CFL Full Form – Compact Fluorescent Lamp

CFL Full Form

CFL Full Form – Compact Fluorescent Lamp

A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent light bulb.

A notional temperature, the correlated color temperature, the temperature of a black body which emits light of a hue which to human color perception most closely matches the light from the lamp, is assigned.


LED prices fell well below US$5 for a basic bulb in 2015.

Some types fit into light fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs.


this emitted ultraviolet light is converted into visible light as it strikes the fluorescent coating (as well as into heat when absorbed by other materials such as glass).


Compared to general-service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer.


A CFL has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, but can save over five times its purchase price in electricity costs over the lamp’s lifetime.


Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain toxic mercury which complicates their disposal.


In many countries, governments have banned the disposal of CFLs together with regular garbage.

These countries have established special collection systems for CFLs and other hazardous waste.

The principle of operation remains the same as in other fluorescent lighting.

CFL Full Form – Compact Fluorescent Lamp


Electrons that are bound to mercury atoms are excited to states where they will radiate ultraviolet light as they return to a lower energy level.

CFLs radiate a spectral power distribution that is different from that of incandescent lamps.



The color temperature is characteristic of black-body radiation.

White LED lamps now compete with CFLs for high-efficiency lighting, and General Electric has stopped production of domestic CFL lamps in favour of LEDs.







The parent to the modern fluorescent lamp was invented in the late 1890s by Peter Cooper Hewitt.

Improved phosphor formulations have improved the perceived color of the light emitted by CFLs, such that some sources rate the best “soft white” CFLs as subjectively similar in color to standard incandescent lamps.



Circular and U-shaped lamps were devised to reduce the length of fluorescent light fixtures.

Edmund Germer, Friedrich Meyer, and Hans Spanner patented a high-pressure vapor lamp in 1927.

The Cooper Hewitt lamps were used for photographic studios and industries.

George Inman later teamed with General Electric to create a practical fluorescent lamp, sold in 1938 and patented in 1941.

CFL Full Form – Compact Fluorescent Lamp




The design was eventually copied by others.


The spiral CFL was invented in 1976 by Edward E. Hammer, an engineer with General Electric, in response to the 1973 oil crisis.

The first fluorescent light bulb and fixture were displayed to the general public at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Although the design met its goals, it would have cost GE about $25 million to build new factories to produce the lamps, and thus the invention was shelved.


The lamp used a folded T4 tube, stable tri-color phosphors, and a mercury amalgam. This was the first successful screw-in replacement for an incandescent lamp, using new rare earth aluminum lattice phosphors to solve the problem of lumen depreciation that would normally occur quickly in such a thin tube.

In 1980, Philips introduced its model SL*18, which was a screw-in or bayonet mount lamp with integral magnetic ballast.


It was based on the SL1000 prototype from 1976.

It wasn’t widely adopted, because of its large size, weight (over half a kilogram), pronounced 50 Hz flicker and 3-minute warm up time.




This required the development of new, high-efficacy phosphors that could withstand more power per unit area than the phosphors used in older, larger fluorescent tubes.

CFL Full Form – Compact Fluorescent Lamp


Volume was an issue in CFL development, since the fluorescent lamps had to fit in the same volume as comparable incandescent lamps.

In 1985, Osram started selling its model EL lamp, which was the first CFL to include an electronic ballast.




They were first proposed by General Electric, who saw difficulties bending glass tubes into spirals using automated machinery.

In 1995, helical CFLs, manufactured in China by Shanghai Xiangshan, became commercially available.



Since that time, sales steadily increased.


The phosphor coating in spiral CFLs is uneven, being thicker at the bottom than at the top, owing to the effect of gravity during the coating process.

Xiangshan solved this problem by bending the tubes by hand, made possible by the then-low labor costs in China.

Although their popularity varied across countries, in China CFLs were the “dominant technology in the residential segment” in 2011.



As a result of decreasing cost and better features, customers increasingly migrated toward LEDs.

In India, “nearly 60 per cent of the lighting market in India has been taken over by LEDs” by 2018.

CFL Full Form – Compact Fluorescent Lamp


The rise of LED lighting, however, significantly affected CFL sales and production.

In the United States, CFLs were also facing the possibility of proposed regulations for 2017 that would create difficulty qualifying for the Energy Star rating.

In early 2016, General Electric announced the phase out of CFL production in the US.



CFLs emit light from a mix of phosphors, each emitting one band of color with some bands still in the ultraviolet range as can be seen on the light spectrum.


Modern phosphor designs balance the emitted light color, energy efficiency, and cost.


Every extra phosphor added to the coating mix improves color rendering but decreases efficiency and increases cost.


Good quality consumer CFLs use three or four phosphors to achieve a “white” light with a color rendering index (CRI) of about 80, where the maximum 100 represents the appearance of colors under daylight or other sources of black-body radiation such as an incandescent light bulb (depending on the correlated color temperature).

Color temperature can be indicated in kelvins or mireds (1 million divided by the color temperature in kelvins).


The color temperature of a light source is the temperature of a black body that has the same chromaticity (i.e. color) as the light source.


The lamps use a tube which is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb, and a compact electronic ballast in the base of the lamp.

CFL Full Form – Compact Fluorescent Lamp



In particular, narrow bands of shorter-wavelength radiation are usually present even for lamps of low color temperature (“warm” light).


practical white light sources approximate the radiation of a black body at a given temperature, but will not have an identical spectrum.



Color names used for modern CFLs and other tri-phosphor lamps vary between manufacturers, unlike the standardized names used with older halophosphate fluorescent lamps.

As color temperature increases, the shading of the white light changes from red to yellow to white to blue.

CFL Full Form – Compact Fluorescent Lamp


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