‘My mission is to make this energy accessible to everyone, everywhere.’
Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel is known for her designs that harness solar power and her latest is a light that is hung in front of windows so it generates its own energy during the day and, at night, resembles a glowing sun. ‘It’s a light mimicking the sun and powered by the sun’, says Van Aubel who describes herself as a ‘solar designer’.
Called Sunne, the light is made from one curved strip of aluminium, and shaped like the horizon. Suspended from two steel wires, on one side, facing the window, are SunPower Solar Cells, that Van Aubel developed in collaboration with The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands.
In making the light, Van Aubel had to find a balance between an attractive shape and enough surface area to fit the number of solar cells needed for the light to function effectively. Some elements of the light have a double function – for example, the solar cells, which are powerful enough to power a car, also act as sensors, picking up when it is getting dark.
The light recreates the intensity of the sun’s light with three settings: ‘Sunne rise’, ‘Sunne light’ and ‘Sunne set’ which mimic the colours of the sky throughout the day.
Van Aubel is committed to making solar power more widely available and normalising its use by bringing it inside the home rather than just sitting on top of roofs. ‘I believe in solar democracy: solar energy for everyone, everywhere,’ she says. ‘Sunne is a first step to integrating solar energy into our everyday life. My mission is to make this energy accessible to everyone, everywhere.’