Reusing the CFL circuit base

February 18, 2010
For you hobbyists out there wanting to reuse the parts from a burnt out CLF (compact florescent light), there are some ways to reuse the circuit in the base. With a few steps I’ll show you how to wire up a small florescent light to take it’s place.

Know what Failed

CLF lamps may fail because the filament in the bulb burns out, just like regular incandescent bulbs. If this is the case, the bulb doesn’t produce any light. If the CLF filaments at the base light up, but the rest of the bulb doesn’t, the electronics failed. This means you could use the base of another broken CFL to repair it.

Open the Base

Open the Base First you need to get it open. Some are fairly loose and you can easily use a flat tip screwdriver to pop it open. You might have to use a hacksaw on others and then use a screwdriver. Be careful not to break the bulb.

Get to the Circuit Board

Get to the Circuit Board Once you have it open, just lift out the circuit board. Next, cut off the wires from the bulb at the circuit board. If you had to use a hacksaw, you may have to cut the wires from the bulb first and then pop out the plastic ring you sawed off.

Get a Bulb, Wire It Up

Wired and Lit You saw two wires coming from each end of the bulb, right? Now, just get a small florescent light (like one found in a modern camping lantern) and connect it the same way as the other bulb was connected. At this point you probably realize that a compact florescent light is simply a florescent light.

Turn It On

Once you have everything connected, turn it on and see if it works! Assuming your bulb is good, there shouldn’t be a problem and it should turn right on. Be careful not to shock yourself!

More Experimenting

More Experimenting Try some different types of florescent bulbs and see what works best. Try some in series. Just keep in mind that the filaments at the ends shouldn’t be brighter than the rest of the bulb. They also shouldn’t flicker. If you observe this, you may be using excessive power to light the filaments than the whole bulb requires! Try a smaller bulb.