A collaboration between The Sphelar Power Corporation and the design studio graf, these beautiful lanterns use the unique micro-spherical solar cell technology originally developed by the Kyosemi Corporation.
Sphelar works by capturing light from all directions. The small bead-like collectors can be arranged in series to create a simple and beautiful texture within glass or plastic, or spread on any other substrate, such as fabric.
The Sphelar Lantern also comes with a usb connection in case you forget to put it out during the day. It is an elegant hourglass shape and plays on that form—when flipped over, the lantern turns on with a nice soft candlelight glow.
The middle band, hand crafted in Hokkaido, is available in walnut or birch. You can find a list of shops that sell it here.
Sphelar is also currently working on a garden light with a similar design, and developing the world's first energy-harvesting textiles!
If you are familiar with the Land Art Generator Initiative, you'll recall that two of the LAGI 2010 design entries incorporated Sphelar solar technology into their proposals. It really is an interesting technological medium that can be used in versatile and sculptural forms: