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Client: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure
Lighting Design: Realities United
Lighting Manufacturing & Installation: HERA LED
Lighting Control & Monitoring: MADRIX



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Istanbul's new TV & radio tower is a project of superlatives. Currently being one of the most prestigious architectural projects in Turkey, if not the world, it was inaugurated on May 29, 2021. A look behind the scenes reveals interesting details and the inner workings of the ultimate lighting system of this mega structure.


Istanbul Airport


Istanbul Airport


Istanbul Airport


The monolith rises staggering 369 meters high. Located on Küçük Çamlıca, small Çamlıca hill, it still towers 584 meters above sea level, making it the tallest building in Istanbul and the highest tower in Europe.

Famous architect Melike Altınışık spearheaded the multi-year project. It is not only a highlight of modern architecture, but also serves a very specific purpose. Before, 33 TV and radio antennas were situated on the ground of the hill. Now, their majority is concentrated into the single 145 meters steel antenna atop the new concrete structure. This reduces the electro-magnetic pollution by a factor of 15. At the same time, 100 channels can be broadcast simultaneously: world record.


During the tender, HERA LED successfully made it to the last three companies competing to create the lighting system. They had been closely following the construction from the beginning. Their commitment paid off, since they could convince the ministries and contractors with the help of the technical features of their system. The competition specified products with 24 V that on top used proprietary protocols.

HERA LED knew that this was not feasible due to the structure of the building. Instead, HERA's fixtures work with 48 V and the DMX512 communication standard. Usage of 48 V as well as their own software conversion to 16-bit data allowed them to use much longer cables for power and data, and they finally won the contract thanks to these superior product attributes.


First specified as adjustable white fixtures, the lighting system was later revised by the Ministry to feature RGBW color mixing. HERA LED opted for 36 units of their 'Procolor® AC SC Flood Light Beam Spot' to surround the large antenna on top at several different levels to literally crown the design, as the tower is said to recreate a women's silhouette. But that is only a tiny part. Istanbul is one of the largest cities in the world, attracting a steady flow of tourists. Being the new landmark, the lighting design needed to reflect the pounding, urban rhythm of the metropolis that never sleeps.

No less than 6,200 meters of linear IP67 lighting fixtures make up a media display that covers the entire facade of the building. The 'Sword® 100x3 RGBW 150 cm Radius Diffused' were custom-designed for this project. They feature 1 individual pixel including 3 mid-power LEDs every 10 cm as light dots to ensure visibility over a wide area. The result is a spectacular media facade that uses individual LED pixels to create an immense surface area for dynamic lighting effects.


MADRIX® 5 control software was once again chosen for its "user friendliness and its endless possibilities for dynamic animations". The software generates parametric content in real time and individually maps it to any gridded fixture arrangement with the help of pixel mapping. "We needed that kind of technology to emphasize the architectural features and make it even more exciting", says HERA's Project Sales Director Serkan Demirel.

The MADRIX® 5 Software provides well-defined, pixel-perfect, fluid, and video-like visuals that do not have to be inconveniently pre-rendered as video files and make changes possible within seconds. Communication is based on DMX, a technology that has been established in the entertainment-lighting industries for a long time. Due to the high number of 248,000 controlled DMX channels, a 'MADRIX® 5 ultimate' software license is in use. And with that, the tower lights up spectacularly at night.


Such an elaborate lighting system requires not only great content, but reliable performance for signal distribution as well. 314 MADRIX® STELLA controllers receive the Art-Net control data over Ethernet network and distribute it to the fixtures over DMX cabling. This approach is common and widely established. Still, it means that this is the highest number of MADRIX® STELLA units in only one installation to date.


Just as a single software is used for control, a single application is used for monitoring. Due to the high visibility of the large tower across Istanbul, its importance to become the new symbol of the city, and the realization that otherwise it would not be possible to easily locate malfunctioning fixtures, monitoring was explicitly required in the project's tender.

