This is a low-cost project for 20 or 40 watt fluorescent tubes20 watt Fluoro Inverter, However the most efficient is to use a 40 watt tube or two 20 watt tubes in series. It is a circuit you can put together from junk box components or build from a kit. It is very simple to build and requires no printed circuit board.
This is one of those situations where the old , style product is the best. I think you will find that the glitter of the compact lamp has almost faded by now as the public has come to realis they are not the whiz bang invention of the century and have not taken over any of the areas already serviced by the tungsten lamp or standard fluoro.
With modern electronic circuits, fluorescent lamp can be designed to operate very efficiently and with this project you can build the circuit yourself and operate it from a 12v supply.
When considering the sort of lighting you need, you must take into account the type of work you will be carrying out such as eating, reading, repairing etc.
For some of these, the light from a camp-fire will be sufficient while for repair work you will need the highest level of illumination.20 watt Fluoro Inverter
To provide the required level there are two choices. The standard 12v globe, and the fluorescent tube.
I have not considered the use of gas lighting as they remove the oxygen from the air, produce a lot of heat and are potentially very dangerous.
If you need to carry out fine, detailed work, you will need a standard 12v globe or even a 50 watt halogen lamp.
However for general room illumination, a 20 watt fluorescent will be adequate.
Let’s see how we can make a 20 watt inverter.
The project we will be describing is not designed to drive any of the compact (or folded) fluorescent tubes as they are driven much harder than ordinary tubes and get quite warm after only a few minutes of operation.
This heating represents wasted energy and in this project we are trying to save as much energy as possible.
Folded tubes are also less efficient than ordinary straight tubes as they have two or four tubes running beside each other and when they are illuminated, some of the light from one tube will hit against the walls of the others and be lost.transformer
The folded tube is not suitable for indoor use. All the tubes I have bought have been a failure. Some took a long time to come on – up to 10 seconds to strike.
The other disappointment is the weak output for the first 10 minutes or so. They take about 10 minutes to get going.
I have an 18 watt compact lamp in my room at the moment and cannot read the pages I am preparing. It is another invention that has “missed the bus” they are just not quite good enough.
I am going to replace it with a 100 watt globe and come back.
While in the process of changing the globe, I compared the 18 watt compact fluoro with our circuit driving two 20 watt tubes and found them to almost the same. They are equivalent to a 60 or 75 watt clear globe and is perfectly ok for general lighting in a room.
There is an enormous difference between the circuit for a fluoro operating on 240v AC and one that operates on 12v DC.starter20 watt Fluoro Inverter