Residents get to colour a park with light

A pilot project launched in Malmi in November involves testing an interface that allows residents to change the colour and colour temperature of outdoor lighting by using a smartphone.

As of November, local residents will be able to control the outdoor lighting in Ala-Malmi park, located next to Malmitalo. The area is being used to test a new kind of user interface that has never before been piloted in Finland. It allows anyone to change the colour and colour temperature of the lights installed in the park by their smartphones. 

The playful lighting system is intended to attract visitors to Ala-Malmi park and improve the pleasantness of the area. In addition, the aim is to test whether residents are interested in changing the colours of the street lights. The park and Malmitalo are venues for events, which the coloured lighting could enliven in the future. Moreover, the colourful lights have the potential to extend the event season from summer to autumn and even winter. 

“Lighting has traditionally been a static part of the urban environment, with areas either illuminated or not. The same has also been true of sites illuminated by lighting designers. Now, we are offering residents a chance to influence their environment,” says Jorma Tuuna-Väiskä, the CEO of the company behind the pilot, C2 SmartLight Oy

C2 SmartLight Oy is responsible for the solutions that control outdoor lighting in Helsinki, among other places. Their new pilot project is part of the Street Smarts pilot programme, which has sought innovative lighting and sensor solutions for Helsinki in the past. The programme’s previous pilots have involved testing solar-powered outdoor lighting and sensors that assess the slipperiness of streets in Malminkartano. 

Tuuna-Väiskä believes that the colour control pilot will provide information on what kind of lighting colours residents prefer and how they want to interact with outdoor lighting.

“We are monitoring the pilot with great interest, eager to learn how this kind of pilot is received and whether there is demand for this type of control solution,” Tuuna-Väiskä says. 

The pilot programme is part of the Helsinki Innovation Districts project, which brings innovation operations and smart city development to suburban regeneration areas in Malmi, Mellunkylä, Malminkartano-Kannelmäki and Pasila. The project is being carried out in cooperation between Forum Virium Helsinki and the City of Helsinki. Previous pilots carried out under the project have included the testing of movable urban green oases that diversify the use and increase the pleasantness of urban spaces in collaboration with Innogreen and Parkly.