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How Fluorescent Lights Work

It may be the most brilliant way of illuminating our houses

and dwellings to date. Yes, we are talking about fluorescent lights,
which offer a more energy efficient means of lighting our homes
and offices. Learn how they work here.

In the mid-1930s
when first fluorescent tube lights were introduced in the market,
they were a total revelation. People were amazed to see their
houses and offices lit as brightly as cool daylight. Learn how they
work here.

Whats Inside a
Fluorescent Tube Light?

A fluorescent lamp basically consists of a long glass gas

discharge tube. Its inner surface is coated with phosphorous
and is filled with an inert gas, generally argon, with a trace of

The tube is then finally sealed at low pressure with two

filament electrodes each at its both ends.

These electrode filaments are used to preheat the tube and

initiate a rapid conduction of electrons between the two end
electrodes. The process initially requires a relatively high
amount of power.

The energy also converts some of the mercury from a liquid

to a glass. Electrons then collide with the gaseous
mercury atoms, increasing the amount of energy. As electrons
return to their original energy level, they begin to release light.
However, the light they emit is ultraviolet, and not visible to
the naked eye, so another step needs to take place before we
can see the light.

This is why the tube was coated with phosphorous.

Phosphors will give off light when exposed to light. When
exposed to the ultraviolet light, the particles emit a white light
which we can see.

Once the conduction of electrons between the electrodes is

complete, no more heating of the filaments is required and
whole system works at a much lower current.

Wiring of
Flourescent Lights

Here is one example of a tube light fixture consisting of a large

heavy square "choke or ballast and a small cylindrical
starter. Lets try to understand how the whole system works.
Please refer to the circuit diagram on the right as you read the
following points:

The choke is in fact a large inductor. It consists of a long

copper winding over iron laminations.

An inductor by nature always has a tendency to throw back

the stored current in it, every time the power through it is
switched OFF. This principle of the choke is exploited in lighting
a fluorescent tube light.

When an AC voltage is applied to a tube light fixture, the

voltage passes through the choke, the starter, and the
filaments of the tube.

The filaments light up and instantly warm up the tube. The

starter is made up of a discharbe bulb with two electrodes next
to it. When electricity passes through it an electrical arc is
created between the two electrodes. This creates light,
however the heat from the bulb causes one of the electrodes
(a bimetallic strip) to bend, making contact with the other

electrode. This stops the charged particles from creating the

electrical arc that created light. However, now that the heat
from the light is gone, the bimetallic strip cools and bends
away from the electrode, opening the circuit again.

At this point, the ballast or choke "kick's back" its stored

current, which again passes through the filaments and ignites
the tube light once again.

If the tube does not sufficiently charge up, subsequent kicks

are delivered by the choke due to rapid switching of the
starter, so that finally the tube strikes.

After this the choke only acts like a low impedance current
limiter to the tube as long as the light is kept illuminated.

A common problem associated with these types of fixtures is

humming or buzzing. The reason for this lies in the loosely fitted
choke on to the fixture which vibrates in accordance with the 50
or 60 hertz frequency of our AC mains and creates a humming
sort of noise. Tightening the choke's screws may instantly
eliminate the problem.
The working principle of todays modern electronic ballasts is to
avoid the use of starters for the preheating purpose. They are also
very light in weight. These inhibit the initial flickering of the tube
light as normally seen in the ordinary tube fixtures by changing
the frequency of the mains power to a much higher
20,000 hertz or more. Moreover, electronic ballasts are very
energy efficient.

Hopefully this discussion provided you with sufficient information

regarding how fluorescent lights function.


This post "Fluorescent Light Wiring Diagram | Tube Light Circuit"

is about how to wiring fluorescent light and "how a Fluorescent
Tube Light works". The wiring process of fluorescent tube
lamp/light with Ballast,Starter is quite easy and simple. In most
cases when we buy a fluorescent light it comes in a complete set
with all wire connected. If you want do it yourself (DIY), you can
buy all the parts individually. And you can complete all connection
of the fluorescent light/lamp with the help of this wiring circuit
Fluorescent Light Wiring Diagram

Fig: Fluorescent Light Wiring Diagram

Main parts of Fluorescent Tube Light:

1.Fluorescent Tube
4.Holder, wire etc.
How Fluorescent Light's works:
The starter is like a key of fluorescent light because it is used to
light up the tube. When we connect the AC supply voltage to the
circuit, then the starter act like short circuited and current flow
through those filament (located at the first and second end of the
tube light) and the filament generate heat and it ionized the gas
(mercury vapor) in the fluorescent tube lamp. So the gas

becomes electrically conductive medium. At the same time when

the starter opened the circuit path of two filaments from series
connected, then the ballast release its stored voltage. And it
makes the fluorescent tube fully lighten. Now the starter has no
job in the circuit, if you open it from the circuit the fluorescent
tube light will be still lighten, until you release the main supply.

Staircase wiring circuit diagram, OR How to control a lamp from two

different places by two ,2-way switches?
Staircase wiring circuit diagram very simple
This is the staircase wiring circuit diagram. Here we can control a bulb
from two different places by using two, 2-way switches.
Now consider this circuit diagram. In this case you can see
that circuit is complete and bulb is ON. Suppose you want to OFF bulb from
the upper switch at top of stair, simply Switch OFF the switch then circuit
will break and the bulb will be OFF. You can switch ON the bulb again to
switch ON thisSwitch. In other words you can OFF and ON bulb from upper
switch at the top of stair. Obviously; you can do same from the upper and
bottom switch, so lets see how we can do that from that switch at the
bottom of stair.
Now return to circuit again in the pic, In this case you can see
that circuit is complete and bulb is ON. Suppose you want to OFF the bulb
from the lower switch at bottom of stair. Simply OFF the switch, then again

circuit will break and the bulb will be OFF. You can switch ON the bulb
again to switch ON this Switch
This is a stair case circuit diagram by which we can control a
bulb from two different places.We can switch OFF and Switch ON the bulb
from both switches at the same time. in other words we can control (OFF or
ON) the bulb from upper and lower switches.
For Zooming, Click on Image.

