08.07.2016
Buying these tools is not a big investment and for the price of one new CFL, you can get all these three tools which will help you repair not only CFL but many electronic items at home.
When you have a dead CFL lamp to work on, first of all wipe off all the dirt and clean it with dry cloth because these are always covered with sticky dust. Don’t be surprised if you find lots of dead insects inside the lamp, they somehow manage to get inside and die from the heat.
In case where the tube was fine but still CFL not working means that one or more components in the PCB are faulty. If the resistor is bad you can tell it by just looking at it closely, it will have sign of burns.
At this point I would say you can try to connect the CFL to power source and see if it lights up.
After you have changed the above mentioned faulty parts but CFL still doesn’t light up, look at other remaining parts as well for any burnt sign. I work as a freelance web designer and developer and enjoys fiddling with machines and electronics stuff. Step 1: DisclaimerElectricity is dangerous, don't use the information in this instructable if don't know your way around it. Step 4: This is the good oneFirst I went for the 32 W tube electronic ballast, so I bought the most similar CFL I found (at the dollar store), wich was a 30 W.
Step 5: Get the electronic ballast from the CFLThe electronic ballast is connected to the CFL by 6 wires, 4 to the tube and 2 to the base. Step 6: Preparing the electronic ballast for the new connectionsThe four wires that went to the fluorescent tube are rolled around four pins in the PCB. Step 7: First connectionsWe are going to use the connectors from the old electronic ballast. Step 8: Second connectionNow look for a wire in the old ballast PCB wich is connected to a coil-like component (sorry per my lack of knowledge in electronics).
Step 9: Third connectionDesolder the last wire in the old electronic ballast and solder it in the remaining hole in the CFL electronic ballast.
Step 10: TestJoin the two wires in the opposite side of the CFL ballast to a plug (I used a screw terminal). Step 11: Making a case for your new ballastI used the remains of the CFL and some isolating tape to make a case for my new ballast.
Some times ago I was able to help one of my friends who did small charity work by thinking differently. If you have checked everything up to now, but the CFL is still dead—check all the resistors with a DMM and replace if you find blown one. However its rare to see “blown fuse” due to a faulty of the Choke, bust it cause “No light” commonly.
If you see very Dim light, light goes off after a few second or even no light at all, most probably C3 ceramic capacitor is shorted. If you find that the light is low than early, CFL lamp takes a few seconds to come up when the switch is on, hear hum, Dim light or no light at all—Check the electrolytic Cap and replace it. By now you have checked nearly everything of fixing the CFL, however if you still can’t locate it, please follow my “Secret-tip” below. If you have found all the parts including the switching transistors are good as I discussed, but still the light is dead-Just replace the 2 transistors with similar parts. This article was prepared for you by Kushan Ranatunga who works as a Network Engineer in Sri Langka.
Before opening the bulb, check the charging and discharging of Electrolytic Cap (meter should be at its lowest continuity range).
Kushan lovely article, lam a total amateur but your article gave me a hell of a lead, l want to give you a small tip from my experience after playing around with cfl bulbs, to remove the casing without cutting, just spray the joint with WD40 and keep for a few minutes and tap the seam with a screw driver slowly and carefully, both pieces will come out clean without much effort, same is true if you want to open a mobile charger or a laptop power supply for repair without breaking or cutting.
Thanks for sharing your valuable and systematic fault finding approach.if possible can you provide the schematics of blue ring tester?


