As noted by Wendy Koch over at the USA TODAY Green House blog, it’s been a rather light bulb-tastic Earth Day/Week/Month with new energy-efficient bulbs being released by Philips (an incandescent bulb that miraculously complies with new efficiency standards); Switch Lighting (a 75-watt equivalent LED bulb that’s made from 100 percent reusable/recyclable parts and designed to meet Cradle to Cradle principles), and Lighting Science Group (a budget-friendly, 40-watt equivalent LED bulb available exclusively on that costs $22 and lasts 23 years).

And then there’s this recent development: Prominent Italian product design house Alessi, in collaboration with light bulb manufacturer FoverLamps, has released AlessiLux Lamps, a collection of energy-saving LED light bulbs. I suppose you could just think of them as the Diesel Jeans of light bulbs — they're Italian, they're funky, they cost a bit more but last much longer, and when worn/displayed right, they'll make people stop in their tracks. 

Designed by Giovanni Alessi Anghini, Gabriele Chiave and Frederic Gooris, the seven playful 7W, 40 watt-equivalent bulbs (Tam Tam, Flame, Vienna, Polaris, Parafinna, Abatjour, and the robot-inspired U2Mi2) that make up the AlessiLux Lamps collection are, much like a pair of pricey denim jeans, meant to be shown off, flaunted, and celebrated with the designer label in full view. And these light bulbs are most certainly not meant to be obscured under a shade or fixture.

Says Alberto Alessi of AlessiLux Lamps:  

The topic brought us towards a kind of evaporation of the boundaries between light bulbs and lamps in a most natural way: actually, some of the projects are probably closer to a real lamp than to a simple bulb. I think that the new operation with Foreverlamp is going to blaze a trail for a revolutionary story in the world of lighting: it’s as if hiding those boring, anonymous and often truly ugly light bulbs will no longer be necessary…
While I do like the looks of some of the AlessiLux designs, particularly the oil lamp-resembling Paraffina, when it comes to energy-saving designer light bulbs, I’m partial to the Brit Insurance Design Award-winning Plumen 001. Although not yet available in North America, I’m excited to try out the “the world’s first designer energy saving light bulb” in the most glamorous spot in my home: my bathroom. And, no, it won't be complementing a $7,000 designer toilet

What do you think of AlessiLux Lamps and of energy-efficient designer light bulbs in general? Would you be willing to shell out around $60 — about a third more than traditional LED bulbs — for a long-lasting, energy-saving light bulb with the name of a highly respected Italian design house attached? 

Via [MocoLoco], [Inhabitat]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

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