Portable Blacklight (CFL)

4′ Battery operated black light

For Halloween night I wanted something that I could carry around that would provide a cool effect. I eventually came up with a CFL black light that could run on batteries. This was before LED lights became affordable. I installed two sets of batteries in the staff incase one ran low during the night.

What you will need:
1. 4′ Fluorescent black light tube (white would also work)
2. 2 lengths of wire (pulled from an older power cable)
3. Back light inverter, these can be found in old scanners and copiers
4. acrylic tube, the length of your bulb
5. tape and end caps
6. two nine volt batteries
7. switch

The inverter usually takes around 12 volts and gives your around 1000 volts (this is dangerous) this is more then enough to vaporize the mercury in the lamp and light it up. I provided it with 18 volts so the output was a little higher but it does not damage the inverter.

To wire this all up take the two long pieces power wire you have and attach it to one leg on each end of the fluorescent tube. Note: if you connect to both it will most likely burn out the heater in the bulb. Each of the wires will go to one of the wires from the high voltage side of the inverter, this would be the side with 2 white wires. The red and black wires on the inverter are for the input voltage. Make sure to tape and exposed wires to avoid shorts and shocks.

You need to connected the two nine volt batteries together in series to provide the inverter with enough power to run the lamp. I decided to install two sets of nine volts so that I could flip a switch during the night instead of changing the batteries. Any battery could be used as long at the output reaches around 12 volts. The power switch will go to in between the positive wire or the batteries and the positive terminal of the inverter. Since I used two packs of batteries I used a 3 position switch. The switch can be off or select between one of the two battery packs inside the box.

Once you done the wiring should look like the diagram.

Once finished you should be able flip the switch and the light should light up. I used the sleeve from an old fluorescent tube to help protect the bulb from getting broken, or at least contain the glass if it does get broken. Later on I also made a two foot tube just because I had the extra parts laying around. The design is the same just smaller.

I finally took a few pictures of the finished black-light staff.

Any questions or comments email: HauntHacker@outlook.com