Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen one of these chic pretending-to-be-exploding bulbs somewhere on the internet. These bulbs are known as Almora bulbs and are made by a San Jose-based company called Urelas. Urelas, which was then known as the Sterling Lighting Company, started selling these bulbs on eBay back in 2014. Suddenly—thanks to TikTok—these bulbs have exploded (no pun intended) in popularity.
So how are they made?
Since there wasn’t much information available on the internet about these bulbs. We reached out directly to Urelas to learn more about this mysterious bulb’s manufacturing process. And it’s actually not as complicated as it seems.
According to Zou Yingjie, who oversees Urelas’ Almora manufacturing facility in Zhongshan, China, there are three steps to the making of this bulb. First, a normal LED filament bulb is created. Nothing fancy at this stage, just your regular LED bulbs equating to 3W, 6W or 9W of power are put together. However, the shell (outer covering) of the bulb isn’t put in at this stage.
The magic happens in the bulb’s shell. Almora’s glass shell is actually mirror-coated from the inside. Where, a very thin layer of metal is coated on the insides of the shell. These work as mirrors that reflect the filament on their front-facing one, creating the infinite starry effect. But wait, where do those stars come from?
Before the mirror coating dries off, a worker manually pokes the coating to create hole-like irregularities in the layer. When assembled, these holes/gaps allow some of the light to pass through the shell. And thanks to the mirror coating, the starry-trailing effects are created.
The final colors of these bulbs can vary according to the color of the source filament used. Urelas uses their own patented filaments that emit different shades of red, green and blue, which makes their bulbs appear more vibrant and colorful. Whereas, the “copycats” like FEIT or Ikea, as Zou calls them, use generic single-shade (mostly warm white) filaments which only gives out one color to the whole bulb – hence, they’re less vibrant and vivid than the original Almora bulbs.
Apart from decor, these bulbs aren’t really that useful. Due to the intentional blockage of light, they do not create much light if that’s what you’re looking for. But if you’re opting for a rad, stony, euphoric decor range, then a couple of these will do wonders!
If you’re interested, check out Urelas’ Almora light bulbs here. They come in all shapes and sizes.