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Illuminated Schwibbogen: Combining modernity and tradition

© Günter Gläser Leuchtenherstellung e. K.

Schwibbogen candle-holders from the Ore Mountains are popular Christmas decorations, even in the USA and Asia. With the help of PLEXIGLAS®, Günter Gläser Leuchtenherstellung e. K. has developed this classic made from wood into an eye-catching luminary for use all year round.

Schwibbogen candle-holders are an integral part of the folk art of the Ore Mountains. Originally, they were used to help guide the miners back to their homes, but today the Schwibbogen are a popular decoration for windows, especially during Advent and the Christmas season. Based in the heart of the Ore Mountains, the developers at Günter Gläser Leuchtenherstellung e. K. wanted to create timeless, modern scenic lighting that could be used throughout the year. This is why they combined wood with PLEXIGLAS® to create something entirely new.

Traditional Schwibbogen candle-holders

Günter Gläser Leuchtenherstellung e. K. has been producing traditional Schwibbogen candle-holders of the Ore Mountains and selling them under the brand name Weigla since 2002. Most of the wooden artwork shows scenes from the Christian Christmas story, from mining or from the forest and its animals. However, the Schwibbogen candle-holders are often seasonal and mainly used during the Christmas season. But company founder Günter Gläser wanted to create something new and timeless. “Since 2010, I have been trying out new material combinations,” he explains. “I was only really satisfied with the new combination of plywood and PLEXIGLAS®.”

A new material combination

Röhm’s brand acrylic glass proved to be perfect for Gläser’s project. “Wood and PLEXIGLAS® can be easily glued together. We also wanted to make something that would last for a long time,” he says. “Lighting and sun radiation does not discolor PLEXIGLAS®, which means that the colors are the same even after years of use.”

Furthermore, the material is significantly lighter and more durable than glass. “The excellent level of transparency of PLEXIGLAS® was also important, since our goal is to cast the motifs in perfect light,” says Gläser.

Perfectly staged landmarks

Thanks to the combination of PLEXIGLAS® and wood, world-renowned sights and landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline are set in scene and create an eye-catcher that is not only suitable for the living room.

© Foto-Oestreich, Lengefeld

Luminous 3D effect

Together with the engraving and the lighting, the material combination of PLEXIGLAS® and wood creates a 3D effect which makes the scene particularly beautiful.

© Günter Gläser Leuchtenherstellung e. K.

Atmospheric lighting

The PLEXIGLAS® and plywood are colored in parts, thus increasing the 3D effect.

© Günter Gläser Leuchtenherstellung e. K.

Timeless and modern material combination

The new scenic lighting combines atmospheric lighting with traditional craftsmanship. “The combination of PLEXIGLAS®, plywood and light creates an impressive 3D effect and a modern, timeless design,” explains René Weinhold, who designed the motifs. In line with the motto “Journey around the globe”, the lights depict popular buildings and landmarks from all over the world, including the New York skyline or the Eiffel Tower.

The lights are produced from fluorescent PLEXIGLAS® and plywood. Three-millimeter-thick sheets of fluorescent PLEXIGLAS® are first placed on a laser and the patterns are engraved into the sheets. The outer contours are then cut out. Finally, the PLEXIGLAS® is cleaned and the film peeled off before it is glued to the laser-engraved plywood. LEDs are installed in the wooden base of the light to illuminate the PLEXIGLAS®. “The light passes through the engravings and the edges of the PLEXIGLAS® sheets,” explains Weinhold. “And even when the LED lamp in the base is turned off, the fluorescent PLEXIGLAS® still shines brightly.”

Scenic lighting for the whole year

Due to the fact that PLEXIGLAS® can be precisely engraved, various scenes can be created. In addition to producing scenes from all over the world, Günter Gläser Leuchtenherstellung e. K. also creates one-off lights for companies and individuals. Due to high demand, there are lots of novel scenic lighting centered on Christmas, as Weinhold explains. “Thanks to the illuminated PLEXIGLAS®, they have a much more modern appearance than our traditional Schwibbogen luminaries.”

Popular Christmas deco

© Günter Gläser Leuchtenherstellung e. K.

In the past, Schwibbogen candle-holders were used by miners to illuminate their way home. Today, Schwibbogen lights still decorate many windows during the Christmas season. Thanks to the combination with PLEXIGLAS®, the scenic lighting has a modern and timeless effect.

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