Picture a light bulb in your mind, and it’s likely that the image will reflect the incandescent bulbs modern society has used for over 100 years. Although some of the materials have changed, today’s incandescent bulbs look a lot like the glass globes Thomas A. Edison created to keep his filaments needed in a proper vacuum.
Today we’ve discovered that while cheap and familiar, traditional light bulbs are grossly inefficient, wasting most of their energy as heat rather than light. To combat this inefficiency, the market has embraced compact fluorescent bulbs that use far less energy over their lifetimes while providing a similar or better quality of light. These energy efficient light bulbs may save us money, but they don’t have the classic look of the light bulbs we know and love. That’s why Luke Anderson decided to re-design a lamp to celebrates the beauty of Edison’s early bulbs without wasting power.
CFLs have a curlycue shape because they’re trying to fit a long fluorescent tube into a small, light bulb-sized space. Edison used a globe shape because it gave the filaments plenty of room to work. These bulbs were larger and because they allowed us to gaze directly on the tangle of filament within, like works of art. Anderson’s design combines the beauty of those early bulbs with the energy saving nature of modern LEDs. The result is a tube-like LED housed in a glass globe. He calls it the “Alva” in homage to Edison.
“There are several companies today that sell reproductions of early Edison bulbs, but they are still too bright to look at and enjoy,” Anderson writes on his Kickstarter page. “With Alva I have been able to create a lamp that looks like an large Edison light bulb. It is bright enough to read by while not being so bright as to hurt one’s eyes.”
Apparently, there were lots of people who shared Anderson’s desire for a retro light bulb that would toe the line between light fixture and electrified sculpture. Alva’s Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign blasted it’s $4,000 goal out of the water, instead gathering a whopping $29, 265. It won’t be cheap, but there are five more days to join as a backer if you’d like an Alva of your own.