From the Lab to the Marketplace Ten Years Later, Energy Efficient Technologies from Research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley Lab logo (left) with six rows of gray dots transitioning to a line art drawing of a cityscape and residential houses.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps

Closeup of an energy-efficient CFL torchiere.

Berkeley Lab's success with the electronic ballast had showed the lighting industry that their work was significant and influential. Berkeley Lab reports describing the impact compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) would have on national energy efficiency convinced the lighting industry to develop these energy efficient lamps. The Lab then provided lighting companies with consultations, prototype lamps and laboratory measurements, which helped advance the commercialization process.

(Left) Compact Fluorescent Lamp; (Right) Cover of the 'Lighting Retrofit Workbook'

(Left) Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

(Right) Retrofitting national parks with CFLs.

Berkeley Lab researchers estimate that CFLs will have 10% market share in 2017, resulting in energy savings of 0.12 quads, 0.49 billion dollars in consumer benefits, and 1.9 MT of carbon emissions.

Another CFL application followed when Berkeley Lab researcher Michael Siminovitch saw reports of the fire hazard associated with halogen torchieres, a widely used floor lamp. He conducted photometric tests and discovered that these lamps burn at nearly 1,000 °F, an energy intensive and dangerously high temperature considering the proximity of people and furnishings. In contrast, compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) torchieres, which incorporate electronic ballasts, operate at about 100°F, posing no fire hazard. CFL torchieres produce about 45% more light than halogen torchieres and consume only one-quarter the energy.

(Left) Heat output from a halogen torchiere; (Right) A prototype energy-efficient CFL torchiere.

(Left) Heat output from a halogen torchiere (right) operating at nearly 900F is considerably higher than the CFL-based torchiere developed by Berkeley Lab lighting researchers.

(Right) A prototype energy-efficient CFL torchiere.

Eric Page displays a CFL torchiere prototype (left) and a hot-burning halogen torchiere (right).

A lighting researcher displays a CFL torchiere prototype (left) fitted with an off-the-shelf CFL, and a hot-burning halogen torchiere.

CFL torchieres in a bedroom.
CFL torchieres in a hallway.
CFL torchieres direct light toward the ceiling.

CFL torchieres direct light toward the ceiling, providing indirect room light.

CFL torchieres entered the market in 1997 and gained popularity because of concern over the fire hazards of halogen torchieres. Berkeley Lab worked with college housing authorities to develop halogen-for-CFL torchiere exchange programs for students, who accounted for a large share of halogen torchiere sales. These efforts expanded to utility energy conservation programs, military bases and other federal facilities, which began offering rebates or exchange programs to their customers and employees. Today many lighting manufacturers offer a variety of CFL torchiere models, sold in lighting, hardware and home improvement stores.