GE Heliax Compact Fluorescent FLE42HLX-VT-827

Although the concept of the first helical compact fluorescent lamp was developed and proven by GE's Ed Hammer as early as 1976, it took a further two decades before the first products were launched. The first lamps were shaped by manual glassblowing techniques, and it proved extremely challenging to develop a high speed automatic machine to take over the process, such that lamps could be produced at a price that the market would accept. GE came close to launching the Heliax lamp in 1996 - a 32W non-integrated lamp intended for professional lighting applications which was unveiled at the World Light Fair in Hannover, but at the last minute it was withdrawn due to production problems. Meanwhile the manufacture of spiral-shaped CFLs took off in China, where the high labour content was more affordable.

A decade later, GE tried again to develop a mechanised process to form the spiral tube, and set up a pilot production at its Hungarian Tungsram subsidiary. The lamp featured on this page was the result. It was produced only in this powerful 42W rating, the larger size lamps benefitting the most from the compact helical shape. Its high luminous flux made it the first to replace the 120V 150W incandescent lamp while maintaining a length sufficiently short to fit the standard 6.5" harp-support of American lampshades.

The glass tube has been first blow-moulded to produce the large cold chamber at the top of the spiral. The rest of the spiral is unusual for its variable diameter, producing a more spherical rather than cylindrical shaped body for better light extraction and distribution, and for its in-line electrodes that minimise tube length. The lamp proved expensive however, and was soon replaced by a hand-made Chinese product.
Manufacturer: GE-Tungsram
Lamp Power: 42 Watts
Lamp Current: 0.700 Amperes PF=0.6
Lamp Voltage: 120 Volts 60Hz
Cap Type: E26s/25 Ni plated brass + vitrite
Bulb Type: T-12.7 Helix T-4 Helix
Bulb Finish: Triphosphor Soda-lime glass
Electrodes: Triple coiled tungsten Triple carbonate emitter
Atmosphere: Ar|Hg Amalgam
Luminous Flux: 2,650 lumens @ 100h 2,275 lm average
Luminous Efficacy: 63.1 lm/W @ 100h
Colour Temperature & CRI: CCT: 2700K CRI: Ra=82
Chromaticity Co-ordinates: CCx: 0.462 CCy: 0.412
Rated Lifetime: 10,000 hours to 50% survival
Warm-up & Re-strike time: 3 minutes Instant re-strike
Burning Position: Base Down only
Overall Length: 163 mm 6.4 inches
Light Centre Length:
Mass: grams
Factory: Nagykanizsa Hungary
Date of Manufacture: Approx. 2005 Date Code: 503
Original / Present Value:
References: 1) GE Lamp Catalogue, USA, 2006 p.5-11
2) GE Lighting Compact Fluorescent Brochure, USA, 2004 March
3) The Smithsonian Institute, Lighting a Revolution - Compact Fluorescent Lamps