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Light Guide

Compact Fluorescent Lamp Identification

Compact Fluorescent lamps (bulbs) are either pin-based (they plug into a socket) or they are medium screw-based (they screw into the same socket as common incandescent bulbs). The following describes pin-based compact fluorescent bulbs:

Lamp manufacturers of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association use a generic designation system for compact fluorescent bulbs. This system helps users identify the bulb type and easily cross-reference between manufacturers.

The NEMA generic designation system for pin-based compact fluorescent lamps consists of four parts:

CFL Shapes

CF + Shape + Wattage / Abbreviated Base Designation


9 watt twin tube with G23 base


26 watt quad tube with 2 pin G24 base

CFQ26W/ G24d

26 watt quad tube with 4 pin G24 base


32 watt triple tube with 4 pin G24 base, >80CRI, 3500K


Compact Fluorescent Bases

CFL Bases


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