for the color system. Each luminaire houses an array of different LEDs; lighting distribution can be varied by selectively switching the LEDs to create a range of effects that can be altered at different times of day, year, or for special occasions.

The lighting design was installed within one month, and the hotel opened to the public in November 2002. With lighting playing a key role in the design and development of the hotel, the color-changing scheme of the LED-lit bar has already become a successful attraction.