How To Reuse a Dead Compact fluorescent lamp and Get Free Electronics

Picture of How To Reuse a Dead Compact fluorescent lamp and Get Free Electronics
how to get free electronics out this dead  "Compact fluorescent lamp" there is so many electronics in there 
there is transistors , resistors , audio transformer , capacitors , diodes ... etc.
    the target of this cool project is recycling dead  "Compact fluorescent lamp" to get a free electronics to use it in other projects
to make some thing cool out of  "Compact fluorescent lamp" .

A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp; some types fit into light fixtures formerly used for incandescent lamps. The lamps use a tube which is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb, and a compact electronic ballast in the base of the lamp.
Compared to general-service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. A CFL has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, but can save over five times its purchase price in electricity costs over the lamp's lifetime.
Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain mercury, which complicates their disposal. In many countries, governments have established recycling schemes for CFLs and glass generally.
CFLs radiate a spectral power distribution that is different from that of incandescent lamps. Improved phosphor formulations have improved the perceived colour of the light emitted by CFLs, such that some sources rate the best "soft white" CFLs as subjectively similar in colour to standard incandescent lamps.
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Step 3: Take The PCB Out and Desolder it

cut the wires to remove the PCB and look for the electronics that you need and desolder it with the solder iron and take it out  and you are Done!
turbiny6 months ago

have you tested those boards, can it be used as a led/led strip driver?
what voltage does it put out?

PhilKE3FL10 months ago

"There are no bonus points awarded for saving the PCB" - Huh? What if you have a use for the PCB? I reused one to make another circuit. It had holes and connections/traces I could use. The PCB could be one of the parts you want to reuse. see: - Yes, I know, I did not "need" the PCB, but it was nice to be able to use it, and I could, but ONLY because I had saved it along with the other parts.

Oops, I don't like the fact that I can not copy and paste into these comments, I got the URL above wrong because I had to type it in. Let's see if I can do it correctly this time, try this link:

you can hold ctrl+v

OK, I did a copy and here is me holding Ctrl-V: - Huh? Nothing was loaded? what happened? Here I'll try again, I do a high-light of all the above text - then I clicked Ctrl-C for copy, and now I'll press Ctrl-V to paste: Huh? Nothing again! As I said I do NOT like the fact that I can not copy and paste. Or, can you do it but I can not? In which case it is a problem with my computers, IE11? what? Oh, and by the way, if I now hold ctrl-V while in my text editor, low and behold, the last test copied is in fact pasted there, just NOT HERE!?!

something must be off with your browser my friend because i can copy paste ok. i can send you a screenshot if you don't believe me. why do you sound so upset im just trying to help

Sorry if I sounded upset I'm not. Yes, you are correct - here's a test from home:

This is just a test from text editor to paste into instructables using Firefox 28.0 - this works so it must be something with the security settings in IE 11 at work. I'll have to ask, not that anything will be done about it.

Thanks for the info & trying to help & again, sorry if my text sounded upset safari.


no worries bud. its odd I use Firefox as well. I had the same issue i think it was an add-on in firefox i disabled and started working. hope it helps i know that can be so annoying.

Yup, it is annoying at times. Your response helped me figure out where the problem was, it is NOT with Instructables but the computer at work. It just means I'll need to do bigger postings from home.

pfred22 years ago
Desoldering parts off printed circuit boards with a soldering iron is a waste of time compared to better methods. Personally I use a solder pot, but others successfully use blowtorches, and other means of heating more than a lead at a time. I'd have that whole board stripped before you got your first part off it.

Remember, parts salvage is not board rework! There are no bonus points awarded for saving the PCB. Getting it done, and removing parts in such a manner that they are still functional are the goals.
Mahmoud Alaa (author)  pfred22 years ago
i didn't get it right please explain more
OK, this guy isn't very good, but he does it how I do it, so he isn't that bad.

You can rig up a molten solder pool on a barbeque with a dished piece of scrap sheet metal. I saw a video of a fellow in China doing similar. Or if you're not into the open flame effect there are articles on this site about how you can make your own solder pot.

