Meet Eco Light, The Paper Light Bulb

Here’s a concept for you: a light bulb with no filament, no mercury, no glass, and no waste — a bulb that can, in fact, go right into the curbside recycling upon the conclusion of its natural life. That’s the Eco Light paper light bulb by designer Tien-Ho Hsu, which won Yanko Design‘s Liteon Award.

This efficient light source for the home makes ingenious use of an emulsion coating that emits light when put into contact with electricity. This emulsion is coated on stiff paper shaped somewhat like a traditional incandescent. When it’s time for a new light bulb, simply screw in your paper light bulb and flip the switch; the paper lights up, illuminating any lamp outfitted with a standard socket.

Eco Light paper bulb

image via Yanko Design

Part of what makes the Eco Light so clever is the attention that’s been given to the integration of product display and functionality. At the store, the Eco Light is designed to hang easily, with all components integrated into a single surface, the base of the bulb anchored in the perforated middle section of the bulb. When it’s time to put the bulb to work, the user simply pops out that base, frees the perforated section, and anchors both sections of paper in the base, which screws directly into the socket. (The perpendicular angle of the perforated section allows the bulb to shine light in all directions.)

Equally satisfying is the knowledge that, when it’s time to change the light bulb, there’s no need to find some sort of specialized recycling center (as is often the case with CFLs), or guilt about heavy metals when tossing them out with the trash. Here’s a concept design that shows how simple future tech could really be.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.


  • Reply October 30, 2011

    Henry Dickerson

    u00a0How efficient is this lighting? Does it draw as much power as an incandescent, or is it comparable to a CFL or LED?

  • Reply October 30, 2011

    Karsten Evans

    So what happens when someone touches the paper when the light is on?nDoes someone’s light go out?nnnNo pun intended and meant in the best possible way!

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