Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Philips CFL bulb tear down

I experienced a rare CFL bulb failure last night (I've got about 16 bulbs installed about 12 years ago. This has been the third failure to date). For the past few weeks this bulb was taking longer than normal to ramp up to full brightness, so I suspect a tube failure.

I couldn't resist having a quick peek inside the blown bulb. I opened by prying with a large flat head screwdriver:

This is the electronics board:

Nothing exciting: a transformer, 5.6uF 360V capacitor (the large can on top), 2 x ST 13003A NPN power transistors and a hand full of miscellaneous discretes.

And the tube:

Disclaimer: Don't try this if you don't know what you're doing. There is a trace amount of mercury (toxic!) inside the tube and you can injure yourself on the glass if you break it. Dispose correctly according to local regulations afterwards.

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