Compact Fluorescent Lamp(CFL) is becoming popular day by day because of its ease of instillation and low power requirements.They have a fairly good life of about 2 to 2.5 years depending on use. I was having 4 dead CFLs and was wondering how I can recycle them. I got an idea to make Compact LED Lamp (CLL) from them. Read out my instructable to get to know how to make a CLL from dead CFL. Its easy, economic & fast. It took less than hour for me to make a CLL. So lets start.....

Step 1: What We Need ?

We need the following material to make a CLL
1) Dead CFL(s)
2) Bright White LEDs having such size so that they can fit into the bore of tube of CFL.
3)Solder & Soldering Gun
4) A power supply (discussed in detail in notes).
5) Screwdriver, hammer, hacksaw, adhesive, adhesive tape, etc.

Step 2: Lets Get to the Work

Now, first of all we need to open the dead CFL and remove the ballast circuit in it. First remove the end connecting cap by screwdriver as shown in photos and disconnect wires. Then try to open the upper portion of the plastic assembly that holds the glass tube. It is anchored in the base plastic assembly that holds the ballast circuit. For some CFLs these two may be sealed with adhesive. Try to open them by screwdriver so that anchoring releases or simply use hacksaw to separate then as I used, Be careful while using hacksaw, cut it in circular fashion not from top to down. When you complete separate 3 parts of CFL, cut down wires connected to glass tube and remove ballast(choke) circuit from the middle part.

Step 3: Breaking the Opening of Glass Tube

This part is very important and risky too. If you got a CFL of 11 W (As I used here), it contains main two tubes. No of tubes may be more for more CFL having more wattage. But there will be only 2 electrodes. We need to take these electrodes out. Using a wire stripper break the uphaving glass part of electrode. It may fall down in the tube. Make tube vertical so that it comes down again. Using screwdriver or any tool u find suitable make small pieces of electrode by breaking it in the tube so it comes out totally. No part of electrode, especially metal wire should remain in the tube. Don't strike screwdriver on inner walls of the tube as it will remove the inner fluorescent coating. Once you remove both the electrodes, you get two openings to tube. Broaden them carefully so that your LED can enter it.

Now for remaining you need to be careful. For CFL used here, there are two totally sealed bottoms of tube that we need to break. Use a sharp nail or screwdriver and gently break it by hammer. Be gentle, this could break the whole tube. So finally, you should have opening for every section of tube from bottom.

Step 4: Arrange the LEDs

Now the part comes to arrange LEDs. Connect your soldering gun to AC supply and get ready. You can choose any no of LEDs depending on the length of dead CFL you are using and your light requirements. I have used total 24 LEDs here as 6 LEDs in each tube bore. You can either use series of parallel connection. Parallel connection would require huge reisistance to connect with it. Also it may not fit in the tube bore. So I prefer series connection.

As illustrated in photos, get rough idea of how much should be space between two LEDs. I have kept space of about 1 cm between two. Then cut extra leads and go on soldering. Make bunch of 6 LEDs (or any no you want) in total 4 (equal to total number of tube bores). You need to connect a wire to lead of LED that goes innermost in the bore to connect it further.Insert every bunch in tube bore very carefully. Make the connection of all LEDs so that they are as per shown in circuit diagram. Finally you should have all the LED bunches in the bore of tube and only two connecting wires coming out.

Step 5: The Power Supply

Hmm.......the tricky part now comes. You can run LEDs directly on AC supply as they itself rectify the AC, however this is risky and reduces life of LED.I have used a bridge rectifier to improve life. You must connect appropriate series resistance. To calculate series resinstance-
I have 24 LEDs in series.
Max voltage drop in each LED = 3V & current is about 20mA ( for LEDs I used, this may differ, refer datasheet of provider or estimate by multimeter)
for 24 LEDs 3*24= 72V
AC supply available at me = 230V
Voltage to be dropped in resistance= 230-74=156 V
Hence for me approx. 8 to 10 K resistance will be needed. I have used 10K resistance.
Assemble power supply as shown in circuit, which is very simple. If you don't get ready made bridge rectifier, make it by using 1N4007 or similar diode.

