- A helical integrated compact fluorescent lamp or CFL for short. The three-dimensional spiral CFL was invented in 1976 by Edward Hammer, an engineer with General Electric, in response to the 1973 oil crisis. It was expensive to produce and the invention was shelved. This design eventually was copied by others and in 1995, helical lamps, manufactured in China, became commercially available. Source - Wikipedia. Canon 5D Mark II, 1/400 sec @ f/22.0, ISO 200, 100mm macro.