Exposed Bulb Lighting in Interiors

Lightbulbs – to bare or not to bare? Exposed light bulbs and bulbs with transparent shades are popping up everywhere and in all manner of modern interior schemes. No longer just for use in commercial premises or for styling of photographic shoots; the naked bulb look is appearing in home interiors too.

The modern invention of the light bulb certainly changed the way we live in, and view our homes forever; and with all the advances in lights and lighting systems that have happened since then, it seems uncanny that it is the pure simplicity of the exposed light bulb, that is now being embraced in residential interior design.


Image Left:  Photos by Cyril Robin Via: Au Coin du Monde Right: Photo by Jake Curtis for Living Etc Magazine

At the recent Maison et Objet show in Paris, I saw several of rope style lights and open wire and transparent shades that pay homage to the bulbs more than the shades themselves; whether it be traditional Edison style filament bulbs, the low energy Plumen bulbs or oversized round bulbs.  Product designers are clearly getting creative with this new look; using bigger bulbs, bulbs cut like crystals, a rainbow of colorful cords and fixtures made from a wide range of materials – wool, concrete, metal and wood.

Image A. Pendant light wood from; B. Wool pendant from; C. Manila rope lights from Atelier 688; D. Concrete Edison hanging bulb from; E. Manila rope lights from  Atelier 688 (image source Remodilista).

Further examples were seen at last years London Design Festival. See our Tent London and Design Junction recaps, where the neon flocked energy saving Muscar light and the Knot Pendant Light caught our attention.



Curious how you could incorporate the bare bulb look into your home without it looking like you have just moved in? Take a look at these examples.   A cluster or a string of bulbs, or a single hanging energy efficient lightbulb – I may just try it out for myself!


Image Left:  via alvhem makleri   Right: DIY Exposed Bulb chandelier by Curbly


Image Left: via  Right: image via The Decorista


Image Source Left:  House and Home Ireland   Right: Design Trolls 


Image Source Left: Pinterest via  Right: alvhem makleri 


Image Source Left: via Lamps Plus  Right: 91 Magazine by decor8



Image Source Left: via Emmas Design Blogg; Right: via Ink and Spindle 


Image Source Left: via Design Lovers Blog at Maison Objet 2013. Right: unknown


Image Source Left: unknown Right: via Frame Light Chandelier, Iacoli & McAllister via Houzz


Image Source Left: Right: via Design Lovers Blog at Maison Objet 2013.


Image Source:  votrebellemaison, via familiale

Image Source Left: Cord Pendant via 



Image Source: Plumen bulbs with shades spotted at Maison Objet 2013,  Design Lovers Blog. Right: Plumen bulbs with shades.


Image Left: Sputnik light by Restoration Hardware; Right: via Pinterest via


Image source: Pinterest

To bare or not to bare? A fleeting trend or here to stay? Do you like the exposed bulb look? I would love to hear your views.


Photo credits:

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Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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2 Responses to “Exposed Bulb Lighting in Interiors”
  1.' mathilda murray says:

    j’taime! wow, so much inspiration – thank you!
    this might be also one to add to your selection for the future:
    mathilda x

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