Make a CLL (Compact LED Lamp) from a dead CFL(Compact Fluorescent Lamp)

Picture of Make a CLL (Compact LED Lamp) from a dead CFL(Compact Fluorescent Lamp)
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 ?

Picture of 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.
zain_de26 days ago

you could have used high power led in series coz they are less expensive and you can rely on them....

IzakB1 month ago

Look into a "capacitive dropper" 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.

AnsulJ2 months ago
freeteh5 months ago

Ostrożnie w świtówkach tego typu znajduje się rtęć.

Bardzo trująca!!

Nie radzę otwierać szkła świtówki, opary rtęci są bardzo trujące!!!

Oczywiście można wykorzystać świetlówkę jeśli jest sprawna jak i elektronikę,

ale trzeba zachować wszekie możliwe środki ostrożności!!!!!

NiteshR7 months ago

Good idea! Sir., keep it up!!

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
rhoderik4 years ago
Better don't breath at all!
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 & 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!

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.

Top Notch!
Well said mate!
man! some people will just right crib about everything!
look at the brilliance behind the idea! i'd say a great use
for all those dead cheapass chinese CFLS i have lying around. (dunno why i saved them all these years!)

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.
you probably are aware that inhaling does not equal digesting.
but, and this one's should blow your comfort bubble, organic mercury does not equal inorganic mercury.
so, forms and compounds play the major role here and the vapours released by a broken CFLwill harm any close bystander unnoticably, yet significantly.

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.

the released mercury will certainly and severely damage the nervous system of anyone mass-refitting CFLs in closed rooms.

don't worry though, mercury poisoning doesn't hurt a lot in most cases.
budiyanto5 years ago
maaf boleh aku bertanya.bisakah power supply tersebut digunakan untuk amplifier atau trafo tegangan 12 volt.terima kasih aku tunggu jawabannya.
Budi is asking abt using the psu circuit for amps and 12 trafo.

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.

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
recuat4 years ago
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.
arcnemisis6 years ago
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
electrosam (author)  arcnemisis6 years ago
I'm still alive. I'm not poisoned by mercury. As I told earlier it contains very less amount of gaseous mercury.
PKM electrosam6 years ago
I'm still alive. I'm not poisoned by mercury.

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.

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.
Blofish PKM5 years ago
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.

You just need common sence when you do something stupid (oxymoron) Dont break the glass then put your nose to it and inhale it!

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.

We all know the dangers of experimenting. Cause if you dont take chances in life you dont go anywhere, you just fade away....
electrosam (author)  PKM6 years ago
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. but i'm still alive! and i did it in my kitchen. I think im gonna die now......



