Lightning system reneval in Maarintalo

The lighting systems of Maarintalo were modernised in Autumn 2013 as the illuminance of the former system fell below recommended limits
Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

Maarintalo is a study centre mainly consisting of computer classes. It is open to students on all days of the week, round the clock. In addition, it houses a health clinic and offices. The total floor area is 3,492 m2, of which the health clinic takes up 787 m2. The red brick building was completed in 1991.

The LED lightning

The lighting systems of Maarintalo were modernised in Autumn 2013 as the illuminance of the former system fell below recommended limits. Lights were controlled by using switches. In practice, this meant that some lights were always on. The illuminance of the new system was defined on the basis of illuminance measurements and Dialux simulations.

Goals of the modernisation project were to improve the study and work environment in Maarintalo, save energy and to obtain experience in LED lights before making new LED investments.

The former lighting system consisted of more than 500 T8 fluorescent tubes and more than 100 halogen or similar spotlights. The electric power of the system totalled 41 kW, its power consumption was 30 MWh per month and its annual maintenance costs were roughly EUR 15–25 per lighting fixture.

All lights were replaced by LED lights. Lighting frames were also replaced, as this would have anyway been soon necessary. As a result, it was possible to select frames that effectively remove heat, preventing any excess heating and extending the service life of LEDs. Motion sensor lights were installed in toilets and stairwells. 


The electric power of the lighting system decreased from 41 kW to 27 kW. The annual decrease in consumption, considering the modernisation project alone, can only be calculated, as other energy efficiency investments were also made in the building. The decrease in power consumption is estimated to produce annual savings of EUR 10,000–12,000, and maintenance costs are estimated to decrease by EUR 12,000. Additional savings can also be obtained as less cooling will be needed in summer. The project will repay itself in four to five years. Energy subsidies were obtained for the lighting investment from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

As a result of this investment, lighting conditions and the comfort of using the premises improved significantly in Maarintalo. Users who responded to the usability survey conducted in Spring 2014 said that lighting in Maarintalo is at a good level.

Sustainable campus

The key environmental impacts of the campus are related to energy consumption and transport. A sustainable and carbon neutral campus is at the core of the campus strategy.

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Väre ja Kauppakorkeakoulu aurinkopaneelit Kuva: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto-yliopisto
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