Modular Compact Fluorescent Lamp

As the 1980s progressed, more companies began marketing compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). This modular unit was made by Janmar Lighting around 1987. The ballast that controls the electrical arc in the lamp is contained in the base adapter. The globe-shaped cover serves both to diffuse light and to make the lamp less unusual looking. Some consumers dislike the non-traditional shapes of many CFLs and refused to purchase them for that reason.
It is not known if the Philips tube assembly is original to this piece or if it's a replacement. However it does demonstrate that the new plug-in bases developed with CFLs became standardized within a few years of the technology's 1981 introduction.
This unit is a modular CFL with three components: a tube assembly, an adapter, and a cover. Lamp characteristics: Tube assembly is a Philips model PL-7/27. A 7-watt twin-tube unit with connecting bridge-weld mounted on a G23 plastic base with aluminum skirt. The adapter has a brass medium-screw base-shell with retainer. The insulator is part of the plastic skirt that houses a magnetic ballast. A G23 socket is on top and male threads to attach the cover. Cover is a G-shaped, white-glass envelope with black plastic collar at bottom, threaded to mount onto adapter. Electrical ratings are 120 volts, 60 hertz, .18 amps.
Date made
ca 1987
date made
ca. 1987
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
glass (overall material)
mercury (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 4 in; 17.78 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Energy & Power
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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