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Exposed Filament Lightbulbs Are Cool Looking but Energy Wasting

Exposed-Filament Bulbs: Totally Hip but Hardly Green

I love the antique look of exposed-filament bulbs, and apparently so does everyone else. I recently spotted a chandelier featuring the bulbs at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase House, and they're a hot commodity in hip, high-end restaurants in New York and beyond.

There's just one problem: they're terrible for the environment. Designed to mimic Edison's first lightbulb, the antique-looking lights consume antique levels of energy, far more than conventional lightbulbs and way more than CFLs. Plus, because they give off heat, they often require restaurants to crank up the AC.

I can definitely see the appeal of exposed-filament bulbs. They cast a flattering, candlelight-like glow and give off a cool vintage vibe. It fits perfectly into the larger design trend of incorporating industrial elements into home interiors, so it's no surprise that retailers like Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, and more are selling versions of the bulb.

As much as I love the look, I think I'd feel too guilty and wasteful hanging these in my house. Considering that New York restaurateurs are saying the look is "played out," maybe it's time we moved on to greener pastures. What do you think?

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