This circuit allows you to connect a fluorescent tube up to 40w on a 12v source (For example: A car battery). It is ideal for camping, mobile homes and truck or bus cabins. And given its low consumption it can be left on all night.

 Flowering tube at 12 v

Necessary elements:

- 2 Capacitors of 22 nF and 1 of 100 nF

- 2 Resistors 220 Ω

- 1 Transformer [1]

- 2 Transistors 2n3055

- 1 Fluorescent tube

As can be seen in the diagram, the circuit generates high alternating voltage from direct current. For this, the transistors are switched dampingly alternately. When one is driving the other is open and vice versa. The open / close time of each transistor is determined by each RC bridge formed by the 220 Ω resistor and the 22nF capacitor. The 100nF capacitor filters the line of possible static generated by the oscillator.


The fluorescent It is of the common type and it is not necessary that it be new, it can even work a tube that with the traditional ballast and starter does not work since filaments are not used in this type of circuit. Both a straight one and a circular one can be connected. There is no need to place a starter or reactance in this type of circuit.
Although it is more verbose, the use of a printed circuit for this project is not mandatory. It can be assembled inside a metal cabinet where the transistors are attached to each side of it. Remember to use spacers and isolators in these transistors, in order to avoid short circuits. If the tube is to be used in a mobile unit, it is advisable to secure the components even more, in order to withstand more movements and vibrations that the movement of the vehicle causes.

Flowering tube at 12 v

In case of not getting the 2N3055 transistors, they can be replaced by 2 TIP41C transistors. Changing of course the resistors and capacitors as indicated in the following diagram


And this is the finished project:

Flowering tube at 12 v

[1] The transformer is common, one of those used in power supplies; only in this project it is used inverted. The middle point of the secondary is connected directly to the positive of the power supply, while the negative provides current to the emitters of both power transistors. Those transistors need to be mounted on generous heat sinks to prevent them from being spoiled by temperature.

[2] The 2N3055 transistors are easy to recognize by their Egg appearance, however they are not rigorous, and can be replaced by any that approach the voltage and current specifications that they have. What is important is that both are equal to each other, so that instabilities do not occur in the operation of the oscillator and therefore of the system in general.


This is the technical sheet for the 2N3055 y TIP41C. It is only necessary to locate the manufacturer of the same and from there you can obtain the specifications for both transistors.

Remember: This circuit works with dangerous voltages. While it is connected, do not touch the transformer terminals corresponding to the primary (220v output). If installed outdoors, seal the circuit in a box with silicone.

SOURCES: 1 2 3


[highlighted] The original article was written by Arcade for Ikkaro [/ highlighted]

6 comments on «12V FLUORESCENT TUBE»

  1. I hope you continue to teach me I want to learn I have a residence and I will save a lot of money because I can place the blooming ones and do the installation myself.

  2. In the parts list you indicate the capacity of the elements but what voltage must the capacitors withstand? Thank you for the attention and the contribution of that circuit and if instead of 12 vdc it were 110 vac or normal current what would the values ​​be


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