Lampshades are becoming increasingly optional in today’s industrial, post-apocalyptic chic aesthetic. From throwback Edison to chrome-tipped, certain bulbs can easily stand on their own when hung from a simple cord set or displayed in a transparent shade. Here are some of our favorites as inspiration.
Nostalgic filament bulbs may be overplayed, but they still look really pretty lit up in a clear glass shade. This Squirrel Cage bulb from Rejuvenation is $16.
The sandblasted pattern on this Confetti bulb casts fun shadows on the wall when lit. Equally stunning when unlit, all you’d need to do is string it from a simple cord set (a good thing, as they aren’t cheap!) Finnish Design Shop €34.
Chrome-tipped bulbs reflect light backward to avoid glare. This makes them popular as vanity lighting, but they also look classy exposed from a sconce in a hallway or in an open pendant in the kitchen. $5 from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
If you want to be energy conscious but hate how normal CFL bulbs look, then the Plumen is for you. Its cleverly twisted tubes look graceful peaking through just about any fixture, and they use 80% less energy than normal incandescents. $30 from the MoMA Store.
I’ve always been fascinated by bulbs that can flicker like a candle! The ultimate in mood lighting. $15 from Rejuvenation.