One of my compact fluorescent lights stopped working recently. Instead of throwing it away I decided to crack it open and see what was inside.
<warning> Electricity can hurt you. If you don’t know what you are doing, get someone who does to help. </warning>
The first step was to remove the metal base and pry the plastic off of the globe. The plastic base, globe and lamp were disposed of. Be careful with the lamp, it contains mercury vapor, not something you want to be breathing.
The main circuit board. Everything was pretty tightly packed in. At first glance nothing is obviously bad. The plastic on the enclosure was a little browned, so I’m guessing something overheated. One part of the large yellow inductor was cracked when I removed it, so that is a possibility.
After a little time with the soldering iron I’ve got a nice pile of parts. I got six diodes, seven capacitors (two matching), five resistors (two matching), three inductors, two matching transistors, a fuse and a nifty circular pcb. Normally I would dispose of the pcb but I think it would make a really cool looking key chain.
Now all I need to do is check the parts that might be bad and put them away in my parts drawer.