Among the products of translucent concrete currently on the market, the Lucem Lichtbeton system, developed by the German firm of the same name, stands out for its technical caliber, and especially for its competitive selling price, which is not much higher than that of natural stone.
In collaboration with RWTH Aachen (Technical University of Aachen), in Germany, and as a result of research that was initiated in the year 1995 by this technical university in the field of making cement translucent by incorporating small glass fibers into it, Lucem Lightbeton has in collaboration with the local practice Carpus & Partner designed and fabricated a complete facade of concrete lit internally by LEDs; a solution debuted in February of this year with the building of which it is a part: a pavilion for the RWTH’s building department.
With a total surface area of 120 square meters, the facade is formed by panels of 150 x 50 centimeters, all of the same size in order to facilitate the manufacturing process. Each panel has an independent circuit of LED lighting, with three color channels (red, green and blue) and 255 degrees of intensity, in such a way that a total of 408 luminous channels can be regulated at the same time, making the entire facade an enormous screen of light.
Programmed to generate sequences and a whole variety of luminous patterns in accordance with the program and the particular time of year, and able to be regulated via the Internet and even by mobile telephone, the system of LEDs incorporated in the concrete turns on automatically every time the level of lighting goes below 300 lux.