IKEA and social business Little Sun have teamed up to explore how design can spark conversation about the use of solar energy in everyday objects. The result is SAMMANLÄNKAD, consisting of two solar-powered LED lamps for capturing energy and creating light, launching in selected IKEA markets in April 2023. 

Together with Little Sun, IKEA set out to explore how home furnishing design can make more people curious about solar energy. The result of the collaboration is SAMMANLÄNKAD: two sun-powered LED lamps designed to awaken interest in how the sun can power everyday objects and raise awareness for the need for alternative energy solutions today.

Founded by world-renowned artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun is an organisation dedicated to giving more people access to solar energy in communities without regular access to electricity, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. The collaboration between Little Sun and IKEA makes the power of the sun tangible in beautiful and purposeful design objects. SAMMANLÄNKAD is designed to make people experience solar energy in a life at home context, spotlighting its potential as an alternative source of energy to power everyday objects.

“If we are to transition to a world powered by renewable energy in the next decade, we need everyone to recognise the opportunity of solar energy. Sunlight is seemingly invisible, but solar energy allows us to make the invisible visible”, says Olafur Eliasson, artist and co-founder of Little Sun. “The collaboration with IKEA supports our mission to raise awareness for energy access and reminds us that we have the potential to co-shape our world”, he adds.

Inspired by the sun and the earth’s angle

SAMMANLÄNKAD combines beauty, art, and design with solar technology. The design of the SAMMANLÄNKAD LED solar-powered table lamp is inspired by the sun and the earth’s angle and movement around it. The light source is in the shape of a half-sphere, which is enhanced through the reflection of a mirror to create a shining sun. The metal frame of the lamp holds the light source and is adjustable, allowing for versatile use as a pendant or table lamp. The light source can also be removed from the stand to be used as a flashlight.

“With this collaboration, we wanted to spark a conversation around solar energy and put the power of the sun in the hands of the many people. Our shared belief is that the possibilities of thoughtful design lie in its ability to create awareness and make a difference”, says James Futcher, Creative Leader at IKEA of Sweden.

Solar panels and rechargeable batteries

The smaller portable lamp offers practicality for outdoor settings. Coming with a yellow strap, it can be held and hung on a window or backpack during daylight hours for charging. Both lamps are equipped with solar panels and rechargeable batteries. The table lamp can also be charged through an outlet using its USB-A and USB-C ports, when not charged by the sun. With fully charged batteries, the lamp’s battery can also be used to boost the battery of your mobile phone.

“Design, beauty, and simplicity together make these products something that people will have in their lives, giving them the power to embrace the idea of solar energy powering our future, says Felix Hallwachs, Managing Director of Little Sun. “It’s only a small nudge that we can deliver, and many nudges are needed. But we are excited to see how much solar energy we can spread in the world.”

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