need help wiring cfl inverter and fluorescent tubes

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by ttodorov, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. ttodorov

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I'd like to make a cheep lightbox. I have 3 T5 fluorescent tubes, 6W each. I'd like to power them from mains electricity with an inverter I got from a disassembled CFL bulb. The CFL is 23W, running on 110V 60Hz mains. So the following 2 questions:

    Is there anything that would classify this as a bad idea?

    How should I connect the tubes to get them to 18W - in series or parallel? I would have said parallel, but then I went online and found a couple of inverter circuits, which used 7 to 12 V DC to drive a single 40W tube or 2 20W tubes in series... So I thoght, I'd better ask, before I do something really stupid, like start a fire.

    I'd appreciat your help and input very much. If you need, I'll try to provide a schematics of the inverter circuit, but since I will be recreating it from the actual product, I don't think I'll be able to provide exact values for the different components.

    Best regards,

  2. Bychon


    Mar 12, 2010
    I'd say parallel is the way to go. That uses the lowest voltage...just enough to poke electrons through one tube, and high voltages are a necessary part of running fluorescent tubes. On the other hand, if the power supply you have is ready and able to run the tubes in series, do it that way just bc it's convenient. The part that seems inconvenient is that with the tubes in series, you need a seperate transformer winding to run each heater..unless these tubes do not have heaters.

    There is basically nothing wrong with this idea. You're just looking for the most convenient way to use what you have to get where you want to go.