Olympic Stadium Helsinki.

Historic building meets floodlight of the future

In August 2020 the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki was reopened after a general renovation. The historic ensemble, a flagship of functional Finnish architecture, retains its historic appearance outside, while inside it now meets all the standards for international sports and events - also thanks to Sirius® from SITECO.

The „Helsingin olympiastadion“, as it is called in the local language, is the largest stadium in Finland. Built in 1938, it has housed all the major events of the past 80 years: from the Olympic Games in '52, at which Emil Zátopek won three gold medals, to the World and European Athletics Championships and the Women's World Cup in 2009, the stadium has also been used as a concert arena by world stars such as Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones and Tina Turner.

Architecturally, the stadium in the district of Töölö is considered a symbol of Finnish functionalism - pure and simple and completely oriented towards its use. It has been a listed building since 2006.

And it was exactly here, in the balancing act between historical heritage and current technical requirements, that the great balancing act that had to be mastered during the renovation also existed in terms of lighting. "The new pitch lighting had to meet all the requirements of the sports that can be played in the stadium, as well as the guidelines of the sport umbrella organizations such as UEFA or IAAF," says Antti Pessa, director of the electrical company Assemblin Oy, which is involved as electrical contractor at the project.


Functionalist outside, multifunctional inside

SITECO had already equipped the stadium with floodlighting at the beginning of the 2000s, at that time with a conventional solution. Twenty years later, the lighting manufacturer from Upper Bavaria has once again delivered a state-of-the-art solution in the form of Sirius®, which shows the entire evolution of sports lighting over the past two decades. "Sirius® is the current class leader on the market," explains Wieland Rödel, Head of Sports & Area Lighting at SITECO. "It exceeds the specifications of the major umbrella organizations in sports, offers outstanding lighting quality with low power consumption and also masters DMX-controlled, dynamic lighting scenes".

A total package with which SITECO convinced in Finland - also because it was able to solve the problem of monument protection in the best possible way: while new buildings and other refurbishment projects require the pitch to be illuminated as vertically as possible, in Helsinki no roof-mounted structures were possible. "We therefore had to work with the existing low mounting heights and flat lighting angles," says Sami Laakso, SITECO Project Manager on site. "Here, the integrated glare control of the Sirius® was a big plus."


A perfect symbiosis of function, light quality and efficiency.

And the number of floodlights was also limited by the available mounting options. Despite this, Sirius® in Helsinki achieved 45 percent improvement oft he lighting level at the stadium. Highly efficient silver reflectors achieve particularly precise light control and special cut-off variants "cut off" unnecessary diffused light and put it where it belongs: on the playing field instead of the night sky. Tero Männikkö, Project Manager of the City of Helsinki, confirms: "The main benefits of the new lighting solution are improved light output, light quality and energy efficiency".

In figures, this means: a good 30 percent more efficient operation than an equivalent old system and more than 300 tons of CO2 saved in the next 20 years. The lighting concept therefore fits perfectly into the Finnish EcoCompass environmental program, which the Stadion Foundation has set itself as operator. This also includes measures such as running tracks made of natural rubber with a high recycled, content or, a sensor-controlled zoned pitch heating system using district heating. And there is intelligence in light, as well. Sirius® floodlights feature automatic constant light control: when temperatures are cooler and the system therefore operates more efficiently, it automatically dims. This means that the floodlights always automatically provide the right illuminance in summer and winter.


New lighting experience at the stadium and on TV screens

Following the renovation, Helsinki is now back in the top league of sporting venues. In 2022 the UEFA Super Cup, the match between the current Champions League and European League winners, will take place there. With the new lighting, the Olympic Stadium will be the first Finnish sports facility to meet UEFA's ELITE A-level criteria, as well as the IAAF's requirements for international competitions with TV coverage.

And it is precisely when it comes to broadcasting that Sirius® makes the difference. The basic criterion for brilliant TV images is excellent color reproduction. In this respect, the SITECO floodlight with a CRI > 95 even exceeds the FIFA specifications for World Cup competitions by far.  A second indicator is the Television Lighting Consistency Index (TLCI). Only TLCI values between 85 and 100 points do not require any adjustment of the camera technology for perfect images. Sirius® achieves 96 points - currently the best value on the market and a quality previously only achieved with studio lighting. Together with flicker-free light for super slow motion, Sirius® thus offers an ideal basis for outstanding sports moments in times of Ultra-HD and 8K. And not only in front of the television.

"All the requirements for the lighting including the control system were met. And we have also seen Sirius® in action at some soccer matches at the stadium. Illumination looks really good for the spectators," enthuses Roope Mutenia, Project Manager at Assemblin Oy.

And SITECO CEO Mark Henrik Körner is also proud of this successfully implemented project: "This project impressively demonstrates SITECO's complete expertise - in terms of light quality and technological lead as well as in managing complex large-scale projects."


[1] Savings: 317,580 kg CO2 in 20 years, based on the average 5-year CO2 emission in Finland (= 158 kg CO2/MWh) with 100% operation of the lighting and 500 operating hours per year


SITECO can look back on more than 150 years of history as part of the German lighting industry and today is one of the leading providers of technical lighting in the outdoor, industry, office and retail sectors. SITECO stands for innovative lighting technology and combined industry expertise — from large-scale volume projects to customer-specific solutions and trend-setting pilot projects. Solutions are compatible with control and data-management systems as well as IoT applications thanks to a comprehensive portfolio of LED luminaires that includes sensors, electronic control components and intelligent light management. This means SITECO provides much more than just state-of-the-art lighting solutions; it specifically offers ideal conditions for simpler, better and safer living and working today and tomorrow. SITECO headquarters houses development and a part of production and is located is the Upper Bavarian town of Traunreut. The company has around 800 employees. You can find additional information at