Important Notes-
1) Working with AC is risky. Using such type of power supply will reduce the life of LEDs.
2) Using a DC supply containing step down transformer, filter & regulator is advisable. Or solid state transformer less pure DC supply circuit will do.
3) You need to design power supply according to input voltage available at you.

Step 6: Gather It Together.

Finally, connect the glass assembly to output of power supply. Extend wires of end cap if needed and connect them to power supply. Connect the end cap. Use adhesive and tape to join the plastic assembly. Its DONE ! Get ready for testing.

I suggest you to use small car inverter or a UPS or a home inverter for testing. Do not use AC mains directly for testing. If everything goes fine, its okay to use with AC mains.

Step 7: Compact LED Lamp Is in Your Hand !

So finally we have made dead CFL working again by using LEDs. The CLL I made consumes about 6W only. It is enough to light up a small room or porch or balcony. Better the power supply you use, better the life of CLL. It costs almost nothing. I needed to spend only 70INR (about 1.5USD) to make this. Let's recycle dead CFLs to CLLs !

Some Ideas
This method can be also applied for Standard Fluorescent Tubes. Bulky ballast assembly can be replaced by power supply circuit. Only the thing is it is very fragile to open end caps of the tube.

If you want to create LED Bulb, you need to carefully open and remove filament in incandescent bulb. Also you need to add a reflected behind of LEDs.

