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IKEA and Little Sun's SAMMANLÄNKAD sheds light on the use of solar energy
Image: Courtesy of IKEA

IKEA and Little Sun's SAMMANLÄNKAD sheds light on the use of solar energy

SAMMANLÄNKAD by IKEA and Little Sun ignite a discussion on practical uses for sustainable energy by integrating solar energy into its design.

by STIRpad
Published on : Jun 19, 2023

IKEA and the social enterprise Little Sun have partnered to investigate how design may encourage discussion about the application of solar energy in everyday objects. The outcome is SAMMANLÄNKAD, a pair of solar-powered LED lamps that generate light and capture energy, it debuted at select IKEA stores in April 2023. The lamp’s design consists of a pair of solar-powered LED lamps created to spark curiosity about how the sun can power everyday objects and highlight the current need for alternative energy sources. “I think the massive solar panels and tiny solar lamps are the most common approaches to solar energy. Many people don’t have a real feeling or understanding for the possibilities to implement it at a medium level yet, where it can make a tangible difference in their daily life”, states Philipp Käfer, designer for Little Sun.

SAMMANLÄNKAD blends solar technology with aesthetics, artistic endeavours, and product design. The sun, and the earth's orbital angle with respect to it, served as inspiration for the SAMMANLÄNKAD LED solar-powered table lamp. The light source is a half-sphere, which is made brighter by a mirror's reflection to resemble the sun. The lamp's movable, metal frame retains the light source and enables both pendant and table lamp uses. Additionally, the light source can be taken off of the stand and utilised as a torch. “With this collaboration, we wanted to spark a conversation around solar energy and put the power of the sun in the hands of many people. Our shared belief is that the possibilities of thoughtful design lie in its ability to create awareness and make a difference”, shares James Futcher, Creative Leader at IKEA, Sweden.

With the SAMMANLÄNKAD table lamp, the goal was to visually enhance the home with a piece of our solar system through the use of a gyroscope design. “It has this heliocentric energy and our planet’s orbit around it in the first gyroscope ring at a 23.5-degree angle, which is the axis of the earth in relation to the sun. And the light, a half-ball, is completed by a mirror to become a full ball, like the sun at its centre”, Philipp explains, adding: “We wanted to bring the solar energy to the house, to show it in a poetic way for people to literally have this energy floating in their home”. Much of the power is contained in the mirror and it serves three purposes: it completes the sphere, slightly increases light power due to its reflective surface, and visually separates the sphere from the lampstand. The gyroscope's design serves as an enabler, with all of it giving a stronger reference to the idea of the sun floating in space. The SAMMANLÄNKAD table lamp can also be used as a pendant lamp, thus it could very well float in the house in a similar manner.

Finally, you have this tiny energy ball that you can hold in your hands and that charges on its own using a solar panel. The story is visible and palpable, and it serves a purpose. Solar energy utilisation is the need of the hour, and brands like IKEA and Little Sun are taking the lighting design industry on the sustainable route with projects like SAMMANLÄNKAD.

Text by Ria Jha

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