Lux Helsinki route leads festival-goers to the Kaartinkaupunki district

Photo: N2 Albiino

The official Lux Helsinki route for 2018 starts from behind Svenska Teatern and will light up the city from 6 to 10 January.

The Lux Helsinki light festival that gets underway on Epiphany Saturday, 6 January 2018, will once again lead festival-goers to the most beautiful blocks in the city. The route extends from Esplanade Park through the Kaartinkaupunki district to Senate Square, presenting a wide range of light art along the way. From popular international installations to specially commissioned works of art, the festival will feature everything from UV graffiti to video projections that manipulate architecture, as well as topical works that address social issues.

The starting point for the route is the Mannerheimintie end of Esplanade Park. From there the route continues past the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum to the Kasarmitori square, and from there to the Espa Stage and onwards to Senate Square. The route has been designed as a dramaturgical series that progresses logically from one installation to the next from start to finish.

Light art from minimalist to spectacular and from traditional techniques to modern forms of expression

The official Lux Helsinki route begins this year behind Svenska Teatern with a spectacular Italian installation made from thousands of LED lamps. Ilkka Paloniemi, Artistic Director of Lux Helsinki, describes the biggest installation to ever appear in the history of the festival: “Ever since the invention of the lightbulb, Italy has maintained a tradition of making really big light installations that certainly do not skimp on the number of individual lamps. Their installations are big and colourful architectonic structures that resemble cathedrals, bazaars and palaces in their delightful ornamentation.”

From Esplanade Park the route continues to the Kaartinkaupunki district, where the historic fire station will be illuminated as this year’s Lux Architecture installation. On nearby Kasarmikatu, festival-goers will be met by Ultraviolet Gallery, a shipping container that has been covered in UV paint. The work combines street art with light art and was created by six leading Finnish graffiti artists. The curator of the installation is video and graffiti artist Sellekhanks.

For the first time in the festival’s history, Lux Helsinki will spread to the Kasarmitori square, which will feature Lebanese-Palestinian artist alaa minawi’s internationally renowned neon light installation my light is your light… Made from neon light tubes and representing a roaming family, the installation addresses the topical refugee issue.

The route ends at Senate Square, where festival-goers will have the chance to try their hand at light painting at OP Helsinki’s light workshop. Participants will be able to keep their light art portraits as a souvenir. The route culminates with an impressive 3D video projection on Helsinki Cathedral. László Bordos from Hungary is a world-famous pioneer in 3D mapping who this time transforms one of the most iconic buildings in Helsinki into a breathtaking projection surface. The projection on Helsinki Cathedral is Bordos’s homage to the late Finnish musician Mika Vainio, whose music features in the installation.

“In 2018 Lux Helsinki once again sheds new light on our capital city. The stage for our winter festival this time is the impressive district of Kaartinkaupunki, where festival-goers who brave the icy conditions will be rewarded again by brilliant light installations. The streets, squares and buildings will be momentarily take on new forms as the festival breathes new life into the wintry city,” says Artistic Director Ilkka Paloniemi.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the festival, Lux Helsinki has a new look and new website that has been designed to further improve the experience of festival-goers as they walk along the route. The website has already been launched with details of the route and installations.

Lux Helsinki, 6-10 January 2018, 17­–22
This event is free of charge, fully accessible and open to visitors of all ages.

Partners: OP Helsinki, SATO
Network partners: City, Granlund, Johan & Nyström, Local Crew
Production partners: Bright Group, Sun Effects
In collaboration with: Hungarian Cultural Centre


The Lux Helsinki light festival is organised by the City of Helsinki. The event is coordinated by Producer Emma Lumme and produced by Sun Effects Oy. The artistic directors of the festival are Ilkka Paloniemi and Matti Jykylä.


Media contacts:

Annina Pikkumäki
Mellakka Helsinki
+358 40 575 5776



Lux Helsinki

Social media:



About Us

Helsinki Marketing is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for operative city marketing and business partnerships for Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing interacts with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts.