Helvar Espoo office - a lighting showcase


Helvar Espoo office - a lighting showcase

Espoo, Finland

Latest lighting innovations in everyday use

“When we started building our new Espoo office in Finland, our Lighting Intelligence personnel was working from several locations and customers had limited opportunities to see all the latest lighting innovations and research. So, there was a need to bring everyone together into one common space with flexible spaces supporting an activity based working model, and to create a state of the art office location for showcasing and testing new lighting innovations,” says Lars Hellström, Business Development Director.

The new office is located in Keilaniemi, a high-rise business district mostly known for the numerous head offices of large corporations, a short distance from central Helsinki. It has a variety of comfortable and productive working and meeting spaces; from single person phone booths and small brainstorm spaces, to boardroom-sized meeting rooms and training rooms which can be flexibly divided with temporary walls to create smaller meeting places. The social kitchen area supports informal discussions between all employees, from Product Management, Research & Development, Sales, Marketing, Technical Support and Customer Services.


The office today works as an easily updateable showcase and test bed for the latest lighting innovations. Customers are greeted with a bright and energising lobby area and other spaces where all the latest Helvar innovations come to life. The product development team can easily test new products in real spaces and get fast feedback from real users before finalising the solutions for customers.

The lobby’s stretch ceiling, a suspended ceiling system where the light sources shine through a lightweight fabric stretched over the whole luminous area, is optimised for human centric lighting. The white light can be tuned from 3000 K to 6500 K and from near 0% to 100%, depending on time of day or the ambience required. The light levels can be adjusted with the stylish and intuitive ILLUSTRIS touch panel or SceneSet mobile app integrated into the Helvar Imagine lighting control system.


In the development space, the Imagine lighting system uses Helvar’s new Light Over Time feature to create dynamic and comfortable human centric lighting. Light Over Time is a graphical user interface which can be used to pre-program different lighting situations that support the circadian rhythm of the developers using the space. For example, in the morning, the light is tuned to awakening 5000 K with 100% illumination to create a fresh and stimulating start for a working day. In the evening, the colour temperature is gradually lowered to 3000 K to create a softer and more relaxing white light for the space. The sensors in the space track movement and monitor external lighting, and turn the lighting gradually off when the space is not used, and dim it down when the external light is providing natural lighting for the space.

ActiveAhead®, a continuously adaptive, wireless lighting control solution, is installed in other areas of the building. This unique system brings enhanced comfort and convenience together with energy savings, thanks to its self-learning algorithm. As such, the ActiveAhead-powered luminaires have been learning from the moment they were installed. By monitoring and memorising the movement patterns of the Helvar staff, the system constantly learns and adapts to changing circumstances. For example, office alterations will be noted and lights will be automatically re-programmed to seamlessly operate with the new layout.

Helvar PIR and daylight sensors are installed throughout the office. These offer presence detection and ‘constant’ light level monitoring to maximise personal comfort and productivity of Helvar staff in the various office spaces. They also ensure that daylight harvesting, energy-saving and automated lighting control are prioritised. The DALI luminaires in the building originate from a wide variety of manufacturers but have one thing in common – they are all equipped with Helvar drivers.

“The company is at an exciting point in its growth and a significant part of that future is our developments in wired and wireless lighting control solutions and cloud services. Our new Espoo office supports us with an exciting and energising environment that enables new flexible ways of working, helping us to excel for the benefit of our customers and partners,” says Hellström.


“It is a pleasure to be part of a smaller carbon footprint for the company. You feel that the company really wants to have an effect on climate change by having the lights on only when they are needed."

"It's easy and comfortable and you don’t have to worry about the lighting. The lights turn on when you enter a space, and turn off when you have left."

"When you are the first person to enter the office in in the morning, the stretch ceiling in the lobby turns on and you experience a beautiful 4000 K light from the whole ceiling, and you get such a bright and awakening feeling.”

"In the evening, the lower light levels and the warmer white light calm you down, as you get ready to relax at home."

"When I want to make a presentation in a meeting room, it's convenient when I can just press the "Presentation" button in the control panel, and the lights near the screen dim down. On my desk, I have a wireless switch which I can use to control the nearest luminaire above me. We even have voice controlled lighting in some meeting rooms. I love using the newest lighting innovations in my daily work."

TEXT Wildwood, PICTURES Heljä Korkala, Anders Portman

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