I have a desk lamp which, sometimes when I start it, causes my computer monitor that is connected to the same outlet to turn off and reset, so I disassembled the lamp to see what could cause this to happen.
The lamp itself is a circular fluorescent tube of this type, and to my surprise I found that, in the armature, there are only two components whatsoever: The power switch and a glow starter, connected in the ordinary way, only there's no ballast. This surprises me because I thought the ballast was critical to fluorescent tube operation, both to regulate the current so as to not blow the tube, and for providing a pulse for striking the arc.
How can the lamp work at all without a ballast? Could the tube be somehow self-regulating? Note that I have removed the little plastic cover over the connector on the tube (as seen in the picture linked above), and there are no active components inside it; there are only leads from the connector to the tube itself. The tube has always been a bit slow to start and often needs to cycle several times; could this be how a tube "normally" starts if there's no ballast?
Also, as a bonus question, I have noted that when the lamp is turned on and I have some comparatively sensitive skin (like my face) close to the armature's bare metal parts, I can feel a slight tingling, as if the armature were faintly electrified. The armature is properly grounded, though, and all active parts are properly isolated as far as I can tell, so I've wondered how this can be. Does a fluorescent tube normally emit a strong enough EM-field that can cause induction in the armature, or something? Could this be connected to the lack of a ballast?