Fluorescent lighting, the Medusa of the illuminated world, has gotten a bright little makeover. But instead of hiding the horrid glare behind deceptive lamp shades — the strategy of most CFL-hating designers (which is to say all designers) — Hulger and London designer Samuel Wilkinson have refashioned the bulb itself, twisting and intertwining the glass to create something approaching sculpture.
Mind you, Plumen's still got the eco cred of a much uglier bulb. It sucks 80% less energy than — and lasts 8 times as long as — a traditional incandescent bulb. So, the thinking goes, that you can show it off in all its naked glory the way you would an incandescent without totally devastating the earth. The company's website bills Plumen as the "World's First Designer Energy Saving Bulb."
That might be a bit of an overstatement. But the bulb's certainly getting lots of love. It took home the mega-prestigious overall award for the 2011 Brit Insurance Designs of the Year, a kind of design-world Cannes. At the end of the month, Plumen will be available for the first time in the United States through the hipster design shop Future Perfect in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Expect to see the bulbs dangling over stuffed squirrels and moose antlers in Williamsburg soon.
Pre-order Plumen for $29.95 here.