Even the most attractive low-energy compact fluorescent bulbs are pretty ugly. But the Plumen, a so-called "designer energy saving light bulb" released this week in Europe, might just change that. The Plumen isn't the most exciting light bulb we've ever seen, but it's still more aesthetically pleasing than most of the utilitarian CFL bulbs currently on sale.
We first looked at the bulb, which is designed by British electronics company Hulger, last year. It works as well as any other CFL bulb—it uses 80% less energy and lasts eight times as long as a standard incandescent bulb. Hulger explains the inspiration behind the bulb:
The energy saving light bulb is a neglected, yet inspiring invention... Despite this, we tend to buy them out of moral obligation. To some the problem is the light they give off, to others it is the way they look. Both can be solved. We believe the answer is in the design. Make the bulb attractive and people will spend a bit more and enjoy a better quality of light and a design they appreciate every day. Glass tubes can be bent is many different shapes so why are there thousands of manufacturers but only three designs? Plumen aims to address the problem.
At $31, the Plumen isn't cheap—but then again, neither are LED bulbs (generally thought to be the more attractive of the low-energy lighting options). The Plumen goes on sale in Europe starting this week, but the rest of the world will have to cope with ugly CFL's for a while longer.