Pudasjärvi Church and Cemetery

Lighting that honours an area of high cultural and historical value

Benefits to the customer
• Peaceful and safe atmosphere though appropriate lighting
• Luminaires that are sympathetic to the style of the area
• Energy-efficient lighting

Pudasjärvi Church, bell tower and cemetery, along with its long log fence, form a wonderful site with high cultural and historic value. The lighting for the area was completely renewed in 2013. The previous lighting system was modest and utilised mercury-vapour lamps. Now, the unique beauty of the area is illuminated by Valopaa LED luminaires.

Financial Manager Maire Puhakka of the Pudasjärvi congregation says that in addition to improving the quality of lighting, the goal was also to improve energy-efficiency and environmental sustainability. The new lights were switched on for the first time in the Celebration of Light, held at the end of October 2013.

“We have received very positive feedback. Parishioners and visitors have all said that the new lighting is extremely successful,´ she says.

The lighting was designed by architect and lighting designer Henrika Pihlajaniemi of Arkkitehdit m3 Oy. Ms Puhakka admits that Ms Pihlajaniemi´s proposal to introduced modern LED luminaires to an old, historically valuable area was met with some doubt. It was soon noted, however, that LED lighting suits the demanding environment wonderfully.

Ms Pihlajaniemi says that the lighting design was a challenging project as well as a great opportunity. There are a number of unique objects in the area. The 1,370-metre long log fence is probably the longest in the world. The bell tower, dating back to 1761, accommodates the only known outdoor artwork of renowned Finnish church painter Mikael Toppelius. The cruciform church, which represents neoclassical architecture, was completed in 1781.

“You can use lighting to highlight many an object, but you cannot disrupt a harmonious entity. Lighting and luminaires must also be in line with their environment,´ says Ms Pihlajaniemi.

Pudasjärvi is now likely to host the most extensive lit area using LED technology in Finland. The church and the bell tower have been spotlighted from the outside. The log fence has also been lit, as have the cemetery footpaths. Ms Pihlajaniemi wanted to light the fence in order to separate the cemetery as a peaceful, safe location rich in atmosphere. The soft lighting on the footpaths is directed at the actual pathways, while graves remain in peaceful dim light. Lighting also highlights certain objects and thus creates a hierarchy amongst the pathways.

Ms Pihlajaniemi designed a new ValoT product family for Valopaa for the Pudasjärvi project. Simple, elegant luminaires with wooden lamp posts suit their solemn environment well. The colour of the lamp posts resembles tar-coated wood and the pine trunks in the cemetery. ValoT products have been used as short-pole lights and post lanterns to light various objects and routes.

According to Ms Pihlajaniemi, the optical qualities of luminaires play in important role.

“High-quality LED optics are extremely important. For this reason, I contacted Valopaa as soon as I was assigned for the job. Valopaa offers high-quality optics that can also be used in short-pole lights. Light is spread across a sufficiently wide area, even from lower heights. In addition, the same luminaire can be used to light facades and pathways. The colour temperature of the light also meets the requirements of the site effectively,´ Ms Pihlajaniemi says.

Site: Pudasjärvi Church and Cemetery
Completed: Autumn 2013
Lighting and luminaire design: Henrika Pihlajaniemi, Arkkitehdit m3 Oy
Luminaire supplier: SLO Oy
Luminaires: Valopaa Oy
Lamp posts: Tehomet Oy
Electrical engineering: Sähkösuunnittelu ja -asennus Markku Talala
Electrical work: Koillissähkö Oy
Contractor: Pudasjärvi Congregation