you mixed up the ac and dc connections on the bridge rectifier Just added a schematic that shows the right connections
hi <br /> i m newbe, pls details the diod &amp; register.....<br />
Diode- Diode is a device which allows current to flow in only one direction. Diode is a semiconductor device. Diodes used here are P-N Junction Rectifier Diodes. Rectification is an important application of diodes. There are various types of diodes like Zener, Shortkey, Tunnel,&nbsp;Varac, etc. <br /> <br /> Resistor-&nbsp;Resistor is a device which opposes the flow of current. It is used to limit the current. Every device has certain capability to handle current. To limit the current for a device, resistor is used. <br />
I am in usa how can I get these led what the name and type? help please<br>
on ur left circuit, the connections are wrong.<br />
you don't say.... when I posted the comment the circuit on the left was in the instructable and the connection on the right is the one I posted then he changed the picture to the one on the right<br /> <br /> altough it does make sense to say the connections are wrong sense he posted the same picture that is to the right into the instructable.<br />
thanks for correction. I didnt seen it properly.
Good idea!<br/><br/>The warnings about mercury aside, there are a few things to watch for:<br/><br/>The 'diode bridge' diagram is not correct. The 2 diodes on the top-right and bottom-left are pointed the wrong way - this is important if someone is to make their own.<br/><br/>The resistor should have a high power rating. You are using a 10k to drop 156v and P= V*V / R, or (156*156)/10000, which is 2.5-watts. This also means that of the 4.8-watts the bulb consumes, over half of it is being 'burned up' in the resistor.<br/><br/>
I will correct the mistake (if any) in the bridge rectifier diagram and I have used 2W resistor which is working fine.
what the name of the led you have used
Converting high voltage AC to DC to make LED glow is not recommended. Heat is also a factor. Resistors get very hot and the life is short. Unnecessary power is being consumed, Electricty bill goes up. Mercury is UNSAFE to handle.
There is NO any mistake in circuit of bridge rectifier.
<p>you could have used high power led in series coz they are less expensive and you can rely on them....</p>
<p>Look into a &quot;capacitive dropper&quot; circuit, it's much more efficient than this. Since your load is constant and you probably don't need to add a Zener diode for regulation, you should be able to make it very efficient.</p>
<p>Ostrożnie w świt&oacute;wkach tego typu znajduje się rtęć.</p><p>Bardzo trująca!!</p><p>Nie radzę otwierać szkła świt&oacute;wki, opary rtęci są bardzo trujące!!!</p><p>Oczywiście można wykorzystać świetl&oacute;wkę jeśli jest sprawna jak i elektronikę,</p><p>ale trzeba zachować wszekie możliwe środki ostrożności!!!!!</p>
<p>Good idea! Sir., keep it up!!</p>
i thougt of this idea before but never knew how to open a CFL.now that i know it,i'm gonna make it with the help of a 1 watt led and led current driver with the help of ur bridge rectifier.anyway,thank u. :D
Better don't breath at all!<br>Oxigen will make free radicals that can (will) produce cancer...
People here keep talking about the Mercury being released from the CFL, they would do well to remember that there is about 3 times More Mercury in that Tuna Fish that they had for lunch and chased it down with a full serving of tailpipe exhaust from the cars &amp; trucks outside. Then there was the POORLY filtered water that they used to brush and rinse their mouths with JUST before sounding off about how it is SO UnSafe to do this project. But...you forgot to complain about the BROKEN GLASS! <br> <br>Come on now....there are a LOT more project listed on this site, whick could do a LOT more harm if you're stupid with it, than this one. We've taken a CFL, which has bad stuff in it, that doesn't work anymore and put LEDs, which are Good, into it and made use of the whole unit...thusly keeping it out of the landfills. <br> <br>Top Notch!
Well said mate! <br>man! some people will just right crib about everything!<br>look at the brilliance behind the idea! i'd say a great use <br>for all those dead cheapass chinese CFLS i have lying around. (dunno why i saved them all these years!) <br><br><br>warning: DO NOT complain about the NOISE when opportunity knocks! (issued in public interest)
ah, the common man and his common sense understanding of alchemy. <br>you probably are aware that inhaling does not equal digesting. <br>but, and this one's should blow your comfort bubble, organic mercury does not equal inorganic mercury. <br>so, forms and compounds play the major role here and the vapours released by a broken CFLwill harm any close bystander unnoticably, yet significantly. <br> <br>this 'ible is indeed cool and useful and you won't have to call a HazMat team upon dropping a bulb. still, it's something serious. and references to mercury in tuna or poluting factories are naive and ignorant. <br> <br>the released mercury will certainly and severely damage the nervous system of anyone mass-refitting CFLs in closed rooms. <br> <br>don't worry though, mercury poisoning doesn't hurt a lot in most cases.
maaf boleh aku bertanya.bisakah power supply tersebut digunakan untuk amplifier atau trafo tegangan 12 volt.terima kasih aku tunggu jawabannya.<br />
Budi is asking abt using the psu circuit for amps and 12 trafo.<br><br>budi, yes, this psu circuit is the simplest way to get direct current. but its too crude to be used for amps. you will need capacitor as filters.<br><br>regardless of the voltage of the trafo, as long as its higher than 1.4 volts (each diode eats 0.7v)
