About us

Everyday our enthusiasm for light is reflected in our projects and in the uniqueness of our company, with its lighting design, product development, research department and its own academy – the Bartenbach academy.

We love working with light and sharing our passion for light with others, and we would like to pass on our comprehensive knowledge of light. To use our own wealth of experience to promote an awareness of light and its effects on society is the real idea behind the Bartenbach academy.

In 2003, with the establishment of the Master of Light and Lighting degree (MLL), we launched a programme for the study of light and laid the foundation for comprehensive training in lighting design.

Since 2014 we have focused on tailor-made lighting seminars for our partners and customers. In the unique learning environment of the World of Light we offer a variety of events, such as basic and advanced seminars on the subject of light, daylighting workshops in the Artificial Sky, tours of the World of Light and space for experiments.

We also encourage young people who are interested in light:

Every year we organise a University Symposium. At this event students can gain insight into the World of Light, free of charge. We also promote Building with Daylighting as part of our academic courses.


“Light is the medium of vision and of the soul. It affects the rhythm of our lives, our mood and our productivity. Proper lighting in the workplace invigorates us. Darkness in public spaces makes people uneasy, whereas light creates a feeling of security. The interaction between light and shadows brings architecture to life. Light accentuates and shows us the way forward. I’ve been working with the fascinating phenomenon of light for over 40 years. It requires professionalism and passion, and combines the fundamentals of physics and technology with a knowledge of perceptual psychology and a passion and talent for design. All this comes together in the professional field of lighting design.”    

Professor Christian Bartenbach

Make living spaces more functional with light. Enable people to pursue work and leisure in an energetic and balanced way. Use light to promote the beauty of exhibits, products, buildings and squares.

Use light to provide orientation and protection. Flood shaded areas with sunlight while economically controlling the temperature. Lighting design focuses on people and their individual needs. At the Bartenbach academy, our goal is to understand the different ways light affects people in order to implement tailored natural and artificial lighting solutions.

Professor Christian Bartenbach established perception-oriented lighting design, which is now taught at the Bartenbach academy.

Learning about light

Within the framework of our courses, participants have an opportunity to get to know more about a variety of lighting topics.

These courses are currently on offer:

LIGHTING SEMINARS for architects
Individually designed lighting seminars at the Bartenbach academy teach both the technical and physical basics as well as design and aspects of perception psychology. Our aim is to create a deeper understanding of the design of lighting and spatial environments for people. The main topics of these seminars are: Building with Daylighting, Designing with Artificial Light, LED Technology, Light and Health, Light and Surfaces.

The Bartenbach academy is closely linked to universities through the offering of numerous courses. Knowledge of lighting is incorporated into courses of study such as architecture and design.

Students can gain insights into the World of Light at Bartenbach academy's University Symposium or in courses at various universities.

LIGHT ON! Theme day for architects
Groups of architects can spend a day getting inspired at the Bartenbach academy's World of Light. Individual programmes are available.


In a workshop in the Artificial Sky, light can be SEEN, MEASURED and EXPLORED.

Studies of materials directly show the interaction of light and surface.
Daylighting as a design parameter creates a comfortable atmosphere and spatial quality. Experimental model studies allow for the optimisation of the design process using simple methods.

Whether as part of a Light on! day or upon request, we offer architectural firms the opportunity to make use of the unique Artificial Sky. Daylight can thus be incorporated into the design process, the creation of different daylight atmospheres can be modelled and tested, and measurements of natural light availability can be made.

In the Artificial Sky models can be shown and examined under all conceivable daylight situations. The natural conditions of the sky can be perfectly simulated in terms of brightness, light distribution, colour temperature and sunlight.

Artificial Sky:

  • Our artificial sky offers properties that are unique worldwide:#Controllable luminance distribution
  • Controllable colour temperatures
  • A moveable artificial sun
  • Vault diameter of approx. 6 meters
  • Test realistic light simulation of different sky conditions (sunny, cloudy, etc.) for any time of the day and any worldwide location
  • Carry out shading and radiation studies
  • Light measurements (e.g. daylight factor)
  • Facade studies (light control, sun protection, glare protection)
  • Interior appearance, daylight atmosphere

Experiments & Studies

The Bartenbach academy sees itself as a platform for experiments that are separate from everyday project work. In teaching, the first step is to focus on “building with daylight”. Project work by students at the Bartenbach academy illustrates the design potential of light and visualises various daylight atmospheres.


  • Understanding the different effects of light and using them in the interest of human beings
  • To gain up-to-date knowledge of lighting (LEDs, light & health, the use of daylight, facade design)
  • To be inspired by the potential of designing with light
  • To use daylight as a design parameter and explore its use in the Artificial Sky
  • To learn about the effects light has on people (visual, emotional, biological)
  • To create atmospheric light and understand the interaction between light and materials

Experimente & Studien


Founding of the Bartenbach academy by Professor Christian Bartenbach:

“After decades of tirelessly pursuing and investigating the phenomenon of light and lighting design, of intense reflection and passionate work as a lecturer and guest professor, founding the academy and thus laying the foundation for a comprehensive university-level education surrounding all aspects of light was far more than just a mere wish.”

Introduction of the university programme of study to become a lighting designer, for an MAS (Master of Advanced Studies) degree, which later became the MLL (Master of Light and Lighting) in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck, conducting of the university programme for more than ten years. Establishment of lighting design as a profession with qualified training.

Founding members:
Christian Bartenbach, Christian Berger, Volker Giencke, Dieter Lorenz

The University Symposium is launched: A free, inter-university course aimed at students of numerous architecture and design faculties.

Introduction of the part-time, one-year lighting programme.

Christian Bartenbach takes over the Bartenbach academy from his father. The focus is on tailor-made, part-time light seminars and a unique light exhibition: the World of Light.

The opening of the World of Light: Christian Bartenbach expands the Bartenbach academy with the World of  Light – a light exhibition with lighting models and full-scale lighted spaces. Knowledge of lighting is put into practice!

Büro Bartenbach


Bartenbach was founded in 1976 and since then has been active as a manufacturer-independent lighting design office in Aldrans, Austria. The highly specialised family business has become the world market leader for lighting design and lighting solutions. To date, more than 10,000 projects have been realized worldwide. 

You will find an excerpt of the most important projects and more information about the company in the following link.

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Reading Material

Christian Bartenbach: Ein Meister des Lichts
Biography (in German)
Editor: Christa Klingler; Publisher: Müry Salzmann
ISBN: 978-3990141137

Licht. Sehen. Gestalten.
Lichttechnische und wahrnehmungspsychologische Grundlagen
für Architekten und Lichtdesigner

Author: Walter Witting; Publisher: Birkhauser
ISBN: 978-3990436585

Bauen mit Tageslicht: Bauen mit Kunstlicht
Authors: Christian Bartenbach, Reinhart Morscher, Hans Spindler,
Editor: Roland Gfeller Corthesy; Publisher: Vieweg+Teubner Verlag
ISBN: 978-3528081041

Handbuch für Lichtgestaltung
Lichttechnische und wahrnehmungspsychologische Grundlagen
Authors: Christian Bartenbach, Walter Witting; Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 978-3211757796