Bathing in light– stimulate your senses and enhance your sauna experience
TEXT: ANNE KOSKI-WOOD |PHOTO © CARIITTI
Cariitti is a Finnish family company specialising in different lighting solutions for saunas and spas. For Cariitti, a light switch is not just on or off, but a possibility to create amazing atmospheres.
Light is one of those everyday phenomena we do not pay much attention to. When designing a bathroom, most of us spend a lot of time – and money – choosing beautiful tiles and taps, but hardly think about lighting. Yet the overall effect of a beautifully designed bathroom can be flattened with poor lighting. “If you shape the room by lighting the outer areas or illuminating certain elements, it is possible to make even cheap tiles look good and the space more inviting,” says Peter Ruokonen, managing director of Cariitti. He explains how the human eye naturally seeks light and beauty. A fine example of how to attract the eye is an illuminated bowl of water. It can be fitted either in a bathroom or recessed in wood in a sauna. A simple light source is delightful and beautiful; it pleases the eye, fills the mind with peace and joy, and makes the space special. “With light, you can tell a story and enrich the space,” says Ruokonen.
The latest trends: crystals
Cariitti is a pioneering company when it comes to new advances in sauna lighting systems. In the ‘80s, the company was the first in the world to use fibre optics. Nowadays, Cariitti uses a lot of LED and fibre-optic cables in its lighting systems, but is also adding new, exciting elements to the repertoire, including crystals. A crystal chandelier can be hung from a ceiling or act as a space divider, adding luxury to any spa area or rest room.
Of course, wireless technology has spread into saunas and bathrooms too. You do not have to step out of the bath anymore to dim the lights or turn on the music. “By connecting the lights to your mobile, wireless device or an app, you just have to make commands,” explains Ruokonen.
Different sauna cultures demand different lighting
Different sauna cultures present different demands for lighting. In Finland, people seek peace and harmony and like to choose traditional, dim lighting, whereas in southern Europe, people prefer to use colours. In Germany, saunas often have so-called sauna masters, who take charge of the sauna sessions by throwing water on the stove and fanning the visitors with towels. As they use white gloves and towels, UV-lighting makes the show more vivid and fun.
Also, the heat presents its own demands. Saunas in southern Europe are more like warm rooms, whereas in Russia, the temperature rises to above 100 degrees Celsius, which sets special demands on lightning systems. You have to choose the right technology for the specific temperature range.
Towards new visions
Cariitti is widening its expertise from lighting to also include the building of sauna benches. The first collection, Taive, differs from traditional designs with its soft lines. The back rests and benches have soft bends and corners, making the overall appearance more harmonious. The look and feel very much follows a classic, Scandinavian, timeless design expression.
The collection, which has been made entirely from Finnish materials such as birch, using local carpentry craftsmanship, has already attracted a great deal of positive interest from around the world. “Ideally, we would like to offer customers everything they need for the sauna under one roof,” says Ruokonen, adding that his aim has always been to take the little pleasures in life one step further.