IKEA has expanded their Solvinden spring/summer collection of solar lights (can you believe we’ve been writing about these since 2009?!?!) to now include not only solar but WIND powered lighting!!! It’s a fun idea ~ and designer, David Wahl, tells us more about them (and shows them in action) in the video on the next page! These were apparently “Inspired by the playfulness and movement of amusement park lamps” and “The designers and product developers worked closely with the supplier - even driving around holding a prototype out the window - to test the wind-power until everything worked.” Fun! Can’t wait to try these out in person… take a peek at the video and more pics on the next page!
Entries tagged with: solar
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It’s that time of year again ~ IKEA’s spring/summer goodies are out, and i’m once again fascinated by what they are doing design wise for low cost outdoor solar lighting. Here’s what they had going last year ~ and to be honest, and an upclose look at them unboxed… and a year later, the ones in my patio, some are holding up ok, some really just dont last long lighting the world up at night anymore. Perhaps i need to swap some new rechargable AA’s in. I’m intrigued by the new additions this year though ~ from floor lamps and desk lamps to pendant lamps and even snake like lighting tubes… do you use them indoors? but in strategic locations that get lots of light? They are apparently approved for outdoors, so it could make for a cute little patio set up… and it looks like you might even be able to turn the table and desk lamps on and off… so charge them up and only pull the switch when you need it outside? (Will this make the battery last longer?)… take a peek at some larger pics on the next page!
Continuing the obsession with solar powered playfully designed lighting... Remember that post last week about the new ones from IKEA? Well, i couldn't help myself and went and tracked them down, took a bunch of pics at the store, AND bought quite a few too! The real question really was, what is the quality like, how long do they last, etc... and bottom line, i'm LOVING the mini lanterns and the pod on a stick looking one the best! Also some pretty smart design choices on the lantern, but its not nearly as bright as i'd hoped... more pics of all the details on the next page!
Solar Birdhouse!!! Finally! Well, kind of. Here's the latest from Oooms ~ they describe their Solar BIrdhouse: "Why would only humans make use of eco-friendly technology? Studio OOOMS designed a birdhouse with a solar panel on it's roof. During the day sunlight feeds the solar panel, charging a small battery inside. At nighttime the transparent stick will light up and shed a tiny light on your garden. This light attracts an easy nighttime snack for the bird; all she has to do is stick her beak out of the hole and wait for the buzz."
As a slight side note ~ firstly, i'm super excited to hear this idea in production ~ i've been doodling and ranting with friends about the possibilities with solar power and bird feeders for some time now ~ my idea was more 24-hour-diner of feeders (less house like) ~ where in the day birds could get their usual munchies taken care of, and at night the light would attract bugs... but then most discussions got shot down by some of our resident biologists saying how it may turn into more of a bat feeder at night since they'd be the nocturnal residents most interested in the bugs... but that could also be pretty interesting! I also played with the ideas of bird feeders by day, lanterns at night... it would be so fun to have a playful project seeing what fun, functional, unexpected uses for solar energy in small scale products we could come up with!
Been obsessively shopping for solar lighting far too much the last few months ~ first as xmas gifts, and now for my patio space... so many look the same, and i was surprised how few clean modern options there were out there ~ also pricing was all over. Just noticed at MoCoLoCo that the new IKEA Summer 09 collection is on its way~ and after some IKEA site searching found all the new summer pieces here and all of the solar lights here! One nice thing about the IKEA selections, they all run on replaceable rechargeable batteries and use LEDs! Take a look at all of the fun designs on the next page ~ i can't wait to play with some when they get into the stores!
Few can say they took packaging design cues from fast food burger containers... although Miniwiz's Solarbulb has been making the rounds this week due to their CES presence, and the very interesting concept of a solar powered light that can screw on to your standard plastic water bottles, or on their POLLI-brick bottles that are interlockable to build larger structures... not nearly enough attention has been paid to their packaging prototypes and iconography on them! Basically these solar/wind powered portable device designers make incredible use of cardboard! Also noteworthy is their miniNOTE ~ a cardboard mailer/postcard with a solar panel and battery built in for your recipient to charge and use instantly! Such a beautiful gesture ~ can you imagine sending "power" to a bunch of your friends? Take a peek at close up pics of their designs and CES booth display on the next page!
