Design pedigree? Check. Energy savings? Of course. A sensory experience? Isn’t that what lighting should be?

VARA is the latest product from the design team at Holy Trinity. Two Germans, Karsten and Matthias, are looking to upend the smart lighting market. Who wants a boring light bulb anyways?

VARA Lighting

The fusion of design and technology. It’s what fuels the team at Holy Trinity, and I had a chance to speak with the duo about the inspiration behind VARA. It’s impossible to understate their passion:

As product designers, we always wanted to find the magic point where analogue operations trigger digital actions. We became obsessed with finding ways to make human interactions with household objects a more sensory and joyful experience. And that’s how VARA was born. To make controlling your lighting fun.

From the beginning, we wanted to create a modular system, which can easily be modified by the user depending on individual style and needs. The best approach to do so is by using basic geometric forms. So we were inspired by Kandinsky, who succeeded in putting these geometric shapes into perfect relations in his drawings/paintings.

The beauty of the VARA lights lies in the clarity, in the relationship between the geometric forms and the simplicity.

[divider]Modular Lighting[/divider]

What strikes me about the VARA concept is its modular form. Want a floor lamp? No problem. Pendant? Go for it.

We can grab the body and the light bar and fit the combination to whatever style we want to achieve in our homes. A wall lamp adds the company’s wall mount. A VARA floor lamp requires a simple base attachment to the body.

My favorite? The light bar. Attach magnets to multiple bars and it looks like you knew what you were doing when you decorated the living room. No one has to know it was Karsten and Matthias from Holy Trinity nudging us into a sense of style.

vara light bar

App Controlled Lighting

Light switch? None needed with each VARA controlled with an app via Bluetooth and WiFi. It’s not just an on / off switch. No, it enables the control of every LED in the light bar.

Remember, part of the holy trinity of smart lighting is a sensory experience? A GIF is worth a thousand words:


From the app, you can control the amount of light from a VARA, along with visualizing the energy costs.

[divider]VARA Energy Savings[/divider]

When compared to the stock light bulbs littering our homes, VARA is promising up to 80% in energy savings. The LEDs used lends 60% in energy savings while the app control can push it to the 80% threshold.

[divider]Holy Trinity[/divider]

While a Kickstarter campaign, Holy Trinity are no amateurs when it comes to product design. The duo has assembled an award list that puts pedigree in their vision.

VARA wall lamp

The team won the Red Dot Design Awards in 2010, Audience Choice as the 2012 IFA UX Design Awards, and were recognized by the 2014 Core77 Design Awards.

That’s not an exhaustive list by any stretch. Their products are already in use by some of the biggest names in the German startup scene. The Factory Berlin has given Holy Trinity its seal of approval, using its lighting systems for the famous startup coworking space.

VARA Kickstarter

Already a favorite project at Kickstarter HQ, VARA is looking to raise around $213,000. The campaign is in its infancy and is already nearing the $100,000 mark.

vara floor lamp

Pricing varies and depends on what you want. A VARA Light Bar is priced at $145. The pledge tiers are priced in Euros, so expect some minor fluctuations due to currency markets.

A desk or a wall lamp is priced at $279. Want a floor or prefer the pendant look? $414.

A VARA light package includes:

  • VARA variant as selected, including fixing for easy installation
  • Unique lighting app for iOS and Android
  • set up guide via App
  • control light and turn the light on and off as you like
  • change light temperature between warm white and cold white
  • dim the light
  • group multiple lamps
  • control a whole group simultaneously
  • create lighting profiles and save settings

Shipping is estimated for October 2016. It’s a wait, but the team wants to polish the app and get the production models ready. The manufacturing will take place in Germany, and Holy Trinity has lined up partners to handle demand.

[divider]Stretch Goals[/divider]

You can’t have a Kickstarter without stretch goals. At €400,000, VARA will earn the ability to wake you up in the morning. That beats the hell out of the ‘crickets’ I use on my phone.

At €700,000, the company wants to add power consumption monitoring to the VARA app.

The €1,000,000 mark? Light up the room and fill it with sound. VARA will sync to your playlists. Unfortunately, Holy Trinity can’t help those of us that lack any taste in music.

Head over to the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.

Special thanks to Karsten, Matthias and Linsey for fielding questions on the project.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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