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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the 12v flourescent lamps that I'm sure came with the boat in 1979 no longer works. I don't see where it uses a plug-in ballast, so I don't know what to do to fix it. I'm sure it must be cheaper to repair than to replace.
Does anyone know to id what part is bad, and how to replace it if it's obsolete?
Thanks.
John V
 

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If it is a 2 light fixture the ballast is typically located between the tubes under a metal cover. You might also be able to see a little silver canister. That is the ignitor and is prone to failure. . Finding parts is a hassle. Maybe it's time to replace with LED. If you like the housing a little led strip can work wonders, and it's natively 12 volt (most of the time)
 

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We have installed LED strips and square fittings (4 elements) into old fluorescent figures with great success. All I used from the figure was the casing, lens, and switch. Much better light and much better power usage.
 

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Ditto the other posters' advice to ditch the fluorescent tubes. Look at Marinebeam.com for some good tube replacement options (if you're willing to modify the fixture to remove the ballast) and fixture replacement options (if you're not).
 

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It could be the switch has oxidized. Switch it 100 times and see if it starts working.

Regards,
Brad
 

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Ditto the other posters' advice to ditch the fluorescent tubes. Look at Marinebeam.com for some good tube replacement options (if you're willing to modify the fixture to remove the ballast) and fixture replacement options (if you're not).
+1 on going LED, but here are replacement parts...http://www.altestore.com/mmsolar/others/Sunwize_fluorescent_lighting.pdf

I would verify that the problem is not power or switch related first. And, it could even be a bad bulb.
 

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We have installed LED strips and square fittings (4 elements) into old fluorescent figures with great success. All I used from the figure was the casing, lens, and switch. Much better light and much better power usage.
That's close to what I was going to say. Do what I did. Yank it out, throw it away, and put in LED lighting where it was. :)

I am working feverishly toward my goal of having nothing but LED lights on my boat. With battery power, LEDs just make sense.
 

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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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"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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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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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