Picture of (1) Neon Indicator: With Update 3/1/13
Neon Indicator 2.png
The Neon Bulb was used to replace the incandescent bulb in electrical equipment.
First in a series of Neon Bulb projects to re-introduce the NE2 component.
110 to 125 VAC ONLY !
Here we start with the easiest circuit.
The Neon Indicator.

Update: 3/1/2013 see pictures below.

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Step 1: Parts Sources:

Picture of Parts Sources:
All the parts can be had from Old junk equipment
Radio Shack
Mouser Electronics
What ever source you normally use.

Step 2: High Voltage:

Picture of High Voltage:
Danger High Voltage.

This is not the last word in High Voltage Safety.

Go read more about it on the World Wide Net or your public library.

Better yet, Talk to an Electrician or an Amateur Radio Operator. They know.

If you have never worked with House Current Voltage at 60 Hz. Do Not Try This.

110 to 125 volts at 60 Hz., Can Kill You by locking your muscles.

When this happens you cannot let go of  the voltage source and you FRY.

If you are connected with Both Hands the current Will cross your heart and Kill You.

If you are grounded in any way when you touch the voltage source the current will Kill You.

Insulate yourself.

Wear rubber sole shoes and use a rubber mat to stand on.

Never work on charged circuits with both hands, keep one hand in your pocket at all times.

Step 3: The Schematic:

Picture of The Schematic:
This is the schematic used to make a Neon Indicator.
Just 4 parts:

1) NE2 Bulb
2) .03uF Capacitor @ 200v.
3) 15 AWG Wire
4) 2 wire 110 to 125v American outlet plug.

This circuit is for 110 to 125 VAC ONLY !
mfox54 months ago

I just got more than 30 red neon lights, lamp assembly, indicator lamp, etc... at radio shack for 5$. Savings of 85$ lol.

Dr.Bill (author)  mfox53 months ago

Neon bulbs fire at around 90 volts so some interesting effects can be had by using them with a lamp dimmer.

mfox5 Dr.Bill3 months ago
Hrm, thanks for the tip. ^^ And was thinking, i have some old power supplies layin around, would one work well as a source possibly? With all the wiring hookups seems like itd make things a whole lot simpler.
Dr.Bill (author)  mfox53 months ago

As long as the Power Supplies put out at least 90 volts it would work.

ubiquity1 year ago
newbeatle2 years ago
just a question, istn't better to put a 33k ohm / 1 w in series with the lamp , instead a capacitor ? or what advantages gives a capacitor over a resistor ? i have that kind of lights as a nice night lamp since i was a kid an in fact, that was my first contact with electronics

salutes from mexico
Dr.Bill (author)  newbeatle2 years ago
Actually I made this plug-in Neon Indicator with out the capacitor and it works just fine.
so you put the neon lamp DIRECTLY to the ac voltage ? isn't it dangerous to it, considering the amount of current that must be supported by the lamp ? i have found that with the 33 k resistor the current is more safe than connecting it directly, and you makes it life so mucho longer
Dr.Bill (author)  newbeatle2 years ago
I placed a 100 ohm 1/4 watt resistor instead of the cap to limit current.
The Ne2 generally lasts 25,000 hours with a resistor and without it will only last about 8,000 hours. Either way its ah long time.

I have added other schematics for the Neon Lamp that wants different resistors to work with 120V. The circuits were designed for 220V.
~Aeronous~5 years ago
Dr.Bill (author)  ~Aeronous~5 years ago
wait for it
Dr.Bill (author)  Dr.Bill2 years ago
There It Is !