A more sustainable LED bulb to brighten our homes
It may not be possible for us to change an energy grid from running on coal or stop the continuous use of fossil-based fuels year on year. But we all can take small steps. Do you know that LED bulbs can help us in conserving electricity? We sat down with Linda and Cao to learn more about the IKEA SOLHETTA LED bulbs that are both more energy efficient and more affordable on average than the previous range of LED bulbs.
A couple of months ago, when Linda Lindestam went to her summer house in North Sweden, she observed something. While the sun was balmy and evenings were pleasant, there was a perceivable heat once she switched on the lights.
"It was the bulbs. We had the old ones, the incandescent bulbs, which had always been a part of the house. I could feel how warm they get…it was like energy was leaking out," says Linda.
So, Linda swiftly changed the old bulbs with LED bulbs.
But it was not just the heat that motivated Linda to switch to LED bulbs. She is the product design engineer for SOLHETTA LED bulbs that IKEA recently developed. Along with Cao Quang Dong Duong, a product requirement engineer at IKEA, Linda has spent almost every working day in the last two years understanding and creating energy-efficient LED bulbs.
"We're always looking for more efficient bulbs and new technologies. Our vision is to bring a more sustainable lighting range with high quality that is affordable to the many people. With the energy efficient SOLHETTA LED bulbs, we want to enable our customers to save electricity and reduce energy costs," says Linda.
"With the energy efficient SOLHETTA LED bulbs, we want to enable our customers to save electricity and reduce energy costs."
To bring in affordability, the team combined the two light source families – RYET and LEDARE, into one family – SOLHETTA
"By doing this, we could reduce the number of articles, so we could have higher volumes for each article, which helped us get better prices from our suppliers," says Linda.
"For SOLHETTA, we worked on the LED model that is already accepted at the supplier side. It means we are utilizing some of the tools they already had, and we didn't have to invest money to create a new tool. Also, we utilized as much as possible of the products, components, and materials they already had. This strategy saves a lot of cost during the production and development," says Cao.
The SOLHETTA LED bulbs have gone through an array of different tests, and they fall broadly under two categories – safety and performance.
For example, Cao worked on a series of electrical magnetic safety tests so that the bulbs, when on, do not affect other devices nearby. It means that the SOLHETTA bulbs do not lead to radio noise from devices like the TV. The bulbs also went through warming, structural, moisture resistance, high voltage, and combustion tests.
The performance tests were critical, and SOLHETTA bulbs went through both internal and external testing from accredited labs. All in all, SOLHETTA LED bulbs have gone through nearly two dozen safety and performance tests.
"We have data points that show we reached certain levels of energy efficiency. The SOLHETTA bulbs last up to 25,000 hours. But it doesn't mean that after 25,000 hours, the product is dead. It is still usable, and if you use it after 25,000 hours, the product will give 70 per cent performance compared to the primary one," says Cao.
So, what's next for Linda and Cao after SOLHETTA? The two are already working on the next offering of IKEA lighting solutions to keep up the commitment to bring us something new every two years.