Gift Guide! This one is all about lighting ~ i've recently found that one of my new favorite fall backs for gifts is lighting! especially when unboxed before hand, and setup ready to plug in or light up, there is something so magical about the unboxing experience and watching someone literally transform the room by opening it, turning it on, plugging it in! Here is a roundup of picks we're loving and/or wanting... and also a special section on solar lights! I'm recently been obsessively researching them ~ in love with the solar lanterns ~ and exploring options and design ideas on other solar lighting related concepts... Anyhow, check out the massive gift guide on the next page, click to browse!
Noon Solar. Just in time for holiday wishlists... a line of solar bags that look great. I am currently debating whether to order the black Cortland Tote.... and they were smart enough to put the solar panel on one side so you can easily choose whether to face it outwards, or have it face your body and look like a sleek leather tote... well a tote with "entire exterior and interior constructed from Bavarian sourced, chrome-free, naturally tanned and dyed, full-grain cowhide leather and naturally dyed hemp cotton blend" to be precise. It looks like the perfect size for a 15" macbook pro... close ups below of the bags and the technology within... read more about the solar power and battery pack here. Also a great potential gift for the men in your life... their Logan Satchel in brown. Isn't it about time someone put solar panels to aethetically appealing use? (Yes, i'm thinking of you, ugly solar backpacks.)
NOTCOT Note: Here's another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
The third-ever Solar Decathlon took place two weeks ago from October 12 - 20 at Washington D.C.'s National Mall. The Solar Decathlon was established in 2002, with the purpose of educating a new generation of students about the possibilities of energy-efficient design and also as a vehicle for educating the public about renewable energy and energy efficient homes. Twenty US and international university teams took part in the competition, with each team competing to design and build an energy-efficient solar-powered house. The various universities spend two years developing their designs and ideas, and also undertake the fundraising and technical research needed to build an energy-efficient home. The houses are essentially pre-fab units, built off-site first and then transported to Washington D.C. and reassembled on-site at the Mall.
The winning team was the Technische UniversitĂ¤t Darmstadt from Germany. Can you imagine transporting the house from Germany to D.C. (it came by boat)? The home focused on the concept of passive energy and was designed essentially as a box with three layers - an outer layer of oak, louvered screens that generate electricity with photovoltaic energy, a middle layer consisting of energy efficient walls and windows, and an interior core that houses the kitchen, bathroom and the majority of the building systems. Besides the outer skin of screens that allow you as much or as little privacy and light as you wish, I really like the multi-functional spaces, and TUD's innovative use of the floor which can be opened up to reveal a sleeping area. [Note: All photos are credited to Kaye Evans-Lutterodt/Solar Decathlon]
We've all seen and loved the Sun Jar by Tobias Wong for Suck UK ~ in fact its won quite a few gift of the year awards even! But somehow i failed to notice it is also available in BLUE, until i saw it over at ThinkGeek labeled a MOON JAR! So i'm quite excited and craving one of these tonight ~ more images below for anyone who wants to catch up on how the Sun Jar works...
More excitingly... i found this because i just shopping, designing, coding, and hunting through archives to get ready for the holiday season gift guide! I've never really done one before, but since i need to do it anyhow to figure out holiday and birthday gifts (SO many december babies! Myself included), figured this year no harm rounding it all up. In fact we've got some great sponsors lined up to help make it possible as well! (And if you'd like to join in and sponsor the gift guide as well please drop our advertising manager, Jared, a line - jared at notcot.com) Also, if you have any ideas for great products that shouldn't be left out, or think you know what will be THE "it" product of the season, leave me a note!
OH ~ and for those who are starting pre-thanksgiving and need some help ~ in my hunting today i've added more stores to last years post filled with stores for great gifts.