GLEN COVE, N.Y.–While consumers are embracing the energy-efficiency of compact fluorescent light bulbs, they’re still not thrilled with the quality of light provided.
That’s the premise that led to the creation of the Lunet Light Cover, a cover for CFLs designed to reduce glare, create a more natural warm light and add a decorative accent to overhead lighting.
Lunet’s designer, Gary Bernhardt, has been making novelty lighting products and electronics for more than two decades, but his company is relatively new.
Firefly Alternative Energy Group, which made its trade show debut at the International Home & Housewares Show last week in Chicago, has unveiled its patent-pending Lunet clip-on light cover that inserts right into the wide end of the spiral bulb. Made from high impact, heat-resistant, UV color-treated plastic, Lunet comes in two sizes of 3 3/4 inches and 4 1/2 inches in diameter to fit the two most common overhead fixture sizes that have typically been occupied by R30 and R40 floodlights.
In addition to a frosted white version, which Firefly feels will be the most popular, Lunet is also being offered in decorative patterns such as stained glass, amber roman and deco designs. Suggested retail is $3.79 each for the frosted white version and $4.79 for the decorative models.
Firefly is targeting the mass, home center and specialty channels—virtually anyone who sells CFLs, Bernhardt said. Lunet could be merchandised as an accessory with the bulbs; it could go with the lighting fixtures or be put with more decorating products, depending upon the retailer.
The designer is no stranger to the mass-market lighting business.
Bernhardt, chief executive officer of Firefly Alternative Energy Group, has been in design, engineering, manufacturing and distributing for 25 years, the first 15 with a China-based contract manufacturer of consumer electronics for major brands. In 1997, Bernhardt launched LightFX, maker of novelty and trend lighting products, including motion lamps, liquid lamps and many others, for the mass market. For 10 years, LightFX was a major supplier of novelty lamps to key accounts.
In 2006, he shut down LightFX.
“We had had a few pretty rough years and the tremendous downward price pressures and declining profit incentive, coupled with my looking to do something more meaningful, led me to close that company,” Bernhardt explained.
The greater meaning for Bernhardt lies in creating technologically advanced and energy-efficient products that would have an immediate impact on consumers and perhaps change the way they look at things, he said. Firefly has been developing some “techie” lighting products “that don’t require the traditional electrical support that lighting currently needs,” Bernhardt said. Those won’t be released for a few months. Along the way, Bernhardt purchased a lot of CFLs for his home and discovered just how uncomfortable the light was, so he designed the Lunet covers, he said. With Lunet, consumers won’t have to feel they’re compromising good light quality to be green.
“The idea was to make a compromise into something that is an enhancement and even a fun decorating experience,” Bernhardt said. — Nancy Meyer