SAAS: ”You can see a trend, especially in hospitality, of warm colour temperatures”
Based north of the 60th latitude, Finnish lighting company SAAS Instruments’ CEO Håkan Långstedt explains that light works differently there compared to the rest of the world.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
August 31, 2023
According to Långstedt, it is the geographical circumstances that make the family business unique.
— We have long periods where, in some parts of the country, the sun does not rise at all, he says. This is followed by periods where the sun does not go down below the horizon. The dark periods makes light a scarce commodity and we use it very carefully. This means small amounts of light carefully planned and small technical fixtures and we work closely with architects and interior designers to create the atmosphere that they are striving for.
How’d you describe Finns’ relationship with darkness?
— As a Finnish company, as mentioned, our attitude towards darkness if different. In the whole world, there are only a little more than 10 million people living this far up north with Helsinki and Reykjavik being the only capitals.
— Lighting is greatly about contrast. In dark spaces, you can create comfortable contrasts with small amounts of light. It is important that the contrasts don’t become scary but comfortable. This you do with carefully crafted luminaires that makes the light the important part, not the fixture.
What’s the current state of your industry?
— The current state is positive. More and more people are understanding the meaning of a well-designed lighting concept both for residential and commercial spaces. Technology is also providing more and more solutions on how to create flexible systems, says Långstedt. He continues:
— We work with architects and interior designers on both residential and commercial spaces. I think you can see a trend, especially in hospitality, of warm colour temperatures and the use of dynamic light sources where the colour temperature can be adjusted. I also think that in a lot of spaces you can ses that the lighting levels are smaller and more delicate. The whole concept of controlling your lights during the day and for different uses has grown a lot.
— At least at the forefront, a lot of customers see the value of a well planned lighting system. If it is a commercial space you should be able to see a payback in the form of how lighting helps you in your business. So that, for instance, your customers will enjoy your spaces and probably spend more money, your employers will be more energetic and perform better if their workspace is stimulating, and, in housing projects, good lighting solutions will help sell the property.
How do you project that it will change onwards?
— The whole technology of controlling your lights is going to have a huge impact on the industry and how we use light. In the future, your control system can probably sense how you feel and adjust your lights accordingly. Your hotel room will know your preferences and adjust the room to your liking. We are going to be much more conscious about light pollution and take better care to not over light our night sky.
And for you, what else do you have coming?
— We are working on several hospitality projects both in Finland and other parts of the world. We just finished a small hotel in the village of Fiskars that turned out beautifully.