Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!

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

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.



  1. 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.

  2. Anonymous says:

    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.

  3. Anonymous says:

    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.

  4. Anonymous says:

    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?

  5. Capt.tagon says:

    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.

  6. howtozed says:

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

In the Maker Shed