Enter MADRIX® RADAR. On the one hand, each lighting fixture is equipped with several sensors. This means that valuable data about the state of operation can be sent out by them in regular intervals. On the other hand, MADRIX® RADAR acts as the read-out by presenting all these different data points in a cohesive overview. The software can automatically initiate data and sensor requests in time intervals ranging from 60 seconds to 24 hours. In addition to mere numbers and values, graphs and graphical overviews provide quick visual assistance.

In-between, MADRIX® STELLA sends these RDM requests and replies back and forth between software and fixtures. It does so at the same time as it forwards the Art-Net data at its high frame rate for smooth live control from MADRIX® 5. The STELLA controllers process control data and monitoring data simultaneously and during live operation in a way that does not result in interferences. In this way, the unit's system is designed to prevent visual flickering or other signal interruptions. Continuous monitoring, let alone for thousands of fixtures or even in real time, was simply not possible with RDM before MADRIX® RADAR.


"Thanks to the high-speed communication of MADRIX® RADAR and MADRIX® hardware products, we can remotely monitor different voltages (Input Voltage, MCU Voltage), temperatures (PCB, Regulator), lumen-maintenance life, power cycles, and the status of each fixture every single day. In case of irregularities or problems, the software automatically sends us status reports by e-mail," explains Demirel.

By using MADRIX® RDM nodes, the MADRIX® RADAR software license is already priced into the product. The combination of MADRIX® software and hardware thus offers a competitive advantage no other system provides. "Visual inspection of the lighting system is impossible for large-scale projects", he continues. By employing this monitoring process, HERA's engineers can readily watch critical technical parameters, observe weak points, and even anticipate product failures based on the long-term data history; another unique feature.


The level of insights into the system is unprecedented. That is why HERA LED calls it nothing less than a "revolution in lighting". "From now on, we are designing all projects with MADRIX® RADAR, because it is the world's best lighting monitoring system. This is the technology of today and the future."



About HERA LED –

HERA LED has over 15 years of experience in manufacturing and projects. The company was founded in 2004 in the field of architectural and entertainment lighting.

HERA's highly qualified team of engineers, architects, and technicians aims to provide safe and sustainable lighting for your project according to the highest standards and wants to make your lighting design stand out. Its proficient R&D team conducts research, design, and production in the company's own production facilities.

Thanks to this vertical integration, HERA LED has successfully carried out over 300 prestigious projects until today and has become a leading manufacturer in Turkey as well as internationally.

About MADRIX –

MADRIX® is all about powerful yet simple products for creative LED lighting. This includes compelling tools for lighting management, monitoring, and control.

Benefit from years of experience and industry knowledge. inoage® develops lighting software since 2005. Our dedicated team created the award-winning controller MADRIX® 5.

MADRIX® products are proudly designed, engineered, and made in Germany. We are located in the beautiful city of Dresden. We are creating high-quality products for you that are easy to use and reliable. Innovative features and an unrivalled integration of software and hardware bring you the best results.

Venue: Nova Restaurant & Lounge
Location: Allentown, PA, USA
Manufacturers: Chauvet, USA / MADRIX, Germany / SONNEMAN, USA / Tirso Lighting, USA / WAC Lighting, USA
Distributors: Inner Circle Distribution, USA
Installers: Tirso Lighting, USA
Lighting / Visual Designers: Tirso Lighting, USA


For this project, we were responsible for not only for the lighting design but also for the design of the interior. We were commissioned by the managing partner of Nova Lounge to create a futuristic design that would create a great atmosphere for the guests and customers.

We achieved this by designing a series of linear, aluminum light boxes. These aluminum structures where all built off site and delivered with all of the lighting already pre-installed. We took this approach to reduce the amount of days that this establishment had to close for. This business was only closed for 9 days while renovations were being conducted. We are pleased to say that the project was an overall success and that the end product we created speaks for itself.


