12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver


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A number of people have been unable to find the transformer needed for the Black Light project, so I looked around to see if I could find a fluorescent lamp driver that does not require any special components. I finally found one in Electronics Now. Here it is. It uses a normal 120 to 6V stepdown transformer in reverse to step 12V to about 350V to drive a lamp without the need to warm the filaments.

Schematic

Schematic for lamp driver

Parts

Part
Total Qty.
Description
Substitutions
C11100uf 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
C2,C320.01uf 25V Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C410.01uf 1KV Ceramic Disc Capacitor
R111K 1/4W Resistor
R212.7K 1/4W Resistor
Q11IRF510 MOSFET
U11TLC555 Timer IC
T116V 300mA Transformer
LAMP14W Fluorescent Lamp
MISC1Board, Wire, Heatsink For Q1

Notes

  1. Q1 must be installed on a heat sink.
  2. A 240V to 10V transformer will work better then the one in the parts list. The problem is that they are hard to find.
  3. This circuit can give a nasty (but not too dangerous) shock. Be careful around the output leads.

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Comments

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matt
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Friday, November 21, 2014 6:03:28 PM
Hi, how long of an arc will this produce?
andikovaci
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, January 05, 2012 3:34:19 AM
HI, I don't understand the 6V 300mA Transformer, u mean that 6V should be the output or the input of the transformer? If 6V is the output the input haw should be?
rohit
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Friday, October 21, 2011 11:39:00 PM
why dont you post a circuit which has a input of 12vdc and out put 240v AC suitable to power any cfl, maximum out of 40watts
Dmax
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Saturday, April 02, 2011 10:09:51 PM
Thanks for posting this up, I built the driver today , I had to use a NPN power transistor as I thats allI had at hand. works very well ,agin thank you :)
fazle haq
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:03:21 PM
i have a layout of PCB which has 6 resisters,3 capacitors,4 transistors one of them is 2N3055 and transformer of 220v/9v and 12 or 2A...so any one knows this circuit i can give the page
Sagar
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 4:51:24 AM
What does mean of T1,6V 300mA Transformer.Can you provide in detail.Also what about one end of both fillament both are open
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Saturday, March 20, 2010 9:22:03 AM
can I skip C4??
Carmelo
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver for 8w neon
Friday, September 25, 2009 3:39:33 PM
Hi, i have 8w 56Volt 145 ma neon, this circuit i good for this one??? Otherwise how can modify this circuit for my neon??? Thanks
hamed
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Saturday, July 18, 2009 11:18:53 AM
hi i cant use this map!this lampp is 4 w or 40w ?? tanks
Johnny
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Sunday, May 17, 2009 7:35:44 AM
The transistor did not get hot when I put a transformer on this curcuit with a primary resistance of >3.00 but did with lower resistances.
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Tuesday, May 05, 2009 12:52:17 AM
Hey, Engineer if you are really smart enough. Why don't you upload your design here so we can all see what you are talking about.
Engineer
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Monday, April 06, 2009 4:19:12 AM
oh guys...you guys are just so so so stupid. that circuit is all wrong.you will fry the mosfet in secounds if you fuck up something here. ya all know the old trick of using CD4047 with just a RC circuit to set it to oscilate. then use a couple of NPN transistors...preferably Power transistors. this is to buff up the waveform output and proved proper power so that it can hand;e up to 30 amps. i used 2N3055. you could also use 2N2955....just have to flip a few components around....and then you could use a heavy duty transformer..say you have a 240 to 12v 6 amps step down transformer...ya just have to connect the transformer to accept the amplified waveform (very powerfull) to the secoundary of the transformer....in this case we will say the 12 volt side...once powered up...you will get a deadly 240Volts output on the transformer...do it at your own risk..... i also use old car ignition coils to run a 40W Fluro light from just a 5 Volt source for more than 2 hours....and this was from a cell phone batteries...cmon man...you guys wana be electronic geniouses....well grow up guys...learn electronics first...its just so so so damn awesome....
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Friday, March 13, 2009 6:29:29 PM
