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In Remembrance
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading about using a tesla coil and a long wire to light multiple flourescent lights. The article stated that you don't connect the lights to the wire, you run the wire 'near' the lights and they don't even have to have a good ballast. So you are using a small amt of electricity for practically 'unlimited' (well almost :) ) lighting. I was thinking about trying this to run lights in a greenhouse. There were no technical details in the article and I was wondering 'how to'? Any ideas?
 

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are you better at black magic or white magic.. Either would be useful thats why there was no more information because there is no more.

mikell
 

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agmantoo
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You will be using induced voltage to power the flourescent bulbs. You can accomplish a form of this if you have a high output fence charger and place a lamp parallel to the fence. The bulb will flash as the charger fires. Under a high voltage utility transmission line you can do the same thing buy just holding the lamp into the air. The long parallel wire you referenced just becomes the secondary of a makeshift transformer.
 

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Super Moderator
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What you are building is a minature high tension power line by using step up transformers. The flourescent tubes will pick up the radiated energy and flicker at the frequency of the line in the same way kids use flourescent tubes and the big power lines to play Jedi master. We did this physics experiment as a slow time nerd play day in our design lab at the plant a few years back . Being a card carrying nerd, I did note the play time in my nerd notebook. I will try to dig though my notebook file and see if I can find the nerdlog I noted it in.
 

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While that would be a cool way to demonstrate some of the properties of electro-magnetic radiation, you aren't going to save any money by running the lights that way unless you are building your greenhouse in the right of way under high voltage transmission lines, a la Shrek's comments.
 

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In Remembrance
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Discussion Starter #6
Shrek, I'd really be interested in that 'nerd log'. Even if not practical, I find the idea rather fascinating. I don't think I'll put the greenhouse under a high voltage line tho. But it does make me wonder if that was what a former neighbor was trying to do when he built his house practically in the power line right of way?
 

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its a neat trick with no practical value - unless you like a strobing light source with limited illumination - will also work with some neon bulbs if you're into colored strobes -
 

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Voice of Reason
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joan from zone six said:
its a neat trick with no practical value -
Joan is right, this makes a great science experiment but not practical.

You didn't say how much light you require. Small 12v lights are very efficient and require very little power. You could run a few 12v lights with a storage battery and keep them charged with a small PV solar panel.

Since this is a complete 12v system an inverter won't be necessary. The only thing you need will be a deep cycle battery (~$50 locally), a small 12v solar panel (~$20 at ebay), and how ever many 12v lights you desire.

If you don't plan to spend too much time in the greenhouse at night, this modest system should be satisfactory.
 

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to further demonstrate this effect, take a flouresent bulb and stand it near a CB anntenae, the more power your cb transmitts the brighter the light bulb is.....great way to see your words in action.

if you do get the tesla coils built, and the step up transformers into operation, it wont be too long before someone from the electric company appears and cites you for "stealing" from them.... cause any "stray" voltage will be coming from the nearest power transmission line..... and they can find the leak pretty fast, and the bigger the draw the faster they are at finding it.
 

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In Remembrance
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Discussion Starter #10
I don't want to make an adaptive transformer to steal power from the power company.:eek: I was just wondering how practical this would be to run a green house, but (being a bit of a nerd) I'm really more interested in the science and physics of lighting the bulbs without a direct connection to the wire. I was planning to plug the tesla coil into the house wiring and pay for any power I used. :)
 

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Offgridkindaguy
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Floresent tubes can be fired with static electricity also. Did you ever take a tube and rub it with a silk scarf in the dark? Try it.. It's cool..

I pondered using a Van DeGraf transformer to fire floresent tubes with. (The transformer that has the big ball at the top and when you put your hand on it, you're hair stands on end) It consists of a belt driven with a small motor that produces static electricity.

I've never tried it but it's a thought.. :confused:
 

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In Remembrance
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Discussion Starter #12
In the winter in western colorado the inside humidity gets so low that if you have a wool blanket just turning over in bed generates flashes of light. :haha: Course I always have to play with it. Hadn't thought of a van der graff, bet it would be fun!
 
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