Lund University students design nine solar street lights to reduce our reliance on the grid | Techno Glob

As part of Dutch Design Week, students from Lund University showcase a collection of wireless off-grid lighting systems designed to showcase the benefits of solar power in different settings, from food stalls to street to refugee camps.

The exhibition, titled A Light That Never Goes Out, is on display at Eindhoven’s Klokgebouw venue for Dutch Design Week (DDW) and includes nine projects that explore how photovoltaics can provide reliable, renewable energy in times of social and environmental upheavals.

Stick flashlight by Nils Tarukoski and Linus Brorsson
Lund University students have designed nine solar-powered lamps

“With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events threatening the security of our power grids, the importance of off-grid power solutions becomes more evident,” Lund University said.

“Off-grid lighting has countless use cases, from meeting basic human needs to providing more convenient experiences.”

Person holding Lykta solar light by Lund University at Dutch Design Week
Among them is Lykta by Ludvig Djerf and Leo Olsson

The prototype lights are fully functional, down to the electronics and mechanics, but all but one rely on external solar panels and batteries for power.

Each light was designed by industrial design students at the university to suit a different context, ranging from remote environments like campsites and music festivals to entire off-grid communities like refugee camps and nomadic indigenous groups.

Off/On Grid lighting system by Martina Claesson and Luisa Wirth
Martina Claesson and Luisa Wirth designed the Off/On Grid system

Other projects focus on energy security in emergency situations such as natural disasters or geopolitical conflicts like the war in Ukraine.

“Energy-related issues are really serious these days,” student Ying Luo told Dezeen. “And solar is a solution for the future.”

Pengembara System by Ying Luo and Elias Cox
The Pengembara system is held by straps

As part of the project, Ying collaborated with fellow student Elias Cox to create a lighting system tailored to the specific needs of the Bajau – a nomadic fishing community who live on boats and stilt houses in the waters of Indonesia. , Malaysia and the Philippines.

The duo’s Pengembara system consists of a cylindrical light and a separate battery, each attached to an adjustable strap. This allows them to be easily transported during fishing expeditions or hung from structural poles inside their homes.

The battery is charged using a semi-flexible solar panel, which is light enough to be attached to the Bajau’s thatched roofs using a line or rope.

Eye Lamp by Nicolò Guanziroli
The Eye lamp by Nicolò Guanziroli was designed for refugee camps

“At the moment they often use kerosene lamps to provide light during the dark hours,” Cox explained. “These lights pose a health hazard, have a negative impact on the environment, and are light inefficient. A solar lighting solution solves many of these problems.”

Similar strap attachments are used in Martina Claesson and Luisa Wirth’s Off/On Grid system, which was designed to be mounted above the stalls used by street vendors in Southeast Asia.

“It helps illuminate their workspace but also the food,” Cox explained.

Stick headlamp by Nils Tarukoski and Linus Brorsson
The Stick lamp can be used as a headlamp

Nicolò Guanziroli designed his Eye lamp to provide a reliable source of light in refugee camps, using a powerful battery to ensure up to 14 hours of use on a single charge.

Its light beam can be adjusted by rotating the lens, creating a wider beam for social gatherings and a narrower beam for solitary activities like reading.

Another adaptable design comes from Nils Tarukoski and Linus Brorsson, whose lightweight Stick camping light has a twisted head that allows it to be used as a hanging lantern, flashlight, and headlamp.

The lens twist also allows users to add a red filter in front of the LEDs to preserve their night vision.

Solar Buddies solar lighting system by Zahra Ghiasi, Jason Pi and Lucien Tirou of Lund University
The Solar Buddies system provides solar power for outdoor events

Portability is also key in the Solar Buddies system, which Zahra Ghiasi, Jason Pi and Lucien Tirou designed for use at music festivals and other outdoor events.

The system consists of a ladder-shaped charging station, with a solar panel mounted on one side and up to 10 torch-shaped solar lights moored on the other side, which attendants can borrow to locate in the dark.

Lykta solar lamp by Lund University at Dutch Design Week on an L-shaped solar panel
The Lykta lamp comes with an L-shaped solar panel

Several other student teams have incorporated hooks into their designs, so lights can be carried or hung as needed.

This includes the Lumod indoor-outdoor light by Hannes Laurin and David Wenner, as well as the Lighthouse lantern by Jacob Alm Andersson, which was designed to facilitate daily tasks and social activities during power outages.

The Lykta lamp by Ludvig Djerf and Leo Olsson not only comes with a hook but also an L-shaped solar panel that can be propped up on a balcony railing to make solar power accessible to people living in small apartments.

Lighthouse lamp with red base by Jacob Alm Andersson
Headlight light was designed to orient itself during power outages

The only lighting design with photovoltaics integrated into the product itself is Solar Object by Zhijian Xiong and Junhan Zhang, which the designers describe as a “brutal but mobile” flashlight.

“This one is more conceptual,” Cox explained. “It’s about explaining the process of how solar energy works and how sunlight turns into electric light.”

Solar object by Zhijian Xiong and Junhan Zhang
Solar Object has an integrated photovoltaic panel

Designers are increasingly striving to integrate photovoltaic cells into products so they can generate their own energy, rather than having to rely on the grid or external solar panels.

Dezeen explored this shift in its recent Solar Revolution series, which highlighted key innovations ranging from photovoltaic textiles for buildings to solar-powered vehicles.

A Light That Never Goes Out is on display October 22-30 as part of Dutch Design Week 2022. Check the Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events happening around the world entire.

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