I built a modified version of this circuit with great results. I used a 6V 1.2A transformer and a 6W lamp. I omitted C4 and connected one pin at each end of the lamp directly to the transformer. With the two remaining pins at each end of the lamp, I connected a 0.001uF 1KV ceramic capacitor between them. This heats the lamp filaments and permits this larger lamp to ionize plus avoids the blackening at the lamp ends. I changed R1 to 270 ohms to acquire approximately 50% duty cycle and a slightly higher frequency coming out of the 555 Timer IC. At 12V, uses approximately 650mA of current. Ample light output. Works great!
russell
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Monday, March 09, 2009 9:08:33 PM
i think 12vdc is good but in our place i dont know if the components are available
jayson
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 9:07:31 PM
hey i saw your 12vdc fluorescent lamp driver the design was good but can i change the transformer that you gave in that into 200 mA would lamp driver will still function. i'll wait for your answer
Techineer
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Monday, December 29, 2008 11:40:42 PM
I note several posters saying they will winding the transformer.... READ THE DESCRIPTION!!! The transformer in this unit is a standard small AC power transformer as found in almost any small appliance. The exact primary/secondary voltages are not critical.... the voltage ratio must produce high enough output voltage to fire the flourescent tube. (Apparently about 300V.) The 555 (Yes, the NE555 is equivalent) is connected to produce a square wave at its output pin 3, which causes the MOSFET to switch on and off. This produces current pulses in the primary of the transformer, which steps up the voltage to produce much higher voltage from the secondary to C4 and the tube. Current through the tube is limited by the capacitive reactance of C4. A bipolar transistor could be made to work, but would require an appropriate value resistor between the 555 pin 3 and the transistor base, as well as a resistor from base to ground. The transistor would need to be selected for the appropriate ratings of collector current, voltage and power dissipation. The circuit should still work with a 1A transformer. If the MOSFET is beefed up, it might drive higher wattage lamps. Running a 40w flourescent would require recalculation of values and current ratings. If you want to build one, you will need to do some research and learn enough electronics to do the design yourself. Asking someone to do the design for you means they would need to do several hours of work, even for an engineer who does it for a living.
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, October 01, 2008 10:58:09 PM
the design was good, but what if I'll use a 1 amp. transformer, whould it still function well?
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, August 28, 2008 10:50:11 AM
somebody can explain the purpose of each components for this circuit???thx for help.. n any idea for making this circuit greater??
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, August 14, 2008 1:34:18 AM
HOW TO MAKE TRAFO
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Friday, June 06, 2008 3:34:19 AM
what about a 240v to 9v transformer, would that work?
Jimmy Ye
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Friday, May 02, 2008 3:53:07 AM
I am a ballast designer,I want to upload ballast electronic circuit for metal valid lamp.How can I upload the pictures?
kram17
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 3:37:35 AM
this is great!!!!i would like to ask if how much power can this deliver???can this drive other appliances???
vidhubalu.n
i need 12VDC CFL Light Driver
Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:48:57 PM
i am from india i need to built a 12VDC CFL Light Driver using MOSFET and a farite core transformer
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 2:12:13 PM
can you run a 40w with this fluorescent driver
Govindarajan NGovindarajan onymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Friday, January 04, 2008 8:43:39 AM
Thanks for a very illustrative circuit.People like you are carriers of knowledge.Keep up the good work.With regards NGovindarajan
G.nishanth kumar
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Friday, December 21, 2007 4:31:26 AM
what is the need of TLC555 timerIC.and what is meant by "Q1 must be installed on a heat sink"
mohsin
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Saturday, December 15, 2007 9:37:45 AM
very simple and great thank u
Jafi
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Sunday, December 09, 2007 3:43:08 AM
Hi Great and simple circuit congrads !!
clynt
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Saturday, November 24, 2007 8:29:35 AM
is this a diagram for 4w or 40w? if only a 4w is it possible to build a circuit for 40w tubes and if so where could i find one
rajeshsingla
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, November 22, 2007 10:32:30 PM
sir,gd mrg.plz explan the complete working of this project how can work nd help me to make this project.
Team Hurricanes
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, November 08, 2007 12:49:21 PM
How can we change this circuit so that a 12V can run a higher watt Fluorescent lamp. We are looking for at least 15W. But we definitely need higher than 4W.
