A recently launched Kickstarter campaign shines light on everyday possibilities for solar technology. Sunne is a smart light that combines the sustainable aspects of solar power with sleek interior design and optimal functionality.

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Based in Amsterdam, solar enthusiast Marjan van Aubel is dedicated to finding ways to rely on solar energy to enhance everyday products. Her most recent example, Sunne, harvests sunlight during the day while unobtrusively hanging in a window. It then stores the collected energy in an internal battery, which powers the ambient glow after dark. Sunne is designed to automatically turn on at dusk, although it can be turned off with a light touch or through use of an app, which is still under development. 

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The light has three settings. ‘Sunne rise’ simulates the purple and yellow shades of early morning. ‘Sunne light’ offers a warm glow appropriate for reading. ‘Sunne set’ presents a fiery glow for ambiance. On dark, cloudy days, Sunne won’t be able to harvest fresh energy; however, there is a backup charging option to keep the glow alive.

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Sustainability is at the heart of Sunne. To that end, the composition focuses on a long-lasting design. It is made using high-quality LED lights to enhance efficiency. The case is made from durable aluminum. The team works hand-in-hand with notable solar research center ECN.TNO in the Netherlands to identify the best solar cells available on the market. They’ve also planned for the eventual disposal when Sunne has come to the end of its usable lifecycle.

Each part of the light can be easily removed, because the pieces are not glued or otherwise permanently connected. This allows the highly recyclable aluminum to live another life while leaving very little post-consumer waste. Packaging for Sunne relies on cardboard boxes and other eco-friendly materials.

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Marjan believes Sunne should be as much about style as it is about technology or function. With this in mind, the device can hang in a window, supported only by two steel wires. There are no unsightly cords or cables dangling from the device. While the curved design is sleek, shaped like the horizon from a single strip of aluminum, the contour provides a larger surface area for maximum solar cells.

The team is continuing to develop the app, which will allow users to see how much energy is stored in Sunne and monitor the battery level. It will also allow you to control the on/off and light settings. The Sunne Kickstarter campaign quickly surpassed its initial pledge goal. It closes on April 2, 2021. Expect more to come from van Aubel, with a new solar roof on exhibition as part of the Dutch Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai in October 2021.

+ Sunne

Images via Sunne

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