“It’s strange that the bulb, an object synonymous with ideas, is almost entirely absent of imagination,” comments Plumen on its website. The UK-based compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb maker is determined to change that. Calling its product the “world’s first designer energy-saving light bulb,” Hulger, the British electronics company that designed Plumen, has challenged the notion that CFL light bulbs can only come in three shapes and must, by necessity, look unattractively utilitarian.
Plumen — which draws its name from “plume,” a bird’s showy feathers — is bending the gas-filled tubing the way a glass blower manipulates molten glass into sculptural forms. Like other energy-saving bulbs, Plumen products use 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last about eight times longer. The savings may not just be in the electricity usage; consumers may decide to forego the cost of a lampshade and just enjoy the decorative style of the bare bulb. Right now Plumen bulbs are only available in the UK and Europe, but the company says they will be introduced in the U.S. soon.