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12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver

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 for lamp driver


Total Qty.
C1 1 100uf 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
C2,C3 2 0.01uf 25V Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C4 1 0.01uf 1KV Ceramic Disc Capacitor
R1 1 1K 1/4W Resistor
R2 1 2.7K 1/4W Resistor
U1 1 TLC555 Timer IC
T1 1 6V 300mA Transformer
LAMP 1 4W Fluorescent Lamp
MISC 1 Board, Wire, Heatsink For Q1


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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