Plumen low-energy bulbs by Hulger


Design company Hulger has created a series of sculptural low-energy bulb prototypes as a reaction against the ugliness of existing products.

Called Plumen, the range includes various geometric and abstract designs. Hulger are now looking for a manufacturer to produce the bulbs.

Here is some info from Hulger:


An alternative design proposal for low energy light bulbs

As with other HULGER products, The PLUMEN low energy light bulb prototype is a reaction to the lack of real diversity, imagination and personality offered by the market today.

Despite there being an abundance of producers, we see only three basic bulb formats available: The Radiator, The Ice Cream Whip and the Tungsten-esc types. Each style is uniform in shape, with no variation, tension or interest. It seems strange that the bulb, an object so synonymous with ideas, is almost entirely absent of imagination.

The bulb's heritage as a utilitarian, money saving device has seen it placed in store rooms, cold corridors, out-houses and prisons. These associations of context also help to quash any desire we may have had for their presence in our more comfortable, considered and intimate spaces.

Surely the tubular formation of these objects should be used to its' advantage, drawing, sculpting or scrawling in the air with light, turning these afterthoughts into centerpieces and perhaps in the process creating designs that people will buy through genuine desire rather than mere moral obligation.

The energy saving lightbulb has the other advantage of a long life, something that negates the need for the disposability (and thus invisibility) of conventional tungsten bulbs. These products could be bought as long term design objects in their own right, not just things to hide behind shades.

The PLUMEN's name comes from the plume-like forms that drop from the pendent fitting, twisting together as they fold outward. A bird's plumes are not functional and unlike their flying feathers they signify pride, beauty and prowess, qualities in keeping with the purpose of HULGER's proposed bulb designs.

HULGER explored the possibilities allowed by the tubular material. The twist design references and subverts the ubiquitous Radiator. The freeform example elongates the PLUMEN's configuration, adding a chaotic tangle into the slender shape, a format well suited for a corner light. Flattening the tube creates another exciting set of possibilities, the example here presented as the ribbon idea , an arrangement of two flattened tubes, one folding inside the other. Ball is constructed with haphazard loops like a ball of wool, wrapped around a glass core.

It was incredibly exciting seeing the countless options opening up during the creative development. The opportunities are clearly endless.

HULGER are open for discussions with bulb manufacturers with a view to creating the first production PLUMEN series.

HULGER (formerly known as Pokia) is a London based boutique electronics company, usually associated with their retro styled telephones for use with Skype and other VoIP services and which can also be plugged into mobile phones. Visit HULGER's site for details –

The PLUMEN Project is a continuation of HULGERISATION, an ongoing process that sees the HULGER philosophy applied to various electronic products and systems –

Posted on Wednesday November 21st 2007 at 1:31 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Nuno

    i dig!

  • Steve

    A lot of these I would certainly think about buying. The “ribbon light” would require no thinking at all. I would buy it. I liked the others, but the ribbon had me instantly. I want 4 of them for the ceiling fan/light fixture in my family room, and maybe 5 for the chandelier above the table, if they could be used with a variable switch.

  • Andrew

    neat idea, i’m not sure I like the finished product though.

  • Glenford Grey

    Love it!

  • RoseN

    These look beautiful, and interesting. Celtic plaits would be good too.

    I notice they are different colours (stark white, bluish, pinkish, yellowish) – is this an artifact of photography, or do these bulbs emit slightly different qualities of light?

    This is important to me, because my country is banning incandescent lights. In my family there is autism, and although I am not fully autistic I have some of the sensory problems associated with autism. One of those problems is that the flicker of fluorescent lights can be incapacitating, and another is that the colour of artificial light can be nauseating. Incandescent lights never bother me. I don’t know what I am going to do when I can no longer obtain them. A choice of colour, even though very subtle by many people’s standards, would be a great help.

  • Bruce

    Ribbon light…I’ll take a case.

    Inspirational stuff – good luck getting them produced.

  • MaryW

    I love them! I’ll definately take a dozen. In these days when everything seems to be flatlining–bland, one-dimentional, lowest-denominator items made to appeal to the masses, it’s wonderful to see truely beautiful, creative genius applied to everyday things–small things to make our lives a little more quirky and unique. I’m hoping that they’ll be priced so that we can afford them.

  • Finally! This has been waiting a long time. Not sure I particularly like the end product though; if one can do anything with a line of light, aren’t these maybe a little dull (so to speak). My local hardware store has some beautiful coiled ones for £2.

  • ethan

    How do I buy one of your cool bulbs?

  • Alberto Sanchez, MD

    I would buy those bulbs with beautiful designs without problem, while so far I have not yet bought the current ugly ones at the stores.

  • GZ


    Let’s just acknowledge that lightbulbs are utilitarian and this stuff comes off as ‘bored artist trying to justify pet project’.

    Also…why settle for the lousy ‘efficiency’ of Compact fluorescents when newer LED bulb/arrays are an order of magnitude more efficient again. Yes, still hiccups in LED land but only a matter of (quite short I’m guessing) time.


    Great idea. Bare bulbs should be beautiful and celebrated.
    These are. I love them and would buy them.

  • Anna

    The one that looks like a ball of ribbon would be perfect for hanging fixtures where you’d normally put a large bulb. I’d buy them in a heartbeat.

    As for the rest of them – make sure you get someone to manufacture a nice plug / fixture to put them in, so you can hang them “as is.”


  • El Greco


    No more difficult to produce than the current standard issue..

  • Jan Caine

    I have major tolerance problems with all fluorescent lights, compact or not, somewhere on the migraine/flicker epilepsy line, and have spent my life avoiding them. I certainly cannot read under them .I dread the day when I can no longer obtain incandescents, and I already avoid visiting some friends who have them everywhere (these are the same friends who are happy to eat and drink food from the other side of the world). Am I alone in this or is anyone else out there?

  • While these bulbs are nicer than the usual ones, you say nothing about their energy use or the amount of toxic mercury in them. These are the two top issues with standard compact fluorescents. Energy savings is the only reason to use them. Dealing with the toxic mercury is one of the major reasons not to use them. Without this basic information, what are these nicer designs worth?

  • Good day

    Splash Time is interested in purchasing your products. Please can you send pricing, packaging and quantities. FOB Durban South Arica.

    Thank You

    Jabulani Madlala
    South Africa

  • Dick Rittelmann

    I wouldn’t get too excited about these having a major market impact. The reason is that they attract attention to the bulb which is usually the very thing you try not to do in good lighting design. Yes there are exceptions, but very few. Lighting is usually about enhancing visual acuity and creating a comfortable lighting environment. The lighting environment degrades rapidly as the brightness / contrast ratio goes up. The B / C ratio between a bare bulb and it’s surroundings is way too much. That’s why shades, recessed fixtures, reflectors, diffusers, and indirect lighting are used. Very intense light directed at the eyes is a well known torture technique. These will be used for decoration, but not for good lighting.

  • Kathleen V

    I have some of the bulbs I use for nightlights around the house, but I am looking for 2 more bulb bases I once could buy at Wal-Mart. Made by Liting Universal Ent. Corp/China. Model: LB-1/ ETL Listed.

  • up

    nice design, beautiful view, an interesting idea. But you want to do itself.