Halogen to Fluorescent Torchiere Lamp Conversion





Introduction: Halogen to Fluorescent Torchiere Lamp Conversion

This project got started because I was going through $2-$3 300 watt halogen light bulbs about once a month and because the lamp in my office made as good a heater as it did a lamp.
I wound up converting 3 lamps for a total cost of about $12 in lamp parts
6 ceramic light sockets
2 3-way switches
1 25' roll of 14awg single conductor stranded copper wire
The lamps have been working great for about 3 months now. They're saving me money on electricity and light bulbs.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Lamps and Decide What You Need

I had 3 lamps I wanted to convert (one was already fluorescent but with a blown ballast) the 2 halogen lamps had dimmer switches which won't work with fluorescent lights and if left on low will burn them out pretty quick.
I found a three way chain switch at the hardware store which looked like it would fit in the tube in place of the dimmer switch.
The pre-fluorescent lamp already had a 3-way rotary switch so there was no need to replace it.

Step 2: Demolition

Remove all the electronics and any hardware not welded to the top of the lamp.
You will want to leave the cords that are strung through the lamp where they are as we will reuse these.

Step 3: Wire It Up

I've included a simple wiring diagram here for how to connect the switch and the lamps. If the wiring diagram is not clear let me know and I will try to put up some more info.
All of the components I was using had pigtails so I used wire nuts to secure the connections. (sorry no pics I finished the project a long time ago and just found this site recently)
You may need to use some additional wire as there were only 2 wires going from the dimmer switch to the top of the lamp and now there will be 3 (hot A, hot B, and neutral). Make sure to use a heavy enough gauge of wire to carry the voltage.

Step 4: Mount the Sockets

The next step is to mount the light sockets. How you do this will depend on your lamp. I was lucky, after I took apart the halogen lamps there were a couple of threaded holes on a bar welded across the center of the lamp. There were also some left over screws that fit perfectly. I drilled out the threads on my light socket's mounting bracket and screwed the sockets to the bar as in the pictures.
The lamp that was already a fluorescent didn't have any pre-threaded holes but there was a big plastic hub in the center so I drilled a pilot hole for each lamp and screwed them in place with sheet metal screws.



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    Awesome! I did the same thing to my old lamp but put in 3 bulbs instead of 2. I'm using 75 watts and getting the same light output as the old 300 watt bulb. I made mine almost ten years ago and use it several hours every night. I have never had to change the fluorescent bulbs. If they ever burn out I might try LEDs since they fit the same socket and are coming down in price.

    Could a 300 watts burn an acetate sheet? We're gonna use the 300 watts as the light source for an improvised projector, and since we've got no lcd to have images be delivered then projected, so we opted for acetate sheets.

    Those halogen bulbs get pretty hot but I'm really not sure. Trial (by fire?) might be the best way to find out.

    Well, with this project you are basically installing standard light sockets in place of the halogen one so you could then screw in just about any bulb you want, including LED.

    Make sure you are switching the hot and not the neutral.  You do not want to have a hot wire at the sockets when the switch is off.

    It's basically a regular light bulb but the chamber around the filament is filled with halogen. They can be run at high (300+) wattages and put out a lot of light, but also a lot of heat.

    Here is probably more than you ever wanted to know about halogen bulbs:

    Can you do this LEDs?

    I suppose you could. I pretty much just installed regular light sockets so you could put in any bulb that screws into a standard socket. building LEDs into the top of the lamp would be a great idea though.

    do you still have the dimming effect?