I don’t know about you, but I’m so used to the paradigm established by old-style incandescent bulbs that when one of my CFL’s “blows out,” it doesn’t even occur to me that I might be able to repair it in the garage. Or at least, it didn’t until I saw this page from Pavel Ruzicka, which does a good job of explaining the general principles of operation of CFL lamps and gives great details about their most common failure modes. Apparently, replacing a single capacitor will often do the trick. [via Hack a Day]

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ormuz-Sanches/100001769321852 Ormuz Sanches

    Bem agora vc pode parar de jogar aquelas lampada fluorescentes no lixo, taí o esquema é só reparar e quem sabe reciclar e vender mais barato.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2KCN2EPPDQ4LHEEOFRQGCUFWUU Anonymous

    In my experience I’ve more often found that the bulb was burnt out but the internal driver board is still good. Many parts have been scavenged for use in other projects from workplace CFLs that no longer light. Credit goes to Arnie Coro of Radio Habana Cuba’s DXers Unlimited show for giving me the idea.

  • Anonymous

    Most cfl bulbs at my place seem to go because of fluctuating circuits. The bathroom is on the same circuit as the toaster oven on the other side of the wall. Making the bulb dimable would be nice.

  • Anonymous

    I’d say that about 80% of the electronic failures today are caused by capacitors. Not counting physical damage but that is very easy to diagnose.
    My checklist these days is. a. has it correct power? b. is there physical damage? c. is capacitor bulging or out of tolerance?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JN5I3OUDYPAZFBR34MSM7XYKZ4 Capt.tagon

    Looking forward to testing this out. Too many of the CFL’s around here die because the circuitry has toasted. The tubes still light if you connect them up to a good electronic ballast.

  • http://howtozed.blogspot.com howtozed

    Good, is there any way to use this circuity for any other project like mini inverter for 12 volts to 220 volts?