Euro Condom by Ingo Maurer



Milan 09: German lighting designer Ingo Maurer launched Euro Condom, a protest against new European guidelines banning frosted incandescent bulbs, at the Euroluce lighting fair in Milan last month.


The opaque condoms fit over clear incandescent bulbs - which are not affected by the guidelines - to give a similar effect to the banned bulbs.


Here's some text from Maurer:


The Euro Condom consists of a thin, heat-resistant silicone cover that turns a clear bulb into a frosted one. Frosted bulbs will be banned by the new EU guideline on light sources beginning September 2009, because they are said give off less light than clear bulbs.


But according to the specifications of various manufacturers the difference, measured in lumens, is negligible or not existing. – Protect yourself from stupid rules, use the Euro Condom!

Posted on Wednesday May 13th 2009 at 12:39 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Sander

    funny idea, but very designo-centric
    i don’t think the rules are stupid. there’s a good reason not to use this type of bulbs anymore and look for more environmental alternatives.

  • David Klemmer

    Does it cost 1 Euro? Funny idea and i have to agree. Stupid rules!

  • I think these environmental rules are slowly devouring decades of brilliant design. I hope this condom doesn’t insulate the bulbs too much and cause them to overheat. Great work guys, I am holding on to my incandescent bulbs here in America as long as I can.

  • Fun idea, and strange rule… Remember that eco lights are not so ecological : it is a complex system with glass, toxic light emiting powder inside, and a lot of integrated circuits… Standard lights lives less (that’s not true if you have a light that frequently switches on/off, the eco lights breaks very quickly), but are simple to recycle.
    But you have to remember that Ingo Maurer is very implied in this change as he has designed a lot of lamps where the light bulb is apparent, thus sometimes needing a “forbidden” bulb…

  • Bob

    There are good reasons to look for more environmental alternatives — but the rules are still very, very stupid.


  • Pete

    Yes… I am about as green as you get, but I think the energy taken from the use of incandescent light bulbs is such a pitiful amount of energy compared to the onslaught of energy craving LCD TV’s which get bigger and bigger every year and seem to be ever popular… where the was one more efficient CRT TV in a home, there are now 2 or 3 large screen LCD TV’s sucking up power plus computer displays… but these are not being legislated against! I guess the poor light bulb was an easy target….

    Energy saving light bulbs are a ticking time bomb… highly toxic, almost impossible to recycle efficiently, and at the end of the day, still give a pretty horrible quality of light….. :-(

  • Luxury Larry

    I have no idea they are banning frosted lightbulb. Is a good start on encouraging enerygy consumption but you will always have people who will do anything to reverse that for whatever reason. And this is a good example! It just creates more commercialism!

  • widiwadi

    Ingo, you’re a genius!!
    We safe electricity with the new bulb, but will spend it for anti depressive medicaments and doctors in the northern countries,
    Conventional bulps spend the warm light we need in the sun reduzed time of the winter.
    Saving energy is a question of everyone’s education and effort.

  • mcmlxix

    Efficiency, conservation, and quality design solutions that don’t force people into false binary thinking = good. Vain, micromanaging Eurocracy = bad.

  • Zeropa again and again.
    There are thousand of stupid rules like that done by some random and un-elected technocrats in Bruxelles… A sure way to destroy thousand of traditional and innovative buisnesses in Europe.

  • graham

    It says nothing about frosted globes being banned due to eco reasons but because they don’t give off enough light. Now if that is the case that is stupid a rule, who are they to determine what light levels people want to use ion their own homes. Fair enough specifying light levels for public areas etc but really…

  • bRAD pittA

    stupid rules… ingo rules…

  • a-haus

    witty and smart. I also agree the frosted bulb ban is stupid.

    Will we see some colored condoms or lube in the line?

  • a-haus

    … or even scented condoms as an air freshener?

  • Dev

    This is a cry of frustration from ingo. All his light designs are based around incandescent bulbs that are being phased out. This in turn starts phasing out his products and his business. This is an attempt to get stupid responses as the above to the essential legislation that the EU has put into place.

    I love ingo’s designs and always have but I believe good design is pushed and ultimately benefits from hurdles like these. Ingo should embrace the changes and maybe take a leaf out of people like Hulger who have developed the Pluman.


  • LOW

    Ingo I <3 you

  • Gallego

    Dev: yeah, why don’t we all shut up, when EU shapes our lives, “embrace the changes” and rejoice at them, right? I’m afraid, yours being the stupid response – or more precisely the response of the stupid (sheep)… I got no idea, who this guy Ingo is, but I wish he can come up with a condom like that for every EU bullshit…

  • jige

    Ingo, you’re fun.

  • epi

    @dev: the plumen project sounds great – you have to tell ingo about this – so you can help him feel less frustrated although I can understand his reaction – I also love the original bulbs and in the kitchen I have one of these low energy light bulbs and I’m frustrated too!

  • Diego Dengo

    According the Eco Design rules from european Parliament, there are rules for energy efficient Products to lower CO2 – in first step.
    Please inform yourselfs an do not believe the TV too much ;).
    It is not about the silly bulb.

    the Bulb is old, as the usage of the bulb is,
    mix up old fashionend minds, it is a good thing, to ban the bulb – against entropic behaviour.

  • Great job against stupid things we HAVE TO accept (whereas we could simply have the choice…)

  • Gerry

    The incandescent bulb is an aesthetic choice very similar to toasting bread. The fluorescent light is functional, but does not give the visual delight of the fuller spectrum incandescent light. Yes, it does consume a little more energy, but if you are careful with its usage you can still be environmentally responsible.

    • agagnu

      I use them for low-radiant heating.

  • emer von sztankoczy

    Don’t you know that the function of bureaucrats is to create complications and absurd rules so that they can enforce them and justify their existence? If they did not waste taxpayer’s money on ridiculous non-sense then what would happen to their jobs? Imagine how many new commities can be created to study the problem of how to enforce the elimination of frosted light bulbs smugled in from other countries where the governments have better things to do that waste their time on such meaningless nonsense.

  • This is off topic, but…I long for the day I can actually travel and come see your work live! How amazingly talented you are sir!!! And a sense of humor too! ha ha!!!