I have replaced one new CFL Bulb on my desk yesterday and it went off suddenly, so I arranged another CFL and it brighten my desk. Next, I checked on the surrounding components and circuit with the help of my multimeter and everything seems to be working fine which include the two HIGH VOLTAGE FAST-SWITCHING NPN POWER TRANSISTOR 4202BD and surrounding diodes and resistors. This article was prepared for you by Yogesh Panchal who works as a Computer Hardware Engineer in Mumbai India.
P.S- Do you know of any your friends who would benefit from this content that you are reading now? It is good we now have LED lights as an option as they seem more efficient and to have a longer life. My brother saved me dozens of those CFL Boards after the Lights went defect and the glass tubes were disposed of. Because my brother says he is living closer to a Power Plant his House Main Voltage is higher why many CFL Bulbs do not survive for more than about 8 months. Just keep in mind that good old song of ABBA ("money-money-money") which explains much about the topic! Most of the time the culprit is a capacitor which is connected in series to the tube (C1 marked in image 1) Or the resistor (image 2 below) which is connected in series with AC line. Image 2 above shows a burnt resistor, however in the PCB it looks fine because only one side of it is visible which appears to be fine. Again set the multimter to diode mode and connect both the multimeter leads to both the terminals of capacitor. The filter capacitor which is the biggest capacitor on the PCB, usually at the center and value of around 400V. One part which will not show any sign of damage but can be bad are the two main transistors and sometimes diodes too. I share my knowledge on various topics here so that others can make use of it and take benefit from my experience. If the complaint of the cfl light bulb is flickering, no light, dim light (dimmable problem) or light shutdown after few seconds you can start repairing it as I have described below. If all the rectifiers are good, then check 2 switching transistors by removing from the PCB. If you are still unable to find the rote cause, just check the remaining components such as ceramic caps. You need to use an analog meter for checking transistors, or a Peak Atlas DCA 75 Pro if you can get one. Anyway, the little meter seems pretty good for the price, but I already have a DCA 75 Pro and love it very much. I started collecting those faulty CFL lamps a while ago and opening them and troubleshooting them, but not repairing them though.
Yong's e-book, " Testing Electronic Components", and an inexpensive analog meter with X10 Ohms that has the additional 9 Volt battery, and you will have no problem. I need to find out what went wrong with this dead bulb since repairing is one of my professions.
If so, forward this website to your friends or you can invite your friends to subscribe to my newsletter for free in this Link. So as soon as the HV Power Leds are introduced I will be able to make new LED Lights (LOL).
Well, when they first appeared in the market and until I learned about their function I was opening every defective one I could find! LED lamps suffer the same failures because of the same causes: overheating of the (air tightly closed) electronic circuit which is the main and common cause between the two technologies and bad component's quality which is directly connected with their market prices. Once you have it open, you will notice that there is a PCB with lots of components on it and the tube is connected to the PCB with four wires, two from each tube and two AC wire also go to the PCB from the top socket.
You will find this resistor near to the AC wires connected to the PCB and capacitor C1 near to the four wires connecting the tube.


If the capacitor is good then it won’t show any reading (because it’s a very high voltage capacitor with small MFD value) but if it’s bad then it will show 0 as the reading which also means the capacitor is short.
If this capacitor goes bad then it will have a bulge on the top of it or sign of oil leakage at bottom. Several weeks ago, one of the small 22 W tubes died, and I replaced it with a new one I bought at a dollar store.
If it’s in a good condition you may see 20-40 ohm or hear the “shorted” beep from the DMM.  Both the pin-pairs must be good!
However switching transistors or Hi-voltage caps can be shorted (leak) only when hi-voltage and hi-frequency is applied on them.
The reason for my curiosity is that a friend of mine was refused warranty exchange after two weeks while a ‘’5 years warranty’’ was printed on the box.
Take care while opening that you don’t exert pressure on the glass tube otherwise it can break and hurt your hands.  The two halves of the CFL body is joined snugly and can be taken apart easily.
For ease of working you can de-solder the AC wires and solder them back when done repairing. Set the multimeter on diode mode and connect both the leads (black and red leads) of multimeter to both the wires running out from any one of the tube.
Set the multimeter in Ohms mode (set it to lowest value in Ohms mode)and touch the leads to both ends of the wire of the resistor. Due to it’s pin connectivity you may see surrounding components are shorted at your first glance. The salesman told my friend that the lifetime would depend on how often we turn them on and off as the filaments would fail, like for a normal fluorescent bulb. Multimeter will display the value of the resistor and if it does not show any reading or show abnormally high reading (say above 1000 Ohms) then the resistor is dead. I had serious doubts, hence my investigation and guess what… I still have to find out a burned filament. Usually this resistor is of very low value of about 0.5 Ohms and is used as a fuse here in the CFL circuit. Also this capacitor will have its value printed on it and it varies with manufacturer to manufacturer and different wattages of CFL they make. Since it was only the small 22 W tube, and the fixture had a 32 W one, I ignored the problem. In my country the cost of a CFL is 4USD+, so we were able to save nearly 200USDs of that poor Kid’s fund. To change the part, either buy it from the market (Tip: buy more than 1 always because they are dirt cheap and you will not have to run for it again if you need them in future) or take it out from any other dead CFL board. Less than a week later the 32 W tube went dead, and so did the 22 W from the other fixture. However I would suggest that you detach the PCB from this CFL and keep it for salvaging the parts and using it to repairing other CFL’s in future. Most components seem to have failed because of heat or maybe poor quality components or both. Also there is a chance that the PCB is fully working and only tubes are dead, in this case you can swap another CFL’s tube whose PCB is dead but tube is fine. For nothing: these three new CFL lamps soon suffered from the same destiny - they are now laid aside, waiting for some attention from me.
In other words, whenever the CFL is dead, throw only that part which cannot be used in repairing other CFL.



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