Public building: Theben KNX presence detectors control the lighting in the Horst aan de Maas community centre

‚t Gasthoês is a multifunctional community centre in the Dutch municipality of Horst aan de Maas. The former hospital, which was built in 1901, was turned into an arts centre in the 1980s. Last year, the building was completely gutted and refurbished in order to prepare it for a whole host of new functions. Today, the centre includes a large theatre, a library, reception and workshop spaces and a restaurant. The completely new electrical installation was carried out by Elektro Van Berlo. The company opted for Theben technology to take care of switching, dimming and smart control of the LED lighting.



  • Efficient control of LED lighting via KNX
  • Presence-based lighting control with connection to alarm and fire protection system
  • Integration of DALI and KNX


  • thePrema S360 presence detectors
  • theRonda P360 presence detectors
  • RMG 4 l KNX switching actuators
  • RME 4 l KNX switching actuators
  • BMG 6 T KNX binary input
  • DMG 2 T KNX dimming actuators
  • DME 2 T KNX dimming actuators
  • KNX DALI gateways
  • Automatic dimming of LED lighting
  • Automatic dimming of LED lighting
  • Multiple presence detectors in large rooms so they can be divided into smaller spaces using partition walls

The renovation of 't Gasthoês involved a huge challenge: the old building had to be completely separated from the gas supply. Furthermore, without appropriate structural measures, the heat pumps and cooling systems would consume too much electricity. This was prevented by insulating the building shell with additional walls and completely replacing and insulating the roofs. Nevertheless, the new electrical installation still had to cope with high loads, which is why Elektro Van Berlo decided that the building needed its own transformer station to handle the high power requirements. 12 sub-distributors now distribute electricity to the various rooms in the building.


Complex project with challenges

The installer also implemented the LED lighting, the KNX lighting control, the data network with fibre-optic connections as well as the burglar and fire alarm system. It was a complex project, particularly because of the limitations imposed by the age of the building. Wilko van de Kerkhof, owner of Elektro van Berlo, explains: “In such an old and distinctive building, there is a limit to how much redesigning you can do. There were also height and level differences between the rooms, which made it difficult to connect the pipelines and cable ducts properly and install them out of sight.”


Alarm on, lights off

Van Berlo had already built a sports hall with light controls based on Theben KNX solutions for the Horst aan de Maas municipal authorities – the client for this project. “Like the sports hall, the community centre is a large building with a complex floor plan. Before activating the alarm system in the evening, the caretaker must be sure that there is no one left in the building. We therefore fitted the various rooms with 147 Theben KNX presence detectors, which are linked to the caretaker’s touchscreen and indicate whether the rooms are still occupied. The caretaker can see at a glance whether the building is empty and, if it is, he can activate the alarm without any worries and all the lights will go off at once.” Van de Kerkhof commissioned system integrator Ron Deenen to carry out the software programming for the smart KNX systems and connections.


Energy-efficient and user-friendly

When the caretaker re-enters the building in the morning, the KNX system ensures that the lighting in all traffic areas is switched on at 10% when the alarm system is switched off. “Just enough to be able to see where you’re going. As soon as you actually enter a room, the lighting will be switched on at 100%. If no presence is detected after a minute, the lights will automatically dim back to 10%. This makes it a really energy-efficient and user-friendly solution.” Different types of Theben presence detector are used depending on the height and size of the rooms, with the thePrema S360 and theRonda P360 devices playing a particularly important role in the project. Gateways between DALI and KNX ensure that the LED lighting is dimmed correctly and automatically. For example, various atmospheric scenes have been programmed for the restaurant. Furthermore, multiple presence detectors have been installed in large rooms so they can be divided into smaller spaces for specific events. With the aid of partition walls, the lighting continues to work automatically in each of these spaces. The theatre stage is the only place where the lighting does not respond to movement, as this would cause problems during performances.


Theben stands for satisfied customers

According to Van de Kerkhof, Theben was the obvious choice. “We are using switching and dimming actuators from Theben more and more often. They are reliable products that never disappoint. In addition, there is a direct line to the company. The more intelligent the components, the more frequently we make use of this option when questions arise. In many cases, time is of the essence because we have got stuck on something and can’t move forward with it. The Theben team is always on hand with expert advice and explanations. For us, that’s a really valuable service. The customer specifically asked for Theben in this project. After the positive experience in the sports hall, where we implemented the lighting in the same way, the customer wanted to do the same again this time. And once again, they are very happy with the results. Theben stands for satisfied customers, which is why I would choose them again for my next project.”

Theben_Reference_Community_House Horst aan de Maas
Theben_Reference_Community_House Horst aan de Maas
Theben_Reference_Community_House Horst aan de Maas
Theben_Reference_Community_House Horst aan de Maas
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Theben_Reference_Community_House Horst aan de Maas