Fluorescent Deck Lights 24v & 12v
Installation, Care & Maintenance Guide
Each deck light includes:
- Grey GRP case and polycarbonate prismatic diffuser with 6 x stainless steel diffuser catches.
- Internally: White coated gear-tray with 2x ballast-inverters, 4 x lamp-holders and a cable connector. 2 x T8 - 18 Watt fluorescent tubes.
- Extras Pack: 1 x nutgland;
M6 stainless steel: 2 x 80mm bolts; 2 x nylock nuts; 2 x half nuts; 6 x 20mm washers;
2 x rubber washers.
Each unit has two reinforced mounting points located on the back of the case. Mounting point centres are 460mm apart. Bolts, nuts, washers and rubber washers are supplied to assist in mounting the unit.
After removal of the diffuser and tubes, access to the inside of the case can be gained by pinching the 2 plastic catches which protrude through the white gear-tray. Assemble the stainless steel bolts, washers, rubber washers, half-nuts and nylock nuts as shown in the main drawing supplied. The application of silicon sealant or Sikaflex to the mounting holes is recommended.
We recommend that you do not mount the unit close to sensitive electronic equipment, antennae or onto structures where the unit will be subject to continuous vibration.
INTERNAL COMPONENTS OPERATE AT INCREASED VOLTAGE. ENSURE THE UNIT IS DISCONNECTED FROM THE SUPPLY BEFORE OPENING THE CASE.
Connect your supply cable (specified voltage only) to the unused positive/red and negative/black terminals on the connector block. As a general indicator, the maximum cable run for 2.5 mm² cable would be approximately 5m for a 12v twin deck light and 10m for a 24v deck light. Longer cable runs will require heavier cable. See ‘project notes’ on the boatelectricals.co.uk website for further guidance on cable.
A grey nut-gland is provided and should be fitted to the 20mm hole at one end of the GRP case. The nut-gland will allow for water-tight cable entry. Use marine grade (tinned) round multi-core cable and tighten the outer nut to seal.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE - HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR DECK LIGHT
This unit is supplied with 2 x T8, 18 watt, 600 mm fluorescent tubes which should be routinely replaced every 2 years. These are normal mains type tubes which are usually available from us ex-stock or at most good electrical suppliers and DIY stores.
The operation of fluorescent tubes in hostile environments (vibration, extreme heat/cold etc.) may result in early deterioration and/or premature tube failure. As tubes deteriorate they become less efficient and draw an excessive current. Continuing to run the unit when it is fitted with a faulty tube will cause the unit’s ballast-inverter to overheat and eventually to burn out.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT TUBES SHOWING ANY SIGNS OF DETERIORATION ARE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY. CHECK TUBES FREQUENTLY FOR ANY DISCOLOURATION, ESPECIALLY NEAR THE ENDS. TUBES SHOULD BE REPLACED ROUTINELY EVERY 2 YEARS REGARDLESS OF APPEARANCE.
Where vibration is excessive, you may need to consider ways to protect the unit, i.e. absorbent mountings etc.
LOW VOLTAGE SYSTEMS AND SUPPLY CABLES
Although power consumption is low with fluorescent units, adequate voltage must be available or the tubes will not run properly or may be difficult to start, especially in cold weather. Voltage loss due to supply cable resistance can be significant with low voltage DC systems and can be a possible cause of problems. The thickness of cable required increases in relation to the distance that the current is carried. Units should be positioned as close to the source of power as possible and cable of sufficient thickness must be used if the unit is to run reliably. As a general indicator, the maximum cable run for 2.5 mm² cable would be approximately 5m for a 12v twin deck light and 10m for a 24v deck light. Longer cable runs will require heavier cable. See our website ‘project notes’ for further guidance on cable.
VOLTAGE TOO LOW
All units are fully tested before leaving our workshop. If the tubes do not start, this might be because insufficient voltage is reaching the unit. If you experience any problems with starting, firstly; try increasing engine RPM and turn off other equipment, secondly; try testing the unit with a short 2.5mm² supply cable connected directly to the boat’s battery terminals. If either test results in the unit operating correctly you may need to increase the supply cable thickness to achieve a sufficient voltage to operate the unit over greater distances, or you may need to consult a marine electrical engineer.
VOLTAGE TOO HIGH
Short bursts of high voltage (spikes) can often occur on low voltage DC electrical systems. These high voltage spikes are usually caused by non-isolated autopilot units, by a faulty alternator or by some other faulty item of equipment on the system. The ballast-inverters fitted to your deck light have anti-spike protection built-in; this should cope with all but the most extreme situations.