„Schöner Brunnen“ in Nuremberg freshly illuminated

The „Schöne Brunnen“ (Beautiful Fountain) in Nuremberg is a masterpiece of craftsmanship from the late 14th century. The skeletal construction with pointed arches, ornaments and turrets are decorated with a total of 40 figures. The exposed, 19 meter high structure in the shape of a gothic church spire is situated in the middle of the Nuremberg historical city at the foot of the imperial castle and is a magnet for tourists from around the world. In the course of a general structural restoration the lighting concept was also fully revised. The previous area illumination has been replaced by a directed accent lighting which highlights the key elements of the fountain.

The prior illumination of the „Schöne Brunnen“ consisted of eight 205 W spotlights with halogen bulbs and a wide half peak angle. The floodlight-like illumination brought the top part of the fountain dominantly to the fore. The beautiful tracery of the fountain basin and the figures of the philosophers and tutors on the edge of the fountain, as well as the characteristic element of a fountain, namely water, remained unlit. This situation was to be changed with the new LED lighting. “Our goal was to portray the “Schöne Brunnen” as a whole in a positive and balanced light” says Norbert Hirschmann, the project manager from the city of Nuremberg.

Outdoor spots und wallwasher set new accents

The new lighting concept places special demands on the selected luminaires. It was especially important for example, that considerations regarding the preservation of historical monuments were observed and that the luminaires integrate discreetly into the scenery. The spots had to be dimmable, as in future, the brightness level was to be kept deliberately low so that the gilded surfaces did not outshine the other coloured surfaces. The short distance between the spots and the structure was a challenge from a light engineering perspective and required small and compact housings. The viewers of the fountain should of course not be dazzled by the light. These demands were perfectly met by the Verona 1.2R outdoor spots from Barthelme which were installed on the fountain lattice. With their elegant design and a diameter of 52 mm the Verona’s are discreetly integrated into the overall appearance and beam directed light at an angle of 34° on the most important elements of the architecture. In addition, the outer fountain basin is illuminated by the BERgamo HP Outdoor Wallwasher with asymmetrical lens technology (43°x16°). They throw a dimmed light low on the tracery thereby ensuring a harmonious illumination. Four wallwasher and spots are installed on the inner wall of the fountain basin. The wallwasher of the BERgamo series are directed upwards and illuminate the lower part of the fountain basin. The Verona spots, on the other hand, are directed towards the water and create subtle light reflections.  

Majestic lighting with low energy consumption

The demure LED lighting with a colour temperature of 3000 K supports the spatial impression of the fountain and immerses it in a completely new light. The fountain appears more vivid and interesting details, which in the past were hidden in the shadows, are now visible for the observer. The “Schöne Brunnen” harmonises with the overall appearance of the market square and with the illumination of the “Frauenkirche” (Church of our Lady) on the opposite side. In addition to the aesthetic improvement there is a further positive effect: the efficient LED lighting reduces the required energy input down to 250 W, compared to the 1640 W which was consumed by the previous lighting system. With a yearly operating time of approximately 1760 hours the city saves roughly 2500 kWh of energy with the new fountain lighting. This compares to the average energy demand of a two person household.


Image 1: The Schöne Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) appears more vivid with the new LED illumination and fits in homogeneously with the existing square lighting.

Wallwasher Barthelme

Image 2: Barthelme BERgamo HP Outdoor Wallwasher illuminate the ornaments on the outer wall of the well.

Wallwasher Barthelme

Image 3: The gilded figures on the edge of the fountain are highlighted by the dimmable outdoor spot Verona 1.2R which are discreetly attached to the lattice.