The outdoor Cumuli cable-suspended lamp has solar panels above and LEDs below.
OK, I can admit it – I was one of those people that a few years ago ran out and bought those generic-looking solar garden path lamps and strung them all along the walkways up to my front door. Subsequently I was hugely disappointed that the lamps’ weak pale glow wasn’t enough to keep people from tripping over them and falling into the flower beds. Since then, solar LED lighting, especially for commercial applications, has taken huge leaps in beauty and functionality, and newcomer Qnuru’s designs – by sculptor Tom Joyce – reflect the advances.
Solar LEDs growing up
Qnuru (pronounced Kuh-Noo-Roo) is a family of solar LED lights using granite, forged and cast iron, and aluminum in different shapes together with solar cells, LEDs and microprocessor controllers….
As Qnuru says at their site, 22% of global electricity use is for lighting, and a quarter of that for outdoor applications. Switching to solar for outdoor illumination makes huge sense, but design aesthetic and technology are just starting to find each other.
Cumuli (shown above) with its linked cloud shapes, is for outdoor applications, and though I can’t imagine it in my backyard, I can see it at outdoor museum cafes, beer gardens and restaurants. Aquila, with its organic tree-formed shape, has three solar-powered petals – the solar cells are positioned at the top of each petal underneath an acrylic shell. The Aquila comes in three sizes and consumes between 20 – 50 watts of power, according to Qnuru. Of course, these careful designs don’t come cheap – prices start at $1,500 for the lights. Even if I could afford these gorgeous designs, I’d be worried about theft. But in public spaces, beauty like this with eco-awareness would be highly welcome.