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Old 12-22-10, 06:31 PM   #1
Xringer
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Default What's inside a CFL?

I never wondered about it much.. Then, I saw this pic..

How can they sell these things for 89 cents each?? (Skip the EMI filter?).





An informative article:

How compact fluorescent lamps work--and how to dim them


~~~
So, when the tube wears out.. Anything there that can be re-cycled?

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Old 12-22-10, 09:22 PM   #2
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The good ones are two bucks a piece, but the answer is still that there's nothing exotic on that circuit board, the tube is probably made by a robot, and the whole shebang is assembled in China for under $1/hr.

As far as recycling or repairing them, when they're $2/ea, most people don't bother. I say just turn them in at Home Depot, send them off to the hazardous waste dump and bury them for 100 years until we have the technology to separate the 5mg of Hg from the copper or plastic future generations might want to extract from our old trash.
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Old 12-23-10, 01:29 AM   #3
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Since the electricity first goes from AC to DC, then back to AC, could a CFL be hacked to run on DC directly? Wouldn't that make it simpler/cheaper? How much efficiency could be reclaimed by bypassing the AC-to-DC step?

Hopefully LED lighting, which is much simpler, will also become much better and cheaper, and CFLs will become obsolete faster than incandescents...
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Old 12-23-10, 09:33 AM   #4
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I'll bet the AC to DC step leaves you with some pretty high voltage DC..
That means you would need to wire HV DC around the house..
The good part is, HV DC can use smaller wire size, due to lower current.

That said, if I was going to build a DC lighting system into my house,
I would use 48volts. The happy medium between low and high voltage..


I'll bet you that LED lighting is going to become much cheaper as more folks start buying them.
Right now, China is building too many CFLs (and HDTVs),
they need to re-program those CFL machines to make LED lamps..


I just converter my old MiniMag 2AA flashlight to LED (and added a push button),
and replaced the bedroom reading lamp with LEDs (on full solar).
I'm looking at these small steps as just the beginning of our LED-changeover process.
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Old 12-23-10, 11:00 AM   #5
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The enthusiasm over LEDs is misguided. Nobody's demonstrated an LED lamp for general lighting that outperforms a CFL. Some get close, but close is still inferior. The efficiency and price have to improve a great deal before LEDs make an impact on the amount of energy we use for lighting.

Meanwhile, fluorescent isn't sitting still. The 28W GE WattMiser T5 lamp is available with up to 108lm/W - 70% more efficient than my CFLs. If they scale that technology down for a residential application without losing too much efficiency, that will set the bar even higher for LED lighting.

I'm not convinced LED is the wave of the future, in terms of efficiency.
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Old 12-25-10, 08:36 PM   #6
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I use this type around here. Much brighter than LED's..

Welcome to NuLite CCFL Lighting Technology :::: Welcome

Of course, I use the 12 volt units..

12in Dual White Cold Cathode Kit at Xoxide!
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Old 03-22-11, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Since the electricity first goes from AC to DC, then back to AC, could a CFL be hacked to run on DC directly? Wouldn't that make it simpler/cheaper? How much efficiency could be reclaimed by bypassing the AC-to-DC step?

Hopefully LED lighting, which is much simpler, will also become much better and cheaper, and CFLs will become obsolete faster than incandescents...

Regrettably, things aren't as straightforward/easy as you think.

Yes, it is indeed true that for AC120V/240V based CFL requires rectification (to convert it into DC first) before it can be further fed into the circuity to work its magic.

Unfortunately, the circuitry does not/cannot take pure AC to do it's job RE: high frequency switching.

Q.
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Old 01-22-13, 10:31 PM   #8
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Very informative post, nice one Xringer.

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