40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter

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Bart Milnes 331,408 5 60
This 40W fluorescent lamp inverter allows you to run 40W fluorescent tubes from any 12V source capable of delivering 3A. This is basically a larger version of the 12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver and can be used to light regular or blacklight tubes.


This is a schematic of the 40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter


Total Qty.
R11180 Ohm 1W Resistor
R2147 Ohm 1/4W Resistor
R312.2 Ohm 1W Resistor (only needed once)
C1, C22100uF 16V Electrolytic Capacitor
C31100nF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
Q11TIP 3055 or 2N3055 or equivalent
L11See "Notes"
T11See "Notes"
MISC1Wire, Case, Board, Heatsink For Q1, heatshrink, AM antenna rod for coil


  1. Email Bart Milnes with questions, comments, etc.
  2. Wind L1/T1. You will need an AM antenna rod that is about 60mm (2.5 inches) long to wind T1/L1 on. T1/L1 are wound on the same core. Shrink a layer of heatshrink over the core to insulate it. Leave 50mm of wire at each end of the coils.
    Primary: Wind 60 turns of 1mm diameter enamelled copper wire on the first layer and put a layer of heatshrink over it.
    Feedback: Wind 13 turns of 0.4mm enamelled copper wire on the core and then heatshrink over that.
    Secondary: This coil has 450 turns of 0.4mm enamelled copper wire in three layers. Wind one layer and then heatshrink over it. Do the same for the next two.
    Transformer/Inductor Winding
  3. Calibrate/test the circuit. To calibrate/set up the circuit connect the 2.2 Ohm 1W resistor (R3) in series with the positive supply. Connect a 40W fluorescent tube to the high voltage ends of the transformer. Momentarily connect power. If the tube doesn't light immediately reverse the connections of L1. If the tube still doesn't work, check all connections. When you get the tube to light remove the 2.2 ohm resistor and the circuit is ready for use. You will not need R3 again.
  4. This circuit is designed for 220V lamps. It will work with 120V units just fine, but will shorten the life of the tube.
  5. This page has been extensively rewritten by Bart Milne. (15/3/01)

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Add A Comment

40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 11:16:29 AM
i also make this inverter.its give me 100-120vac 3amp and i use 2n3055 trangistor ,16v 100uF capacitor but voltage(120vac) stay 1 sceond. pleace help me sir, mail me.
Mr Denton
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Tuesday, October 02, 2012 3:44:00 AM
Low efficiency isn't really the issue with this circuit. Radiated Electromagentic waves are. This ferrite rod idea is insane. It will destroy radio reception for miles.
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:50:00 AM
hi your circuit was poor efficient so to realize and give proper circuit with full details
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Monday, November 09, 2009 5:26:13 AM
This circuit isn't efficient enough. Much power loss occur. Use two tansistor instead and use an efficient transformer instead of winding the wire around antenna rod.
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 6:20:32 PM
This circuit does what it says, and does it pretty well. If you want to post smart comments that you can do better, include a link to your site :-) I'm just building my third one. Thanks
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Friday, June 12, 2009 6:14:15 PM
If U want to Get a better running circuit and cooler transistor temperatures not to mention MUCH lower current draw of 1.2A verses 3.6A with the transistor shown,,,,, then E-mail me and I'll send U an E-mail with an attachment J-peg Picture of the schematic that I re-enginered using this very Quaint Circuit. Some things were added to Vastly IMPROVE stability and lower current draw PLUS ad longevity to the Operation of this inverter!!!!!!! Ya gotta Break some eggs, If ya wanna get to the Yolk, Folks---- He--He.....
Björn Felten
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:50:13 AM
C3 is C2 and C2 should be removed from the parts list. Check out the original at http://www.talkingelectronics.com/projects/FluorescentInverter/FluorescentInverter.html
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter transformer 'ringing'
Thursday, April 02, 2009 6:54:23 AM
When I built this curcuit I connected the transistor to an oscilloscope and the transformer 'ringed' at over 100v! Is there a way to filter this
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 5:49:07 AM
guys, C3 goes parallel with the lamp. and yes, Q1 does get hot. this is a simple oscillator and not a specialized circuit to drive lamps. it is simple and easy to build, but if you want something efficient, you'll need a better schematic, maybe with specialized IC.
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter
Sunday, March 01, 2009 2:39:06 PM
Hi I'm quite blind in electronic but I tried build this inverter, because I love challenge my abilities every time do not laugh but there are some ground signals 4 in total which comes from C1, R2, C2 and Q1 What I should with?, and the schematic shows T1 secondary connecting in just one polarity of the lamp, doesn't matter there are 2 each side. Thanks for share with us your acknowledgment. Regards Matthew
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