Light & Art in Oulu

The city vision states that Oulu is the ‘Light of the North’. Oulu has a Lighting Master Plan that includes technical specifications and light planning guidelines for various areas of the city. Light plays a crucial role in Oulu’s goals for improving safety of the residential areas and offering comfortable and pleasurable urban experiences for inhabitants.

Oulu organises the Lumo Light Festival annually since 2013. The goal of the festival is to bring light and joy for the people during the darkest of times and offer new viewpoints to the city experience. Each year, the festival brings new temporary and permanent light installations to Oulu.

On 2 June 2021, Oulu was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2026. Light art is tightly connected to Oulu’s bid book.

Oulu has been a LUCI member since 2015 and has been very involved in the Network’s Art & Culture Pillar.

Oulu’s role in LAiPS

In this project, different departments within the City of Oulu will work closely together and in collaboration with international project partners. The local project team is made of representatives from Oulu’s Urban and Environmental Services, BusinessOulu, Cultural and Education Services, and the Central Administration. Co-operation with artists and other stakeholders is strongly emphasised.

Oulu wishes to continue developing light art in the city with the Light & Art Lab by exchanging light and art practices with international partners as well as strengthening operational capacities of local creative operators such as city officials, technical staff and artists. A new digital tool created within the LAiPS project will enable Oulu to highlight its cultural content and make is more accessible to a wider audience.

A glimpse of Oulu’s light art

Photo credits
Tähtitorni (c) Henri Luoma, (c) LUCI Association, Glow of the City Brook (c) BusinessOulu photo by Esa Eirola

More lighting facts



GENERAL PRESENTATION A municipality of around 200 000 inhabitants in northern Finland, Oulu experiences an arctic dark winter that provides a unique environment for urban light art and light planning. Light is one way to improve the safety of the residential areas of the city and offer comfortable and pleasurable urban experiences for inhabitants. Due …