Well, looky here: Michele Bachmann’s worst nightmare Swedish home furnishings retailer IKEA has released its spring/summer 2011 line of solar-powered outdoor lighting fixtures. As you may have heard, IKEA pulled the plug on the sale of incandescent light bulbs back in January and now only offers CFL, halogen and LED lighting options, including a seasonal range of (mostly) attractive solar lights ideal for back decks, patios and gardens.


The reasonably priced line, which includes floor, pendant and table lamps along with lighting tubes and chains, garden posts, Chinese lanterns, and a few other options is similar to the 2009 and 2010 spring/summer solar collections except for one big difference: instead of being called Solig, the line is now called Solvinden.


I’m also pretty sure that this godawful ugly “decorative sphere” is new for spring/summer 2011 as are these lawn ornaments in the shape of a flamingo, cactus and rabbit.


Each solar Solvinden solar fixture comes with a built-in LED light source that lasts about 20,000 hours along with energy-storing rechargeable batteries that last about two years. The length of time that a fully charged battery can give off light varies by product. My favorites in the collection, the pendant and table lamps, shine for about four hours on a full charge while the light tube and garden post can go for as long as 12 hours. Prices range from $7.99 to $24.99.



Items in the Solvinden collection are not available for purchase online, so you'll have to brave your local, possibly solar panel-equipped IKEA store to buy 'em. And I'd certainly check to make sure that they're actually in stock before you head out. 


I’ve never actually used IKEA’s solar lights since, well, I don’t have any outdoor space to call my own save for a fire escape. Have you used any of them in the past? How’d they work out for you? 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Here comes the sun: IKEA solar lighting for 2011
Early incandescent phaser-outer IKEA launches Solvinden, the retailer's collection of outdoor solar lighting options for spring/summer 2011.