The Ikea solar-powered lamp, called the Sunnan, is small enough to fit comfortably in today’s downsized apartments and attractive enough to put wherever you need light. And, if you put in a sunny window where its solar panel can soak up some rays for nine to 12 hours (or until its battery is fully charged), it will see you through the evening, from about 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., in Ikea’s typically minimalist profile.
Simple, even plain, the Sunnan nonetheless comes in five vibrant colors: Wikipedia blue, Flock green, Technorati red, Campaign Monitor orange and Firefox yellow (on the Web 2.0 palette, which makes the most sense in our electronic world). The lamp is sturdy, with a base and shade of ABS (Polycarbonate) plastic, a steel gooseneck, an aluminum lamp housing, and a protective acrylic glass cover over the warm white LED light which is warranted to last 20,000 hours, or about 2.3 years.
Other nifty features include a removable solar panel so you can charge it outdoors if you don’t have a sunny window, and two-year-lifetime batteries that can easily be replaced. The 7-centimeter (2.75-inch) lamp head gives more than adequate light, and precisely balances on the 13.5-centimeter (5.31-inch) base. The nicest thing, in my opinion, is the complete absence of a cord, which always manages to trip me or catch on the curtains (or furniture) and pull the lamp over.
From designer Nicolas Cortolezzis, the design is reportedly based on round pieces of candy; Skittles come instantly to mind. For the all-thumbs crowd, Ikea even provides assembly instructions in the form of a PDF. It’s not the first solar lamp we’ve featured, and the design is rather blasé when compared to the Eco-Lamp, which wilts when it needs charging in a sunny window. TheSunnan’s three-hour limit on lighting time also seems rather brief when compared to the Steampunk Solar Lamp, which runs a full eight hours on a single charge. But at $19.99, you can afford several. Not so with the Eco-Lamp, which looks expensively avant garde, or the Steampunk Solar Lamp, at a pricey $280.