thank you sir for the reply I am satisfied
can i know how many watt for 1 3mm led? i want to replace my light outside my autogate i'm using 40w how many led should i use? and how do i calculate the resistor for my led? the formula please? sorry to ask because i'm new to ac project, i only do d.c. project before so i need to carefully calculate the resistor again.
Too dangerous and doesn't make sense ecologically. Risk contaminating the immediate area and your person. Not to mention the light draws 1.4 watts but the voltage dropping resistor nesessary to lower the line voltage wastes 4 watts. The only thing gained is lamp life, but the light flux is lower than the CFL so this is dangerous wasted effert.
do NOT do this.. most (a great percentage) contain mercury to excite the phosphorous (white coating in tube) .. average of 4-5 mg per bulb.. while not greatly toxic to a adult... repeated exposure and exposure to children or the unborn can have severe consequences.. some companies are lowering the concentrations but not all.. and some cheap bulbs contain great amount... try using another medium to diffuse the light
I'm still alive. I'm not poisoned by mercury. As I told earlier it contains very less amount of gaseous mercury.
<em>I'm still alive. I'm not poisoned by mercury.</em><br/><br/>That's really not the most sensible approach... I'm sure the mechanics who wash their hands in petrol, and the people who smoke 40 a day, and the people who live in asbestos houses think the same thing. Yes, one CFL isn't going to kill you, but it's best to avoid anyway. If you have to do this I'd recommend breaking the tube outdoors away from people, animals and the water supply.<br/><br/>An easier approach might be to get a burnt out incandescent (probably still more common, and less of an environmental hazard) and some plastic tubing from elsewhere. Actually, I've got two dead incandescents I didn't know what to do with, might have to give that a go.<br/>
Ive learned that everything in your life is gonna kill you one day. I ate raw hambuger as a child and I made it into my 50s. I drink 100% milk and I cook hamberger at a high temperture and I guess Im a heart attack, cancer ridden, drinker, smoker waiting for my turn.<br><br>You just need common sence when you do something stupid (oxymoron) Dont break the glass then put your nose to it and inhale it!<br><br>I broke a bulb, held my breath, got stuff to clean it up (started breathing of course) and I still have the capacity to write this reply.<br><br>We all know the dangers of experimenting. Cause if you dont take chances in life you dont go anywhere, you just fade away....
Yes, I have suggested that option also of using dead incandescent lamp.
You may be alive but you make it SHORT. Slow poison is better then a fast one, RIGHT?
HOLY SH!T i inhaled the gas. <em>but i'm still alive!</em> and i did it in my kitchen. I think im gonna die now......<br /> <br /> noooooooooooooo!!!!!<br /> <br /> dieeeinggvhmb1<br /> <br /> mercurwe&nbsp; !1!1<br /> <br /> LOL!<br />
That's right .This is really risky. You don't have to take this risk to re light a dead CFL. It can be done, rather in a safer way. See <a rel="nofollow" href="http://makelifeeasy.yolasite.com/">http://makelifeeasy.yolasite.com/</a><br/>
That's very cool! Probably uses less energy, too. Just a word of caution: These lamps contain mercury vapor, which is fairly hazardous to your health. If/when you break your tube open, do it OUTSIDE and wash your hands after you touch any glass portion.
While mercury vapor is harmful the levels in a cfl are extremely low. You probably eat more mercury (fish) then you can get from a cfl.
What are you doing about the mercury? Even though it is a small amount, it should be considered.
That mercury is not going to hurt. Many factories emit tons of mercury. Mercury in CFL is negligible.
True. But you should always minimize exposure.
why we dont go for re-use this tube by charging new gas/chemical in it?
I really don't think that Its worth the risk
I just love the politically correct statements on this site. Guess what, it does not matter how much electricity you use. The power plant is going to make the same amount each day no matter how much you use. Energy can not be saved nor destroyed. It can be used to produce work (heat, light, power motors, etc. et. al.) The less you use the more you will pay for what you do use. The power company is in business to make money. They will make up the loss generated by your not using power by charging you more for what you do use. There is no such thing as renewable energy. All power on the planet with the exception of nuclear is generated by the sun and save by nature in one form or another. Eventually the sun will die and all nuclear fuels on the planet will decay to the point where they can not longer generate power. Therefore there is no source of renewable energy. My grandparents, parents and I grew up in houses painted with lead paint, played with toys covered in lead paint. Our water supply came from an aquifer that contained most of the lead ore in Missouri. Lead and mercury poisoning are greatly exaggerated for political purposes. Anyone able to tell me how many people died in the United States during the last year from either cause? Whatever happened to the great threats of West Nile, Bird Flu, Swine Flu and all the other pandemics? What is the government doing while they have your worried about a non-issue? Three card Monte in action. Use your brain folks instead of buying everything they say at face value. Also keep your wallet in your hand.
