LED technology: Mid-Century Modern

Posted on by Lauren M

It's not too often we get very excited or intrigued by a light bulb, but there's a first time for everything... When I first saw this one, it just didn't make sense. With a bright yellow plastic exterior, I doubted its ability to actually generate light visible through what appears to be an opaque material.


Of course, technology often moves faster than our perception, and these bulbs, from the Philips AmbientLED line, are already widely available to replace 40 and 60 Watt incandescent bulbs, and are virtually indistinguishable in terms of quality of light and color. 


In spite of a higher price tag, a 40-watt bulb will last over 22 years (we'll let you know how that goes in a couple decades), and will cost less than a dollar a year to operate. For more technical details regarding the associated lumens, color temperature and resulting energy savings, visit Philips or Energy Star, a government program that rates the efficiency of products and appliances. Impressively, the 60W replacement was the first LED to achieve the Energy Star label, as well as being the recipient of the U.S. Dept. of Energy's L Prize this past August. 

So, that's the technical background and links regarding our new light bulb; now for the implementation.


It's no secret that we're fans of George Nelson and most things mid-century modern, and thought we'd see how the award-winning wonderbulb fared in one of our favorite fixtures. The well-known bubble lamp is unique in its production and materiality, manufactured to the original 1947 specifications. These icons of modernism use a special polymer material stretched over a steel frame to create a warm lantern-like glow, while eliminating glare to produce ample and diffuse light. 

This quality of light, along with the thoughtful, simple design, is what makes Nelson's lamps timeless, and compact florescents never seemed to be able to convey that warmth too well, the result of an inherently cooler color temperature. No longer, though- as seen in the images below of the bulb off versus on, not only does the light transmit, but it maintains the material's soft translucency and texture.


Though there are numerous sources of scientific research, testing and studies out there for those interested in further technical data, as users who both specify and use residential products, we always appreciate seeing these innovations in practice. These green technologies can easily be incorporated into any home, and we hope our thoughts on this subject can be of help when navigating through all the options and alternatives out there.

Feel free to get in touch if you would like further information or have any questions, and have a bright and luminous afternoon...