The lighting used was:
7x SONNEMAN - Gotham Light Pendant,
3x SONNEMAN - Gotham 5 Light Pendant,
70x WAC Lighting - Summit Track Head - Black,
200 Feet of Linear H-Track,
1x Chauvet - EVE E-50Z Gobo Projector,
1000+ Feet of RGB Led Strips,


In the end, a very distinct look was achieved by creating modern patterns that look intriguing on their own as decoration elements but even more so when the light comes on since they are back-illuminated.

The control system we opted to go with for this restaurant was MADRIX. The MADRIX Software runs on its own dedicated computer from which the client has the option to use the touch screen and select presets or they can use a mobile, tablet-sized device which has an onboard app which can be used to trigger presets as well. This allows for very easy control of the system to choose from simple scenes with solid colors to more dynamic, pixel-mapped effects.


Some of the challenges we faced in this project had to do mostly with building the aluminum structures and sourcing the covers that were made from a plastic. We did not want any seams on the face of the structure where the design lies. Therefore, we had to find a plastic that was 33 feet long for the longest piece and 18 feet long for one of the shorter pieces.


Venue: Hotel Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof
Location: Berlin, Germany
Manufacturers: eFour Media Architecture, Germany / MADRIX, Germany
Distributor: Visionstage, Germany
Installers: eFour Media Architecture, Germany
Architects: Sundukovy Sisters, Russia
Lighting / Visual Designers: Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung, Germany

Photos: Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
Photographers: Linus Lintner


MONDO-DR Award Shortlist 2018

Hotel Pullman was voted one of the top 4 bar & restaurant projects of the MONDO-DR Awards 2018.


The interior design of the entrance, bar, and restaurant area of this five-star hotel in Berlin was to follow two main design criteria: the German Bauhaus design style and 'zoo' as design theme, an inspiration caused by the proximity to the Berlin Zoo. A volumetric, three-dimensional light sculpture as key element of the interior design was translated into an 18 m wide and 10 m deep 3D LED installation comprising of nearly 900 custom-designed, 360-degree viewable LED tubes made by eFour Media Architecture in a high-quality architectural finish. Content for the volumetric LED install with individually-controllable pixels is generated and scheduled using a MADRIX server that outputs DVI video data in 'mapping mode' to the central video processor of the LED install.


Content of the 3D light sculpture had to follow the main architectural design theme, hence the content is based on animal and zoo elements. The various lighting scenes had to change during the course of the year following the seasons of the year as well as Christmas times. Furthermore, the content had to vary intensity and dynamics during the day. Since the entire installation is requested to run 24/7 and totally independently, a playback system was needed that incorporates an astronomic clock as well as a true calendar function that allows auto-calculations of start dates of the seasonal content and events for every new calendar year. In its final programming, the three-dimensional install displays waving grass fields with butterflies, fishes swimming in waving water, falling leaves in autumn, as well as snowflakes, sparkles, and burning candles during the festive seasons. A special 'highlight scene' is processed every day at 7 PM showing 'the metamorphoses of animals', where the guest can enjoy snakes, fishes, zebras, even elephants.


Neither hardware nor software are 'off the shelf'. The vertical LED tubes have been tailor made by eFour Media Architecture based on a very detailed specification provided by the lighting consultants of Kardorff Ingenieure. The MADRIX Software had to be extended with specially-programmed macro functionality to allow for the use of the astronomic time and calendar events, and guarantee 24/7 independent operation. No less challenging was the fact that the entire installation has been executed while the hotel was kept entirely open to the public, which put the installation on a very strict time schedule and the execution of the installation had to be divided into multiple phases.


The project is a perfect example of how urban characteristics, modern and state-of-the-art technology, as well as the most aesthetic content creation are combined, and lead to a pleasant and exiting viewers experience.


