Design

Vintage Aerolux Light Bulbs with Floral Filaments

December 08, 2016

From the 1930s to the 70s, Aerolux Light Corporation sold novelty lightbulbs with sculptural floral filaments. While now only found on Ebay for 100s of dollars, at the time of production they were only 20 cents. One such bulb is on display at the MoMA in NYC as part of a Dan Flavin artwork. 

"Aerolux gas discharge light bulbs contained low pressure gas, either neon or argon, or a mixture of the two. Also within the bulb were metal sculptures coated with phosphors. These phosphors fluoresced when excited by glow discharge. Because glow discharge occurs readily at 110-120 volts AC, one could use these bulbs in standard household lamps in the United States. The phosphors used in the bulbs were somewhat brittle, necessitating care in handling. Shaking or jarring the bulbs would cause flaking and migration of the phosphors to other parts of the metallic sculpture. Such handling would leave non-fluorescing portions of the sculpture and/or migration of phosphors to other surfaces within the bulb." —Wikipedia

via colossal