Most people like—or at least don't mind—being "green"; recycling and cutting down our carbon footprints and all that has become fashionable over the past decade or so. Some of the technologies that haven't been fully embraced are the new innovations in lighting. Thanks to a cold white hue, the compact fluorescent has been slow to make its way into stylish residences. For the Europeans, this transition will eventually be mandatory, and with the U.S. not far behind in legislation, it's time to get creative. The London-based design retailer Hulger took issue with the standard CFL shapes and decided to develop a whimsical bulb that would "encourage people to buy CFLs through genuine desire rather than a nagging sense of guilt." The result is the Plumen, an unconventionally-shaped CFL that looks good outside of a fixture. Of course, the stylish alternative costs a bit more than its traditional competition, but it's worth it for something you'd actually like to turn on.
? Like the folks at Hulger, the Belorussian design duo behind Solovyov couldn't stand the conventional "pig tail" CFLs, so they devised this glowing brain as an alternative. While it might be most appropriate in a haunted house—or a neurosurgeon's office—we would still love to see this prototype come to market.
? Not all of the new green bulbs are CFLs, there are LEDs too and, frankly, they can be just as boring. Designers YaRan Chang, Hsin Chou Liao, Chung en Lee and Simon Shih have developed this whimsical concept that combines green lighting with recycling. The LED fixture is threaded to accept a standard soda bottle, turning any clear or colored old bottle into a funky new lamp. Every time you finish a soda you have the chance to create a new Bottle Light.
? Sometimes all it takes to spice up a boring, environmentally-friendly bulb is a truly wacky light fixture. This one, which accepts CFLs, is a radical solution to the problem of dim and dark corners. Plus, with the full enclosure, no one will be the wiser to your choice of a green light bulb. Further innovation includes a magnetized front facia for easy bulb replacement, not that you'll be having to do that too often. The Corner Light was designed by Peter Bristol.
? No one will be paying attention to your bulb choices when confronted with this off-the-wall chandelier. Created by Paola Pivi, the hanging lantern is covered in 80 tiny furniture models from the Vitra Design Museum collection. However, considering each of the miniatures costs more than $150, this could be one expensive DIY job.
· PLUMEN: Rethinking the Fluorescent Bulb [Inhabitat]
· Plumen Shop US [official site]
· Brain Bulb: Curved Compact Fluorescent Fits Fixtures, Skulls [Dornob]
· Bottled Brilliance: DIY Plastic Bulbs for Hanging LED Lights [Dornob]
· Corner Light Softly Illuminates Little-Used Interior Spaces [Dornob]
· Ball of Lighting: Ceiling Lamps Made of Miniature Furniture [Dornob]