Modular compact fluorescent lamp

After the withdrawal from the market of their miniature metal-halide lamp, General Electric began offering compact fluorescent lamps as replacements for energy-efficient incandescent lamps. This 1995 "Biax" compact fluorescent lamp is designed for both commercial and residential markets.
The unit has a modular design. When the electrodes fail in the tubes, the tube assembly can be replaced without having to also replace the ballast and electronics housed in the adapter unit. Unlike the Philips PL design that uses a thin bridge weld to connect the two tubes, the Biax lamp folds the tube at the top. The connecting section sags a little, creating a space at the top of each tube-leg for mercury to condense.
The screw-in adapter unit is a feature of Biax lamps sold to consumers. Commercial users typically buy lighting fixtures that come equipped with the ballast and control electronics, as well as the special plug-in sockets.
Lamp characteristics: Unit consists of a 5 watt, twin-tube lamp with a base adapter that contains a ballast, starter, and screw-base. Lamp: S plastic G23 single-end base with two brass pins. Two tungsten electrodes, mercury fill. Two parallel, phosphor-coated tubes with "sagging bridge" connection. RE 827 phosphor. There is a seam around outside of the tube. Tips of tubes (above bridge) allow areas away from the arc where mercury can condense. Adapter: A nickel-plated brass medium-screw base with glass insulator and plastic housing. Socket for G23 base on top and a magnetic ballast inside housing. 1993 GE catalog notes that the starter is in the lamp base--not the adapter.
Object Name
fluorescent lamp
discharge lamp
Date made
ca 1995
date made
ca. 1995
General Electric Company
Physical Description
tungsten (overall material)
mercury (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 6 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in; 16.51 cm x 6.985 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Energy & Power
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Harold D. Wallace, Jr.
Publication title
Lighting A Revolution
Publication URL

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