Home Energy & Comfort Glossary

Fluorescent lamp

A glass enclosure in which light is produced when electricity is passed through mercury vapor inside the enclosure. The electricity creates radiation that strikes a coating on the inside surface of the enclosure, causing the coating to glow. Note: Traditional fluorescent lamps are usually straight or circular white glass tubes used in fixtures specially designed for them. A newer type of fluorescent lamp, the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), takes up much less room, comes in many differently-shaped configurations, and is designed to be used in some fixtures originally intended for screw-in incandescent lamps.

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