Olafur Eliasson is renowned for creating solar-powered lamps that help people living without reliable energy, and now he’s got a new mini lamp lighting the way. With Little Sun Diamond, the designer builds on his previous solar lamps with a more sophisticated diamond-esque variety that can produce two types of solar powered light for up to four hours – after just five hours of charging.
Unveiled at a recent Design Indaba event in Cape Town, the artist’s follow-up lamp is elegant and minimalist, distinguishing it from the original Little Sun, which had a thick yellow frame. The subsequent Little Sun Charge was similar in style to the original, but doubled as a charger. However, feedback from these two lamps suggested that they were too similar to a child’s toy.
Shooting for a more mature look, the artist has given the Little Sun Diamond version a sleek metal frame. Still compact enough to fit into a pocket, the diamond-like solar lamp can now provide two types of light, a reading light and a “magical, sparking glow” similar to a disco ball.
Although the lamps are small, so far, their impact has been great. Aside from providing the basic necessity of light, the solar lamps also provide an alternative to petroleum-based services. According to Eliasson, “[Because of Little Sun] $55 million was released for things other than petroleum. So this is such a small lamp. And yet it is the biggest project I’ve started on.”