Products, Materials + Tools | Apr 11, 2014

Startup Company Announces New Controls Concept for Modern Lighting - "Grandma Likes It Too"

The m!Qbe makes it simple to control your light. Its six faces reproduce six lighting functions that can be easily selected by placing the cube on the corresponding face. Predefined favorite lighting situations as well as the manual adjustment of color and intensity are provided by the m!Qbe. It is therefore much more flexible than a traditional light switch but at the same time much easier and faster to use than a smartphone app for lighting control.

New lighting technologies bring reams of options to vary the personal lighting at home. An easy and intuitive solution is needed to extend or to replace traditional light switches in order to use all these possibilities in daily life. The team behind the m!Qbe was faced with that problem when the grandma visited them one day. She was amazed at the colorful LED lamps and she would love to take them home – until she got to know the control with a smartphone app. That is why the young startup from the Lighting Technology Institute of KIT in Karlsruhe (Germany) deals with the intuitive control of light. Now, with the m!Qbe a light switch is available that offers both the access to all the options of modern lamps and an easy usage that is a lot of fun.

The m!Qbe features six functions to control the light. Besides the off-state two faces serve as manual adjustment of light color and intensity. A simple rotation of the cube around its own axis changes these parameters individually. Once the preferred color and brightness are chosen for one lamp, the next lamp can be selected with a short touch on the face or the current situation can be transferred with a long touch to all lamps in the room. The remaining three faces store favorite lighting situations that can be accessed directly by turning the cube to the corresponding face. Thus it is easy to switch on the suitable light for different situations such as reading the newspaper or relaxing on the couch. The m!Qbe is the perfect light switch for everyone who wants to control the light quickly with a simple motion. In addition there is always a surprise inside. It never gets boring with the random lighting situations achieved by shaking the m!Qbe.

The 77x77x77mm sized m!Qbe communicates via Bluetooth to a gateway that is connected to the local network. With its open source software it will be possible to connect other devices of daily live in a similar way, for example the audio system or the roller blinds as well.

After the presentation at Young Design area of Light+Building 2014 it is now possible to preorder the m!Qbe on a crowdfunding campaign on Everyone can choose from different packages to implement the own ideas. After the campaign will have ended successfully the production will start and the fun for all and also our grandma will start.

More information about the m!Qbe and a video of our grandma having fun with it you find on or contact Franzi Herrmann

About the developers:
Franzi Herrmann and Chris Herbold found their passion for light in Karlsruhe, Germany. After studying physics and electrical engineering their paths have crossed as research assistants at the Lighting Technology Institute of KIT where they gained experience in development of LED systems for general lighting applications. While Franzi specialized in LED measurements, Chris is expert in system design of LED components. Together they complement one another to create unique ideas for lighting.