Introduction: Tall CFL Bulb for a Tall Lamp

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Yesterday, I posted a slideshow of my new Sudhu Tewari Lamp. It's beautiful, IMHO. The only problem with it is that the light was a little dim for my needs at work. The lamp came with a standard bulb socket. I put in a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb, but all the light concentrated at the bottom of the lamp.

So, I decided to add a taller, brighter CFL. You can see the difference in the pictures, below. It's much nicer now, but wasn't as straightforward as I thought it would be, so I figured that I would post a little instructable.

Note, by the way, that this is not an instructable on how to make one of these lamps. You can follow my link to the slideshow for more information about the artist who made this lamp. Hopefully, he'll make more, or post an instructable on how to make these!

Step 1: Get Parts

I thought that all I would need would be a new CFL bulb, but as it turns out, fluorescent bulbs require a ballast run. The screw-in ones that you put into an ordinary light socket have a tiny integrated ballast, which I think is cool since they've still been able to make them so cheap.

The taller CFL bulb that I got doesn't have an integrated ballast, so I had to buy one. Here are the parts I got:

  • Bulb: FT36DL/830. At 36 Watts, this bulb puts out almost 3x as much light as the 13W bulb that was initially in there, or about as much light as a 100W-200W incandescent
  • Ballast: WorkHorse WH3-180-C. This was chosen because it fits in the base of the lamp and has enough capacity to power the CFL bulb.
  • 4-pin socket

I got these at Universal Electric Supply, which is in the neighborhood. It wasn't cheap: the total cost came to almost $40.

Step 2: Take Apart the Old Lamp

This was pretty simple; just a bunch of unscrewing, which allowed me to remove all the old bulb and socket parts. I left the power cord coming up through the base of the lamp for attachment to the new setup.

Step 3: Wire Up the Ballast and Socket

The wiring was pretty simple. The difficult part was finding the wiring diagram, which I tracked down on the manufacturer's site. It's included below: the diagram is important because different ballasts have really different wiring patterns. You have to follow the correct one.

I cut up the wires from the ballast where necessary to make little junctions for the connections. The 4-pin socket had one-way wire holes for each incoming wire that I simply pushed each stripped end into.

Once everything was wired up, I tried turning it all on and, lo and behold, it worked as advertised.

Step 4: Admire Your Work

The new lighting setup is nice and bright! And the lamp itself is a joy to look at.