Alice Rawsthorn writes an excellent article about the transition from incandescent through compact fluorescent to, ultimately, LEDs. She is a bit harsh on the CFLs:
One designer has threatened to wage war against them. Another reckons they're so depressing that we'll be driven into psychotherapy. A manufacturer describes them as "very unfriendly" and, even, "a little violent."
Loves the light quality of incandescents..."Look at a light bulb, preferably a clear one, when it's switched off - isn't it beautiful ? Turn it on and you can't see it any more, but it has a magical power to transform space."
Tom Dixon's Blow Lamp
"Designers and manufacturers are already trying to overcome these problems. The British designer, Tom Dixon, recently launched Blow, a cloudy white shade, shaped specifically to soften the chilly glow of a CFL. He is now developing a new low-energy bulb, which, he hopes, will resolve some of the aesthetic problems of existing CFLs.
Even so, most designers see CFLs as an interim technology, which will be phased out as soon as LEDs become affordable. "
Cosmos Chandelier by Naoto Fukasawa
In the future, lights need no longer be independent objects, hanging from the ceiling, or perching on a table or floor. The Japanese designer, Naoto Fukasawa, is experimenting with the integration of lighting and other domestic functions that are now executed by separate objects, into the modular panels of "intelligent walls." Ingo Maurer has already sunk LEDs into walls and tables in one-off commissions.
"For sure LEDs are driving us into a completely new era," said Piero Gandini, president of Flos and the manufacturer who dismissed CFLs as "unfriendly."
"We're moving from electricity to electronics." ::International Herald Tribune