Wiring Circuit Diagram

This will be more useful and will have a very simple explanation

How to
control a lamp from two different places by two ,2-way switches?
This image also explain the basic concept of this circuit

Earthing and other measures to protect for network devices

basantaNovember 25, 2010 2 Comments
OLE Nepals team of network engineers have been putting a lot of effort
into connecting all 26 program schools in six districts to a school intranet.
Amongst many advantages of such a network are the facility to monitor and
update school servers remotely from OLE Nepal office and the ability to
establish free and direct communication link between the schools and OLE

Since most part of the country does not have any communication link to the
outside world, we have had to design and install network connections from
scratch. In most of the hilly regions, wireless technology is the preferred
medium due to its low initial cost of installation and ease of maintenance.
Furthermore, using hilltops we can eliminate the need for building tall
towers to get a clear line of sight between two network nodes. We have used
mostly Mikrotik devices for long range wireless connections, and we had
been quite satisfied by its performance. However, recently we were a bit
concerned when few devices suddenly started malfunctioning in
Makwanpur, Dadeldhura, and Kapilvastu districts. Our investigation
revealed that the devices were damaged by lightning strikes.
We then set out to protect the devices against lightning strikes. First, we
placed spike suppressors at all the schools and relay points. Spike
suppressor is typically used in between the main power supply and the UPS
System. When there is an voltage spike, the circuit automatically breaks
and saves the electronic equipment from being damaged. We also
implemented a multi-level earthing system at the relay points so that the
exposed conductive surfaces are at the same electrical potential as the
surface of the earth.

Makwanpur: Ram Singh, OLE Nepal Engineer, preparing to fix Copper

plate for Earthing.

Deciding the location for the tower

Tikkari Relay (Argakhanchi): Relay point used to connect three schools in

adjoining Kapilvastu district. The Lightning arrester stays 40 feet above
the ground on the tower

Tower expert Krishna Ji joining 10 ft. long pieces together

Teachers from Pancha School pay a visit after tower had been erected and
earthing done.
Why Earthing?
One of the major tasks of earthing is to ensure safety of persons during fault
condition. Earthing creates the path of least impedance from system
components to the earth so that any surge that occurs is dissipated quickly.
It allows the lightning strike energy to be safely dissipated thereby
minimizing the danger caused by the lightning. Earthing is the key to
safety, i.e. protection of personnel, equipment and facilities. Another
advantage of earthing in communication tower is to reduce electromagnetic
Weather experts report that lightening strikes the earth 100 times each
second around the world. The region most prone to the lightning are those
where moist and unstable air masses move. Since communication
antenna/towers are placed at the top of the hills or at the highest point,
they are more susceptible to lightning strikes.

In the past we were having problem with many antenna specially in remote
hilly region with motherboards getting burned out. The reason behind this
was insufficient protection circuitry. In order to avoid this problem
repeating itself and to protect expensive antenna from lightning, we
decided to provide earthing. And we started it from Manakamana Danda
[hill] in Makawanpur.
1. Excavated the earth of 1.00 Mtr in diameter and 3.00 Mtr depth. Digging
the earth in circle made digging job easier.
2. From 3.00 mtr depth, excavated earth of 90 cm x 30 cm x 90 cm depth.
3. Water was sprinkled in the bottom and surround wall to make it wet.
4. Bottom layer of the pit was filled with charcoal and salt upto 15 cm height
from bottom.
5. Whole length of earthing cable was placed inside the PVC pipe to protect
cable from mechanical damage.
6. Earthing cable with the cable shoe was fitted tightly to the copper plate
[60 cm x 60 cm x 3 mm] electrode by nuts, bolts and spring washer.
Connection was checked to make sure that it is strong and stable.
7. We took a PVC pipe of 40 mm diameter, 3 m length and made a
continuous hole of 12 mm diameter in zig zag manner at a spacing of 15 cm
from bottom of pipe to 2 meter height. GI pipe would work great. This pipe
was fitted vertically into earth fit. This pipe was to be used for proper
watering of the earthing.
8. Copper plate was placed inside the pit on top of the charcoal and salt
layer with its face vertical.

9. After putting copper plate electrode in place, pit was filled with charcoal
and salt[120 kg each] in alternative layer, each with thickness of 15 cm till it
completely buried the copper plate.
10. Earthing cable with PVC cover was laid properly and the pit refilled with
11. The pit was sprinkled with water to make it wet while refilling.
12. A plastic bucket with a covering was used for watering the pit which
helps in recharging the earthing. The best option for watering system would
be brick/cement masonry of size not less than 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm, with
cast iron cover having locking system. We didnt have materials in hand so
we adopted for plastic bucket with cover. The arrangement for the watering
system is shown in the diagram below.
13. A lightning rod was mounted on the top of the antenna tower. The free
end of the earthing cable was clamped tightly to the lightning rod by nuts,
bolts and spring washer.
14.Finally earthing cable was laid under ground and tied tightly against the
pole with cable tie.