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Design’s leading light

British designer Samuel Wilkinson and product design company Hulger, have won the Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2011 for their redesign of the low energy light bulb.

Beating over 90 entries to claim the winning title, 2011 Jury Chair Stephen Bayley presented the award at this week’s awards ceremony held at the Design Museum.


The Plumen 001 is an imaginatively sculpted energy saving light bulb, its beautiful silhouette and organic form was chosen as the overall winner from the seven category winners as the Brit Insurance Design of the Year.

Low-energy light bulbs have never been regarded as a stylish product, the Plumen addresses this by creating an aesthetic bulb which works just like any low-energy bulb. By bending the glass tubes of a light bulb, Plumen have designed a product that uses 80% less energy and lasts eight times longer than an incandescent bulb. Compared with the standard fluorescent light, Plumen 001 is a beautiful light bulb designed to be seen.

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum said: “A worthy winner that is both beautiful and smart. It does away with the superfluous to achieve maximum economy of means. It’s a bulb that doesn’t need a shade and so goes a long way to make up for the loss of the Edison original.”

Stephen Bayley, 2011 jury chair said: “The Plumen light bulb is a good example of the ordinary thing done extraordinarily well, bringing a small measure of delight to an everyday product.”

Jury member Will Self added: ‘I don’t think any of the judges feel this is the dernier cri in terms of what will be done with the low-energy light bulb, but if you’ll forgive the pun – they are definitely a light leading the way. 2011 was not a year to reward high-end design devised purely for conceptual reasons or added-value results. We felt these bulbs were neat, appealing and covetable in the right, affordable way. Light is, of course, primary to design, without it there can be very little, if any. The design of light sources is thus an elemental component of a design aesthetic.”

www.plumen.com