Plumen Lightbulb: Beauty in the Every Day

Most light bulbs go unnoticed, but this one's won international awards!

Product name
Plumen 001
Samuel Wilkinson in association with Hulger
Year made
- Glass tubes
- Small plastic casings

The Plumen 001 is the world's first designer energy saving light bulb. It is the brainchild of product design studio Hulger and product designer Samuel Wilkinson, who wanted to find a way to make an every day item special and beautiful yet affordable.

What do you see?
What is it made of?
How is it made?
What does it do?
What is its impact?

Organic but Geometric

The shape of the light bulb references the filament at the centre of old fashioned incandescent light bulbs (the bit that creates the light), but the Plumen light bulb is designed to be centre of attention - not hidden under a lampshade!

Big Bulb

At almost 20 centimetres long, the Plumen is much bigger than your average lightbulb! It also gives off a white light that isn't too bright to look at without something covering it.

A New Perspective

As you can see in the picture above, the Plumen light bulb looks completely different depending on which angle you look at it - some people were convinced that five different designs had been released, not just one!


Glass Tubes

The light bulb is made from two glass tubes that loop round. The glass tubes contain a vapour (or smoke form) of the metals mercury and argon. This glows when a current is passed through it, which creates the light that the bulb gives off.

What holds it all together?

The two loops of glass are held in place by a small black plastic case, which also contains an electrical ballast. The ballast is there to make sure that too much electricity is not passed through the bulb.



Because the bulb is made of thin glass, it is very delicate and had to go through a lot of testing before it could be produced commercially.


During the design process of the Plumen 001, the designers used pipe cleaners to create the initial tests for the bulb! By using two or three pipe cleaners and bending and winding them in different ways, the Plumen team devised a quick, easy and cheap way to see what did and didn't work.

This process of creating initial designs that can be built upon is called prototyping.


Works for everyone

The Plumen comes in screw and bayonet fittings (which are the two standard European light fittings), to fits all standard European light fittings, and can be used in multiple ways! The bulbs can be hung from the ceiling, on wall fittings or used as a desk lamp.

Adds beauty to the every day

The Plumen 001 is a sculpture in itself - it is useful, but also interesting to look at. Who knew there could be so much global interest generated by a simple light bulb!


Dispose with care!

The Plumen 001 is a a CFL (compact fluorescent light). CFL light bulbs contain some mercury in their glass tubes, which is toxic and bad for both people and the environment. This doesn't mean they are dangerous to use, but they should be recycled properly and not thrown in the bin.

Large but efficient

Plumen light bulbs use 80% less energy than a normal light bulb, and they also last up to 8 times longer! This means that they are better for the environment, and although the bulbs might be more expensive than your average lightbulb, they will save you money on your energy bills and you won't have to replace them nearly as often!

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