Lightbulbs have come a long ways since the nineteenth century. Today, there are many types of bulbs to choose from. Many bulbs are highly energy efficient and long lasting. Some are even works of art. Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan created and patented the first commercially practical lightbulb in 1878. The incandescent bulb lasted 40 hours. This type of lightbulb is still the most commonly used and inexpensive lightbulb. Today, there are many more options to choose from. Higher efficiency and longer lasting bulbs include halogen, fluorescent and LED (light emitting diode). While these more efficient bulbs last longer, they are also more expensive than the incandescent bulbs. Some lightbulb manufacturers have created highly efficient bulbs that are also pieces of art.
The Crystal Bulb - $395
A Lee Broom Crystal Bulb can cost as much as $395. That may seem like a steep price to pay for a lightbulb, but each Crystal Bulb is as much a work of art as it is an energy efficient light source. Each bulb is hand blown and hand cut in a crystal pattern inspired by classic crystal whiskey decanters and glasses. The bulbs come in clear or frosted. The brushed brass pendant bulbs were the 2012 winner of the British Design Award. The LED bulbs are elegant and industrial looking but also energy efficient. They emit a beautiful light as the light casts off the crystal details.
Biel Molten Lava Light - $300
Would you pay $300 for a lightbulb? The Biel Molten Lava Lightbulb may be the most expensive bulb in the world. Created by Only 1 and designed by Toshiyuki Yasuda, the Biel Molten Lava Lightbulb looks like melting lava. The lightbulb itself is energy efficient and LED. The design of the glass looks surreal. The light is diffused by imperfections and air bubbles in the glass. It emits a soft ambient glow. To own the Biel Molten Lava Light is an investment but these bulbs will last a long time and cost you little in electricity. The design is so unique, the lights are more a piece of art than just a source of light.
Pluman 003 - $200
Pluman is known for creating some of the most unique lightbulbs in the world. The latest creation, "003", is energy efficient, emits a warm white glow, and is an homage to the design of the original Edison and Swan incandescent design. The Pluman "003" looks like an old fashioned lightbulb with its tube and clear glass encasement. The bulb, however, has dimples in the glass that reflect light at different angles creating an elegant silhouette. At $200 a bulb, it may seem like an investment, but the Pluman "003" is highly energy efficient and long lasting. The LED lightbulb uses just 6.5 watts to emit 2400 K of warm white lighting. The bulbs last about 10,000 hours, so they may be worth the price. Not only are these lightbulbs energy efficient, but they look good and emit fine light.
Buster Bulb - $65
The industrial looking Buster Bulb is unique and efficient. The tube shaped lightbulb features an amber colored LED pipe nestled inside a tube shaped smoked glass bulb. The lightbulb was created by London based designer Buster and Punch. The dimming lightbulbs can be adjusted to focus attention on an area of your home or dimmed to create subtle ambient lighting. These energy efficient Buster Bulbs use just 1/50th of the energy that a conventional lightbulb uses. Buster Bulbs only run about $65 per bulb so they may be worth it to create a special light source in your home that feels inspired by industrial and modern designs.
GE Align AM LED Bulb - $25
The GE Align AM LED Bulb is one of function as well as efficiency. These lightbulbs cost about $25 a piece. They are efficient LED bulbs that use little energy and last a long time. The GE Align AM Bulb is designed to help you wake up in the morning. The lightbulb emits a bluish white light in the morning. This is supposed to help suppress melatonin production and ease your body into waking up. The $25 cost may be worth it to help your body wake up each morning.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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