fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
Post Reply
spindown
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:01 am
Contact:

fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by spindown » Wed Feb 11, 2004 3:15 pm

I have a garage full of fluorescent lights but they won't light when its cold.<p>I saw an advertisement for fluorescent lamps or fixtures that will light in below freezing temps. Does anyone know how these operate? Paul

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Bieber Ca.

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by Chris Smith » Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:09 pm

The successful types run off of high frequency, square wave, and or pulse type currents. <p>The reason normal type tubes wont run is the cathode, heater, or emitter cant keep up with the cold and the gas medium conduction stalls out. <p>The Tiny screw in types, the ones that look like a cork screw and fit in a normal light bulb socket and volume space have been tested here at my place all the way down to minus ten, and still work just fine. <p>They come in 60, 75, & 100 watts,... and probably more ranges, and are very bright and recommenced for the five buck price range.

spindown
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by spindown » Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:30 pm

Thanks Chris for answering my question.
Looking at an earlier topic you mentioned 6.3 volts, is this the voltage that the high frequency, square wave, and pulse type units modulate? Paul

spindown
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by spindown » Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:31 pm

Thanks Chris for answering my question.
Looking at an earlier topic you mentioned 6.3 volts, is this the voltage that the high frequency, square wave, and pulse type units modulate? Paul

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Bieber Ca.

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by Chris Smith » Thu Feb 12, 2004 4:42 pm

The 6.3 volts mentioned earlier is the old type tubes with crude ballast. The newer types don’t necessarily even have a heater element like the old days, and some simply drive fast heavy amp pulses into a single pin on each end of the tube. <p>The equivalent of this would be like 20 or more amps pulses, for a few micro seconds, at rates of 40 k repetition or so, at a duty cycle of 1 to 10 percent? <p> The time division makes the over all current less that the standard tube draws, and drives the tube harder, warmer, and brighter. <p>But, If you use an old style tube, and have or meet the requirements of the newer style systems, you wont need to use the heater element, and you just use one pin on each end.<p> I did this with a 18 watt tube and drove it in excess of 700 volts at the pins,..at 40k, and it lit up like a 150 watt Halogen which burned the eye staring at it.<p>It consumed ½ amp at 14 volts, [7 watts] and worked in the cold and lasted for years before dying.

Donald S. Lambert
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by Donald S. Lambert » Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:31 pm

I remember my days of experimenting with electronics back in the days before I was drafted for WWII (yeah, that was a few years ago) and one radio repairman that would talk to me and answer my questions had a flourescent light hung above his work bench in a hardware type store. And it was a tube (bulb) that had been dsicarded since the heater had burnt out. It worked fine for him since he had an old power transformer for tube types connected to it. The voltage was about 400 volts and when you snapped the switch the light was on - no waiting to warm up.I have no idea of how many MA the transformer had at 400 volts.<p>I did a little radio repair, mostly replacing the power supply filter condensers (they hadn't started to call them capacitors then). There was a place to mail order the condensers from but it was a box of mixed sizes. Due to the war effort I would guess now that these were military rejects. I built up the correct sizes by series and parallel connecting them. At least it got the hum out of the audio. I'd tape or tie them to the big aluminum condenser cans and leave the original in for the next repair man in case he didn't have the schematic. Many of the sets I worked on had the radio and audio amplifier on one shelf and the power supply on another. Took two men and a boy to move those big old sets.<G> Greybie

User avatar
dacflyer
Posts: 4545
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:01 am
Location: USA / North Carolina / Fayetteville
Contact:

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by dacflyer » Sat Feb 14, 2004 9:18 pm

i have an outdoor tent type garage... i just use the common... 8 foot HIGH OUTPUT light fixtures
they are the 8 foot bulbs with a rectangle ends<p>do not confuse them with the other 8 foot bulb
with a single pin on the end.. SlimLine lamps<p>HIGHOUTPUT lamps are designed for ice cold weather
1-2lamp fixture is about $60.00
make sure fixtures are grounded for guranteed lighting :D

garypcv
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by garypcv » Mon Feb 16, 2004 10:02 am

does anyone have plans or even a sketch of a hand-held fluorescent tube checker? i saw one advertised a few years back but nothing since.<p> just for the hell of it i tried one of those personal defender gizmos (have the little prongs that arc when you push the button) across one end but all it did was drive my wifes cat,who just happened to be sitting along side the tube, out of the house. havn't seen poor little kitty in a couple of weeks now...oh well.
any help would be greatly appreciated.../gary

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Bieber Ca.

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by Chris Smith » Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:00 pm

Tesla coils and fluro tubes are great. I can light a four foot tube from eight feet away.

spindown
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by spindown » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:34 pm

Thanks for your suggestions and help. Paul

User avatar
dacflyer
Posts: 4545
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:01 am
Location: USA / North Carolina / Fayetteville
Contact:

Re: fluorescent lights in my "COLD" garage

Post by dacflyer » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:58 pm

i have a home made deal...
i took an old flyback out of a tv set...old black and white set..tube operated...but i suppose any flyback will work..
i made a driver for this... 2 transistors and a coil of wire wrapped around the core of the flyback,,, made with hi speed oscillation
anyway this made more of a rf type high voltage rather than sparks...but this high voltage was strong enough to ionize the gas in a bulb..i used mine a lot for checking neon when i was making neon long ago...worked great...if left too long in a spot it would eat a hole into glass...this unit i made was 12 battery operated,,and all in a nice handheld unit...<p>i cannot rember the exact circuit...but it was super simple... 2 transistors and i think 2 resistors...and a few turns of wire around the core of the flybacks ferrite core<p>hope this idea can help you...

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 39 guests