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Neon lights help

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T-bro

New Member
so i want to attach a neon light to my bike (don't ask why :D) and i need some help. first of all i know how to get the 12V just 2 9V batteries in series and than a voltage regulator to 12V. now my question is can i just connect the batteries to the light or do i need some resistors or something like that? and another thing i want my neon to flash and that i can adjust the flashing with a potentiometer... any ideas how? thanks
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
A neon light requires more than 12V, it's a high voltage device. Depending upon the type it can vary from about 80V for a small neon bulb to several thousand volts for a neon tube such as found in a neon advertising sign. And they are a current device so they need a limiter (typically a ballast for the sign type) to control the current.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
If you can find some old flatbed scanners or those neon tubes they use for back lighting in computer cases they have the inverter/ballast built right in. They take 12 volts and are easy to hookup as well.

However the 9 volt battery concept wont work long enough to be worth it. Neon is not all that efficient power wise. I have a 12 inch scanner tube that takes 4 watts. that would drain most 9 volt battery's below working voltage in a few minutes.
Plus good luck keeping fragile glass tubing in one piece on a bike for more than a block or two!:D

LED light tubes would be far more practical and able to handle the physical conditions plus would have much higher operating efficiency.;)
 

T-bro

New Member
If you can find some old flatbed scanners or those neon tubes they use for back lighting in computer cases they have the inverter/ballast built right in. They take 12 volts and are easy to hookup as well.

However the 9 volt battery concept wont work long enough to be worth it. Neon is not all that efficient power wise. I have a 12 inch scanner tube that takes 4 watts. that would drain most 9 volt battery's below working voltage in a few minutes.
Plus good luck keeping fragile glass tubing in one piece on a bike for more than a block or two!:D

LED light tubes would be far more practical and able to handle the physical conditions plus would have much higher operating efficiency.;)

thanks man... so what do you suggest? i get a pair of 10mm leds and just glue them to the ends of a tube? btw do you have a flashing circuit that i can control with a potentiometer? thanks
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I think he is talking about the neon lights for cars that are driven from a little inverter. They have a fairly high current that is much too high to use two 9V batteries that might last for only a couple of minutes.
 
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