Saturday, May 26, 2001

New UBO light bulbs definitely different

By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        What would Thomas Edison say?

        Even the Wizard of Light would be puzzled by the latest interpretation of his creative efforts.

        Over the years, we've seen big light bulbs, small bulbs, black bulbs, red bulbs, clear bulbs, coated bulbs. But the new UBO bulb, with its sticky-looking surface, looks like Martha Stewart went overboard with the glue gun.

        “Funky” is how most people describe the UBO light bulb from Kikkerland that is covered with silicone points that come in several colors.

[photo] Billy Inabnitt's lighting for the Cincinnati Ballet Designer Showcase.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
        Interior designer Billy Inabnitt is one of them. He put the lights in the 2001 Cincinnati Ballet Designer Showcase room he created on the third floor of the Bishop's House in Clifton. (The show runs through Sunday.) Prone to clean, contemporary lines and gentle humor in his work, Mr. Inabnitt was looking for just the right light fixture for his “artist's retreat.”

        “The entire time I was planning the room, I wanted something funky and fun for a light,” he says. “But what I wanted was way too expensive for a temporary installation. Then I saw this at Fifth Elephant, downtown, and everything clicked.”

        He had an electrician install five single lights that hang on black cords at varying heights from the ceiling. Four are white; one is yellow. They are a perfect fit with the diagonal-stripe carpeting, the mink and Persian lamb pillows and stainless steel-look walls. You want to reach out and touch the lights when you enter the room. But be warned, they feel creepy.

        In Lebanon, we spotted the single lights that look like silicone kisses as replacements for single, clear flame bulbs in reproduction lanterns and on electric candlesticks in shops around town. They are sold at William & Mary Antiques on Broadway. ($8.95 for the big lights, $3-$3.75 for the small singles.) Owner Mary Kaufman found them at a New York Gift show last winter.

        “You go to these shows and see a lot of the same thing over and over. So when you see something new, it really hits you. They were so funky. I couldn't resist.”

        Though she says the bigger bulbs in colors are “hot with the teeny-boppers,” she sells more of the single-flame design which is more traditional looking.

        “Everybody just loves to touch them,” says Mr. Inabnitt. “It draws them into the room for a closer look.”

        The bulbs are 25-watts and average about 1,000 hours. They fit standard fixtures and come in green, blue, orange, red, white, yellow and multicolors. More information can be found at


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