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The freedom to think long term.

Diehl Aviation's emergency lighting system is part of an aircraft's onboard safety, helping passengers to get out of a plane quickly.


Start-ups are popping up like mushrooms everywhere. But which technologies have a future and how can a large corporation learn from young companies?


People sit up to 18 hours in an aircraft. How can light contribute to the passengers' wellbeing? How can flying be made an experience?
„The emergency lighting system in an aircraft saves lives. However, we actually wish it would never be used.“
Michael Dietl
Senior expert for emergency lighting systems at Diehl Aviation
“We are not looking for the legendary white unicorn among start-ups, but for long-term partners!”
Dr. Mathias Glasmacher
Head of Technology of the Diehl Group and Managing Director of Diehl Ventures
"When a passenger feels comfortable onboard an aircraft, he will come back-"
Dirk-Achim Schevardo
Business Development Manager for Cabin Systems

Emergency lighting systems

"Emergency lighting systems in aircraft cabins are not so glamorous as, for example, in-flight entertainment. However, in case of emergency they are much more important: they always have to work everywhere perfectly," Michael Dietl says about his product. "Flying actually is the safest way to travel. We contribute to making every flight a little bit safer." 

Emergency lighting guides the way to the exits when normal lighting systems fail. Passengers must clearly see the exit route that leads directly outside. In the event of a power failure in the cabin, the emergency lights at the cabin ceiling and on the floor come on, enabling safe exit.


  • Aircraft cabins continue to be developed. Diehl Aviation shows what is feasible.

"Aircraft can be evacuated within 90 seconds, this is absolutely impressive. However, to ensure orderly evacuation, we develop a certified emergency lighting system for every aircraft program," says Michael Dietl. "A major component is the battery above the aircraft door. This is the energy source for the emergency lighting system and must be absolutely reliable and safe."

Complex tests have to be carried out to guarantee that reliability: "We subject the batteries to extensive stress tests. They are overcharged, overheated or maltreated mechanically to select the most reliable battery technology."

Cabin lighting

  • The following video will give you an impression of work on cabin lighting: 

Research receives fresh impetus from a very familiar but unexpected source in this connection: "Ideas from household appliance technology are always interesting to us. For example, the development of vacuum cleaners also has influence on possible new battery types," Michael Dietl adds.

The subject of emergency lighting systems has a longstanding tradition at Diehl Aviation. For 40 years, Diehl has dealt with aircraft lighting and on-board safety. Since flying has become increasingly popular, more and more companies have entered the aviation market. However, they do not have such an extensive background of experience. But this is no reason for Diehl Aviation to sit back and relax: "We want to stay flexible and curious to keep on providing our customers with new, technically mature and safe systems."


Connecting fresh ideas with long years of experience

How does a group remain innovative in the long run? Long years of experience can also lead to operational blindness, making it difficult for unconventional ideas to thrive. True to the maxim: “We did try it once but fell flat on our faces.” But many ideas only need appropriate timing and the right team to get established successfully. However, many corporations are finding it difficult to adopt the right perception for this truth.

Technological experience and fresh ideas complement each other at Diehl Ventures.

Diehl relies on the development of own ideas as well as the innovative power of start-ups. The anchoring point for start-ups is Diehl Ventures GmbH, a company that is linked to the central technology of the Diehl Group. Experts, who work for this corporate venture capital company, search for technologies, products and business models matching our own and identify and evaluate the existing opportunities together with representatives of the business divisions.

“We are not looking for the legendary white unicorn among the start-ups, but for partners in a long term collaboration through which both the Diehl Group as well as the start-up can progress positively!”, this is how Dr. Mathias Glasmacher, Head of Technology of the Diehl Group and Managing Director of Diehl Ventures describes the task. “Both sides can learn optimally from each other while testing innovative approaches and technologies. And the start-up can develop positively with our investment, our access to the market and our know-how.”

Currently Diehl Ventures is looking specifically for start-ups with fields of activity that match the strategic targets of our business divisions. These especially include new approaches from the fields of metal processing, connectivity, security, aviation and meter data management.

Connecting innovation and experience.

  •  “Based on extensive experience, in-depth professional know-how and profound market knowledge of the employees of the Diehl Group, we are in a position to evaluate very well, whether and in what period of time new products and business models can become successful”

Rockethome is one example of collaboration between Diehl and a soaring start-up. This company from Cologne is being supported by Diehl Ventures since 2016 and has already received -for the second time in succession in the same year -the renowned Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award.


  • Dr. Mathias GlasmacherHead of Technology
    Phone +49 911 947-2002
    Fax +49 911 947-3429
  • Stephanstraße 49 90478 Nürnberg

Light Verification Center

The Light Verification Center of Diehl Aviation has a floor space of more than 1000 sq m. It is the largest facility of its kind in Germany where the effect of light in aircraft cabins is tested. Passengers are to constantly feel comfortable during up to 18 hours of flight. "Cabin lighting is of great importance for a person's biological clock, and the service crew uses lighting to structure the flight phases. That means for us: every flight phase must have appropriate cabin lighting," Dirk-Achim Schevardo explains.

Depending on the respective cultural origin, light is perceived in different ways and so we adapt it to the airline’s wishes: "Scandinavian airlines like warm, bright light; in the Asian region, cooler, bluish light is preferred" Schevardo describes the different tastes. In this context, the surfaces reflecting the light are decisive. "We try to "paint by light": that means all surfaces should be illuminated evenly."

In top-of-the-range aircraft construction, designers use select materials and want to stage them appropriately. Dirk-Achim Schevardo remembers a customer who wanted to accentuate a particular kind of wood veneer: "However, dark wood absorbs a huge amount of light and thus requires a specially adjusted light source. We see ourselves as a link between engineers, designers, marketing experts and businessmen. This is of particular importance if the customer cannot describe his problem in detail."

Aircraft Projection System

  • Diehl Aviation regularly shows at exhibitions what is possible in aircraft cabins:  

Diehl Aviation is known as a supplier with highest quality standards. This is what matters in our sector: “It is important to us that lights can be replaced rapidly and our high quality standards ensure a low failure rate. Nevertheless, we want to sell the light effects in the cabin, not the technology as such or individual lamps. The amount of effort we spend on that guarantees the best results for our customers.” 

In order to show the multiple effects of light in the cabin, our employees check the customer's requirements in detail: "Light can make flying an experience again. We offer design workshops to show what is possible. In the cabin roof or in a light dome, we make emerge a starry sky, the airline's logo or duty-free products. 

The success of Diehl Aviation proves us right: “All Airbus aircraft and almost the entire Boeing aircraft family are equipped with Diehl lighting systems,” Dirk-Achim Schevardo proudly states.


  • Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Dirk-Achim SchevardoManager Business Development Cabin Systems
  • Diehl Aviation Donaustraße 120 90451 Nürnberg
Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG © 2018