Solar energy meets design
16. May 2023 – Inspired by the sun and the planets, the light design and social company Little Sun, based in Berlin, has developed two solar-powered LED lamps in cooperation with the Swedish furniture store Ikea, which arouse interest in solar energy and are intended to promote awareness of fair access to energy.
Little Sun, founded in 2012 by the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and the engineer Frederik Ottesen, aims to provide inspiration for living climate protection and provide impetus for using more solar energy as well as spreading it around the world.
The idea behind it: Clean light is a vital resource. Energy enables people to build a flourishing economy, to found companies and to create educational institutions. That is why the first development of the company was a small portable solar lamp in the form of a sun. This was distributed to people in Ethiopia who lived without electricity. Thanks to this device, students can still study after dark, mothers can take better care of their children at night and the impact of toxic fumes from fuel is reduced. Today, among other things, Little Sun supplies solar energy for water pumps, cooling and drying food, and solar lamps for students, midwives and doctors in Africa.
The current lamp designs called Sammanlänkad, which means “connected” in Swedish, are two sun-powered LED lamps. The large model can be used as a table or pendant lamp and combines lighting and charging, which means it can also be used to charge a mobile phone. The smaller portable lamp is a practical solution for outdoor use; it can be taken
anywhere. Both lamps are equipped with solar panels and rechargeable batteries that capture sunlight during the day and release it in the evening. Through their collaboration, Ikea and Little Sun aim to raise awareness of the 800 million people worldwide who have to live without access to energy.
Incidentally, lighting technology is one of the current fields of action defined in the nationwide Optics and photonics cluster for the further development of the industry. The cluster was named in January 2019 as one of the key sectors and technology drivers that strengthen growth and innovation in the capital region as part of the Joint Innovation Strategy of the States of Berlin and Brandenburg (innoBB 2025).