A Luxury Take on Exposed Bulbs

By Oliver Burns

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August 12, 2014|

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  • ince their invention in the 1800s, designers have largely focused on hiding or screening the basic light bulb within an interior scheme. Viewing the harsh direct light as unattractive, exposed bulbs are almost never considered for classically luxurious interiors, but instead reserved for industrial style lofts and commercial spaces. In luxury interiors, we tend to concentrate on delivering lighting with the wow factor – opulent chandeliers, hidden light sources and clever diffused lighting. However, with the growing trend towards exposed bulbs and Bocci delivering a stunning installation of colour light bulbs at the V&A last year, I have been looking at how these can be integrated into luxurious interiors.
Image sourced via Lee Broom

The Crystal Bulb created by Lee Broom a couple of years ago was a breakthrough for the humble light bulb, transforming it into a stylish light that you’d definitely want to have on show. The beauty of the cut glass crystal appearance combined with the brushed brass pendant fitting adds a touch of elegance to both classic and contemporary interiors. To give these bulbs the wow factor within a living or dining room, we like to cluster several together and mount them a different heights to create a modern chandelier.

An alternative to Broom’s crystal pendant light is the diamond shaped light bulb from Frama. Its interesting shape reflects the light beautifully and adds a touch of the unexpected to a scheme.

Image sourced via Buster & Punch

Buster + Punch have created a light bulb with a lovely gold fitting and use teardrop shaped bulbs for many of their lights. Their Hero light has the addition of a bronzed gunmetal surround giving greater presence to the cluster of bulbs, as shown in the living room above.

Image sourced via Dering Hall

Creating more of a statement light with bulbs often means that they need to be combined in an unusual way to create a modern chandelier. The Branching light from New York studio Lindsey Adelman does this perfectly, combining hand-blown glass with machine-made metal parts. Looking different from every angle, the light creates a simple yet dramatic statement.

Image sourced via Pinterest

The addition of a glass box or surround such as the one above can enhance the appearance of light bulbs, giving them greater presence in a scheme. The three pendant lights sited above this kitchen island work more effectively than bulbs alone, which would get lost in this room.

Exposed bulbs have come a long way in the last few years and with so many stylish options available, I believe that the exposed light bulbs can be used to great effect in any type of interior scheme, including high-end luxury.


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