Luminous Textiles

Mentor Lighting Solutions

The design of everyday products can be significantly enhanced by using carefully considered lighting solutions that make them more efficient and better suited to their purpose. Integrating a (luminous) visual component has a positive effect on usability: Products can be designed so that they are more in tune with their context and better suited to their purpose.

Using visual signals and optical feedback in the form of light means that different device functions and feedback can be processed more quickly, easily and intuitively and new functions can be integrated more effectively. And there is yet another advantage of using light: It increases user loyalty as lighting solutions allow users to make individual adjustments to both the functions and the design of the product.

What is more, our textile lighting system M-FabriX allows you to implement “light” as a design feature in even the smallest of installation spaces. So there is no conflict between using light and achieving a minimalist product design and clear language of form.


Working with the product designer Martin Schmidt, we have developed a range of ideas for using our textile fibre mat in innovative ways. Be inspired!



Whether smart desk or hot desking – the workplace of the future no longer relies on the office as the central work space where all employees come together. There is a growing trend away from traditional structures, and dedicated desks for each employee are already a thing of the past for some employers. That means new organisational structures and ways to communicate are required.

The implementation of M-FabriX enhances the modern workstation by adding a new communication component, which uses light in specific ways to individualise the desks and show their current availability status in the form of different colour signals produced by various lighting scenarios.



Integrated in an adaptable, add-on desk element, the desk extension can be used as both a privacy screen and an acoustic element to reduce noise. As a decorative or functional linear lighting solution running along the edges of this screen, the integrated M-Fibre side light fibre system offers additional design options.

For desks in an open-plan office that are not allocated to specific employees, the integrated lighting solution can signal the current status of the respective desk, i.e. whether it is free or already reserved. Pulsing lighting scenarios can be used additionally to serve as timers.

For improved and more intuitive communication, it may also be useful to link the lighting solution to videoconferencing systems, such as MS Teams, Skype or such like. Using M-FabriX in combination with an RGBW LED allows you to create various lighting scenarios: If all employees are available, the integrated elements light up in green – analogous to the status display in MS Teams or Skype. If some employees are in a meeting or do not want to be disturbed, the elements light up in red or, if an employee is absent, the light turns amber. Integrating textile lighting solutions can also be beneficial in other pieces of furniture and interior design elements as a means of communication or individualisation.



Guaranteed training success without a personal trainer – achieved in the comfort of your own home. M-FabriX can be used in sports equipment so that it actively supports users in their training and helps them improve their personal performance. For example: a punching bag with integrated light panels. As the respective areas on the punching bag light up, users are shown – punch by punch – which spot to hit next. Various lighting scenarios – in the form of different colour hues or levels of brightness – produce a personalised training effect as they signal to the person exercising whether they are supposed to throw a well-aimed and powerful punch or only to simulate it. Information on how the punch was performed is also provided afterwards in the form of optical (light-based) feedback.



For example, a fast flashing red panel indicates a strong and powerful hit. Users are thus given direct feedback on their training performance. A smart control unit in the background measures the reaction times and the accuracy and force of the punch. The associated app – as a kind of virtual boxing trainer – evaluates the results and makes them transparently visible, helping the boxers during their workout and showing them what they should focus on to improve their performance.

For example, a fast flashing red panel indicates a strong and powerful hit. Users are thus given direct feedback on their training performance. A smart control unit in the background measures the reaction times and the accuracy and force of the punch. The associated app – as a kind of virtual boxing trainer – evaluates the results and makes them transparently visible, helping the boxers during their workout and showing them what they should focus on to improve their performance.



Looking for your seat in a darkened cinema and trying to make out the numbers with narrowed eyes is something we are probably all familiar with. The implementation of M-FabriX in cinemas and cinema seats is only one of many examples of textile lighting systems’ potential and their wide ranging use in many different fields of application. The implementation options in culture venues, such as cinemas and theatres, are manifold: Illuminated seat numbers provide highly visible information on rows and seats, including whether a seat is free or reserved. This can be communicated – and intuitively understood – with the help of different colours.



At the same time, the indirect light of the lighting solution can guide people in the darkened cinema hall. Apart from functional aspects, the use of M-FabriX can also help generate added aesthetic value. Thanks to individually controllable RGBW LEDs and by using several segments, it is possible to dim the colour levels of the lighting solution depending on the film shown and thus visually support the respective mood. The “dead front” effect ensures that the seat number lights can be switched off at the start of the film. The lighting integrated in the chair legs can be used as pure ambient lighting for the duration of the screening.



Integrating the lighting scenarios with the various services offered by the cinema can help improve the comfort of the audience even more. Guests who wish to order a snack or beverages can do so by activating a specific lighting scenario. This direct optical signal alerts the staff, who can then go directly to the guest’s seat to take the order. This does not only help to avoid the noise caused by guests trying to get the staff’s attention, it also makes it unnecessary for people to squeeze out of and back into their row.



Restful sleep is crucially important for babies and small children to process everything they experienced during the day. Babies can actually have a more restful sleep when exposed to the right lighting instead of being left in complete darkness. While the latter can be unsettling for them and make them grow more nervous with every sound they hear, light provides emotional security, helps them find their bearings and ensures that the right mood (for sleeping) is created in the child’s bedroom.

The integration of M-FabriX in the cot or in other textile areas of the child’s bedroom provides a pleasant level of lighting that is ideal for making the child feel safe and protected at any time.



The light intensity can be adjusted depending on the child’s needs and the phase of sleep: from a minimum level of lighting that is calming, but does not disturb the child’s sleep through to more intensive lighting scenarios. Light intensity can also be controlled to help the child fall asleep and wake up.

