cf led lamp

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Make LED lighting that is powered directly from the AC mains (120-Volt AC), due to the lack of having any inexpensive AND safe enclosures for the circuitry. While I was gathering some old failed CFLs one day with the intention to recycle them, I realized that the body of CFLs (aka the ballast cases) would be about the right size for holding the circuitry needed to make some compact 120-Volt LED

cf led lamp
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lamps. In addition, the CFL bodies are designed to be both fire-retardant and safe for use with AC mains power; thus making them a safer alternative to cheap "project" boxes. Though, the best attribute of reusing a CFL ballast case is that you get the standard edison screw base connector for easy interfacing to most existing light fixtures. In order to reuse the CFL`s ballast case, the case needs to be separated from the fluorescent tube (which is usually a spiral shape. Most CFLs are constructed with a joint line between the bottom of the fluorescent tube and the top of the ballast case. This joint between the two plastic parts of the case is usually epoxied together, so the best way to separate it is to cut through the seam. I`ve found that the best way to open this joint is to use a hacksaw to cut all the way around the CFL until the plastic seam is completely cut open*. Once the seam is open, the fluorescent tube will only be connected to the ballast case by 2 or 4 very thin, uninsulated wires. These wires can easily be cut with a knife or wire cutters*. See My TCP EDO-9 CFL teardown page for more photos of the teardown process. * USE CAUTION WHEN HANDLING THE CFL to ensure that you don`t shatter or crack the fluorescent tube. Most fluorescent tubes contain trace amounts of mercury and must be recycled or otherwise disposed of properly! After you`ve separated the ballast case from the fluorescent tube, you can usually...

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