Biolux HCL Control Unit

- A beauty on the outside, A beast on the inside -

A simple and abstract design on the outside, smart and sophisticated on the inside. The in 2020 by German Innovation and Red Dot awarded LEDVANCE BIOLUX Human Centric Lighting (HCL) Control Unit – designed and produced by Pilotfish – always ensures the right light at the right time of the day.


The award winning unit is a controller for HCL luminaires, a modern concept in lighting which centers around people and positively impacts general well-being and health.

The human body has the ability to adapt its biological functions in a 24-hour cycle. This so called circadian rhythm allows us to perform recurrent actions like eating and sleeping. The HCL system positively influences this natural biological rhythm. It uses integral lighting design to deliver the benefits of natural light to users, with proven positive impact on health and well-being. The innovative controller is a product of LEDVANCE, a spin-off of the German lighting company OSRAM.

Controlled lighting stimulation
Besides stabilizing the internal clock, the HCL system can be further tailored with the control unit. The user can easily choose from different lighting moods like BOOST when a brainstorm meeting takes place end of the day and there is extra stimulation needed in order to be active and productive or RELAX after the job is done.

An invitation to touch and interact with
Pilotfish was responsible for the complete development of the wall-mounted control unit, including industrial design, user interface design, electronic design, the mechanical engineering and even the production. From a design point of view Pilotfish kept it very simple and abstract; no unnecessary feature but focus on the main purpose: invite to touch it and interact with it. At the moment you touch it, it will light up and the effect becomes tangible, but if it’s untouched you might not even notice there’s something on the wall. It basically blends into the interior.

There is more under the hood
This was probably the biggest challenge of designing this device. It has the function to materialize the concept. At first sight, you don’t see anything of the advanced system that is controlled by the device, but at the same time it needs show that there’s more under the hood and it’s not just a basic light switch. It is the physical touchpoint of the system.

The exceptional design was also recognized by the international jury of the Red Dot Award and German Innovation Award in 2020.

Pilotfish did: 

Product DNA

The product DNA phase is where we define all the overall feeling of the product and define all the necessary requirements. As well with the basic setup of parts and working principle. The end result is the initial release of the PD document.

ID & UX Design

During the ID phase, we create the product’s appearance and user interaction. We not only make sure that the product is designed to be ergonomically friendly and visually appealing but also keep the production feasibility and cost needs in mind. By working hand in hand with engineers and production managers, we design the product to minimize the risks and costs that may occur during the production

Mechanical & Electronic Engineering

Our team of engineers designs the encasement and all details for production, including draft angles, screw bosses and ribs for assembly. The engineering work is tested with working prototypes and the final deliverables are 3D files and supporting documents ready to start tooling. Pilotfish also takes care the development of the electronics with the support of our team in Taiwan.


Proof of Concept

In the POC phase, we develop the working principles and test them. All critical and unknown aspects of the product have to be understood and problems must be solved before moving onto the next phase.

Tooling & Production

Pilotfish oversees all tool design and the quality control of the tool production. We diligently work with trial samples until we reach the golden sample, or in other words, the perfect set of finished parts. During the pilot run, small batches of the product are made for end users to test as well as for marketing and promotional purposes and CE/FCC certification. After the pilot run, Pilotfish manages the production of the finished, ready to sell product.

Final Assembly

Designing parts for efficient product assembly is a crucial consideration during hardware development. We ensure that the product is designed with the minimum number of steps on the assembly line in order to avoid costs and production delays. Although Pilotfish can design the quality control (QC) process and all necessary test jigs, we keep the process transparent. If desired, the client can always do their own QC or determine how many items we should test. We can test every item that comes off the production line or sample only a specific percentage of the production batch.


The product is only finished when it’s packaged and ready to be shipped to the final customer. We deliver a fully finished product, including the packaging design and the product manual. We also source the necessary accessories (for example, a suitable charger or cables) and take care of export packaging for sea and air freight.


The overall design was quite complex, Pilotfish needed to handle high voltages to low voltages, integrated a ZigBee chip as a wireless standard and the newest high-tech ST-chip for Bluetooth connection as well, all combined with a LED display, a challenging combination.


Ultimate haptic sensation
Pilotfish put a lot of energy in the haptic sensation. The rotation runs on a ball-bearing which feels very smooth. This, in combination with a distinctive click for blending into different modes, will give an ultimate precision and very solid feeling while operating the device.