The Art and Craft of the Lightbulb

By Regina Connell.

Just a few years ago, it seemed there was always an incandescent lightbulb burned out around the house.  I’d forage in the closet where I kept them, only to realize I didn’t have the right shape/wattage on hand. I’d go out and buy a pack. Back home, I’d drag out the ladder and clamber up it and install it. Back down and try the light. Darkness. Back up the ladder, and take out the bulb and shake it. Ah, there it was: the faint tinkle of a broken filament. Back down I’d go again…

The Plumen 003

The Plumen 003

Nowadays of course, most of us are in the throes of switching to LED bulbs. Not only do LEDs save energy and burn cooler, but they last 10 to 50 times longer than the average incandescent. So you won’t be going on that lightbulb run nearly as often. And instead of thinking about the lightbulb as one of those nasty disposable objects, you could start thinking of them as something worth investing in.

A few years ago, a UK company called Plumen designed a lightbulb that won all kinds of design awards. Sexy, sinuous, and sculptural, the bulb looked so good, it didn’t need a shade. Now this team’s come up with Plumen 003, a bulb that combines the art and craft of jewelry with the art and craft of lighting.

Lighting designer Clare Norcross designed its rounded, bell-shaped chocolate-brown pendant glass form. And its centerpiece—a golden, multi-faceted core (made of anodized aluminum)—was designed by jewellery designer Marie-Laure Giroux.

Jewelry for your bulb

Jewelry for your bulb

It’s not just pretty jewelry design: the criss-cross texture on the golden core disperses the light from the LED bulb inside, causing the light to bounce around and create a warm, diffused glow. It turns out that the 003’s downward spotlight has two functions; a focused, direct task light below and a flattering, softer sidelight. The LED mimics the ambient glow of candlelight by diffusing and reflecting light through its centre gold element, increasing the light’s temperature while reducing glare.

Clever, seductive lighting

Clever, seductive lighting

Granted, at $200 each, it’s an investment. But all homes need a little bit of sexy jewelry, and we all need flattering light. Plus this jewelry happens to be energy efficient, too.

Now is there anything else nasty and disposable that we can rethink, courtesy of some smart engineers and with the help of craftsmen and artisans?



All images courtesy of Plumen

This entry was posted in Box 1, DESIGN, HOME, METAL, THE GOODS, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.