Reuse Parts of an Energy Saving Lamp





Introduction: Reuse Parts of an Energy Saving Lamp

Hello everyone,

today I want to show you how you can make the most out of the money you invested into an energy saving lamp by extracting its useful parts after it burned out.

The goal:

The goal of this Instructable is to show you a source of free parts you can use for your next projects and to reduce electrical waste.

You can get these parts out of energy saving lamps:

  • Capacitors
  • Diodes
  • Transistors
  • Coils

Needed tools:

  • flat-head screwdriver or a saw/cutting tool
  • desoldering pump
  • soldering iron

Step 1: Safety Advice

Please read the following text for your own safety. I don´t want people to get hurt so please read it and please be careful.


  • Before you begin please check if the glass body of the energy saving lamp is broken! If it is broken you need to seal it in a bag or some sort of container to avoid getting exposed to the mercury inside the lamp.
  • Be very careful not to damage the glass body of the lamp! Do not try to open the lamp by twisting the glass body or trying to break it off or something like that.
  • Do not try to open the lamp right after it burned out. It contains a high voltage capacitor which needs to discharge first! Do not touch the circuit board if you do not know if the capacitor is still charged or you could get an electric shock!

Disposal Advice:

  • I think the best advice to dispose of burned out or broken energy saving lamps is to put them into a container (like a bucket with a lid or something like that) and store that container in a safe place until you find a place to recycle them.
  • Please do not throw energy saving lamps in your trash bin! Energy saving lamps are environmentally dangerous and could harm people!

Step 2: Open the Lamps Case

Ok. Let´s start. First have a look at the case. Most cases are either glued or clipped together. (Mine was clipped together like most of the other lamps I have opened so far.)

You should be able to open the case by either opening it with a flat screwdriver or by cutting it open by using a saw.

In both cases you need to be careful not to damage the glass body! Be very careful.

Once you have opened the case you simply need to cut the wires leading into the glass body so you can put it into a safe place to get rid of this hazard.

Step 3: Remove the Circuit Board From the Case

Now you need to remove the circuit board from the case.

Be very careful not to touch the circuit board with your bare hands! There is a high voltage capacitor (The big electrolytic capacitor you can see on the picture) on the circuit board which could still be charged! Try to remove it from the circuit by cutting its legs and put it somewhere safe. (Make sure not to touch the legs!)

Once the high voltage capacitor is removed from the board there is nothing left to fear. Now you can begin to desolder all useful parts.

Step 4: Desolder All Useful Parts

Now grab your soldering iron and your desoldering pump and get the parts you need.

As you can see on the picture there are a lot of useful parts on the circuit board so you should be able to harvest a lot of useful parts for you next project :)

Well, that´s it. I hope I was able to provide you with some useful tips and I hope you liked my Instructable :)



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    38 Discussions

    They have to be very careful with the gas of the glass, it is mercury and it is extremely toxic and poisonous...

    For many years I used those parts for my inventions of electronic circuits and works very fine and cool... Great work!!!

    Would love to see a run-through of the parts listed and what they might be useful in.

    2 replies

    2 years ago

    Thank you for this Instructable. I have had a CFL like these yet but I have been curious about the "inards" for a long time.

    1 reply

    Please add "never" to the line---I have .......... had a CL...

    Thank you all for your comments :)
    I´ll try to write more interesting Instructables in the future.

    I did this a while back when one of the cfl bulbs broke and the glass shattered. Not an ideal situation but got some useful parts from it. Just for your information CFL bulbs contain trace elements of mercury and the mercury is expanded in the tube by pressure, if the bulb cracks the mercury is vaporized into the air, and if you inhale it can be a hazard. Please be very careful when working with products like these.

    3 replies

    Thank you for the details in your warning. I've always wondered where the mercury risk actually came from. I assumed the risk was in the powder contained in the bulbs. I can't count the number of times I've broken a CFL or tube mostly accidentally and mostly while installing or removing a bulb from an overhead fixture. I am going to have my kidney doc check my level of exposure on next visit.

    You are a wise man to check with the doc, but when I was a kid, we played with mercury....we would roll it around in our hands and thought nothing of it. My husband said he and his friends did that, too. Fortunately at 72 and 75, we are very healthy.

    May I also say, you guys are very the articles and replies.

    Also you can get Mercury poising if the glass cuts you when it breaks. U.S. Military Personal are no longer allowed to change their own light bulbs in the barracks because of this. The gov pays a maintenance company to change out these light bulbs at I am sure 40+ dollar service call each. Wasting tax dollars.


    2 years ago

    Hey! I have a couppe of CFLs with the tube in good condition, but the board fried. Any suggestions here??

    1 reply

    Throw it out and buy a new one

    Just curious. which parts is it that went bad to make the light quit?


    1 reply

    I usually see resistors and transistors that failed.

    I think that could be possible to power some High Power LED with that.

    1 reply

    I don't think so, High Power LED lights use low voltages (around 30-35v) and higher currents. These modules put out 200-350v at really low current


    I use these to power some 8 Watt Flourescent lamps in a light box.

    They work great.

    Hey, this is great sharing. Thanks so much your share. Now I can start collecting the parts.