For more than 40 years the name TECNOLUMEN has stood for lamps with strong character and timeless design. Our focus here is on originals from the Bauhaus era. This is what makes TECNOLUMEN unique worldwide. Decorative lamps, following the same functional design principle, round off the program.
Although the portfolio is regularly expanded the classic designs remain in stock, particularly the Wagendfeld table lamp. The lamp was what inspired businessman and art collector Walter Schnepel to found TECNOLUMEN in 1980. He received the license to reproduce the famous lamp from Wilhem Wagenfeld personally. Worldwide, TECNOLUMEN is the only company licensed to reproduce the famous lamp.
Every lamp bearing the TECNOLUMEN label is an original. The logo is the guarantee that the design masterwork you have is an original that will be your companion for a long time to come.
In the Bremen factory lamps and utensils are created that are already collectibles or have the potential to become so in the future. Precise craftsmanship, quality materials, individuality and staying true to the original make the TECNOLUMEN collection what it is: an exquisite design collection.
Whether they are icons of historical design or contemporary designs: what all TECNOLUMEN products share is a stylistic design language that is always in demand, regardless of any trends. New products are only added to the assortment after they have met our strict design requirements.
Some things in life happen unexpectedly. And sometimes something that is supposedly unimportant goes on to become something really big. When Walter Schnepel came across early woodcuts by the artist Wilhelm Wagenfeld in 1976, he knew nothing about a lamp that would lay the foundation for his company TECNOLUMEN.
WA 24 is a table lamp that was designed in 1924. Its captivation lies in its reduction to its basic elements, making it elegant, functional, uncomplicated and also timeless. And undisputedly, it is one of the most famous Bauhaus objects today. Walter Schnepel discovered it during one of his many visits to Wilhelm Wagenfeld’s studio. It was simply standing there, gathering dust, and it had no manufacturer. “Why had he never had it produced,” Schnepel asked. Wagenfeld replied: “Why don’t you do it?” And this is exactly what Walter Schnepel did.
This was by no means an easy task, since the production of lamps had never been a part of his portfolio until then. However, he did know everything about asserting himself. Although suppliers were unreliable and furniture stores were not interested – nothing could deter the art collector from selling the lamp. Some technical changes had to be made and cables and sockets have been changed over the decades. Details had to be adjusted, and each change first had to be approved by Wilhelm Wagenfeld. Eventually, 250 pieces were produced. And nobody showed any interest.
He placed advertisements in the art magazine ART and in SCHÖNER WOHNEN. Within only three weeks, the lamp was sold out. This is what one calls a promising start. In 1980 Walter Schnepel founded TECNOLUMEN and started serial production.
„Finally, when everything was ready, the German furniture stores didn’t want to sell the lamp – and so we had to market and distribute it ourselves, which actually wasn’t part of our original plan.”
Despite all this, Walter Schnepel secured the rights to her works – and as a token of his gratitude, he sent the Wilhelm Wagenfeld lamp to GDR museums in individual parts, which were cleared by customs without being unnoticed. Her and others workpieces, such as the BST 23 floor lamp by the Hungarian, Gyula Pap, or the HP 28 ceiling lamp by Hans Przyrembel have meantime become collector’s items.
Today TECNOLUMEN is one of the best-known manufacturers of original Bauhaus models. The first edition of WA 24 was followed by various versions, in addition to co-operations with other Bauhaus artists. Establishing contact was not always easy. With Marianne Brandt, for example, only an indirect form of exchange was possible, as her home was in Eastern Germany.
When Wilhelm Wagenfeld designed his table lamp in the Bauhaus workshop following a task issued by Moholy-Nagy, the requirement was clear: the result should be an industrial product, i.e. one that could be mass-produced by a machine. And the material and design vocabulary actually correspond to the idea of the machine age. Only, manufacturing reality was different. WA 24 was produced as a mini-series for the 1924 Leipzig Autumn Fair in handmade concentrated and elaborate craftsmanship. And this is still the case today.
This allowed the implementation of Walter Gropius’ basic idea: mass production, while complying with design principles. Of course, the Bauhaus lamp is still not a mass product. It cannot be, because as a manufacturer, TECNOLUMEN places highest value on reliable quality and sustainability. The individual parts are produced mainly in Europe and especially in Germany. The lamps are assembled with great diligence in Bremen. The company avoids globalised structures – nevertheless, it is internationally renowned.
What Wilhelm Wagenfeld may have perceived as a painful contradiction is today an expression of highest quality and longevity. The basic materials are glass and metal, as was the case back then, and in the re-edition published by TECNOLUMEN in 1980, only minimal changes were made to the original design. In coordination with Wilhelm Wagenfeld, these changes were due to popular taste preferences on the one hand and, on the other, a result of constantly changing technology. The radius of the base and the plate thickness was reduced and the glass dome was placed slightly higher.
TECNOLUMEN’s understanding of sustainability has developed naturally and pragmatically. Short transport distances on the one hand, outstanding quality of the individual parts received from manufacturers with whom the company has been working for many years, and the careful assembly of the finished lamp on the other, stand for substance and perfection.
“All our designer lights are numbered and VDE-certified. This guarantees the authenticity and safety of our durable products,” says Carsten Hotzan, managing director of TECNOLUMEN. And he continues: “In addition, unlike other lighting suppliers, we can guarantee our customers availability of precisely-fitting spare parts for decades.”
However, it goes without saying that traditional, handcrafted production does not mean standstill. The company reacts very sensitively and attentively to technical innovations in the lighting market. And this is always done with the purpose of making our own design lamps shine in the best possible light.
The same applies to the sister company TECNOLINE, which has been producing switches and additional accessories in addition to door and window fittings since 2002 - designed by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Walter Gropius and other Bauhaus designers as well as by newer designers such as Dieter Rams and Hadi Teherani.
It is usually the first thing we touch when we enter a house: the door handle. Special houses and buildings in particular deserve to have a special door handle. Often these small yet absolutely important details mirror the style and architecture of a building. TECNOLINE has been manufacturing high quality door fittings, handles and switches from famous designers.
Today, the door handles from famous Bauhaus designers Walter Gropius, Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Ferdinand Kramer are design classics. Either authorised by the designers themselves or their heirs, TECNOLINE has been producing the original door handles according to their templates. TECNOLINE (under the TECNOLUMEN label at the time) started the production back in the 1980s, which also produced fittings from Art Deco designers as well as those from Bauhaus designers. The classic designs demand execution that is detailed and true to the original, and that meets today's technological standard. In addition, the Hanseatic family-run company offers many more distinguished designs, ranging for instance from Ludwig Wittgenstein and Dieter Rams to the modern style of Hadi Teherani and Jürgen Ringel.
The door handles are cast and processed with great care in the Sauerland region, the cradle of the German metal industry. This is done by hand, which is the only way to achieve such outstanding quality. For special series, for instance the TVS series that was issued on the occasion of the TVSth birthday of Walter Gropius, special sand moulds are created that can only be used once, thereby making every handle a one-of-akind piece.
Something that definitely stands out is that TECNOLINE offers the possibility of designing fittings according to any taste – and not just with regard to the colour selection. A modular system makes it possible to combine all parts with the same basic material (brass casting or stainless steel) in whatever manner the building contractor, house & apartment owners and architects would like. They can choose between various materials, surfaces and accessory parts, in order to add the finishing touch to be enjoyed by people who will reach for the handle for generations to come.
We understand a good shape to be the natural form of a product that has developed from its functional and technical requirements, that corresponds fully with its purpose and is beautiful at the same time.