Let me start right off by warning you that this post is not PC. Anytime someone begins a discussion on light bulbs today, it usually starts by describing the energy-consuming and landfill-filling characteristics of the incandescent bulb, and concludes by encouraging the use of low-energy alternatives - and rightfully so. But not this post.
I tried being green. I bought the $29 Plumen bulb and began using it in my home office ceiling lamp; where it remained for just a few hours. I agree that the design is beautiful (it won the 2011 Brit Insurance Design of the Year); I like the large size; and I thoroughly support the melding of design and eco-consciousness. I could see a row of them hanging shadeless in a restaurant, as depicted above, or anywhere else you are spending a fixed amount of time - an entryway, hallway, guest bathroom. But the inability to dim the bulb and the subtle yet ever-present flicker drove me, well, nuts, but also to switch it out and return to the beautiful, energy-guzzling classics. At least until the low-energy Panasonic LED bulbs (last pic) become available.
In 2012, the phase out begins for the current incandescents (On January 1, 100W incandescent bulbs will no longer be available, with lower wattage bulbs becoming obsolete soon thereafter). So, stock up now on these designer bulbs. And, being PC, I encourage you to switch them off when not in use.
Artist KAWS partnered with The Standard Hotel to produce XX light bulbs - a set of 3 bulbs (blue, green and red) sold for $65. Now sold out, you can often find them marked up on eBay.
Feit electric vintage style light bulb, $7 at Amazon.com.
The etched designs of the 3 Shadow Bulbs display intricate shadows on the wall, $59 by Melissa Borrell.
Diamond Lights by Eric Therner, €32.00 for one or €92.00 for a set of 4.
Scott Rich + Victoria's Filament Bulb, price upon request.
Combining low-energy and classic shape, the soon-to-be available Panasonic LED bulb, which won a 2011 Good Design Award, is a true marrying of form, function and eco-awareness.
Images: As linked above.