plumen lighting lovers get intimate

Plumen Lighting Lovers Get Intimate

Homegirl London pays homage to Plumen. This company launched in 2010 and is known for its designer low energy lighting that refreshed the marketplace. Before Plumen came along, these compact fluorescent lights were something we’d rather hide from view than expose. It is quite the opposite, thanks to their sculptural designs, which have transformed them into objects of desire. Plumen Lighting lovers will be pleased to know that a new LED dimmable bulb is now available. So it’s time to turn down those lights and get intimate.

plumen, design museum wave installation

002 Bulbs and Drop Cap Pendants at London Design Museum Tank

Plumen Lighting Products

The co-founders of this bright business are Nicolas Roope (Creative Director) and Michael-George Hemus (Managing Director). They come from different backgrounds, Nicolas graduated as a sculptor in 1994 and later set up a design studio called Hulger with an aim to bring the best out of new and existing technologies. One of these was the ‘P*Phone’ which is a retro handset that you plug into your mobile. Michael-George studied history and worked for the National Basketball Association before setting up Hames Levack which showcased unseen artists in London public spaces. Nicolas tells me how they met – “It was in 2004 at the Hoxton Bar & Grill. Michael-George assisted a friend in a conversation with me about the logistics of getting the Hulger Phone business off the ground. We had a very interesting chat and Michael-George was between jobs and fancied a new challenge.”

plumen, energy saving light bulb founders

Michael-George Hemus and Nicolas Roope

In 2007, Nicolas had the idea for an aesthetically pleasing alternative to compact fluorescent lights which eventually came to fruition in 2010. This was an attempt to make a low energy light bulb the centrepiece rather than an afterthought. He tells me – “We were like a lot of start-ups, bored and disillusioned with what the sensible world had to offer. We had a crazy idea that people fell in love with, so we started a business in response. One day, the bulb idea just seemed like an obvious thing to do. We needed to consume less energy on one hand and yet low energy lighting products weren’t very stylish. We weren’t looking for an idea, it kind of came to find us!” Michael-George adds – “With Plumen, we wanted to find a better way to convince people to use less energy with their lighting.”

plumen, energy saving light bulb, orginal

001 Bulbs with Drop Hat Lamp Shades

First was their 001 sculptural bulb which was followed by the 002 for softer lighting. These bulbs not only look amazing but they are efficient, saving up to 80% on your energy bills. They will also last up to eight times longer than incandescent bulbs. This is great news to those who want to save money and the hassle of getting their ladder out to replace blown bulbs. There are now two designs of their energy-efficient bulbs (001 and 002) along with Drop Cap Pendant Sets and a selection of lampshades.

plumen, energy saving light bulb, model two, drop hat shades

002 Bulbs with Drop Hat Lamp Shades

001: Their first product, the Original 001, was by Hulger in association with British designer, Samuel Wilkinson (Industrial Design Studio). This organic and sculptural design made a feature out of the bulb which could be hung from a cord as a pendant or with a transparent lampshade rather than being hidden from view. Wilkinson says – “The design references the filaments of incumbent incandescent bulbs. The mirroring glass tubes take an irregular, yet harmonious form. This creates a silhouette that changes with every perspective.” The 001 is available in screw and bayonet fittings and there is also a smaller, baby version which is ideal for table lamps. These are all non-dimmable.

plumen, energy saving light bulb, drop hat shades

001 Bulbs with Drop Hat Lamp Shades

002: The 002 is by Hulger in association with French designer Bertrand Clerc who specialises in industrial design. This has a bulb design which appears to be minimal at first glance but if you look closer you’ll notice that the sweeping shape reveals graduations so that you get a subtle glow which adds warmth to your space so it’s ideal for cosy and intimate lighting. You can place it in a pendant, table lamp or wall sconce. The 002 is available in both screw and bayonet fittings. After years in the pipeline, the new LED version was launched in October this year. This has been made specifically for dimmable switches which are perfect for creating a low lighting mood.

plumen, energy saving light bulb, led dimmable bulb

002 Bulbs LED Dimmable

Drop Cap Pendants: Because these bulbs are beautiful to look at, you can forsake the shade if you want. With minimal and industrial décor being favoured by many, this is an easy and no fuss approach for your lighting. You can buy drop cap pendants which have been made especially to hold your 001 or 002 bulbs. You get a painted metal ceiling rose, lamp holder, drop cap and two metres of matching fabric cable which you can adjust to your preferred length. These are available in brass, copper, chrome, black, red or white. Several hung together make for an interesting lighting centrepiece and you also have the option to be creative by arranging these at different heights and using various drop cap pendant colours.

plumen, energy saving light bulb, model two, drop cap pendants

Drop Cap Pendants with 002 Bulbs

Lamp Shades: If you’d rather have a shade, but one that shows off your bulb, you might like the Drop Hat Lamp Shade solution. It’s a sleek metal disk which sits over the bulb to create stunning reflections and coloured glows. Pair this with the drop cap pendant set so you can still enjoy the beauty of your bare bulb but with an elegant feel. Colour options include brushed brass, copper, chrome, black or white. Alternatively, try the Drop Top Lamp Shade which comes in mouth-blown coloured glass. Collaborations for other lamp shade styles include the Italian 3D printing design specialist Formaliz3d, a special edition eco-friendly shade by Laura Wellington and steam-bent wood creations by Tom Raffield. You can view these on the website.

Plumen Awards and Installations

Credit, where credit is due; the 001 original bulb was awarded the Brit Insurance Design of the Year by The Design Museum in London and also the Black Pencil at the British Design and Art Direction (D&AD) awards in 2011. They are also included in various permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, Victoria and Albert, Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago and Design Museum in Helsinki.

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Drop Hat Shades and 002 LED Bulbs at London Design Festival Les Trois Garcons Building Installation

Not ones to hide their lights under a bushel, these bulbs are the star attraction of many installations. There was a stunning wave-form sculpture of 96 002 bulbs hung from copper Drop Cap Pendants at London’s Design Museum Tank. The tank is a pop-up glass installation spaced facing the Thames outside the Design Museum. You’ll see a picture of this at the start of the article. At this year’s London Design Festival they took over the Les Trois Garcons building in an old Victorian pub to showcase a massive chandelier featuring 72 new Drop Hat Shades and their new 002 LED dimmable bulbs which is the picture above.

plumen, energy saving light bulb, spine light sculpture

002 LED Bulbs at London Design Festival Somerset House Installation

The 002 LED launch was celebrated with the ‘Spine’ an interactive light installation created by Nassia Inglessis at Studio Ini. It was placed at Somerset House as part of the London Design Festival, see the picture above.

Where to Buy Plumen

For more information about this brand and to buy the bulbs and accessories online, click here: Plumen and at various stores nationwide. To give you an idea about prices, the 001 bulb is £22.95, 002 bulb £19.95, 002 LED bulb £29.95, Drop Cap Pendant Sets go up to £34.95, and the Drop Hat Lamp Shade is £29.95-44.95.

Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Hulger. Thanks: Patricia Gill.