The trick is to melt the solder on all leads at once, then parts pop right off. A soldering iron is great to put parts in, because you can attach one lead at a time, but that is no good for taking parts out!
For those without a hot air rework station - a paint stripping gun works great too.
For those with a rework station - just use the hot air wand! LOL.
None of that works great because you do not get wetting with just heat. Why would you use rework techniques salvaging components? They're totally different task with different goals, that dictate using different tools, and methods.
Mahmoud Alaa (author)  pfred22 years ago
AHH , ok thanks i get it i will try next time
Mahmoud Alaa (author)  Mahmoud Alaa2 years ago
can you vote for me please?
jhornor1 year ago
My mother doesn't want me to do this because she is worried about the mercury in the lightbulbs. How safe is this to do and is there a any risk of mercury exposure?
My mom also said this. Just don't break the bulb. Actually, you get more mercury exposure by eating a tuna sandwich than by breaking the bulb.

One article recommends that if you break the bulb, just ventilate the room and leave for 5-10 minutes. Should be fine.
This could be why most asian children do so much better in school - they eat about 1000 times more fish than we do. I think they started the mercury scare so that they could hog it all for themselves!
If you break the bulb, hold your breath for 5 seconds for the gas to dissipate.
Avoid licking, chewing or swallowing the glass. Sweep it up and throw it away instead.
You should be fine if you take these simple precautions.

I'm thinking your mom would call in a biohazard team and tent your house for a month if someone broke an old thermometer!

Before everyone went all nutterbutters about Mercury, I used to play with liquid Mercury as a child. Maybe that's why I am the only one around that knows the difference between "they're, their and there" and "you're and your" etc.
Things I learned got stuck in the mercury in my brain rather than getting washed away!
as long as the glass doesn't break you should be ok.

If you glass breaks, don't breath in.
Mahmoud Alaa (author)  jhornor1 year ago
i don't think so , but it is safely to do , just open the plastic box and cut the wires ,Done! :D
tealk1 year ago
for what you can use audio transformer? could it used like normal transformer
Mahmoud Alaa (author)  tealk1 year ago
Yes,i Think so
zoomer2961 year ago
or you can use a plasma ball to light it up:
kbowen991 year ago
cool, great idea and concept, except what do you do with the bulb part
dgfarny2 years ago
Another quick tip for removing components is the use of a hot air gun, got mine from harbor freight for about $10 and use it all the time.
Mahmoud Alaa (author)  dgfarny2 years ago
thanks for the tip
There's not a LOT of mercury in those bulbs, there's a MINISCULE amount of mercury in there, and it's not in metallic from, so clean up of a breakage isn't a major headache, the guidelines quoted say more about the originators desire to cover it's legal posterior than the actual hazard presented. That's not to say that the stuff isn't toxic, but some fairly basic common sense precautions should take care of it. After all people have been dealing with Fluorescent tubes for years without it becoming a major HazMat incident.

Could you rip it appart more quickly, possibly, but it's not inappropriate to take time and reinforce your skills. Keep up the good work, thanks for sharing.

The main question is "What are you going to do with the stuff now you've GOT it?" Keep us posted.

Mahmoud Alaa (author)  Dream Dragon2 years ago
ok , first thanks for comment , second you can make Joule Thief with it and you can use the capacitors in a coil gun
For a small PCB & a few parts your methods are just fine,Mahmoud. You don't need a bunch of equipment & all that "hot air" to have fun & learn something. CHEERS!
Mahmoud Alaa (author)  Lectric Wizard2 years ago
OK , thanks for commenting
dadoffour2 years ago
You need to be VERY careful doing this!!! There is allot of Mercury inside those bulbs, it can be very dangerous!
From the EPA's website:
"Before Cleanup

Have people and pets leave the room.
Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:
stiff paper or cardboard;
sticky tape;
damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and
a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

During Cleanup

DO NOT VACUUM. Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

After Cleanup

Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours."

As you can see, they're DANGEROUS!
Mahmoud Alaa (author)  dadoffour2 years ago
OK , first thanks for adding your comment and for the information but we don't need the glass tube and we won't break it we will just hack it and take the PCB to get the electronics