Modular Compact Fluorescent Lamp

One method that companies have long used to minimize production costs is to design products that use many of the same parts. In the early 1990s Duro-Test Lighting used this approach in a series of modular compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
Modular CFLs are designed so that specific parts can be replaced if they fail. This allows the reuse of expensive parts that still work. In this particular lamp, the fluorescent tube and the reflector enclosing it are made as one piece; the base-unit that houses the ballast and starter are another. In addition to allowing one to replace the tube assembly if it failed, one could swap different assemblies. The reflector lamp could be changed to a decorative lamp for example, without having to remove the base-unit.
Since the price of electronic components has dropped since this lamp was made, the economic reasoning behind this feature is less persuasive.
Lamp characteristics: Two-piece, modular compact fluorescent lamp including a base-unit and a tube assembly. The base-unit has a medium-screw base-shell with plastic insulator, and a plastic skirt that houses a ballast and a starter. A socket on top accepts a plug-in base. Tube assembly includes plastic plug-in base, a fluorescent tube with two electrodes, mercury, and a phosphor coating. A glass R-shaped envelope with silvered coating serves as a reflector and is glued to the tube assembly's base.
Currently not on view
Object Name
discharge lamp
fluorescent lamp
Date made
January 1991
DURO-TEST Corporation
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
mercury (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 8 1/2 in x 5 in; 21.59 cm x 12.7 cm
Place Made
United States: New Jersey, Bloomfield
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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 Duro-Test Corporation
staff. 1986 Progress Report
Publication title
Lighting A Revolution
Publication URL
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Approved comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about your own artifacts or comment on their value, rarity, or collectibility.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.