An Eco-Friendly Lamp for People Who Hate CFLs

This clever design creates the illusion of a soft, round glow using the aesthete's public enemy No. 1: an energy-efficient bulb.

Chances are you got rid of your incandescent lights awhile ago, unless you run a twee restaurant in Brooklyn or you hate the planet (or both). But it wasn't an easy parting, was it? Those inefficient old bulbs are, in a word, gorgeous.

Studio Stadtpark, in Austria, has heard your cries and designed the next best thing: Sympathy for the Bulb, a lamp that radiates light like an incandescent, using bulbs that won't destroy the earth.

The trick is a cutout in the center of the lamp that mimics the shape of a cartoonishly big incandescent. Screw in a CFL or some other energy-saving bulb, and its light fills the cutout, creating the illusion of a soft, round glow. Cue the Marvin Gaye.

Of course, the lamp can't replicate everything that makes incandescents great -- their delectably warm tone, for one. In a sweet (if somewhat misguided) doxology for incandescent bulbs a few years back, Slate's Ron Rosenbaum wrote: "A lamp fitted with an incandescent bulb and dim translucent shades casts a lovely, painterly glow on human faces, while the light of fluorescents recalls a meat locker." In which case Sympathy for the Bulb will cast the best damn painterly glow a meat locker ever saw.

Unfortunately, the lamp's not for sale (at least not yet). Check back on the designers' website for updates.

[Via Core77]

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  • Jude Stewart

    Nice find, Suzanne. Fixing the nasty pallor that is the CFL-lit world should be a top priority. I want to do the right thing, but I can't bear lighting my world to match my dentist's office for pallor.

    You and your readers might get a kick out of an article I wrote for I.D. a few years ago, complaining about CFLs as a design problem super-ripe for fixing. Several years later, most of their problems still aren't solved.

    Jude Stewart
    @joodstew on Twitter

  • Thomas Paine

    It's not the shape that's problem, it's the color spectrum; though I understand they are working on CFL bulbs that are closer to incandescents.