what about geothermal power? That is indeed a power source that does not depend on the Sun. I understand that most of the worlds power depends on the Sun. Coal, basically preserved trees that have been compressed. Most energy sources can be traced back to the Sun's light energy.<br />
Geothermal power is based on the transfer of earth's internal temperture to water and then to either heating a house by radiant heat from the water similar to steam heating from a boiler in a building or by converting the energy to electricity.&nbsp; When the sun dies it will first become a red giant which may or may not engulf the planet, but most definitely will boil the water from the planet.&nbsp; More likely the nuclear power plant of the earth's core will decrease until the core is no longer molten metal and the magnetic field will collapse and solar radiation will extinguish life on the planet.&nbsp; End result is the same -- a barren dead planet.&nbsp; Thus the argument remains -- there is not such thing as a renewable energy source.&nbsp; While geothermal is a viable alternative in some locations, it is hardly a replacement for coal and oil.&nbsp; The costs of drilling wells deep enough to tap into geothermal in the majority of the world makes it uneconomical.&nbsp; It is as with all sources of power expensive to develop, convert and maintain.&nbsp; Since the last posting I made, my point has been made.&nbsp; Proof of the lies perpetrated on the world by the United Nations and the so called climatic scientists have surfaced.&nbsp; The climate just before the last mini-ice age was warmer than now and there has been no rise in global temperature since 1995.&nbsp; Global warming has been nothing more than an excuse for attempts at social re-engineering by socialists and communists and a method to redistribute wealth from those who earn to those who are parasites on society.<br />
They call it renweable energy sources because the human race will not last as long as the Sun will, so they would last for the human race. As energy has to be used to get rid off, there has to be an end to it. But they are not renweable, it would probably also be called that for people to divert to those energy sources and allow energy to sustain for some time. Since energy cannot be destroyed those so called 'renewable sources' just keep that cycle going, loosing not as much energy in every cycle. Like now, on my computer if solar cells were to cover up my screen and power my battery up, I would incur (spelling) on a loss and eventually my batteries will die out. A small scale model demonstrating how 'renewable sources' are not renweable, with a few major mistakes.<br />
I must say - almost everything you said there was...to be politically correct...bunk. Just because a power plant produces giga-watt-hours of power, and that is outside of your grasp of the scale of an input output system - yes there will be some losses you cannot prevent through transmission - but if one million customers cut their usage in half - the plant would see a drop in demand, and WOULD PRODUCE LESS POWER. less production means for them less fuel used, which directly means money saved. Yes they have a bottom line and may up the charge, not saving the consumer money - but they will have used less irreplaceable fuel. "the sun will die". The 'life' expectancy of the human race is only in the tens of thousands of years. The sun is expected to keep burning for a few more BILLION years, at which point it will start fusing its larger fuel - helium, causing it to expand, absorbing the earth. If in a few billion years we haven't killed ourselves off, then we had better have come up with a way to get out of dodge. Your water has heavy metals in it - that sucks. It's not exaggerated. The effects of long-term heavy metal poisoning are just that - long term. No you wont get sick quickly, but your latter years will suck. They will suck more than you can imagine, causing many ailments the least of which are almost all neurological disorders and diseases such as dementia and symptomatic similar to parkinson disease. When you're getting older, and your mental deficit taxes your body and the health care system, get back to us on that 'overblown' Pandemics will be the end of mankind. Not necessarily this one or the next one, but it is fact that one of the few things that can truly wipe out the human race are biological, likely natural. We do need to take precautions to increase readiness, and when the big one hits, increase our chances of survival and or quality of life. Frankly, your statements are so closed-minded and naive that I find myself literally disturbed that anyone anyone could be lead so far from reason...could just be the heavy metals.
