Project details

Project type: Sacred
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Lighting Design: Casa Magica
Production and Technical Design: Sun Effects
Client: City of Helsinki/Ville de Helsinki


As part of the annual Lux Helsinki light and art festival, Lumenbeam RGBW luminaires were used to accent the city's iconic Cathedral.

We wanted to create dynamic colorations and gradual color shifts from deep tones through pastel shades to bright white.

Sabine Weißinger
Casa Magica

Helsinki Cathedral

Lux Helsinki is an annual winter festival of light art that uses Finland's capital city as a canvas. For the 2013 event in early January, the City of Helsinki and Sun Effects, their technical production and design team, invited an international roster of artists and designers to illuminate 13 sites around the city. Among them was the iconic Helsinki Cathedral, a neoclassical landmark perched atop Senate Square in the city's center.

Casa Magica, made up of light artists Sabine Weißinger and Friedrich Förster, was asked to create a video projection that would be shown on the Cathedral façade, supported by 36 Lumenbeam RGBW fixtures lighting the historic structure.

Weißinger describes the projection, called "Emergence," as "a piece about the zone of creativity, the horizon where the froth meets the clouds, the interchange between the sky and the sea (like the position of the Cathedral)." Synched to music, the abstract projection lasted 10 minutes and played in a loop. Meanwhile, 12 Lumenbeam Medium RGBW fixtures were installed at the base of the Cathedral's columns with a narrow 6° spot, and 24 Lumenbeam Large RGBW were placed at the foot of the pilasters with a 20° beam, accentuating the building's defining features.

Casa Magica, who intended to use LED from the start, remarked on the Lumenbeam's ability to withstand the Finnish winter. In addition, the RGBW was able to produce soft hues that were a welcome complement to the projection.

"We wanted to create dynamic colorations and gradual color shifts from deep tones through pastel shades to bright white," says Weißinger. "We also wanted to use the dynamic lighting to merge at times with the video projection. As the quality and impression of the video projection light is rather different from LED light, especially since our video contained a lot of natural elements with their mixed colors, it was important to be able to subtly adjust both media."

For Sun Effects, this installation fulfilled the festival's objective. "We wanted people to enjoy and experience different feelings and to get ideas that light and spatial works can spark," reports Tiiti Hynninen, Lighting Designer at Sun Effects.

What's more, the festival mostly used LED. "LED fixtures were the main light sources for this year's event as well as previous years," Hynninen explains. "We wanted to offer environmentally friendly and energy efficient light art experiences to viewers of Lux Helsinki, as well as colourful sparkles during the darkest time of year."

The Helsinki Cathedral installation was very popular, garnering much attention on social media, while the 2013 festival attracted an estimated 100,000 visitors.

Equipment Specified
12 x Lumenbeam Medium RGBW (narrow 6° spot)
24 x Lumenbeam Large RGBW (narrow 20° flood)

Applications Used

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