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Old 10-05-2003, 03:00 PM   #1
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Bright idea for power savers

Here is a bright idea in power saving. These are cold cathode white fluorescent lamps which are used in back lighting of LCD screens and other devices and are extremely bright. The lamps size range from 3 mm to 5 mm in diameter and from 100 to 250 mm long. (other sizes are available). The inverter needed (shown) to power them has a + 12 DC input and an output of about 900 volts. These lamps in the picture draw max 260 milliamps for two lamps, I measured the current draw for the ones pictured which are 3 mm X 228 mm. I drilled small holes in the metal center cover and used silicone tubing as insulators on both ends and pulled through the holes which holds them firmly in place. The inverter is mounted inside the transformer cover using double sided sticky foam tape with a spot of goop from the pc board to the metal removable cover preventing movement over time. I replaced the original switch with an on-off-on so I could toggle between the 8 watt lamps or the slim 260 millamp consuming lamps. Unlike the regular 8 watt lamps that must be run in pairs, the inverter will power one or two lamps at a time. Both lamps can be put in the same fixture for use, however for clarity I have removed the large lamps so you could see the 3 mm lamps. The lamps in the photo were just turned on and are not up to their full brightness. I would guess that the lumen output from the two lamps is brighter than one new 8 watt lamp at full blaze. I was just tinkering and thought you folks might like to see.
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Old 10-05-2003, 05:22 PM   #2
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Tinkering Tinsel Loaf,

Do you have a source for the lamps and the inverter?

I was just contimplating converting my large eight incandescent bulb overhead lights, the ones that cover the front vent and the galley light on the later Airstreams, to four tube fluoresecent lights. The existing switch has a high and low light setting. There was not going to be enough room for two ballasts and four tubes. But with your idea, I could easily have one 15 watt dual fluorescent system and two cold cathode fluorescent tubes.

Thanks for the information.

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Old 10-05-2003, 06:48 PM   #3
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Scroll down, the lamps and inverters are mixed in and there are 3 pages. They have different colors and lengths.

The inverter output is 800 volts and it is exposed so be careful.

I got a project box to mount the inverter in.

They are thin enough so you can do some slick stuff with them. I used them to edge light some control panels I made.

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