naveed
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, October 11, 2007 2:08:17 AM
that should be well explained with multimedia and more schematics should be there
lybzgurl
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Saturday, September 29, 2007 10:01:00 PM
can i use BJT instead of MOSFET?
sridhar
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, September 27, 2007 4:29:43 AM
sir how to design this transformar ? please sir can u give me some idea about that
lybzgurl
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Saturday, September 22, 2007 8:52:56 AM
what is the function of the MOSFET in the circuit? and can i use bjt on this circuit?
tharak
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, September 20, 2007 1:24:56 AM
is it 40w lamp or 4w lamp
schoolkiddo9089
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, September 19, 2007 9:16:27 AM
youre circuit is mint. it is really helping me at school. youre mint.
sanoj
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:51:35 PM
Can I extend the length of the wire joining the tube and the inverter output?
nivram okut
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 1:45:39 PM
hi sir,,,, i wanna build this circuit,, C4 is 1KV would it be fine to use 50v or caps lower than 1KV??
Jayasiri
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 11:12:12 AM
Its fantastic..I must try..Hope to make a wind a transformer for the values (Stepdown)
Neliets
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 7:14:55 AM
What can i use if in TLC555 placE? is NE555 similar?
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Monday, July 23, 2007 5:32:38 AM
i am not finding the mosfet.i there any solution?
mayank rathore
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:35:38 AM
sir this project is working well but i want to know the better alternatives for transformer used here.
kevin
Wednesday, July 04, 2007 5:16:36 AM
its a great project and a unique one
abdurazeez
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Thursday, June 21, 2007 4:33:54 AM
Thanks 4 ds ckt nd lots i need lots to be 4warded into my e-mail address
dexter
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Monday, June 18, 2007 8:29:11 PM
its so nice
witjaku
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Monday, June 04, 2007 1:31:16 PM
allow me to try it
jerin
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 1:31:06 AM
THANKS TO U BECAUSE THIS CIRCUIT IS VERY HELP FUL TO ME BECAUSE I USE THIS CIRCUIT TO MY PROJECT . THIS IS VERY GOOD.
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Tuesday, May 29, 2007 8:39:06 AM
very good
P.W.
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 2:09:13 PM
First of all big thanks to you! I searched for days to find this kind of circuit but is it possible to operate greater tubes than 4W (for example 8W or even more) when I use a 240 to 10 volt transformator or have I to use a more powerful mosfet (for example IRF 520 @ 100V 10A)? I already thought about to use another circuit (the 40 Watt FL Inverter) but I feel not experienced enough to build the coil on my own...
razi ur rehman
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:36:00 AM
This instrument is heated fastly
perisacoklat
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Sunday, May 06, 2007 10:56:50 PM
Nice circuit...plss send me this project.thanks you
kumar
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Sunday, May 06, 2007 5:47:44 AM
your circuit structure is very good . it is very useful for me
Nishantha
Simple subwoofer circuit & cabinat
Saturday, May 05, 2007 5:53:56 AM
p/s send me that circuit

(Editor's notes: Scroll up about 6 inches. There you go.)

nitin
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Monday, April 16, 2007 1:00:13 AM
plz send me this project
miguel_pork
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Sunday, April 15, 2007 12:55:47 PM
any transformer will do. just be in the raitng... email me for questions, though i only read my mails 2x a week...:)
antsa
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Saturday, April 07, 2007 8:40:58 AM
Did you use a normal mains transformer with an iron core, connected "upside down"?
anonymous Gajanan
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Wednesday, April 04, 2007 2:35:59 AM
Please let me know how CFL lamp work, and on how many volts(min. & max.), either AC or DC it works.
rishitha
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Tuesday, April 03, 2007 7:44:20 AM
what type of timer has been used and can it be altered for a higher power
vishal
black light
Sunday, April 01, 2007 1:51:34 PM
i want to know about black light, i.s how its work, and on how many volts, please
anonymous
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Sunday, March 11, 2007 8:55:49 AM
Can we use BJT in place of MOSFET ?
karthik
12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver
Sunday, March 11, 2007 1:26:33 AM
in this circuit 6V 300mA transformer is a AC transformer or what is that
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