posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 09:01 AM
Even worse, it's not so much an electromagnetic induction effect with the fluorescent bulbs, it's the electric field from the power lines slamming
free electrons around in the bulbs. Some percentage of them will pick up enough speed to knock an electron loose from a mercury gas atom in the bulb
and when it recombines, that'll give you some UV that causes the coating to fluoresce. Since the mercury gas is not nearly as dense in the bulb as it
would be in normal operation, the light is generally a bit dimmer than normal.
The bulbs are pretty high impedance so you don't get a lot of electric field line bending in the area of the bulb, and you end up with enough
potential across the bulb to do the trick.
However, if you put a low impedance object like a motor there, the lines will bend around the object, the way they do around YOU in the same
environment, and the potential will be near zero. Thus do motors not turn under a power line on their own the way the bulbs light up.
There is not any way to get a substantial amount of power from a power line. You could, I suppose, climb the pylon and toss a few hundred loops around
one of the phases, but I don't think you'd survive it.