Light Bulb

Samuel Wilkinson and Hulger, 2009

The Plumen 001 is the world’s first designer energy saving light bulb. Designed by product design graduate Samuel Wilkinson for the company Hulger, this bulb aims to make an everyday household item something special. Instead of the uninspiring shape of most energy saving light bulbs, the Plumen is a piece of sculpture in itself. The Plumen 001 won the Designs of the Year competition in 2011.

What do you see? 

Designed to be a centerpiece rather than hidden beneath a shade, the Plumen 001 light bulb has a bold, dynamic shape made by two looped glass tubes. Measuring nearly 20cm in length, the original Plumen bulb is larger than regular household bulbs, and it gives off a bright white light when illuminated. The combination of an energy-saving design with a striking aesthetic make this eco-friendly design.

What is it made of? 

The Plumen 001 is made of two looping glass tubes that are held together at the top with a black plastic casing which contains electrical ballast: a small circuit board and filter capacitor which passes a current through the gasses in the glass tube. The light fittings come in either bayonet or screw shapes to fit with both types of light sockets in Europe. Most energy saving light bulbs are compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

What does it do? 

The Plumen 001 light bulb is designed to fit standard European light fittings and it can be used in a variety of settings – from a desk lamp for illuminating tasks to a ceiling pendant for lighting a whole room. The Plumen 001 uses 80% less energy than the standard incandescent light bulb and can last for 8 times longer.

 
How is it made? 

The brief set by Hulger was to re-think the common low energy light bulb. Designer Sam Wilkinson responded by exploring the most common shapes for CFLs and found them all to be dull. Through experimentation with glass, a functional and sculptural shape was developed for Plumen 001

What is its impact? 

The energy saving light bulb is a neglected, yet inspiring invention. It uses 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent light bulb, keeps down electricity bills and is better for the environment. It also lasts around 8 times longer. By creating a beautiful, functional and low-energy product the Plumen 001 is an example of aesthetics and practicality combining to make an every day product more interesting and useful.

 

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Journey Trail

Journey Trail

Design is everywhere, explore the designs that surround the Design Museum on your journey from the underground station.

Teacher Notes

Teacher Notes

Designs of the Year 2014

Teacher Notes

Teacher Notes

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Exploring exhibitions

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Reflection - Primary

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Reflection - Secondary

Reflection - Secondary

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