Master the Power: How to Make Fluorescent Tubes Glow with Your Bare Hands

How to Make Fluorescent Tubes Glow with Your Bare Hands

I'm sure most everyone has some kind of fluorescent light source in their home; those long white tubes that emit a bright white light when turned on, or maybe a few of the CFL power-saver bulbs. These bulbs actually require very little "power" (i.e. a high voltage:almost no current ratio) to emit light. In fact, static electricity is enough to make them flicker. Inside these tubes is a gas, and when electricity flows through that gas, it gets "excited" and produces light.

Using this same simplistic concept, we can power these bulbs with electricity flowing "on the surface" of our skin. However, first it's necessary to create the voltage. This can be achieved by "charging" up our bodies with high voltage (harmless; almost no current), then touching a fluorescent tube. 

The Voltage Source

Two possible circuits can be used as the voltage source. The first one is intended to wirelessly transmit energy, but you can use it with a small modification. Once you've built the device, attach a wire from the high voltage output to your skin. MAKE SURE you are not grounded and have attached the wire to yourself before turning the device on. This means standing on a plastic chair, wearing rubber-soled shoes, etc. However, BE CAREFUL! Touching anything grounded will result in a startling shock similar to a static shock from a doorknob. Once turned on, hold a fluorescent tube in your hand. It will light up!! 

Note: The first circuit modification should only be attempted by those with extensive experience in electricity, high-voltage, and general electrical safety. 

The second circuit, and probably the easiest and most effective, can be found here, with no modifications needed. Simply hold a fluorescent tube with the device turned on! Here's a video demonstration:


  • Again, high voltage is very, very dangerous!!! Do not attempt either of these circuits unless you know what you're doing!
  • Fluorescent tubes can break easily, resulting in very sharp glass shards. Be careful!
  • I am not responsible for any damage or harm you cause.

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1 Comment

The word needed there would be, simply (heh), "simple" or "simply put" rather than "simplistic", which more correctly refers to an OVER simplification.

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