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Need an expert in Fluorescent lamps to end an argument Answered

My knowledge on fluorescent bulbs is limited, but still more than the average layperson.  A gentleman at work claims that by touching the contacts of a 9V to the electrode contacts on one end of a fluorescent bulb, one would recieve a shock at the opposite end if a tounge were applied.  I don't believe this is true, but don't have the difinitive knowledge to back it up. 

Help Me!!!

7 Replies

icengBest Answer (author)2013-03-16

Absolutely .... NOT !

To get a shock from a 9 volt battery is to lick it directly.
I use tongue to tell if such a  9v battery is partially or fully discharged.

BTW there is no connection between the filament pins on one end to the pins on the other.
The only way to pass electrical energy from  one end to the other is to ionize the tube gas with much higher voltage ( about 65 volts or more ).


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kretzlord (author)iceng2013-03-16

Thank you. That's what I thought, the filaments have to be heated up to ionize the gas and then get a good voltage bump to light up.

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Jack A Lopez (author)2013-03-17
You know, you don't actually need an expert to settle the argument.

All you need is a fluorescent tube, a fresh 9V battery, and a person with sufficient courage to stick his or her tongue to the contacts on the other end of the tube.

Of course Iceng is right.  It is going to be difficult to get a shock to the tongue while:
  • the 9V battery is shorted by one of the tube filaments,
  • the tongue is shorted by the filament on the other side of the tube,
  • the length of the tube is filled with cold (non-ionized and  non-conducting) gas.

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kretzlord (author)Jack A Lopez2013-03-17

after sourcing some knowledge from you wonderful people, i did that lol

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Jack A Lopez (author)kretzlord2013-03-18

I am glad this forum was able to help you.

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steveastrouk (author)2013-03-17

Even more to strike the tube I think A.

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iceng (author)steveastrouk2013-03-17

Your correct, I have not tested it for years.

I was remembering an old  portable  fluorescent lamp with a DC tube radio battery 50V and higher to fire the narrow 10" lamp.

The lamp probably had a built in inductive spark to fire the F-bulb which once gas conduction was achieved had a forward voltage drop and generated light from the DC battery and a resistor to limit the current to prevent destructive thermal run away of the lamp.

I did, leave an out for myself, quote "( about 65 volts or more )"

While I have read of a man being electrocuted by 6V in early 1900.
To my knowledge, No one has been badly injured or killed by our ubiquitous 9v battery since then.

Experience teaches that you should never put a 9v battery in your pocked with loose coin change.

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