Though the traditional Energy Dome is red, several variants of the dome have existed. In 1981, they wore green dome hats while performing "Whip It" on the Solid Gold television show. In a Diet Coke advertisement, Devo sported white domes. Silver chrome domes were worn by Devo in concert in 2002. (These domes were actually covered in silver tape, not properly chromed). A Devo fan made two dozen chromed energy domes for the 2003 DEVOtional convention. In 2004, for Devo's shows on the Nike-sponsored Run Hit Wonder race/concert, blue domes were used. In the music video for "Go Monkey Go", Mark Mothersbaugh can be seen wearing a white dome with a purple bottom tier, similar to the headgear of Mojo Jojo. An appearance by Devo on the VH1 show TrueSpin featured charcoal gray domes. Two variant Energy Domes are in the collection of Michael Pilmer — one clear, and one made of textured black plastic.
In addition, Energy Domes sold through Club Devo have come in several forms. The original Club Devo domes were of a smaller size than the stage-worn domes, and had raised "DEVO" text on the top. In 1996, Devo began to sell domes that matched the stage-worn model, though the new stage domes were slightly smaller than the original. The first versions of these domes were white, but spray-painted red. These were later replaced with domes made in a solid red plastic in 2004. In 2005, energy domes were sold as Halloween costumes. These domes were made from the original Club Devo dome mold.
Energy Domes have been a regular part of Devo's stage costumes since 1980, worn in their 1982, 1988, and 1990 tours, as well as most performances since 1997.
According to Gerald Casale on the Devo website:
It was designed according to ancient ziggauratmound proportions used in votive worship. Like the mounds it collects energy and recirculates it. In this case the Dome collects energy that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medula Oblongata for increased mental energy. It's very important that you buy a cheap plastic hardhat liner, adjust it to your head size and affix it with duct tape or Super Glue to the inside of the Dome. This allows the Dome to "float" just above the cranium and thus do its job. Unfortunately, sans hard hat liner, the recirculation of energy WILL NOT occur.
In keeping with Devo's love of constructing truths, several origins of the energy domes exist. According to one story, the band took the design for the hats straight out of a Little Lulu comic book. Another involves inspiration from an old art deco lamp from Jerry Casale's collection. Mark Mothersbaugh also liked to refer them as "ziggurat hats" in interviews.