MushLume Lighting is not only an award-winning collection of lampshades, it is truly a unique and sustainable lighting design company that grows their own lampshades.

Biofabrication lighting design

MushLume’s lampshades are biofabricated, meaning that living organisms are extracted from nature or in their case, grown in a lab in order to produce a product. For MushLume Lighting, the living organisms grown in their lab is mycelium.


Mycelium is a living organism known as the roots of mushrooms that grows in soil by branching out into vast networks of fine white, thread-like filaments called hyphae. These mycelium networks are a vital part of healthy soil biodiversity, responsible for many important functions in nature such as breaking down decaying/dead organisms, transforming nutrients for plants, helping plants to share nutrients and water, and communicating via chemical signals with plants that grow in the forests.

Growing a lampshade

This bio-based material has been thoughtfully designed with over 15 years of research and development, founded by BioDesigner Danielle Trofe. The complete life cycle of her lampshades have been carefully considered in order to form a circular, closed-loop framework, where no waste is produced from making the material.

First, the mycelium is grown in a lab using hemp (a plant-based fiber that comes from the hemp plant) as the base structure to support the mycelium as it grows and spreads around its thick network of hyphae, covering the hemp lampshade mold. Once the mycelium’s matte, soft, white structure finishes growing and solidifies around the hemp mold, it gets demolded, dried, and heated to create the finished product.

Sustainability in design

Mycelium and hemp both require minimal amounts of natural resources to grow, and mycelium grows very rapidly, taking days or weeks while hemp takes between 60-90 days to grow.

In addition, during the growing process, hemp only requires half the amount of water compared to other fiber crops such as cotton, and mycelium can grow rapidly with very little water and just natural sunlight.

The finished product is packaged and shipped using only paper-based materials (shipping box, cushioning, fillers and tape) that can be upcycled and/or recycled.

Circular life cycle design

When the lampshade comes to its end life, instead of the consumer discarding it and having the lampshade end up in a landfill, MushLume’s lampshades are 100% home-compostable, meaning they can safely biodegrade/breakdown right in your own backyard. The natural decomposing process of the mycelium lampshades will add nutrients back into the soil, thus creating no waste and completing its closed-loop life cycle.

LEED, Fitwel and WELL Building Standard

With Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified®, MushLume Lighting can contribute to credits in various sustainable commercial and residential projects such as LEED certification projects under Materials & Resources category, Indoor Environment/Air Quality category for Fitwel and Materials credit category WELL, reducing human exposure to hazardous building materials for interiors (like VOCs) to create healthy indoor air quality for building occupants.

You can find MushLume Lighting’s Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified and biofabrication process sheet, along with other information under product resources in the Trade section of their website.

*all photos are from MushLume Lighting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *