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  #11  
Old 03-13-2014
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Re: How to fix an older 12-v flourescent light?

Last week my son noticed smoke coming from the fluorescent light that the po had put in to run when on shore power. The ignitor had just done that - it overheated and was melting. Got a nice LED striplight to put in its place today. All my 12V cabin lights have been replaced with LEDs. £10 for 5 SMD panels and a 12V voltage controller. Simple to install in just an afternoon. Best project so far this season
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Old 03-13-2014
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Re: How to fix an older 12-v flourescent light?

"I'm sure it must be cheaper to repair than to replace."
Stay out of Vegas and away from the horse tracks.(G)

If it was a top-quality light, it might have had an electronic ballast. Otherwise there's a small metal can (the starter, usually with a pinhole in it so you can see a little purple lamp flickering when that works) and there's a ballast coil somewhere, often oozing black goo by now.

And it is almost always the ballast or the bulb that is bad. Bad bulbs will have blackening at one or both ends. Bad ballasts usually make the lamp flicker before they quit. Either way...

Ballasts often cost more than complete fixtures do, that's just the way it is. Good ballasts are damned expensive and cheap ones are junk. So I'd join the choir and say go looking for LED replacement fixtures. Might cost less, certainly will use much less power and last longer without all the usual problems. Skip the real cheap ones, since cheap is cheap and that's a problem with everything these days.
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Old 03-13-2014
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Re: How to fix an older 12-v flourescent light?

Here is a video I did on converting a fluorescent to LED. It is one of my early ones so not great but might help.
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Re: How to fix an older 12-v flourescent light?

Wow--talk about unanimity of opinion.
Thanks to all of you for your advice. It never occured to me but LED's look like an elegant solution. I'll gut the lamp case and retrofit it with those.
I would have spent hours looking for replacement parts that apparently would have been either costly or junk, and ended up with outdated equipment. I'm glad I asked you guys.
Great video, Capt. Canning.
Thanks again to all of you for replying.
John V.
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