ROTFLMAO!!! Gee, I guess that the effects of all that lead that I drank and ate when I was baby and the mercury I played with as a child (let’s not forget the doctors thermometer that broke in my mouth and the mercury I ingested) resulted in a 140+ IQ. When was the last time you heard of a power plant closing? The human population of the planet is not getting smaller. Therefore, the demand for power is not going to get smaller. All the so called green and renewable energy solutions proposed so far are inefficient and the production methods expend more fossil fuel power than they will ever generate. It takes a gallon and a half of fossil fuels to produce on gallon of ethanol. The production of ethanol from corn has raised the price of corn meal so much that Mexicans cannot afford to buy one of their staple foods, tortillas. The only two exceptions are nuclear and hydroelectric. However, morons in the green community oppose those. Not to mention that the decimation of the rain forest has gone into overdrive to grow sugar cane to produce ethanol. Great for the planet! Lol… The ecoterrorists have almost exterminated the wild salmon and cut throat trout with their misguided effort to clean up the water. The fish no longer have anything to eat the water is so pristine that nothing can live in it. I remember as a teenager having trouble walking across the river without stepping on a salmon. Now they blame the hydroelectric dams, but want water discharged during the summer so the salmon fry will not get too hot and die. Gee, what happened to them before there were dams? Their arguments sound good until you look at them logically and see the results of letting them have their way. My father, mother and their ancestors have all lived into their late eighties and mid nineties. One aunt will celebrate her 100th this year. None have suffered from Parkinson’s, dementia or any other mental disorder. When I am getting older? I am already in my sixties. So I just got back to you on that! If you insist in believing the garbage the American Democrats spew, so be it. Some people just can’t use reason and believe whatever they are told. They are so busy chasing their own tail that they can’t see what is really going on around them and behind the scenes. Frankly, now that modern medicine has interfered with natural selection and the human race is growing weak from the spread of bad genes there probably will be a pandemic of measles, the common cold or some other virulent disease. Nature takes care of things eventually. Find a way to survive the eventual death of the planet? Not likely, the socialists coming into power now will use all government money to line their pockets and claim there is not enough for universal health care (which will be rationed) and will scrap any project that might get the human race off the planet. As long as people like you keep your head in the sand, the outlook for the future is bleak indeed.
You're a brave fellow Sarge! Anybody that suggests the Obama Kool-Aid is not true in this PC forum is the equivalent of saying "The Emperor's New Clothes " do not exist !!! I too have come out unscathed, so far from growing up in a coal town in northeastern PA where chemicals were illegally dumped in mine shafts that got into ground water. Had coal fired power plants w/o scrubbers, the municipalities dumped raw waste into the Susquehanna River. DDT was sold in my local hardware store & fertilizers & pesticides weren't regulated till the 1970's. Refrigerant gases were freely released into the air. We played with toxic chemicals in a tube from China called,"Super Elastic Bubble Plastic" that wreaked of VOC's. As an ASE certified mechanic I used air hoses to blow asbestos out of brakes & later we used MEK . Parts cleaners used benzene, toluene, xylene with bare hands it would be so cold you'd have to take breaks to feel your fingers & now I understand it's absorbed transdermally. I worked on a dairy farm as a teenager & unregulated chemicals & unsafe equipment use was the norm! Like you say we lived through many things now considered unsafe. Swings had big chains that pinched your fingers, you could go over the top if you pumped had enough & a big board seat was framed in heavy metal! The seesaw had different positions that could crush your fingers. We had yellow hard plastic in cardboard in the kitchen to keep flys away that omitted 2,2-Dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate, Shell No Pest Strips! As a trucker with a Haz-Mat endorsement I'd pick up stuff that didn't need placards in the swamps of New Jersey & deliver to swaps in Oklahoma, both with nary a flying insect to be found, how odd! From the EPA website: For the second half of 2008, the DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA) has reported that water samples tested for lead are at or below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). George Hoskin, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Science and Applied Technology Division. Hoskin was taking umbrage at an article in Consumer Reports magazine in 1992 that charged that half the cans of tuna it tested contained "insect parts," "hairs," "fish scales," and "feather barbules." From our friends at the USDA (You mentioned "Keep your hand on your wallet!" organic foods are averaged to cost $900 extra per family of four as per Time magazine last week) : Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water. A headline I saw recently about coal fired power plants Down Under: Gorgon’s dirty secret: Western Australia’s biggest single polluter? August 11, 2009 - Tony Serve. I could go on, but why?
not ever power plant is on 24/7. many power plants only operate when it is very very hot. or very very cold. it doesn't take much to have these operate for 4 instead of 5 hours in a day. and because all/most of the temporary power plants use consumable fossil fuels you would use less energy. Also, these power plants are not just on/off. you can crank them high or low depending on what you need that day.

About This Instructable




More by electrosam:Noob's LED Tester Essential Benchtop Lab SMPS from a Computer SMPS Mr.Floppy Showpiece 
Add instructable to: