February 1, 2015

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by IKEA and Operation Overhaul is part of the 2015 IKEA Singapore Bloggers Program. All opinions and reviews are our own, and very honest as well. x

The convenience of electricity and lights is something we really take for granted nowadays (especially in such a safe country like Singapore!). We learnt about IKEA’s Brighter Lives for Refugees Campaign for Task 1 and how refugees all around the world in UNHCR camps were living. A lack of light can have a devastating effect on their safety, education prospects and income.


And so, our very first task from IKEA sounded fairly simple, although it wasn’t something we’ve ever attempted before – To spend a night without light.

A typical OOH-type of evening would have the both of us at a cafe or restaurant, catching up and discussing plans over a big hearty meal. We toyed with the idea of having a sleepover at one of our houses (so sixteen!) with the LJUSA LED torch that IKEA kindly provided us with for survival, as well as endless rows of scented candles everywhere. However, we decided to make the best out of a gloomy situation (hurrr) and have a…


We wanted to keep everything really simple and in line with the no electricity/total darkness experience, and decided against products that required alkaline batteries as well. We met up at about 7 in the evening and started doing our preparations for the night just before the sun went down and we lost all light…

OOH x IKEA - Party Materials

OOH x IKEA - Glo BalloonsRos at work

OOH x IKEA - Glowsticks

We were planning to depend entirely on our hand-driven torch as well as glowsticks to ‘survive’ the night. Ros inflated and filled balloons with light sticks, while I worked on a light stick bunting using jute and SOMMARFINT drinking straws.

Darkness soon crept up and we were left in a dark room surrounded by the glow from the light sticks. We broke the last two XL light sticks we bought and couldn’t resist snapping a few photos and having some fun before emptying the glowing contents into RAJTAN spice jars filled with water to make our glow lamps (which did a greattttt job and looked amazing).

OOH x IKEA - BuntingsJuu putting up the light stick buntings which were essentially skinny light sticks slot into regular drinking straws!

OOH x IKEA - TechnopartyCouldn’t help playing with the XL light sticks!

OOH x IKEA - Glowstick JarsOur water glow lamps

We tried a couple of other things that didn’t necessarily work (PS. Glo’worms do not actually glow) and simple things that we did on a daily basis proved to be more difficult than usual. Craft photography usually requires lots of light to ensure clear and clean photos. We tried to take photos of simple actions, such as breaking the lightsticks, putting up the deco, etc. but all we got were silhouettes (if we were lucky!) or just a black photograph with coloured lines all over (glowsticks). We finally settled on using the LJUSA LED torch as a light source/ using the long exposure function on our camera.

OOH x IKEA - Party and DrinksYou can finally see what Ros is doing because of the light from the LJUSA LED torch (which you then can’t see).

OOH x IKEA - Glow SetupOur final party set-up and photo wall!

OOH x IKEA - GlowwwwLight sticks taken with long exposure.

OOH x IKEA - Buntings 2Our light stick buntings which were super easy to make and looked great in the dark!

OOH x IKEA - Juu & RosAnd yes, this actually is a photo of the both of us… Juu is the one with the light stick necklace and Ros is wearing a light stick headband.

OOH x IKEA - Lightsticks OOH

OOH x IKEA - Mickey EarsFinal photo taken the light from the hand-driven torch.

We clearly had quite a bit of fun decorating the place up with glow-in-the dark craft things as well as laughing at every photo that came up pitch black, but it also reminded us of the many inconveniences that came with the lack of lighting. I had to admit I felt a sense of safety and familiarity again when the ‘night’ ended and I walked out into a well-lit corridor to get home.

We urge you to read more about IKEA’s Brighter Lives for Refugees Campaign here. For every LED light bulb sold during February 1 to March 28 2015, the IKEA Foundation will donate 1 euro to UNHCR. The funds generated will help improve access to lighting, renewable energy solutions and primary education in refugee camps across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

There’s also going to be a LED exchange coming up at our local IKEA stores! From 6-8 February 2015, bring your used halogen or incandescent lightbulbs to the IKEA store for a 1 to 1 light bulb exchange. *Up to 3 lightbulbs per person and exchange is limited to the first 1000 bulbs per day.

Till the next post! Hopefully we’ll all be able to light someone’s life up somehow~ x

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  • Reply Adora February 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Oooooh I’m going to try making those glow jars with my kids!!! We have a ton of mini light sticks at home! Yay!

    • mm
      Reply Ros C. March 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Yes you definitely should! We had fun with them :)

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