The Plumen 003 Launches in the U.S. at the MoMA Design Store

The Plumen 003 – our third groundbreaking bulb design – launches in the US with an exclusive partnership with MoMA Design Stores. The patented bulb design will hit the shelves on April 3, 2017 in both NYC-based MoMA Design Stores (Soho and Uptown) as well as online at store.moma.org, for a two-month exclusive.

In 2011, The MoMA recognized the Plumen 001 – “the world’s first designer low energy light bulb” – with the ultimate design accolade: a spot in the Museum’s permanent design collection. The bulb has sold in the MoMA Stores ever since.

The Original Plumen 001 bulb is in MoMA’s collection, and Plumen’s newest innovation, the 003, raises the bar on energy efficiency paired with beautiful design“ says Chay Costello, Associate Director of Merchandising at MoMA Design Store.

The 003 launched in the UK in September 2016, but the US certified product is now ready for sale. Dear America, let us introduce you to what we believe is the most beautiful bulb ever created.

INTRODUCING THE PLUMEN 003

Five years in the making, this highly engineered lamp gives you two lights in one. The downward spotlight serves to illuminate a task, whether you’re working, reading, writing or eating. Simultaneously, the gold elements at the center of the bulb reflect a soft ambient light that’s flattering to people’s faces.

Designed by a jeweler, the gold element within has a faceted surface pattern which creates a warm, luxurious, textured light that feels like it has come from an intricately cut gem or an ornately crafted precious metal.

Like its predecessors, the Original 001 and the 002 LED, the 003 is a work of art in its own right that you’ll be excited to display in your home. But our quest for beauty didn’t stop with the physical appearance of the bulb. We also needed to consider how it would interact with and improve its surroundings. As a result, we designed an LED bulb with two functions: a downward spotlight to illuminate a table, book or other task; and a beautiful ambient glow to light the faces of those around it. The 003 isn’t only beautiful to look at; it makes you look more beautiful, too.

To persuade all those who still haven’t moved to low energy lighting, we knew we needed something really special to tempt them in. Something beautiful, beguiling, compelling. We needed some seductive sustainability. So for the past five years we’ve been designing and developing the Plumen 003. Here it is.

Sustainable design often lacks sex appeal – LED bulbs being no exception. We decided that to attract customers to this new technology we needed to create an efficient light bulb that was inspiring and beautiful in its own right. Since our original idea, LED technology has come on in leaps and bounds. Previous gripes over light quality, color temperature, reliability and brightness have all faded. In response to this, we set ourselves an even more ambitious goal for the 003: to design not just the most beautiful energy-efficient bulb, but rather the most beautiful light bulb ever, period.

-Nicolas Roope, Plumen Co-founder and Creative Director

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The 003 acts as two lights in one – a warm, accent light around the sides and a clean spot light on the surface below. This dual functionality makes it perfect for any situation where you’re relaxing but focused on a task. An ideal place to hang it is above a dining table as you can see your food and your guests with the optimum strength and temperature of light for each.

Plumen’s engineering team developed a patented method for distributing the light exactly where it is required while at the same time holding the gold elements in place – allowing them to ‘float’ in the center of the bulb. The design means the light of the LED is warmed as it reflects off the gold elements, creating a soft glow round the sides, flattering to everything it illuminates. The relationship is symbiotic, for while the gold elements warm the light, the light brings the facets to life by making them sparkle like a jewel.

The central structure sits on a specially engineered plinth, which draws away the heat of the LED to ensure that the 003 is every bit as efficient as it is visually pleasing.

HOMAGE TO HENNINGSEN: A DANISH DESIGN CLASSIC

The story of the 003 is an homage to Poul Henningsen’s PH lamp, which encountered similar inspirations and challenges when it was designed back in 1925. Like Plumen, Henningsen was seeking to soften the transition between two lighting technologies: in his case, the move from kerosene lamps to the age of electricity; in ours, the rise of LED lighting to replace incandescent bulbs.

The Edison bulb was a wonder of its time but the harsh glare it gave off left little to the imagination and it was a shock for those who were used to the warm, flattering light of kerosene lamps and candles. This led Henningsen’s mother to complain to her son that this bright light betrayed her wrinkles, making her look less attractive. As such he designed his PH lamp with her in mind, using curved shades to diffuse and soften the bulb’s glare and convert it to a gentle, carefully distributed glow.

Like Henningsen, we faced the challenge of softening the harsh, white light of an LED and using it to mimic the warm glow of an incandescent bulb, or even the magical candlelight that came before it. As such, we settled on a similar method: diffusing and reflecting the light within a gold chamber in order to reduce glare and increase the light’s temperature. The 003 difference is that it offers both indirect light on side views and direct light below. A century after Henningsen, efficiency has become more important so this needed to be factored into the design.

ABOUT PLUMEN

At Plumen, we believe the most powerful way to switch the world to energy-efficient lighting is to create low energy light bulbs that people love. In 2010, we radically reimagined the form and created the Plumen 001, the world’s first designer low energy light bulb. Just like Tesla uses design and engineering to make the electric car much more appealing, Plumen uses design to bring the magic, beauty and poetry back to the humble light bulb.

This vision struck a chord and our first design received global media attention picking up some of the world’s most coveted design awards, not to mention recognition by the MoMA, V&A and Cooper-Hewitt design collections. Today, the product sells in 75 countries and helps shape a new attitude towards low energy bulbs.

ABOUT THE MOMA DESIGN STORE

The MoMA Design Store offers curator-approved products that bring quality, creativity, and design innovation to everyday living. Every purchase supports groundbreaking exhibitions at MoMA, a wide range of education programs, and the preservation of the Museum’s collection.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Sold as bulb and pendant set for $200
Materials: glass, anodised aluminium
Bulb Lifespan: 10,000 hours
Dimensions: W 155mm x H 193mm
Pendant Length: 2m
Brightness: 250 lumens
Power Consumption: 6W

Concept and Design Direction: Hulger
Form Design: Claire Norcross (clairenorcross.co.uk)
Facet Design: Marie-Laure Giroux (mlgiroux.com)
Manufactured by Plumen

Campaign images:
Norbert Schoerner (dayfornight.tv)
Andrew Penketh (andrewpenketh.com)

STOCKISTS

In-store from 04/03/2017:
MoMA Design Store, 44 West 53 Street, NYC, (212) 767-1050
MoMA Design Store, Soho, 81 Spring Street, NY, (646) 613-1367

Online from 04/03/2017:
MoMA Store, www.store.moma.org
Plumen, www.plumen.com

Plumen
Second Floor
60-62 Commercial Street
London E1 6LT