Qnuru’s Cable-Suspended Cumuli Light

Finally, there is a landscape lighting alternative that’s completely solar-powered and beautifully designed. Recently founded in 2008, Qnuru is creating scalable outdoor lighting that’s sustainable and sophisticated, offering an array of contemporary products.

Cumuli. Designed by Tom Joyce of Qnuru.

The company website explains its name, which is just as clever as its designs: “The name Qnuru, pronounced ka’-nōō’-rōō’, evolved from nuru, the Swahili word for light, and ‘Q’ a notation scientists use for light’s radiant energy.” The duality of their name adequately reflects that of their lights, which are truly “highly functional and elegantly conceived.” The combination of solar technology and high style is the product of a creative mind: Qnuru founder Tom Joyce is an award-winning sculptor. A great example of Joyce’s artistry is Cumuli, named after the rarefied shapes most likely to resemble oneiric clouds, defined by Qnuru as “n. a swelling mass of rounded cloud formations.” Cumuli lighting is split in half by a metal plate “that provides a mounting surface on top for solar cells and on the bottom for a battery, luminaire and an LED harness.”


Suspended from above by cables, Cumuli uses a clear top lens and a translucent acrylic bottom lens. It can also be top lit. Designed for pedestrian plazas, parking lots, streetscapes, or multi-level indoor lobby spaces, Cumuli uses a natural phenomenon to evoke playfulness. The cloud has made a reappearance in 2009, transforming nature into geometric possibility (see Cloud Chair, for example). What Cumuli proves—other than the popularity of clouds—is that Qnuru is doing what it intended: successfully harnessing the sun to light fantastically conceived, modern fixtures.

All of Qnuru’s products work on the spot with no power grid, no trenches, and no wiring. The company seeks to minimize the energy consumption of lighting, particularly outdoors: “Today, 22% of all electrical power generated in the world is used for lighting. One quarter of this power is used for exterior lighting at an annual cost of $ 3.2 billion in the United States alone.” Because of Qnuru’s green focus, they are partially funded by Noribachi, who supports clean technology companies, particularly in the early stages. Cumuli, like other Qnuru products such as Aquila, exemplifies a dual drive for excellent, contemporary design and responsible, renewable energy.

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