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Low-pressure discharge lamps obey a set of physical laws that are different from those of high-pressure discharge lamps. In this paper, these differences are addressed. Based on a recently developed HID lamp model frame, a semi-theoretical fluorescent lamp model that can be determined by genetic algorithms and simple electrical measurements is presented. This model does not require any lamp data from lamp manufacturers. Its parameters can be determined from electrical voltage and current measurements of the lamps under AC operation at mains frequency. With the same set of parameters, the model can predict the lamp terminal characteristics accurately under low, medium and high frequency operations. Good simulation results were achieved when the lamp power was reduced to 60% of rated power and when the lamp was operated under step-up and step-down transient processes. Simulation results for different sizes of tubular and compact fluorescent lamps agree well with their experimental results. Particularly, the differences between simulation results and experimental results under rated power are less than 10%. Hence, the proposed model shows a good degree of accuracy: 1) for different types of fluorescent lamps; 2) at different operating frequencies; 3) under different dimming levels; and 4) during step-up and step-down transient processes.