How does a fluorescent light work

  • Thread starter bhthiang
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In summary, the fluorescent light in question is able to turn on by plugging or unplugging a cellular handphone charger into a neighboring socket, indicating that the tube is still functional and only requires a high voltage to operate. Upon opening it up, it was found that there is only a capacitor connected to the tube and no starter, unlike normal fluorescent lights. The gas inside the tube is excited by the AC introduced, producing UV radiation that then causes the phosphor coating on the sides of the tube to glow. This explains how the lamp is able to turn on without a starter and with only a capacitor.
  • #1
bhthiang
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My fluorescent light stops working but I could fire it up by plugging or unplugging a cellular handphone charger form a neighboring socket! This means the tube is still ok as all it needs is some high p.d. across it - in this case provided by thehigh electromagnetically induced emf caused by plugging/unplugging the charger.

Upon opening it up I found only a capacitor connected to the tube. There is no "starter" as in normal fluorescent lights.

Can someone explain how this works.
 
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  • #2
Originally posted by bhthiang
My fluorescent light stops working but I could fire it up by plugging or unplugging a cellular handphone charger form a neighboring socket! This means the tube is still ok as all it needs is some high p.d. across it - in this case provided by thehigh electromagnetically induced emf caused by plugging/unplugging the charger.

Upon opening it up I found only a capacitor connected to the tube. There is no "starter" as in normal fluorescent lights.

Can someone explain how this works.

It has a gas inside the tube which when introduced by AC it excites the gas to produce light
 
  • #3
How does a Fluorescent Light Work

I thing the question is:

Without a starter and having only a capacitor, how is the lamp "fired up"?
 
  • #4
Although I don't know how your light starts BH, I do know that it is NOT actually the gas that causes the light. The gas produces an invisible type of radiation that causes the phosphor coated on the sides of the tube to glow.
 
  • #5
Originally posted by Doc
I do know that it is NOT actually the gas that causes the light. The gas produces an invisible type of radiation...
UV.
 
  • #6
its the gas!
 
  • #7
The gas produces UV like Russ said. The UV excites the phosphor and causes it to glow. The different color tubes are made by different types of phophor. The gas is required, but does not actually glow visible light that we can see.
 

Related to How does a fluorescent light work

How does a fluorescent light work?

A fluorescent light works by using electricity to excite mercury vapor inside a glass tube, causing it to emit ultraviolet light.

What is the purpose of the white coating inside a fluorescent light?

The white coating, also known as phosphor, is used to convert the ultraviolet light into visible light that we can see.

Why do fluorescent lights take a few seconds to turn on?

Fluorescent lights need a few seconds to warm up because the electricity needs to heat up the mercury vapor before it can emit ultraviolet light.

What is the difference between a fluorescent light and an incandescent light?

The main difference is that incandescent lights use a heated filament to produce light, while fluorescent lights use electricity to excite gas molecules.

How long do fluorescent lights typically last?

On average, fluorescent lights can last up to 10,000 hours, which is significantly longer than incandescent lights.

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