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July 21 2013
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Sarita

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Plumen Marvellous!

When something is ‘done’ well it’s worth shouting about, a lot, and that’s why I’ve dedicated this blog to the Plumen 001! While the Plumen 001 isn’t new, it was in fact launched in September 2010 by Hulger in collaboration with designer Samuel Wilkinson, we can’t forget its significance as ‘the world’s first designer energy saving bulb’.

Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful designs and applications for this little eco- jewel since its launch and see what make its just so appealing…

The classic energy saving light bulb uses 80% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and lasts approximately eight times longer, but despite its obvious attractive eco credentials, it has often failed to inspire consumers aesthetically.
When the Plumen 001 caught the world’s attention it not only raised eyebrows over its dynamic lines and smart manipulation of glass tube; it also raised the question of why shouldn’t all eco-commodity products be designed with this much care and attention to form as well as function?


Featured image credit: Plumen 001, from Hulger &designed by Samuel Wilkinson
Above image credit: Spiral, stick & standard from Philips, candle from Lite Craft, Plumen 001 from Hulger

The iconic form of the Plumen 001 certainly makes it stand out from other brands, but also lends itself nicely to a host of different styles becoming just as much of the lighting design, if not the feature.


Image credit: Left > Plumen 001 copper drop cap & pendant set. Right > The Pharaoh pendant light by Hulger for Lightyears

Bare bone beauty > functional details that are usually hidden away become the main feature, with material applications of copper and mirrored surfaces creating a premium look and feel. The Pharaoh Pendant lamp designed by Hulger as a commission for Danish lighting design company, Lightyears, aimed at expressing the light source. While ‘off’ the lamp shade appears as a solid mirrored surface, but when switched on the silhouette of the bulb is revealed through the metallic-like transparency of the shade creating an intriguing and dynamic light show.


Image credit: Hulger have developed a series of lamp shades designed for the Plumen 001 bulb.

Industrial chic > the fluidity of the tubular glass creates a contrast to industrial materials. Wire fame, unfinished metal surfaces and stark functionality create a backdrop to the intriguing twists and turns. We start to see a ‘decorative reversal’, with the lighting unit becoming the element of decoration in an otherwise functional setting.


Image credit: Top left > Plumen 001 Baby, Hulger. Top right > Samuel Wilkinson for Hulger, Vessel table lamp. Bottom > Hulger, lamp shade designs.

Encapsulation & illusion > perhaps one of the most seductive applications has to be encapsulation. Thick tinted glass, almost smoky in appearance creates globule-like forms around the unit, and appears to amplify the intensity of the bulb making a truly ‘electric’ aesthetic. Optical affects created through material transparency, play on colour purity and moiré pattern add an element of hidden depth and illusionary intrigue.
Despite winning numerous awards and recognition since its launch, 2011 Brit Insurance Design of the Year, D&AD Black Pencil to name just some; one of the great successes of the Plumen 001 has to be in how it has ‘raised the bar’ of eco-design and with it, changed perceptions of how we ‘consume’ eco-commodity products. The question is: how can we continue to innovate and evolve the ‘everyday’ to make things better environmentally, functionally and raise desirability? Maybe the key is simplicity and open platforms for further creative interpretation…
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Posted by Sarita
Senior Consultant – Design Insight

Languages spoken: English.
The last thing that inspired me: Chinese teacups from a small café in Camden Town, London - the most amazing collection of colours and textures.
My dream project: Something multi-sensorial.
My obsession: Stationery - retro inspired, Asian influenced, graphically intriguing, sensorially indulgent and the 'unique'!

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