From the team behind the Plumen 001 — a fashionable, low-energy replacement for standard 60W bulbs — comes the Plumen 002 Light Bulb ($30). Like the 001, it uses CFL technology to provide all the lighting power of a 30W bulb while using less than a quarter of the energy, but the real draw is in the sculpted shape, made possible by a glass tube that's blown in the same way as a bottle, creating a curved, fluid form that looks great hanging from the ceiling, in a sconce, or even in a traditional table lamp.
True to the ideas driving the design philosophy of the Bauhaus, the Kaiser Idell Luxus Lamp ($815) shows us that a simple device, in this case a desk-top lamp, doesn't need to look like a boring appliance. With its characteristic dome top, curving details, and glossy black embellishments, this recently-reintroduced design is a credit to the original. With chrome-plated steel and brass construction, as well as patented swivel joints that adjust the angle of the light, this lamp is more a work of modern art, than a simple device for illuminating whatever it is you're working on.
Light up your space while adding a 1970s-inspired aesthetic with these Roll & Hill Woody Lights ($4,800). Crafted from aluminum, acrylic, and wood, these LED lights join together to create an endless lighting fixture that can wrap around an entire room. This modular system consists of three units, but can be expanded to whatever extent you need to light up a room — you can even purchase angled sections that allow it to continue around corners. Each 35-inch unit mounts to the ceiling with 3/8th-inch aluminum stems that are finished in black matte.
While it may look like a mad science experiment, or some weird art piece gone wrong, the NanoLeaf LED Light Bulb ($35) represents a huge leap forward in lightbulb technology. This bulb replaces the average incandescent bulb in your home, using much less energy thanks to its LED light source — it's so efficient, in fact, that it will pay for itself in energy savings over its lifetime. The bulb also maintains a comparatively low temperature, making it safe to touch even after extended use. Unlike fluorescent bulbs, it contains no mercury, and unlike most other bulbs, it casts light in all directions, due to its unique shape and LED placement.
By now you've probably heard of Hue (iOS app-connected LED lightbulbs that alternate colors and screw into normal light sockets) — with Philips Friends of Hue ($80-$90) you can extend your existing home light show, making something truly incredible. The collection consists of two products: LightStrips and the LivingColors Bloom. LightStrips are six-and-a-half-foot long bands of flexible LED lights that can connect to any surface: underneath your couch, along a hallway, or behind a speaker. LivingColors Blooms are standalone bulbs that cast LED light onto your walls. Both let you tailor your light scheme to your mood, sync up to the music you're playing, and more. Requires the Philips Hue starter pack ($200) to work.
Control the lights in your home from any room, or anywhere in the world, with the WeMo Light Switch ($50). This WiFi-enabled light switch replaces any standard light switch in your house or apartment, letting you turn lights on and off from your Android or iOS device. A quick project for the average DIYer — it's easy to install and features a clip-on faceplate that fits flush against your wall. The app lets you program your lights to turn or off on a schedule, or at sunrise and sunset. A subtle backlight makes the light switch easy to locate, and IFTTT support connects it to a number of apps. [Scouted by Joe & Bob]
Add a touch of class to your lighting setup with these Patrick Hartog Ceramic Cable Lights ($TBA). Inspired by mooring bollards, these simple white ceramic lights are made using slip casting techniques, then subsequently given life by the cabling, which is customizable to your preferences. A metal ring on the top adds a finishing touch and ensures the light stays balanced, so all you need to worry about is where to hang them.
Add a splash of color and a healthy dose of light to your living or working space with the Schoolhouse Radar Sconce ($160). Available in hardwired or corded varieties, it features a 1970s stamped electrical box as the main mount, a light inspired by one used on an industrial parts washer that's mounted on a flexible arm, a simple side-mounted on/off toggle switch, and your choice of colored shade — it comes in marigold, gloss black, aqua, gray, persimmon, and gloss white.
You spent a lot of time curating the thinnest, most stylish items to place on your desk — don't ruin the effect by lighting it all with a behemoth of a lamp. The Piccolo LED Task Light ($135-$150) should blend perfectly into such an environment. Crafted from anodized aluminum, the Piccolo's body is less than half an inch in diameter, and supplies plenty of warm light with a touch switch for dimming things down a bit. Don't have an outlet nearby? Not to worry, as it can run on USB power. Available with your choice of an etched glass, black anodized aluminum, or Italian marble base.
[Scouted by Jason]
Why go green with your lightbulbs when you can go orange, yellow, red, or blue? Philips Hue ($200) is a new series of LED-based lighting solutions that screw right in to normal light sockets. Plug a little box into your router, and you can control the color and intensity of one light bulb or all of them right from your iPhone, and thanks to the LED tech, they draw a max of 8.5W while shining as brightly as a standard 50W bulb, saving you money. Three lights and the wireless box are included in the starter pack; it's available exclusively through Apple. [Scouted by Brian]
For something we use so often, the light bulb hasn't changed much over the years. The LIFX ($70) is out to change all that. By packing Wi-Fi into a standard-sized bulb, it lets you control your lights using nothing but your phone. It's also based on LED technology, which allows you to change the color of the light on a whim, and ensures a lifespan of up to 25 years — all you need to do is replace your existing bulbs and enjoy. [Scouted by Perrin]
Add a little mil-spec flair to your home or office with Andromeda Tactical Lighting ($230). This custom lamp is based on the picatinny rail system, letting you independently move the legs and shades, and is crafted from black anodized aluminum and composite grade nylon, with a woven cord, colored anodized bolts, and a nostalgic filament bulb thrown in for good measure. The retail price will be $560, so get your Kickstarter pledge in now.