Technology Design Week

Light straight out of the power socket? With Plug & Light, German think-tank Insta is setting new standards for the connecting of low-voltage LED luminaires to the mains supply – and more and more luminaire manufacturers and planners are recognising the potential of this new technology.

Double rotation: Orbittu by Ingo Maurer translates the sophisticated Plug & Light technology into a particularly charming luminaire design

Spot on: Plug & Light | News

Double rotation: Orbittu by Ingo Maurer translates the sophisticated Plug & Light technology into a particularly charming luminaire design

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The lighting concepts from Ingo Maurer’s studio have always strived for a symbiosis of poetry and technology. The Munich lighting specialists were inspired by the Plug & Light light socket to create a product that translates the potential of this sophisticated technology into a particularly charming design.

Above: Gira Esprit switch series with rotatable light attachment, combined with matching Plug & Light spot. Below: Light productions: Grossmann’s Connect #C1 pendant luminaire and Connect #C3 wall light with Plug & Light

Spot on: Plug & Light | News

Above: Gira Esprit switch series with rotatable light attachment, combined with matching Plug & Light spot. Below: Light productions: Grossmann’s Connect #C1 pendant luminaire and Connect #C3 wall light with Plug & Light

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Plug & Light is a flexible and uncomplicated system for customisable interior lighting. It essentially consists of three components: a compatible LED light, a magnetic 12-volt low voltage socket and a flush-mounted power supply unit, which converts 230-volt mains voltage into safe, low voltage, and makes compatible lights dimmable without flickering.

Plug & Light in brief: the 12 Volt LED luminaire is simply plugged in, held in the light socket by magnetic force and can be rotated in it. The dimmable power-unit disappears into standard appliance sockets in the wall or ceiling

Spot on: Plug & Light | News

Plug & Light in brief: the 12 Volt LED luminaire is simply plugged in, held in the light socket by magnetic force and can be rotated in it. The dimmable power-unit disappears into standard appliance sockets in the wall or ceiling

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The revolutionary magnetic technology – which keeps the lamp in the light socket and lets you attach the lamp to the wall or ceiling in a single movement and without tools, – is not the only special feature of the system. Just as importantly, the light socket outlet has a form and surface compatible with the switch and socket outlet ranges by manufacturers Gira and Jung, thus allowing the electrical interfaces of a room to be harmonised. With this system, visible transformers, unsightly power supply units and wire-concealing lamp canopies become a thing of the past.


The revolutionary magnetic technology, which keeps the lamp in the light socket and lets you attach the lamp to the wall or ceiling in a single movement and without tools, is not the only special feature of the system


Once the lamp is plugged in, it can be rotated 360 degrees without a stop and aligned as desired at any time. It is also dimmable and can be replaced during operation. The configuration of the room lighting can thus be changed quickly and easily, which is particularly useful for rooms that are used for a variety of different purposes.

Above: The sculptural Liaison pendant luminaire by Axolight – for Plug & Light. Below: The Pong pendant luminaire and Tilt Wall wall luminaire from young lighting brand Nyta and which work with the Plug & Light system

Spot on: Plug & Light | News

Above: The sculptural Liaison pendant luminaire by Axolight – for Plug & Light. Below: The Pong pendant luminaire and Tilt Wall wall luminaire from young lighting brand Nyta and which work with the Plug & Light system

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Meanwhile, there is a wide range of pendant, wall and ceiling lights available from manufacturers such as Axolight, Brumberg, Grossmann, Ingo Maurer, Nyta and Sg Leuchten, as well as lighting attachments from COR that can be integrated into furniture. The Orbittu luminaire by Ingo Maurer shows the influence of the Plug & Light technology on the design, which, typical of Ingo Maurer’s studio, offers a knowing wink.

The Jung LS 990 switch series (above) is a classic – Plug & Light lighting solutions in matching design and surface are available. Below: Light sockets for ceiling and wall: Electronics specialist Insta developed the Plug & Light components

Spot on: Plug & Light | News

The Jung LS 990 switch series (above) is a classic – Plug & Light lighting solutions in matching design and surface are available. Below: Light sockets for ceiling and wall: Electronics specialist Insta developed the Plug & Light components

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The concept by designers Axel Schmid and David Engelhorn from the Ingo Maurer team is based on the built-in rotation principle of the Plug & Light system, which they extended by a second revolvable axis. The light emerges laterally from the hemispherical housing, which can be rotated through 360 degrees. An asymmetrically mounted elliptical mirror, also rotating on its own axis, catches the light and reflects it towards the desired location in the room – either as a direct spotlight or indirectly via the wall. The mirror sheet has a smooth as well as a structured surface section, which allows the light effect to be additionally modified.

Orbittu clearly bears the signature of Ingo Maurer and can be installed wherever there is a light socket – thanks to the Plug & Light system

Spot on: Plug & Light | News

Orbittu clearly bears the signature of Ingo Maurer and can be installed wherever there is a light socket – thanks to the Plug & Light system

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Thanks to the Plug & Light system, Orbittu can be installed wherever there is a light socket. Sometimes it is a reading lamp, sometimes a mood light, and sometimes serves as indirect room lighting – just as required or wished. It’s a celebration of light play, as the light and its appearance changes with every turn. Orbittu thus not only clearly bears the signature of Ingo Maurer, but also shows how technology and design can inspire each other. Just one example of how the Plug & Light system developed by Insta brings together a large number of building system- and luminaire manufacturers in order to integrate the system into their designs – opening up unimagined possibilities for architects and planners.

© Architonic

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