How to convert defective CFL devices into LED lights?

22 07 2012

It is little known, but CFL devices contain almost all of the circuitry to feed low voltage, high power LED from the grid using 240 V AC as a source of energy. LEDs up to 3W can be powered with a little modification to the electronics, with high efficiency.


This topic is about circuits operating at high, lethal voltages and risk of causing fires when not properly and skillfully handled. Do not even consider to try this if you are not familiar with the risks of high voltage, high power electronics. The author of this post denies any responsibility for whatever consequences.


Details to follow soon.

Take apart a defective CFL bulb. Be careful not to damage the glass envelope and let all the toxic Mercury escape!

A detailed description, with schematicsĀ±


The best way is dependent on the brand of CFL. Most of them are clipped together, not glued. The critical point is to identify the locations of the clips. This can be done in several ways, but I use simple trick, involving a slightly bent tip of a Swiss Army knife: see pictures.

After the separation of the base with the fitting from the bulb containing part, one needs to cut four wires to let the bulb go free from the base. The electronics are located in the base, so the top can be discarded of as being toxic waste of the highest category. The base in essence, is harmless electronics (depending on its ROHS status).