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Plumen 001 Light Bulb

This is a Light Bulb. It was designed by Hulger Design Ltd. and Samuel Wilkinson and manufactured by Hulger Design Ltd.. It is dated 2010 and we acquired it in 2011. Its medium is glass, molded abs plastic, wire, electronics. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

In response to environmental concerns, the development of low-energy lighting technologies has become a flourishing area of contemporary design and manufacture. The low energy compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulb is rooted in 19th-century technology but has come to the forefront of energy-saving devices available to large numbers of consumers at a relatively low cost since the early 21st century. Compared to incandescent lamps producing the same amount of light, CFLs consume roughly 80% less energy and last about eight times longer. Bulbs with straight- or spiral-form CFL tubes are widely available but are considered purely utilitarian objects—a light source devoid of aesthetic qualities.
In 2007, the English telecommunications firm Hulger ventured into lighting design with the Plumen (derived from the word “plumage”) project, geared toward designing a more attractive and interesting bulb shape using only the form of the CFL tubes themselves. The result is the Plumen 001 low energy light bulb. The English designer, Samuel Wilkinson, worked with Hulger to devise an organic, linear silhouette formed by two long, looping CFL tubes intended to be exposed rather than hidden within a fixture or under a lamp shade. The curved shape of the tubes references the filaments of an incandescent bulb, and the Plumen 001 can be used in any socket made for an incandescent bulb.
The Plumen 001 light bulb would add an example of an aesthetically interesting solution to socially conscious design to the museum’s collection, which has been expanding its holdings of contemporary lighting, particularly lamps employing energy-saving technologies.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled A CFL bulb you want to show off.

This object was donated by Hulger Design Ltd.. It is credited Gift of Hulger.

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Our curators have highlighted 8 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Fungo Table Lamp
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Its dimensions are

L x W x D: 19.2 x 10.5 x 10 cm (7 9/16 x 4 1/8 x 3 15/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Plumen 001 Light Bulb; Designed by Hulger Design Ltd. (United Kingdom), Samuel Wilkinson (English, b. 1977); England; glass, molded abs plastic, wire, electronics; L x W x D: 19.2 x 10.5 x 10 cm (7 9/16 x 4 1/8 x 3 15/16 in.); Gift of Hulger; 2011-39-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

The Conservation department has taken one photo of this object.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Plumen 001 Light Bulb |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 May 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>