Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Integral Compact Fluorescent Lamp

Integral Compact Fluorescent Lamp

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
After the initial introduction of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in 1981, many competing lamp companies placed products on the market. The first thirty years of compact fluorescents has seen a wide array of styles and features offered as lamp makers attempt to set their products apart from competitors.
This U-Lite unit is an integral CFL—the lamp is all one piece. Integral lamps are typically more expensive to replace than modular designs that allow the user to replace only the part that fails. However integral units do not require suppliers to stock replacement parts, and they free consumers from having to try to select the correct part for their device.
The U-Lite used a slightly larger tube than other companies' CFLs. That simplified the manufacturing process and reduced stress on the phosphor, though it limited the number of tube-legs that could be put on a single lamp. As many as four pairs have been mounted on CFL designs from other makers. More tubes of the size used on the U-Lite would make the lamp too large to install in many fixtures.
Lamp characteristics: Brass medium-screw base with plastic skirt, glass insulator. A magnetic ballast is housed inside the skirt. Single-bend (T-8) arc-tube with reduced diameter bend and internal phosphor coating. No separate, external envelope.
Object Name
fluorescent lamp
discharge lamp
Date made
ca 1987
date made
ca. 1987
Interlectric Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
glass (overall material)
mercury (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 8 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in x 2 in; 21.59 cm x 6.35 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Energy & Power
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission on our collection pages is temporarily unavailable. Please check back soon!

If you have a question or require a personal response, please visit our FAQ or contact page.