Introduction: How to Use Burnt Compact Florescent Light Circuit Module

Picture of How to Use Burnt Compact Florescent Light Circuit Module

Note and precautions: CFL's contain mercury which is hazardous material, so it should be handled accordingly
Most CFL lamps, electronic circuits are working perfect and are still useable, only the bulb goes defective. CFL circuit of 18-24 Watts are useful for the activation ofreplacement type two feet 18-20 Watt Florescent Tube Light bulb.

Step 1: Find a CFL

Picture of Find a CFL

You will need a CFL as shown in picture. Any CFL of which bulb is defective, broken or has outlive its life is useful for this modification. Drive voltage may be according to your country 110 Volt or 220 Volts. In my country (Pakistan) voltage standard is 220/230 Volts.

Step 2: Disassemble

Picture of Disassemble

Disassemble the CFL as shown in the picture. Note there is a single pair of wires/connections which goes to the 110/220 Volts. other side has two pair of wires 9four wires) these will be connected to the replacement type 20 Watt 24" Florescent Light bulb. After disassembling you will need electronic module from it. Check carefully there are no burnt parts on it. Using multimeter check its diodes, fuse etc. some time fuse is found melted you can replace it or bridge with a very thin copper wire.


Step 3: Parts Required

Picture of Parts Required

You will need a replacement type Florescent Light bulb of 18 or 20 Watts type and hardware to hold the tube bulb and ofcourse salvaged electronic module from the CFL.

Step 4: CFL Module Wiring

Picture of CFL Module Wiring

Rewire appropriate length of wires as shown, say about 4 to 6 inches.

Step 5: Mounting and Assembling

Picture of Mounting and Assembling

mount the parts and assemble. Note the CFL module shold be mounted on an insulated plate. I used a piece of Plexiglas and fixed the CFL module with a hot glue on it. For extending connections, use terminal blocks.

Step 6: Connect to Light Up

Picture of Connect to Light Up

Now after assembling check all connections taking care there should be no loose connection. Now power up!!!. I have assembled three such units successfully.


piratus (author)2017-10-23

hi. I have lcd monitor with inverter problem. Can it work with ccfl lcd backlight? Thank you in advance.

Sushantibsnlin (author)2017-03-10

Can a 15W cfl electronic module be used for 9W 2-pin cfl? If yes, which of the two pairs (4 wires) of module to be connected with one pair (2 wires) of cfl? Thanks in advance.

awesomelumens (author)2014-09-25

It works fine. I am already using 40 watts tube with 23w energy saver's circuit BUT it is dim than 40 watt ballast

SubhranilG (author)awesomelumens2017-02-16

you can use upto 65 w cfl or pl circuit for 40 w tube only .... for bright light than 40w

you can use 32W for 40W bulb

iffee (author)awesomelumens2014-09-25

Some time wattage are written fictitious. The transistors used in the circuit may reveal actual wattage. You can replace it with a 20 watt tube lamp.

Jameeluddin (author)2016-03-16

Great !dea .... but for me i make use of burned out CFL by using its top as adapter for bulb holder.

I found CFLs are bad for lighting house. Earlier i used to replace Tube-light fitting with CFLs. But soon i realise that the light emitted by CFLs are not good for reading & doing jobs. More over CFLs cant be used for hand lamps for doing jobs as the light emitted by CFLs lack penetrating property in the darkness. In other words "CFLs are big failure". Light emitted by CFLs goes on deceasing with the age of cfl.

On other hand i found LED lights excellent. I now replaced my CFLs & Tube fittings with LED lights, by which i m getting excellent result.

I prefer 21 Watt LED tube light is enough to brighten 130 - sq feet room. For larger rooms , 2 or more tube light can be fitted. LEDs have very long life.

Whitedevil Josh (author)2016-02-23

A neon tube from

Whitedevil Josh (author)2016-02-23

A neon tube from

Whitedevil Josh (author)2016-02-23

Can I use a CFL to power an o

IzakB (author)2015-07-06

I opened up exactly such a Philips lamp today (in South Africa) and it is pretty similar instead of the rectifier bridge on the bottom of the board, this one has 4 x 1n4007 diodes and a 3.3uF 400V electrolytic capacitor (4.7 in your image). Inspect that capacitor carefully. On mine it is bulging slightly, indicating that it's probably cooked a bit. I suspect it was cooked by the lamp heat, as 400V should be more than sufficient for the 325VDC (remember, 230VAC is RMS, peak will be higher). If the cap is bulging, don't use it.

hadii.khokhar (author)2015-06-25


sherwyndrulz (author)2015-05-14

do i need to connect the tubelight starter along with the circuit or just connect the circuit directly to the tubelight ?

MIHIRP2 (author)2015-03-25

hello all..

can i use 40w electronic choke to light up 11w cfl tube...

it is very tough to find 11w ballast in my town....

iffee (author)MIHIRP22015-03-25

40w will require at least three 11w bulb in series.

guille4496 made it! (author)2015-03-10

100% funcional. para gente q le guste regalarle a sus cosillas una segunda vida con un consecuente ahorro dw dinero.

samira99m (author)2015-03-06

Can we modified the CLF (compact light florescent) circuit into induction heater circuit thank you

iffee (author)samira99m2015-03-06

Simply No.

Roger44 (author)2015-03-01

Great idea.

