Plumen light bulb is Design of the Year


Designer Samuel Wilkinson and product design company Hulger, founded by Poke director Nik Roope, have been awarded the 2011 Brit Insurance Design of the Year award for the Plumen 001 energy-saving bulb.

The makers of the Plumen bulb say it uses 80 per cent less energy and lasts eight times longer than an incandescent bulb.

Stephen Bayley, chairman of the Brit Insurance judging panel, says, ’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.’

The Plumen was selected from all the category winners in the awards, which also included London’s Barclays Cycle Hire scheme – winner in the Transport category – and personalised magazine app Flipboard – winner in the Interactive category. The Plumen earlier took top prize in the Product category, seeing off a shortlist which included Apple’s iPad and the Dyson Air Multiplier Fan.

Author Will Self, a member of the Brit Insurance jury, says, ’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 – it is definitely a light leading the way.’

He adds, ’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.’

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, says, ’[Plumen is] a worthy winner that is both beautiful and smart. It does away with the superfluous to achieve the 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.’

The Plumen 001 will be on show at the Design Museum in London, along with other shortlisted designs, until 7 August.

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