Gallery: The Bright Idea Light Bulb Shade


Many of our readers have already switched out their incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy-efficient CFLs, and for this we applaud you! However for those out there who have not made the switch, it may be due to concerns over the bright glare that these bulbs emit. Enter the Bright Idea Shade, a beautiful open-source bulb shade composed of interlocking polygonal pieces. It was created at the Eyebeam OpenLab, an art and technology center in New York that encourages creative thinking and open-source designs.

Created by the Sustainability Action Group members Michael Mandiberg and Steve Lambert, along with Simon Jolly, Peter Duyan, and Oscar Torres, the Bright Idea Shade is an open-source design that is ready to be mass-produced. The point of the project was to create an inexpensive way to encourage the use of CFLs, which some find to have a harsh bright light. The shades are constructed from a heat-resistant material used by the photo industry to diffuse light, and they make an easy and fun DIY project to boot.

The Eyebeam Team have released the Shade with a Creative Commons Attribution license, which means that the design can go out into the world and be reproduced by anyone – they even provides blueprints for the shade on Instructables. The team has no desire to become manufacturers, and would prefer that the design gets swooped up by big-box retailers like Target, Walmart or Ikea to be produced and sold to the masses. For now, Bright Idea Shade kits are being sold through the Eyebeam bookstore.

+ Eyebeam

+ Michael Mandiberg

+ Steve Lambert


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Keter October 25, 2008 at 1:28 am

    No covering, no matter how lovely, will make me use CFLs. They give me a piercing eye-headache. If I can’t get incandescent, I guess I’ll have to go back to candles and oil lamps.. I’m angry about this, BTW.

  2. fredMM October 22, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Nice lamp, but CFLs have a long way to go before they are acceptable to me. LEDs hold more promise for producing good quality light without the complexity or use of mercury. The harshness of CFLs is easily understood when you see a spectral analysis of the light they emit. A few lonely spikes of different colors, rather than a nice full spectrum. If wattage is the issue, I\’d rather make do with a 5W incandescent just to get the warmth of color. Never mind the \”hum\” and the way they flicker when they\’re about to go out. Put them in your dining room and you\’ll lose your appetite with the way the food looks.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home