A T2 8W tube lit up when connected to a 11W CFL, thereby proving the T2's ballast must be dead, and not the tube. A T4 6W also lit up on this CFL.


iffee (author)Roger442015-03-01

Thank you. In my experience these CFL ballasts accept wide range of
lamps with light output variation. I usually use 23 Watt ballasts with 20 watt lamps.

rdramesh (author)2014-11-23

How can we find what is voltage atviutput terminal?can we use is to make led bulb ?

The Sky Pirate (author)2013-11-27

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see the electronics being recycled. What is the voltage that drives the various CFL tubes? It would appear to me that many of the power supplies provide 400VDC to the tubes. Is this correct? Do any of them provide higher voltages?
The Sky Pirate

The Sky Pirate (author)2013-11-27

Think of all the CFL bulbs going into landfills and the Mercury from those bulbs going into the drinking water and the worlds oceans.
The Sky Pirate

uadil (author)2013-08-30

Awesome Job :)

patrickvaz (author)2013-07-30

Hi, this is was a great info. thanks for everything.
Just a query, I have a CFL lamp, it needs a electronic ballast, works with 2 pins only as seen in the pic, can you suggest what needs to be done. cheers

iffee (author)patrickvaz2013-07-31

@patrickvaz. Your question is not clear to me.

patrickvaz (author)iffee2013-08-09

I have a CFL with 2 pins(26 watts GE) it need a electronic ballast operating at 230v ac, i have attached picture of the CFL, thanks for the interest. regards

kishore (author)2013-02-27

It was good recycling of CFL Circuit detaily explained project .I would like to ask you as I got circuit from old burnt out 8W CFL Blub .can I use for 18W Florescent light. will it work or I had replace some components on circuit, and does this circuit from CFL save electric consumption do reply....

iffee (author)kishore2013-02-28


I have not tried but guess,
It may not work or may work with dimmed light.

kishore (author)iffee2013-02-28

Thank you for your reply..What wattage CFL blub circuit you have used for this explained project.

iffee (author)kishore2013-03-01

18 to 25 Watt CFL will drive 18 to 40 Watt tube lights.
40 watt tube light was a bit dimmed. If you are from India then you may visit some "Kabaria" to get CFL modules. Good Luck

ant0ny (author)2012-11-30

Very simple and very great idea! Thanks! :)

Adarsh_tronix (author)2012-10-24

Good one and I always got confused of tube wirings unecessarily......

waheguruji652 (author)2012-04-01


kemog (author)2008-12-18

Hello, this is understandable and easy to accomplish. And I am interested for same thing but in car usage (12 V). do you have any ideas or instructions about using good parts of CFL with smaller fluo tube which can fit in rear part (trunk) of a car. Thank you!

iffee (author)kemog2011-12-15

I have circuit from

12V Fluro inverter

I built it and using since last 3 years, It is very efficient if built according to
the instructions,

wolfy_9005 (author)2008-09-02

Nice. Would it be possible to remove the but you attack to the wall and make a handle so you can use it like a portable shop light?

iffee (author)wolfy_90052008-09-06

It requires connection to the wall plug, so may not be convenient to use as shop light.

joinaqd (author)iffee2008-12-30

nice instructable,by the way im from Bangladesh..salam

iffee (author)joinaqd2011-12-15

Brother Wa-Alekum Asslam

msw100 (author)2008-10-15

Great instructable You show a picture of a philips bulb with straight elements but the circuit is from the spiral CFL do you have the pinouts for the straight element bulb?

MairseyDotes (author)msw1002009-02-27

The straight flouro tube has two pins at each end. There is a low-wattage incandescent coil between the two pins at each end; just connect the two pins from one end to the wires that are next to each other on the electronics board, and the same for the other end of the tube - you should have four wires on the board which were originally connected to the spiral tube. Try to imagine the spiral tube "unwound" into a straight tube and you'll see how it works.

iffee (author)MairseyDotes2011-12-15

@MairseyDotes. Well explained

pako (author)2011-12-15

It's a good idea, I have a lot of dead cfl circuit and standby
using them as sources of high voltage, now installing it on old
lamps with ballast heavy and noisy, so
noise disappears and the ignition will be faster.

sun_ray2050 (author)2011-10-28
but with 40W FL
soon will try with twice electronic ballast

adi1977 (author)2011-08-28

Hello Sir

Its a great project. Please let me know can we connect 20X1watt led or 8x3watt led connected in series with a 20 watt cfl module. What changes have to be made.

iffee (author)adi19772011-08-29

This is not suitable for LED type lights.

chub2 (author)2009-12-03

Most common CFL are 18W to 26 W. if one wants to run a 40 w tube how do we modify the circuit?



labatt (author)chub22010-02-20

 chub2 you don't have to modify the circuit for  a 26W to 40W tube, the main concept is add some heat sink around the transistors or ground the tube  mettalic housing to. However all in all just try and implement the procedure in this instructable and you may be surprised that it works, For tubes they only fail to work because it fails to strike on, putting your hands  near the tube makes it strike (grounding)

chub2 (author)labatt2011-04-15

Thanks for your prompt suggestion, I have around 6 dead CFL lying around at home, I have tried your method, it works ! except for one which had burnt parts.

However, it is found that, CFL choke connected to the light light is not as bright as the original CFL.

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