Hulger launches second design for Plumen
designer low-energy light bulb


East London design brand Hulger has launched a second design for its award-winning Plumen low-energy lightbulbs.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

The Plumen 002 produces a softer light than the original design that's more suited to ambient lighting.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

Like the original Plumen design, which won Design of the Year when it launched three years ago, the new product is a compact fluorescent bulb that replaces the usual prongs and whirls of a standard energy efficient bulb with a sculptural shape that means it looks attractive in light fittings where the naked bulb is left on display.

Plumen 002 by Hulger
Whereas the first Plumen bulb was created by drawing with looping tubes of glass, this new design involved shaping the form of the fluorescent tube itself.

The sculpted tube takes on the profile of a traditional light bulb from some angles but the form has been cut away and pierced to leave swooping curves, straight edges when viewed from the side and a oblong void in the middle.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

"The geometry of the Plumen 002 creates interesting resonances in the square and oblong spaces they will usually inhabit," said Hulger founder, creative director and designer Nicolas Roope. "The effect is particularly strong when used in series and when played off against walls and surfaces."

Plumen 002 by Hulger

The concept was to blow the glass tube like a bottle, which still maintaing the loop required for the technology to function. "This approach hadn’t been done in any mainstream bulbs before, but the team believed it was plausible," said the designers, who enlisted the help of Texan neon sculptor Tony Greer to advise on the different lighting effects and intensities that various shapes would achieve.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

"We looked for the right balance between an integrated and disintegrated construction, between organic and geometric form, something that would present a certain dynamic while remaining gentle," said designer Bertrand Clerc.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

"The work of modern sculptor Barbara Hepworth really helped us in creating an interesting relation between this hollow space and the surface of the outer body," he added. "The transfer between these two elements also establishes an elegant connection between the rather contemporary inner silhouette, and the more traditional appearance of the outer silhouette."

Plumen 002 by Hulger

The new design is a 7W bulb giving off the equivalent of a 30W incandescent light source and the low brightness means it doesn't need shading.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

The company has launched the Plumen 002 design on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter today in the hope that its community of supporters who rallied round the original design will help to put the new bulb into production.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

They also hinted that an LED Plumen bulb could be on the way.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

Hulger created its first series of sculptural low-energy bulb prototypes in 2007, coinciding with the phasing out of inefficient incandescent light bulbs and aiming to reinvent the ugly compact fluorescent lamps as a beautiful product.

Plumen 002 by Hulger

The Plumen 001 bulb designed by Samuel Wilkinson was released in 2010 and hailed as the world's first low-energy designer light bulb, winning the Design of the Year award in 2011. It uses 80 percent less energy than a traditional bulb and lasts up to eight times longer.

Plumen 001
Plumen 001

A smaller version called the Baby Plumen was launched during the London Design Festival 2012.

  • Daniel Shedley

    It may use 80% less energy than a standard light bulb, but how much energy went into the design and manufacturing process to eventually create what is effectively a short run of bulbs? (meetings including all required technology to support them, design time using electronic hardware, machine manufacturing processes for a bespoke product, bespoke packaging, inks, etc.)

    • dan

      I don’t know how much, but obviously not enough to make a nice looking bulb yet.

    • Aaron

      I think your argument is a bit naive considering the scale of the light bulb industry that Hulger is trying to crack and the power that design has to affect consumer choices. I’m pretty sure that Hulger’s long game is not to produce a series of short runs. They want to introduce the new standard.

    • Arby

      This is one of the most absurd comments I’ve read on Dezeen yet. The same argument could be made for almost every object. Incandescents may use 80% less energy than paraffin oil, but how much energy went into the design and manufacturing process to eventually what is effectively a short run of bulbs?

    • Alessa

      I think producing a lower wattage bulb is not great, as its applications will be quite limited and it will only work in limited applications or require much more power sources to achieve the same level of output. Also the world is moving on from CFL’s, especially ones that are not super efficient.

    • Romain_M

      Yes, the most planet-friendly behaviour is to never do anything… ever. I’ll just go lay down in my garden, hoping to rot away and feed my lawn.
      P.S. Since my comment requires less characters (and technology) than yours I guess I win the eco game.

  • Concerned Citizen

    It seems that when a technology first arrives, everyone thinks it’s great to express that technology. When light bulbs first arrived, there were no shades or lenses to cover them. Before that, with electricity, everyone thought it marvellous to place power lines right along the roadways and in front of buildings for everyone to enjoy.

    However, we now consider these and other utilities to be utilitarian, to be minimised, even hidden.

    I still follow the mantra that the best light source is one that is not seen.

  • TheFuture

    LED not CFL is the future. 12 months. CFL is innefficient to manufacture (glass blowing), innefficient to transport (large), unstable (fragile) and pollutes (there is far more mercury loose in the EU since solid mercury was banned and CFLs were forced on us. There is even a soft spin allusion to this on the Plumen website.

    • spadestick

      Agreed – stop the mercury!

  • bonsaiman

    I bought three of the first Plumen. They arrived by mail and in the first trial one was flickering and stopped working very soon. The other were out of function within three months. Never again.

  • jed_

    Make them dimmable and I’ll buy them.

  • Tom

    Why are they going on Kickstarter when they have £403,848 of assets and £142,270 cash?

    I thought Kickstarter is about kickstarting someones business venture….


    • Romain_M

      Are participants on Kickstarter investors or donors?
      If they’re only donors, the company won’t be as accountable to them, compared to shareholders.

  • beatrie

    Nothing like a non dimmable bare CFL light bulb to scream ‘design of the year’ in your house. Christ… it’s not even good looking.