Breaking the Bulb

New tech takes light new places.

Photographs by Luis Bruno Jacket and scarf styling by Kirsty Mogensen

Photographs by Luis Bruno Jacket and scarf styling by Kirsty Mogensen

The traditional globe-and-filament bulb turns 150 this year. Not a bad run for a device invented in the horse-and-buggy days. But new material and conduction technologies are set to break lighting out of the bulb, weaving and embedding illumination right into everyday objects, art, even clothing. Here's to a future that emits more light than heat.

(Clockwise from top left)

STRONGER NEON

Luxaura's shapable and tough Light Guide offers neon effects in a solid-acrylic LED-powered light conductor. The Light Guide's acrylic body can be shaped using a PVC heating blanket. $30 for a 21-inch length; luxaura.com

YOUR LIGHTS

Durable, low-heat LEDs can be embedded in objects using a clear conductive film, as in Ingo Maurer's LED Stool (which is actually more of an end table). The LED Stool's 96 tiny lights glow without wires thanks to a clear conductive film.
$4,600; ingo-maurer.com

SAFETY MATERIALS

Flexible electroluminescent panels on Marmot's EL Phenomenon jacket prototype glow on command. EL Phenomenon provides enough light to read a map or signal your presence. Not yet for sale.

FIBER OPTICS

The sparkle in this Luminex fabric comes from woven optical fibers illuminated by LEDs. Luminex achieves its inner glow thanks to thousands of interwoven optical fibers. $330 per yard; luminex.it