Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Design 1900 to Now, Room 74

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Lampan

Ikea Lamp
Artist/Maker

This Ikea ‘Lampan’ table lamp was named for the Swedish word for ‘light’. They were first produced in 2002 and sold for €2.5. Lampan is sold in Europe for €2.99, and in the UK for £5.

The designers Carl Öjerstam and Magnus Eleback responded to the challenge to design ‘the world’s cheapest lamp’. The price for customers of €2.50 was set at the design brief stage. The Ikea page for the Lampan reads: “We did everything to keep the price down – we even skipped the box packaging”. This reduction of packaging was achieved by optimising the shape to fit as many lamps as possible in a shipping container. The lampshade itself acts as a container for the base, cable and lightbulb fitting. This was a key motivator for the design, as Öjerstam explained: “We designed the lamp how we wanted it and then changed the scale so that it used the space in the best way possible and we achieved a 100% filling rate. So now 72 pieces fit side by side on a Europallet”.

The lamp is produced in Asia, where labour is cheap compared to other parts of the world and shipped globally. Using container space efficiently enables the lamps to be sold cheaply, as Öjerstam explains: “If I had designed a lamp with perfect proportions we would have reduced the filling rate to, let’s say, 80% and that doesn’t matter so much if you only sell 1000 lamps a year but if you instead sell 10 million lamps that makes a big difference to the price”.


object details
Category
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Base and Cable
  • Lampshade
  • Leaflet
Materials and Techniques
The shade is made of polypropylene plastic, and the base is made of both polystyrene and SAN plastic.
Brief Description
Plastic table lamp
Physical Description
A white plastic lamp. The base and instruction leaflet fit inside the shade for shipping.
Dimensions
  • Height: 29cm (Assembled)
  • Base diameter: 13cm
  • Shade diameter: 19cm
  • Cord length: 130cm
Production typeDesign
Object history
The museum has a second of the same lamp, object number: NCOL.608-2020
Summary
This Ikea ‘Lampan’ table lamp was named for the Swedish word for ‘light’. They were first produced in 2002 and sold for €2.5. Lampan is sold in Europe for €2.99, and in the UK for £5.



The designers Carl Öjerstam and Magnus Eleback responded to the challenge to design ‘the world’s cheapest lamp’. The price for customers of €2.50 was set at the design brief stage. The Ikea page for the Lampan reads: “We did everything to keep the price down – we even skipped the box packaging”. This reduction of packaging was achieved by optimising the shape to fit as many lamps as possible in a shipping container. The lampshade itself acts as a container for the base, cable and lightbulb fitting. This was a key motivator for the design, as Öjerstam explained: “We designed the lamp how we wanted it and then changed the scale so that it used the space in the best way possible and we achieved a 100% filling rate. So now 72 pieces fit side by side on a Europallet”.



The lamp is produced in Asia, where labour is cheap compared to other parts of the world and shipped globally. Using container space efficiently enables the lamps to be sold cheaply, as Öjerstam explains: “If I had designed a lamp with perfect proportions we would have reduced the filling rate to, let’s say, 80% and that doesn’t matter so much if you only sell 1000 lamps a year but if you instead sell 10 million lamps that makes a big difference to the price”.

Collection
Accession Number
CD.1-2020

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record createdOctober 14, 2020
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