Venue: Konya Büyükşehir Stadium
Location: Antalya, Turkey
Manufacturers: Hera LED, Turkey / MADRIX, Germany
Distributors: Hera LED, Turkey
Installers: Hera LED, Turkey
Architects: Bahadır Kul Architects, Turkey
Lighting / Visual Designers: Hera LED, Turkey


MONDO-DR Award Shortlist 2018

Konya Stadium was voted one of the top 4 sporting venues of the MONDO-DR Awards 2018.


The design of Konya Metropolitan Stadium is a synthesis of contemporary structures and cultural clues, and an architectural highlight no matter what time of day it is. The large arena does not only stand out from the rest of the surrounding city buildings, but simply plays in a design league of its own.


By day, the facade is dominated by triangular, pentagonal, and hexagonal shapes that are often used in Seljuk structures. These tiles are painted in green and white, conforming to the colors of the local soccer team of European football. Metal gutters pass through the facade and are used to define the geometric forms, to drain the roof water, and to install the linear LED lighting system.

That is why, by night, it becomes something else entirely. The exterior turns into a large-scale LED media facade against the dark bringing out the asymmetrical design even more prominently. Fluid animations, moving visuals, and colorful and energetic effects are a highlight for visitors and passers-by alike.


Choosing the right products was paramount. 3578 meters of specially-produced RGB strip of the Hera Sword series have been installed in order to provide fixtures that could convince with their reliable operation in high and low temperatures, DMX support, IP67 conformity, durable materials, lumen output, handling, and pixel mapping.

628x X-CV3 constant-voltage LED drivers as well as 18x DS-4 fully-isolated splitters make sure that power and data are reliably provided over the entire facade. 4x MADRIX LUNA 8 Art-Net controllers receive the data from the MADRIX lighting control software (1x MADRIX KEY professional). Besides the standard animations, various shows are also programmed with the individual colors of invited guest teams.


This project presented various challenges due to the nature of the building and its structures as well as the short installation time of 3 months during the winter season with heavy snowfall. They were mainly overcome by a team of 9 climbers.


Venue: Granada Luxury Belek Hotel
Location: Antalya, Turkey
Manufacturers: Hera LED, Turkey / MADRIX, Germany
Distributors: Hera LED, Turkey
Installers: Hera LED, Turkey
Architects: Mısırlıoğlu Architecture, Turkey
Lighting / Visual Designers: Hera LED, Turkey


The 5-star Granada Luxury Resort Hotel is a project of superlatives. While being grand in size and ultimately in the number of lighting products used, the preferred lighting style is carefully defined to a color temperature of 3000 Kelvin. As a result, the building that unites the neoclassical style with a modern architecture shines exclusively in a beautiful warm white.


Our Ledstrip 30WW is used for 3435 meters with 720x separately addressed X-CV3 constant-voltage LED drivers on all balconies. 5323x PD60S 3000K Pixel Dots were used in hotel sections, floor finishes, and roof domes. They are thoroughly painted in colors that hide them in the walls and other elements of the building (white, cream, and blue). Also, a total of 11,779x PD130 3000K chain pixel products have been installed in interwoven patterns. Being a solution for helical surfaces, they ensure illumination on a homogeneous surface without creating shadows. In addition, 182x Procolor 35WW 3000K and 486x Procolor 10WW 3000K washers were used to accentuate the walls. All 3000K LEDs that were used work in the narrow MacAdam 2-step ellipse.


The entire, automated lighting system with our special DMX relays is controlled by a full MADRIX system (7x MADRIX LUNA 16, 2x MADRIX LUNA 8, 1x MADRIX KEY ultimate). The very special visual appearance could be achieved by combining and controlling the different fixtures, or all 3000K, single-color lights. The concept has been design to complement the exterior illumination of the neoclassical and modern architecture as well as the detailed structures of the hotel.


The large scale of the project made coordination with other departments that were involved difficult in order to provide trouble-free lighting at thousands of points without even a single cable being visible. In 35 m heights, the dome illuminations need to be installed by climber teams rappeling down from the top.


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