Company history

Since 1977, our company has revolved around illumination. Since the change of company name to planistar Lichttechnik GmbH in 1990, this has been our exclusive focus.


Founding of the company Karl KG 
by Gerhard Karl 

Own injection moulding with tool making 

  • Promotional products such as 
  • The floating ballpoint pen 
  • The blow-out flashlight 
  • Calculation of an aspheric condenser for projectors 
  • The world’s first functional optical rain sensor for motor vehicles; patent granted 
  • Negative pressure fuel consumption indicator with traffic light effect for Fichtel & Sachs 
  • Further development of the fuel consumption indicator for the shift indicator (successful test by Stiftung Warentest and ADAC) 
  • Electronic emission tester (CO measurement for motor vehicles)


Development of new markets:

  • Monitoring of district heating
  • Photographic technology 
  • Electronic monitoring devices for district heating pipelines 
  • Devices for the photo industry, among others for the company Jobo 
  • Flat backlighting with miniature lamps and LEDs, patent granted 
    This product is the basis for today's planistar Lichttechnik GmbH


Developments in the field of lighting technology in the new planistar Lichttechnik GmbH

  • Light boxes with fluorescent lamps in various sizes and heights using reflector technology and mirror grid technology (patent granted
  • Production for Kaiser, Leica France and self-marketing
  • Development of a colour temperature display for fluorescent lamps with traffic light effect (with patent application)


Development of new markets:

  • Lighting technology for architecture

Development of flat light frames and recessed modules for architectural applications. These were mainly used in:

  • Museums
  • Exhibitions
  • Trade show booths

2 m high illuminated columns for Hugo Boss 

Major architectural project in the “Transparent Factory” of VW in Dresden. 

Design Plus” award at the Ambiente trade fair in Frankfurt 

Red Dot design award


Development of new markets:

  • Industrial image processing 

Establishment of a separate “Industry” product group. Our luminous surfaces were adapted to the needs of a new clientele. Step by step, a large product range was built up. 

With the growth of new markets, a new building was created, which now houses its own sheet metal processing and an acrylic laser. Screen printing was supplemented with a larger semi-automatic machine. 

Initially, the luminaires still used fluorescent lamps. Later these were replaced by high-performance LEDs. The housings, lighting technology and control systems were developed and manufactured by planistar right from the start. This allowed us to optimally adapt the luminaires to our customers’ requirements. 


Increasing integration into industry

Expansion of the machine pool with a UV plate printer. Now it was possible to produce optical fibres in small batches and individual pieces. 

  • Expansion of a lower-cost Sled series and a high-quality Xled series
  • Development of machine and workplace luminaires
  • Updating the light boxes with LED technology
  • Winning over of many regular customers who are loyal to this day


Reconstruction and expansion of the business premises

  • The office wing and the assembly section were gutted and completely rebuilt.
  • Ergonomic workstations for comfortable working
  • New PC equipment for archiving and communication
  • Setting up of a CAD workstation
  • With that, we are able to provide STEP files to our customers.


  • New generation of devices
  • Download page for data sheets
  • New Xled-3 and Sled-2/3 generation with higher brightness and better control options 
  • New catalogue and website 
  • New web page with data sheets and drawings of our standard devices