Electronic – How tonstant-On CFLs work


ProLume makes CFLs. I can't tell a difference between them and incandescents, and I'm pretty picky about this. I'm sure there is some 2 minute window where the light produced increases, but the point is that when I hit the switch, there is light, not 200ms later.

How do they do this? Do they maintain a certain charge in the gas so the arc forms more quickly? Does this waste energy?

Best Answer

The higher (internal) voltage and frequency cause the gas to ionize faster than the "normal" 120v 60Hz supply. This causes the instant-on property of the CFLs. How this is done, is explained by @Vasu.