Engineered design from Stuttgart

Different. The Nimbus Group is different from most other enterprises - and has been for over 25 years. You can see it in a lot of telling details. However, nowhere is the company's differentness more apparent than in its canteen: every morning at 10 o' clock all 160 employees meet to take breakfast together. The warehouseman next to the controller. Designers next to development engineers. Lighting designers next to packers. Salespeople, interns, clerks, marketing experts, architects, interior designers, electricians, acoustics specialists. Company CEO Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl is among those to take a seat at any one of the tables in the room and he is the one who provides the coffee and tea, different kinds of bread, butter, chocolate spread, jam and honey. The walls of the canteen are adorned with a quote that sums up the company philosophy: "I DO NOT SEEK – I FIND. Seeking is when you start from old things. And in the new find what is already familiar. Finding is something completely new..."


nimbus_fabrik

The large breakfast with the employees is just one piece in a mosaic that constitutes a remarkable corporate culture combining Swabian industriousness with a casual sophistication, process discipline with tongue-in-cheek creativity, non-negotiable quality standards with a clear commitment to social projects. Since it was founded back in 1988, this unusual mixture, which calls for the courage to do a lot things differently from the others, has made the enterprise an unmistakable architect's brand that explores new terrain in its own distinctive way. Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl, architect and founder of the Stuttgart-based enterprise, describes the Nimbus Group's principle thus: "We go through life with our ears and eyes open and look where opportunities arise. That is how my enterprise has worked for many years now."

Daily common breakfast with all employees at the Nimbus Group canteen, Stuttgart
Daily common breakfast with all employees at the Nimbus Group canteen, Stuttgart

The Nimbus Group has developed into a driving force in both design and innovation in two related fields with its two different brands. With its Nimbus brand in the segment of energy-efficient LED luminaires for the contract and private sectors, with its Rosso brand on the market for shading and room-partitioning systems including integrated acoustics solutions for the home and office. Light and acoustics – two essential parameters in modern office and home environments – are undergoing an organic fusion under the umbrella of the Nimbus Group.

Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl, architect, managing director, owner of the Nimbus Group and head of Design
Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl, architect, managing director, owner of the Nimbus Group and head of Design

The Nimbus brand of luminaires has it origin in a garage – and that is not a start-up myth. It served the architect and toolmaker Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl as a workshop at the end of the 1980s. His first serially produced luminaire, a halogen luminaire by the name of Cirrus 0, was a cylindrical luminaire with a cable system for an art gallery. This model already displayed the trademark clear-cut, simple formal idiom coupled with high-quality materials and a high standard of technical finesse. However, technical parameters such as heat development and light emission enforced design constraints that seemed too narrow to Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl.

Cirrus 0 / 1988
Cirrus 0 / 1988

LED-Pioneer and a driving force in innovation

From the year 2000 on, he broke free of these constraints by focusing Nimbus' attention on LED technology. These very small, very efficient light sources produce little heat and provided the ideal preconditions for a paradigm shift in luminaire manufacture: while other producers continued to design more or less appealing housings around conventional light sources, Nimbus saw this tiny, economical piece of technology as a core with the potential for developing completely new designs – but also with the power to radically change lighting systems, electronics and production. After five years of intensive research and development in collaboration with suppliers, the LED had made such progress in terms of performance and reliability that it was ready for the market - a market that, from 2006 on, Nimbus served for a good number of years almost without competition

Modul Q 36 / 2006 / archetype of the Nimbus LED luminaire
Modul Q 36 / 2006 / archetype of the Nimbus LED luminaire

Since that time, the enterprise has installed many millions of LEDs in around 10,000 projects all around the world, thus endowing it with a wealth of experience unrivalled by any of the competitors: in close cooperation with lighting designers, architects and electrical consultants, new concepts with an extended range of functions are constantly being drawn up for homes, doctors' practices, galleries, schools, town hall foyers, boardrooms and lounges through to complete office buildings and large company headquarters like the Unilever head office and the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg, the ADAC headquarters in Munich or the head office of the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.

WTO Geneva / 2012 / architecture: wittfoht architekten, Stuttgart
WTO Geneva / 2012 / architecture: wittfoht architekten, Stuttgart

Designed and manufactured in Stuttgart/Germany

In keeping with its position as a leader in technology and quality, the Nimbus Group has recently made large investments in optimised development, production and logistics processes as well as in the quality of consulting provided by its sales team. The assembly teams have been trained to alternate flexibly in line with customer demand between customised products – for example huge LED light rings for office buildings – and fixed-cycle series production of several hundred different variants of luminaire. The systematic inspection of all electronic components in the incoming goods department guarantees that customers receive exactly the light colour they wish ("binning") – a promise that is unique in the sector.

Industrial manufactory, the Nimbus production in Stuttgart
Industrial manufactory, the Nimbus production in Stuttgart

Always at the forefront

The Nimbus Group is also cementing its position as a leader in technology in its role as project coordinator in a three-year research project with four other SME partners. This venture is looking into the possibilities of smart LED luminaires that can be shaped three-dimensionaly. Injection moulded circuit carriers like those used in automobile production have the potential for realising totally new design solutions in general lighting as well as cost reductions in production and new types of lighting concepts in offices that feature "smart" luminaires corresponding with one another via sensors. Nimbus is also currently working on new cableless luminaires. The first examples of these mobile light sources are Roxxane Fly and the new cableless table and floor standing luminaires Roxxane Leggera CL.

The first example of wireless luminaires: Roxxane Fly / 2015
The first example of wireless luminaires: Roxxane Fly / 2015

Ecological business practices

Finally, ecological business practices are a further element in the brand essence of the Nimbus Group. For example the Nimbus delivery vehicles run on electricity produced from the company's own solar energy system. Furthermore, over 90 percent of the enterprise's suppliers are located no further than two hours by car from the headquarters in the Feuerbach district of Stuttgart, where all of the firm's activities are concentrated: from product development and manufacturing through to sales. The Nimbus Group stands for engineered design, made in Stuttgart, Germany.

We would be pleased to show this all to you personally. For example in our Showroom directly opposite the factory building. The so called Mock-Up used to be a home for asylum-seekers. On rough walls, which have been left in their original condition, old scribblings tell their own authentic story and remind one of the building's former purpose.

Mock-Up in Stuttgart, showroom, event venue and training centre in one
Mock-Up in Stuttgart, showroom, event venue and training centre in one