To increase consumer support and market for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) retrofit in table lamps, visual comfort and task illumination distribution were assessed. The principal purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of shade shape and CFL burning position on visual comfort. The second purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a Comfort Scale (CS) for measuring table lamp users' visual comfort. One hundred and twenty university students volunteered to participate in the study, and ninety responses from students with 20/20 or corrected vision were used in the data analyses. For each of six conditions, fifteen students performed a visual task and completed a CS and a University Students' Survey (USS). Round, square, and polygon shades and a vertical and a horizontal CFL were tested. A GE‚Ñ¢ light meter was used to measure task illumination. MANOVA indicated that shade shape affects visual comfort and task illumination and demonstrated that CFL burning position affects visual comfort and task illumination. MANOVA also established that the interaction of shade shape and CFL burning position affects visual factors of comfort (preference, comfort, and brightness condition). Lighting designers can select a shade appropriate for the type of CFL specified. Lighting manufacturers need to disseminate information regarding shades and CFL burning positions so that consumers will be able to make appropriate choices. Future research needs to consider the effect of shade factors and various CFL types on other applications. Understanding the effect of a table lamp fixture on the users' well being can accelerate the confidence in and use of CFLs by consumers.