mercurwe  !1!1

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 http://makelifeeasy.yolasite.com/
tundrawolf6 years ago
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.
Gravity Boy6 years ago
What are you doing about the mercury? Even though it is a small amount, it should be considered.
electrosam (author)  Gravity Boy6 years ago
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
sarge89or6 years ago
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.
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.  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.  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.  End result is the same -- a barren dead planet.  Thus the argument remains -- there is not such thing as a renewable energy source.  While geothermal is a viable alternative in some locations, it is hardly a replacement for coal and oil.  The costs of drilling wells deep enough to tap into geothermal in the majority of the world makes it uneconomical.  It is as with all sources of power expensive to develop, convert and maintain.  Since the last posting I made, my point has been made.  Proof of the lies perpetrated on the world by the United Nations and the so called climatic scientists have surfaced.  The climate just before the last mini-ice age was warmer than now and there has been no rise in global temperature since 1995.  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.
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.
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.
I say again - heavy metals will cause long term damage - let me know when alzheimers sets in. The human population IS increasing - also why we need to cut back on individual CONSUMPTION. I said nothing about green energy - I do not deny - yes it is 'inefficient' -- as in $ inefficient in most cases. There are plenty of non-major-environmentally disastrous 'green' fuels that don't devastate the environment or culture. Solutions need to be efficient for economy, ethics, and logistics. Would you rather use oil that is good for money and only money - or green that is good for ethics and logistics (once implemented) but less so for money? It is financially feasable to create artificial oil substitutes at over $100 usd per barrel - oil has already gotten there, so the technology is cost-wise on par with conventional energy. Just because people are blinded by 'corn ethanol' doesn't mean all green energy is a wash - just that people are stupid sheep and fall for anything once lobbyists get their hands in government. People exterminate species usually for one reason: money. (greed) Humans included (war and genocide). You are obviously very lucky in your family to have a strong resilience to your environment. Many in the gene pool are not so lucky. Also - you may have some of the highest concentrations in your area but think of the people living in toxic wastelands in the 3rd world. You cannot say those toxins are not to blame for a lot of their ailments. I'm neither American nor Democrat. Call me a communist, (metaphorically) the system doesn't work as it is now. It is not sustainable. We are not only on a slippery slope, we are falling. We are falling quickly and the bottom of the pit is not going to be a soft landing. You're right. Let's NOT build parachutes. Trouble is falling at this rate its like a moving train - you don't feel that you're moving (good ol inertia). By definition a socialist does not line ones pockets in theory. In practice humans are greedy. Same applies to all political followings. Until we can have a benevolent flawless leader immune to lobbying, fraud, and scandal...there will be no perfect utopian system. Funny though how industrialized countries with nationalized health care are faring pretty well with these health issues. I can't imagine having to decide between mortgage payment and doctors bill.
Gee, I have many interests to include LEDs to include solar power. My interest has nothing to do with conservation or green energy. I also own several rifles and pistols and enjoy hunting, fishing and camping. I can still bench 350 pounds and hike 20 miles in a day. I make my own gunpowder to make model rockets. I have provided intelligence analysis for the FBI, DEA, NSA, other federal agencies, Military Intelligence, local and state agencies. I have seen war first hand (2 and a half years in Vietnam) and the effects of violent crime. I know what I am talking about, not mouthing politically correct rubbish. Unlike you, I do my research before jumping on the politically correct band wagons. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s will not be setting in because they are hereditary and not ecological diseases. According to you I must have had an IQ of 200+ when I was a child as the test I took 3 months ago for entry to MENSA was a 140+. I have 50+ years of actual life experience to back my beliefs. If you do not die of natural causes and you want to know how long you are going to live then look to your ancestors and how long they lived (those who did not die as a result of violence.) The third world population is not suffering excessively from heavy metal contamination. They will probably all out live modern societies because they still have an immune system and their genetically flawed off spring die off. You want to cut back on your individual consumption, be my guest. I however, enjoy staying warm, comfortable and well fed on the property and house that I own. Communism and socialism do not work. I remember the good ole days of the USSR and the lines around the block to buy shoes that did not fit and food that wasn’t there. China is now in trouble because they are not able to export their products to the west because of the world economy. Time you revaluated your world views. You are not going to change human nature. No one is. War and genocide are not going away. The only question is “Are you going to fight back or sit back and die?” I did not say not to build parachutes. I said the governments of the world are not willing to build parachutes. Since they are all corrupt then I prefer to live in a capitalist society. At least we are not hypocrites and more people benefit. Yeah, I guess making a doctor’s appointment six months in advance and waiting for hours on end in a waiting room is alright for you, it is not for me. Maybe you can explain if universal health care is so great, why people from those countries go to foreign countries to receive medical care. I personally do not believe in health care with the exception of pain management. I know I am not going to change what you think, so I will not be responding to you again. You are too emotionally involved to let logic guide your thinking.
I truly do not intend this to be simply a pissing match - you obviously do have the experience you speak of. To use the examples of the few to condemn the many doesn't work. Parts of capitalism, democracy, socialism, democracy, even feudalism work - when the leadership (by the people or otherwise) is not beside itself with greed. I sincerely apologize if I've offended you in any way - that was also not my intention. A consideration - at least some (usually most) of the components of most household items has spent some time being developed or assembled in third world countries. We crap on their countries in exchange for cheap labour, and cheaper processing techniques that you can't get away with here (for the pollution)...when really its just one planet - it'll end up back here. They used a similar term 'long' ago for this kind of situation - "mutually assured destruction".
Thank you Sarge! It takes a brave man to say "The emperor has no clothes". I appreciate your world view.
This is the part that makes very little sense - you claim to be opposed to alt-energy and reducing consumption, but you've favourited almost exclusively led lighting projects.
So THAT's why everyone around here (including myself) died last month AND all of the plant life within a 200 mile radius of the house have dried up and withered away! I found one of the CFL bulbs in my guest room has accidently been broken. Stupid Hg stuff anyway!
grue sarge89or6 years ago
not in my country, the power company is state operated :)
sarge89or grue6 years ago
Hmmm, supposed to make a difference? Money is going into the politicians pockets directly instead of through pay offs by the corporations boards of directors. Called political contributions in the U.S. In the U.S. the power company is a so called public utility that is supposed to provide power at the cheapest rate possible to the public, but in reality is directed by political parties in the government and does not respond to public needs but by political dictates. Oh, well, doesn't make any difference how it is done the result is the same.
Love the passion in this post.
hemmikarl6 years ago
you mixed up the ac and dc connections on the bridge rectifier Just added a schematic that shows the right connections
on ur left circuit, the connections are wrong.
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

