Back to Älmhult, and Paulina and her team.
“We heard that Ingvar kept asking, ‘When can we have the one-euro bulb?’ and at the same time we felt it was impossible in so many ways. Technically for one, but we also felt that we lacked the inspiration to develop this light bulb. Working with lampshades and lamp bases was in our view so much more rewarding. So much more visible. We really had to work hard to get enthusiastic over this.”
We heard that Ingvar kept asking, ‘When can we have the one-euro bulb?’
Paulina realised that they had to question everything.
“Think new. Think efficiency in production. Think new materials. Think about the whole value chain. Think. Think. Think! As I look back at this project, I think the biggest obstacle was to change our mindset, more than anything else. We were thinking traditionally as we tried to balance the tricky equation between form, function, quality, sustainability and low price. We had to think differently to solve this.”
The development team struggled with every possible little detail until they were close to giving up. “We looked at everything, from parts to design and production, to see how we could streamline and keep costs down without affecting the quality.” She sighs and continues.
As the deadline came closer, Paulina and her colleagues were very close to giving up. But before accepting defeat, they decided to look at all the small details one last time. New meetings and tests were conducted, and then... it happened.
“We found that by choosing parts with higher quality for the LED part, we could get rid of certain parts in the bulb’s power supply, and thereby end up with a lower overall cost,” Paulina explains.
Fewer, but multitasking parts, that were more expensive actually resulted in a lower overall cost. And the IKEA LED bulb did end up with a recommended retail price of one euro.
I hope Ingvar was happy in the end.