What is the Voltage of Pin-Base CFL Bulbs?

You may have noticed that the specifications for 2-pin and 4-pin compact fluorescent bulbs provide watts, but never volts. Why not?

Ballasts, invisible inside the fixture, are required for all fluorescent pin-base bulbs to operate. Ballasts modify the line voltage they are connected to (120V, 277V, etc) so the proper current is supplied to the bulb. Because ballasts are hidden, it is easy to assume the bulbs are simply operated directly off line voltage. Not so, the voltage at the CFL socket needs to be regulated. That is the job of the ballast.

The answer to our question is now clear. The voltage of a CFL light bulb is irrelevant for the consumer who is simply buying a replacement bulb. The ballast in the fixture takes care of it.

The following two tabs change content below.

Dave Burtner

Dave has been active in the lighting industry since 1994. Formerly a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and certified by the National Council On Qualifications for Lighting Professionals, Dave now writes blog posts, lighting tips and provides lighting product assistance for the Topbulb website.