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.
i m newbe, pls details the diod & register.....
electrosam (author)  masrah5 years ago
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, Varac, etc.

Resistor- 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.
electrosam (author)  hemmikarl6 years ago
thanks for correction. I didnt seen it properly.
junits155 years ago
you have to be careful when breaking the cfl, mercury is accumulative poison.  wich means it dosnt get filtered out by your liver, it stays in you forever.
akinich5 years ago
hey where do you live in india
cuz i live in chennai
budiyanto5 years ago
BISA tidak kalua aku pake skema lampu yang aslinya ( lampu dalam Keadaan Hidup Tidak Mati).terima kasih
raza8965 years ago
Hi "ELECTROSAM" this is Kashif Raza from Pakistan. I realy like your instructable. Plz can you send me a ruff CIRCUIT Diagram i.e AC to LEDs. I mean which components can be used in this circuit. I am a new commer in Instructables.com. So PLZ guide me. Thanks
12V5 years ago
good idea
and is highly poisonous!
Mudbud5 years ago
UUUUUUhm this is EXTREMLY dangerous.. to all, BE CAREFUL of the mercury
rockman19655 years ago
How do you removed the mecury inside that glass tube?

nomadqq6 years ago
Oh.. this is 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 http://makelifeeasy.yolasite.com/
qs6 years ago
Good idea!

The warnings about mercury aside, there are a few things to watch for:

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.

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.

Dipankar qs6 years ago
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.
electrosam (author)  qs6 years ago
There is NO any mistake in circuit of bridge rectifier.
electrosam (author)  qs6 years ago
I will correct the mistake (if any) in the bridge rectifier diagram and I have used 2W resistor which is working fine.
Please flag this Instrucactable as Hazardous, Potentially Toxic.
I like the idea, very cool design.
It just need some warnings and some safety precautions added about the mercury, just as you warned about AC power being risky.
Please re-check your info on mercury. If your are an adult, living alone, go for it. I'm in my forties and I doubt anyone would notice any extra nerve and brain damage in me :) If you have children, infants, pets you care about around, that tiny amount of mercury will have a drastic effect on those small bodies. What you or I do to our selves is our worry, please take that extra bit of caution if young people could be exposed.
uldics6 years ago
The toroidal inductor I got good use of, the joule thief. I even reused a part of the schematic as a breadboard for it. But what can we reuse the two transistors to? Can I connect them to a 5 volt microcontroller (PIC, Atmel, Arduino ...) and make a switch/amplifier to drive a DC motor?
You can use either of the two NPN transistors from the CFL circuit as a direct replacement of the transistor in the jewel thief. They are more powerful which doesn't hurt anything. Nice instructable. I would have thought that the LEDs would have made little balls of light inside the tubes but the photo doesn't look like it.
electrosam (author)  uldics6 years ago
yeah surely you can use the transistor in ballast circuit if it is working for other purpose
ignas6 years ago
CFL contains mercury , so be carefull , it's very poisonous !!!
marc926 years ago
This is a pretty good idea, but there is one significant issue. CFL bulbs contain mercury, and you are exposed to it when the bulb is broken.
jj37 marc926 years ago
The amount of mercury is not dangerous but I would not suggest doing this multiple times or in an enclosed space.

"CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing - an average of 5 milligrams (roughly equivalent to the tip of a ball-point pen).
By comparison, older home thermometers contain 500 milligrams of mercury and many manual thermostats contain up to 3000 milligrams. It would take between 100 and 600 CFLs to equal those amounts."
from: http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/ask_us/faq_compact.htm
ironsmiter jj376 years ago
1 to 4 grams is regarded as a lethal dose. 1/2 gram of elemental mercury, if fully absorbed, can be lethal. And as others have stated, the primary risk is from long-term, cumulative exposure. The trick here is, in thermometers and thermostats, and even some car alarm switches(mercury switch, to kill the alarm after it reaches a certain tilt, to allow towing without the constant alarm), These devices contain LIQUID mercury. A protective film forms on exposed mercury drops and an evaporation rate of about .5 ug/hr exists for a 2 gm drop if undisturbed. that's pretty darn small. In the CFL bulbs, the mercury is MOSTLY gaseous, and the remainder is spread out evenly, making for a greater rate of evaporation. In an open room, with good fresh airflow, this MAY not be a problem, as you are likely to experience less than 1 milligram of personal absorption, a 'mere' 1/1000th of your lifetime exposure 'limit'. While that may not seem like a lot, it is statistically significant. In contrast, a broken thermometer(old Mercury type), if cleaned up in reasonable order, would expose you to less than 1/1000 of a milligram. I know which I'd choose :-)
Hmm, I may have sounded a little harsh there. Didn't mean to. If you're bulb is already broken, then this is a GREAT project. If you MUST break the bulb yourself, you can limit personal exposure by breaking the glass under water. However you do it, that mercury is getting released into your environment. On the other hand, Wendy Reed - manager of the EPA's Energy Star program says that even though CFLs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs because they use less electricity — and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air. So, I guess it's just best to release the fumes outdoors, while upwind of the bulb. :-) Personally I like the globe CFLs, similar to below, for this project. The intact glass bulb and electronics can be removed, the leds added, and the globe reattached. The globes do a pretty wonderful job of diffusion all by themselves. And as a bonus, the old CFL glass can be safely recycled, if your area has a hazardous material recovery center.
marc92 jj376 years ago
The US EPA suggests that when a CFL bulb is broken, the room should be cleared of people for at least 15 min, and windows should be opened to ventilate the room.
From: http://www.epa.gov/hg/spills/#fluorescent
electrosam (author)  marc926 years ago
Well you can break it in backyard.
It's not necessarily that a single bulb breaking can hurt or kill you, but the fact that mercury poisoning is a cumulative phenomenon that causes such a danger. Mercury is very difficult for your immune system to flush, and a lifetime of small doses (say, from contaminated fish or chemical processes) build in your body and become a serious threat. While jj37 is correct that the amount in CFL's maxes at a minimal amount, the threat is not something to be trifled with and any contact should be reported. Also note that asthmatics are seriously in danger when mercury outgasses from a spill, and anyone with a liver condition who absorbs even the smallest amount can can suffer a liver shutdown because of an immune system overreaction.
electrosam (author)  marc926 years ago
Right marc92, but it contains very less amount of gaseous mercury. When you brake the tube it gets evaporated.
mikedoth6 years ago
I like the recycling of junk like this. I wonder if any of the parts from the old board are usable?
At a minimum, there'll be 2 high voltage transistors in there and an electrolytic cap (200uF 250VAC, typical) or 2. There's also a 1.5ohm power resistor and a toroidal inductor. The inductor is the doughnut type that can be rewired for a joule thief. You can also reuse the entire thing. I just replaced the dead ballast in my overhead lamp with the one from a CFL. I just transplanted the entire board. :)
lemonie6 years ago
You just gave me an idea - thanks! L