Manufacturer: Philips
Model: SL*9 Prismatic
Application: General Lighting
Wattage: 9W
Width (max): 72mm
Length: 148mm
Tube Length: Awaiting Data
Bulb/Tube material: Glass
Colour Temperature: 2700K
Peak output wavelength: Broadband
Total light output: 430Lm (47.7Lm/W Manufacturer's claim)
Rated lifetime: Hours
Cap: B22
Operating voltage: 240V
Operating current: 0.09mA (Measured: Awaiting Data pf: Awaiting Data )
Warmup/restrike time: Around 1 minute/None
Cost (original): --
Value (now): --
Place of manufacture: Holland
Date of manufacture: February 1986
Lamp Status: Working, new in packing (and shipping box!)

The 9W version of the original Philips SL* series has been missing from my collection for a while, but late last year a reader of the website kindly donated not just one of these, but a whole box of them.  Not just any box, but an original Philips box which I assume must have spent the last 26 years hiding in the back of a storeroom somewhere.

When the SL*18 was launched, aiming to give output equivalent to a 100W incandescent lamp, it was quickly identified that there was demand for lower wattages and smaller lamps.  As a result, both 13W and 9W versions quickly followed it onto the market, aimed at replacing the most common (in the UK anyway) incandescent ratings of 60W and 40W respectively.  Like the rest of the range, this was offered in prismatic versions as featured here, and an opal version badged as the "comfort" version due to the reduced glare produced.  The second generation of the SL* lamps had white bases and actually had different diffusers, with the comfort one having opal glass.  The early ones like this though used the same diffuser, just with an internal opal coating on the SL* Comfort lamps.  These examples so far have eluded me...

Sadly the problems of size and weight were even greater a problem for the lower wattage lamps, as they were the ratings more commonly used in things like bedside lamps, table lamps and for other decorative lighting purposes.  Many table lights would be unstable with the extra weight in, shades wouldn't fit over the lamp at all, or it would stick out.  The lower power consumption of the 40W incandescent relative to the 100W that the SL*18 was aimed to replace also meant that the payback period in terms of the energy saving was far, far longer.

They're a rarer find nowadays than the SL*18, which tended to get relegated to jobs like lighting lofts, store rooms etc as more practical electronically ballasted compact fluorescent lamps came along.  Given that unless they get exceptionally wet or are physically damaged these lamps don't really degrade when not in use, many are likely to remain in such locations for many years to come.  The lower output of the 9W version though meant that it wasn't so well suited to these tasks, so seem to have rather lower a survival rate in "forgotten service" status.  They also didn't seem to sell as well, so were probably rarer to start with.  They do still turn up from time to time though, as this find here seems to have proven!

A small lamp like this really wasn't a practical proposition until electronically ballasted compact fluorescents appeared, nevertheless as part of the original SL range, it definitely deserves a place here.

It's a very well engineered product which has clearly been built up to a standard rather than down to a price - even down to the hugely elaborate packaging.  Inside the already complicated hexagonal prism shaped box there's a very study cardboard sleeve with usage instructions on it, a locating piece to further protect the cap end of the lamp and another instruction leaflet in a bewildering selection of languages touting the advantages of the design.  The graphics on the box show some very 80s decor - so I've included some more detailed scans of those below for interest sake as well.

It's also interest to see that there's a section of text (which appears to relate to the rated lumen output - quoted there as 425Lm, rather than 430 elsewhere on the packaging) which has been blanked out on the packing sleeve, with what appears to be  black marker pen!  I wouldn't have wanted to be the person tasked with scoring that out on hundreds or thousands of these!  ...Also wouldn't have wanted to be the person who realised that the typo had been made in the first place, or the person who made it...

Click Thumbnails for full size images.













This lamp added to the Virtual Display Shelf on the 12th July 2012 at 23:01.

References: Lamp markings and packaging.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to the website reader who donated a whole box of these lamps and many others.


25th January 2021: Minor page formatting changes to improve readability on mobile devices.

28th April 2023: Revised Statcounter code to allow for HTTPS operation.

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