Bright Ideas

Lighting products, which merge art, innovation and practicality, continue to emerge in force


Winner of the Dezeen lighting design of the year 2021, Sunne is a self-powered interior light. During the day, the fitting captures solar energy, storing it in an integrated battery, which powers light emissions at night. The light turns itself on automatically at dusk and has three settings that imitate the colours of the sky: Sunne Rise, Sunne Light and Sunne Set.

Designed to be hung in front of windows by two steel wires, the fitting is made from one long (80cm) curved strip of anodised aluminium. Shaped like the horizon, the curve is also practical, providing a larger surface area that allows for the maximum number of solar cells.

SOLAR-POWERED, 3D-printed, created from compostable materials – sustainable design and manufacturing principles are taking lighting products into new areas. Some are still at protoype or concept stage, but the following luminaires offer a glimpse into the possibilities and future directions of environmentally-friendly lighting
SOLAR-POWERED, 3D-printed, created from compostable materials – sustainable design and manufacturing principles are taking lighting products into new areas. Some are still at protoype or concept stage, but the following luminaires offer a glimpse into the possibilities and future directions of environmentally-friendly lighting

Sunne is the first in a planned series of products that aim to change our perspective on solar energy and the way it is implemented in our daily lives. ‘Solar energy can be integrated both beautifully and intelligently,’ says Marjan van Aubel, whose studio specialises in innovative solar design, with the aim of making solar power more accessible for everyone.

One of her previous innovations is the current window, a modern take on stained glass where coloured panels of glass generate electricity from daylight, which can then be used to power appliances indoors.

Her works are featured in the permanent collections of MoMA, the V&A and Vitra Design Museum, among many others, and she has collaborated with Cos, Timberland and Swarovski (Cyanometer, see FX July 2019) with the aim of accelerating global energy transition to solar.


Set up in 2018, Milan-based Krill Design is an Italian studio specialising in the development of new design products using a ‘100% circular and sustainable process’. Its first fruit, as it were, is the Ohmie lamp, which is made from the peel of Sicilian oranges combined with a plant-derived biopolymer.

Each lamp contains the peel of two to three oranges, sourced as waste from the food industry. They are dried, ground into a powder, and then mixed with the biopolymer. The resultant material is extruded in the form of a filament, which is then used in a conventional FDM (fused deposition modelling) 3D printer to build the main body of the lamp. Designed to use as little material as possible, the body is made up of one continuous strand of the filament, laid down in successive layers (while heated to a molten state) in a spiral pattern.

The finished product has the texture of actual orange peel, along with the natural colour. Because of variations between individual oranges, the exact colour will vary slightly from lamp to lamp.

Once printed, each lamp is equipped with a USB-plug power cord, a dimmer switch and an LED source with an output of 70-90lm. It is designed so that the beam of light is angled on to a work surface. It’s quite dinky – 23cm tall and weighing 150g. Should you tire of it, there is always the compost heap.


Another Gold Green winner in the Build Back Better Awards, Parelia was described by the judges as ‘a big step forward in materials and manufacturing process’. It is a new version of an existing award-winning design, made from polylactic acid (PLA), a synthetic polymer based on lactic acid and obtained in an environmentally friendly way from corn starch. The biocompatible thermoplastic allows the luminaire body to be manufactured using a 3D-printing process.

PLA products feature low moisture absorption and low flammability, as well as high UV resistance, colour fastness and bending strength. The real advantage of PLA compared with conventional plastics, however, is its biodegradability. Under industrial composting conditions, the material decomposes entirely in just a few months.

The fitting retains its sophisticated, glare-free optics, generating 80% indirect light. Aside from the housing, parts of the diffuser optic are also made from sustainable material. The next step, says Trilux, is to analyse the quality and performance of the PLA Parelia under real-world operating conditions.


Lighting designer Danheap has worked with acrylic specialist Midton and Thomas Bowden Design to create two exterior floor wash luminaires and two interior pendants made from recycled and recyclable material.

Early last year, Argyle-based Midton, which had manufactured Danheap’s Resin Drop pendants for several years, developed an innovative new material, Remade, using up to 70% reclaimed acrylic waste. The company now takes its factory waste and chips it into pieces of varying sizes. The chips are then mixed with a tint and a small bonding element to form the new material.

Using this process, Remade can be moulded, shaped and machined in the same way as virgin acrylic. The end material is 60-70% (according to the size of chips) recycled and 100% recyclable, and can be returned to Midton for recycling at the end of its life.

The two IP65 LED exterior floor wash luminaires are scaled-down versions of Danheap’s cast concrete fitting, Lightweight, and designed for lighting driveways/pathways, and garden or pool areas. Featherweight is an opal cast, reminiscent of glowing crystal, providing a directional 160o wash.

Heavyweight is a highly reflective, gloss black luminaire. There is also a choice of colour temperatures and RGB/ RGBW options.

All that Glitters and All that Glows are long, tubular pedants that come in black and white respectively.


The Lighting Research Center (LRC) has created a prototype of a 3D-printed interior wall with integral luminaire for building construction.

LRC is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York state, and the project is the result of its 3D printing for lighting research programme. The wall was printed at the LRC laboratory with functional and decorative features, including the mechanisms required for lighting. The aim is to create a cohesive, whole-system interior architecture that integrates electrical, mechanical and thermal components.

Because 3D-printed products are created through CAD models, wall designs can be easily modified to meet different codes, standards and aesthetic requirements. They also allow custom lighting to be incorporated from the start rather than added on at the end, says LRC director of research Dr Nadarajah Narendran, who emphasises that it’s early days for the concept. ‘More work is needed to advance 3D printing technologies to meet lighting industry requirements,’ he says.


Winner of a Gold Green award in the 2021 Build Back Better Awards and based on its existing TubeLed Mini spotlight series, the HE (high efficacy) version represents a move from the ‘throwaway’ mentality. The 60mm diameter LED spot uses standardised components, that can be reused, recycled and upgraded within the same original body. As well as the advantage of modularity, the fixture is also highly efficient with an efficacy of 117 lm/W, using only 5.6W of power. It is available in 12 and 24o beam angles and has high-quality colour rendering (CRI 90).

Lucent Lighting is part of an eco-design think tank called Lighting For Good created by LVMH Lighting and Temeloy. The aim of the programme is to evolve innovation, services and sustainability within the lighting industry.

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