Another design add-on: You can use the flexible textile solution to individualise your child’s bedroom by adding colours and shapes to the design of cots or other textile elements according to your personal taste. From diggers and racing cars to cloud formations and flower meadows and to fairy-tale castles and woodland animals – just follow your imagination. By selectively controlling each area, a certain dynamic is created that brings the static motif to live in a calming and pleasant way. M-FabriX makes going to sleep and waking up a calm and relaxed experience for both the child and its parents.



Night-time operations and the coordination of the units deployed are particularly challenging for police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders. The requirements that personal protective equipment must meet are especially high when it comes to safety, visibility and individualisation in order to ensure maximum staff safety and the smooth running of police and firefighting operations with a minimum level of risk. Using textile lighting systems in special safety helmets can help meet these requirements and contribute to reducing the risks associated with night-time operations and the coordination of multiple different units. Thanks to its thinness and textile material properties, the M-FabriX fibre mat can be flexibly integrated in different elements of the personal protective equipment.


Using lighting elements means that helmets can be personalised through luminous colours, illuminated numbers or other markings. These luminous markers enable team leaders to keep track of everyone when working at night, coordinate large emergency response units and respond more efficiently to unplanned events or changes in the hazardous situation.

In a task force consisting of several teams, different colours can be assigned to the different teams. This makes it easier to tell them apart and helps everyone involved in the operation to recognise by the optical colour signal which team an individual belongs to. Textile additions to other parts of a uniform using the same colour coding as for the helmet can further support this assignment of individuals to different teams and areas of deployment.


Other areas, such as mining, oil rigs or ships, can also benefit from the use of illuminated elements in safety helmets to improve staff safety in their day-to-day work. In addition to that, status updates can be communicated more quickly and easily with the help of different light signals emitted by the luminous textile elements. For example by making the light flash at different speeds, a team member can signal to others that reinforcement is needed, that a situation is getting out of control or that everyone should be ordered to retreat.



The police, ambulance service and firefighters use traffic cones to cordon off areas and to warn of dangers in road traffic. The use and function of these cones can be significantly improved by using a softer rubber material and integrating textile lighting elements. Cones made of pliable, malleable rubber are flexible so they can be stowed in emergency vehicles more compactly – when they are needed, the cones are bent into shape and ready to use in an instant. The pliable material of the M-FabriX lighting solution can be integrated flexibly and compactly in such a product. The textile lighting solution also makes it possible to communicate various pieces of information on the cone surface.



Illuminated symbols, for example, can provide updates on the hazardous situation and specific details on what is going on. M-FabriX can be used to light up larger surface areas. This will significantly improve the cones’ visibility and make them noticeable from farther away. Especially in the twilight hours or when it is dark, these cones provide a higher level of safety than ordinary cones, which can only be seen when illuminated by the headlamps of passing vehicles. A pulsing light effect can also be implemented in the lighting solution to ensure the cones get extra attention. Other lighting scenarios that improve visibility from farther away can be implemented in combination with the M-Fibre side light fibre system.



Voice assistants have become an indispensable part of any smart home. Whether to request information from search engines, play music or control the ambient lighting – smart systems use voice commands as a way of accessing various digital systems. Integrated textile lighting elements can be used here as an additional means of providing information. Different colours indicate the volume level and battery status, as well as whether the system is ready for voice commands or whether any messages have come in. Pulsing light effects visually enhance the musical experience.



The colour can be chosen according to personal taste or current mood. Besides, a smart speaker with integrated lighting is also useful as an indirect light source. Placed on your bedside table in the bedroom, the soft light can help you find your way in the morning and prepares you for getting up even before the alarm clock goes off. It can also replace audio signals and alert you – with a pulsing or flashing light effect – when the doorbell or telephone rings late at night. As textile lighting systems are highly flexible and drapable, they can be moulded into the shape of the device.



Nowadays, many electrical appliances are equipped with various kinds of textiles. The purpose of textiles in devices such as air purifiers or jukeboxes is twofold: support the emotional experience and create a homely ambience. In the case of building services and entertainment electronics, the user communicates with the device mainly via integrated LED elements that provide up-to-date system status information or indicate through visual feedback whether the device is ready to receive voice commands. The textile lighting system M-FabriX allows designers and product developers to combine LED and textile elements. Thanks to the material’s maximum flexibility and the various lighting options available, large surface areas can be fitted out with individually designed lighting systems.


In air conditioning and heating units, the various lighting scenarios indicate different system states. Users can intuitively see from the colour of the light whether the device is active and whether cold or hot air is supplied at the moment. In this way, users receive additional information on the device’s functionality – and, at the same time, the technical effect of heating or cooling is supported by a visual signal and thus emotionally enhanced.

Integrated textile lighting adds high value to the product, not only for functional reasons but also in terms of the aesthetic experience: Acting as an additional light source for the room, the indirect light creates a cosy and homely atmosphere. What is more, you can individualise the device according to your personal taste.



An appropriate control unit, for example an app, allows you to set different colour hues that are in keeping with the overall interior design theme or can be individually assigned to different system states.

Martin Schmidt 2022


Martin Schmidt (born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1989) is a product and industrial designer and lives in Essen. After graduating from Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences (2016), he worked as an industrial designer at ifm electronic gmbh in Essen, designing forward-thinking industrial sensor products. In 2019, he qualified as a certified Usability Engineer at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology. Martin Schmidt is a member of the Association of German Industrial Designers (Verband Deutscher Industriedesigner e.V., VDID), for which he volunteers as Vice President.


At his own design firm “Martin Schmidt – Produktdesigner, Ruhrgebiet”, he specialises in efficient product design to ISO 9241 standards and has many satisfied customers. He assists SMEs with research, planning and design from the user’s perspective. For more information on Martin Schmidt, visit