They’ve been called everything from curly bulbs to squirrel bulbs to pigtail bulbs, but one thing CFL light bulbs have never been called is beautiful. Until now. A British company by the name of Plumen creates CFL bulbs with an attractive design, one that is meant to be on display. Last month the Plumen 001 bulb won the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2011 beating out over 90 other entries including the Apple iPad. In addition to it’s aesthetic charm, the Plumen bulbs use 80% less energy, last 8 times longer than incandescents, produce 680 lumens, equal to a 60 watt incandescent, and come on instantly.
Though currently only available in Europe, a 110v version is set to hit North America at the end of April 2011. The bulb is causing quite a stir in the interior design world and can be seen in boutiques and coffee houses in cities like London and Copenhagen. There’s even a Flickr group where Plumen owners can show off their design ideas. As it’s stated on the Plumen website,
It’s strange that the bulb, an object so synonymous with ideas, is almost entirely absent of imagination.
Perhaps Plumen will be able to sway some of the CSL haters, though there is still the mercury problem. According to Plumen, their bulbs contain a smaller amount of mercury than previous CSLs. They will recycle the bulb for you if you send it back to the company or bring it to the store where it was purchased.
The cost of the Plumen is expected to be around $30, which may be hard to swallow for some, though taking into account the energy efficiency and longevity as well as the chic factor, the price may be reasonable to others. Or you may just want to hold out for the LEDs.
Also check out our light bulb efficiency guidelines.