Ikea plans to ditch all of its CFL and halogen lighting for LEDs by 2015, leading the furniture giant’s green tech arm to make a "strategic investment" in Design LED Products, a Scottish company that's pretty good with LEDs. Ikea gives DLP funding and, in turn, gets access to the lighting company's technology.
But Design LED Products does a lot more than make some light bulbs. Its specialty is something called the "Light Tile." It’s essentially a grid of LEDs embedded in resin, forming an LED blanket that's less than 1 millimeter thick. The blanket can be wrapped inside a product to make it glow while drawing very little power.
Over at the Design LED Products website, you can see all sorts of ways Ikea could use the lights: bulbless lamps where the lampshade itself lights up; curvy, sculptural overhead lights that look straight out of a modern art museum. The technology can also illuminate LED screens (like televisions or pocket gadgets).
The design possibilities seem endless. We could see see Light Tiles making their way into Ikea’s kitchen and office finishes, the bookshelves, and even the Poang chairs. And Ikea’s success or failure in creatively using such LEDs could be very influential across the entire furniture market. Here’s hoping our future is bright—but you know, not like, blindingly bright.