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Old 08-15-2009, 11:23 AM   #1
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Ideas for "Slow" Florescent Lights

Our 2006 Ambassador has 3 twin tube florescent lights in the main living area, and they generally don't all go on at full intensity. I have measured the voltage at the fixtures, and with all three on, the voltage drops to 6-7 volts. (If the tubes all light up, the voltage goes up to 8-9 volts). I have 12.6 volts at the 3-way switches that control the lights, and I have cleaned the contacts and switches, but it appears Monaco used too small of a guage wire to the fixtures. I have seen where some other Monaco owners have had similar problems, but have not seen a fix. I thought I would run heavier wires, but I don't know if I can run the wires in the ceiling successfully, then down to the switches. If I can get a heavier guage wire to one or two of the lights from a "good" 12 volt source I could use a relay to control the power to the light, but again I have to run the wire to and across the ceiling. Any Ideas?? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:07 PM   #2
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Have you tried some different lamps I have change all of mine to Phillips Cool White's elimiates the orange glow and allot brighter, just a thought before pulling things apart.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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I've tried different bulbs , in fact when I first bought the coach last spring I thought the ballast on the "slow" light was bad, so I replaced the whole light, but the problem continued. After that I checked the voltages to the light fixtures and found the very low values, which I'm sure is the problem, I just don't know the best way to fix that short of rewiring the whole circuit. If I leave one of the lights switched off at the fixture, the other two will come on, but if all 3 lights are switched "on", only 2 will generally start and the third just glows. Thanks anyway for your thoughts.
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:45 PM   #4
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azstork....I had the same issue since our coach was new. We had 3 flourescent lights in the livingroom area and one in the side hallway that all operated off of a two way switch. Monaco initially repalced the ballast in one, but the problem returned. I tried two things. First, I found the wiring in the back closet fuse panel was not secured tightly into the panel and I added a second ground at the light that would not always come on. None of this helped.

Finally, I removed one of the lights from the system. I left the three in the livingroom connected together. The one in the hallway was right above my control panel and I always had to run to one end of the coach or the other to turn it on. I cut it out of the loop and fished the wiring over to my ceiling fan in the bathroom and tapped into 12 volts there. It worked out good in our situation because I could now turn that hallway light on over the control panel. The others worked fine after that.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:04 AM   #5
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azstork, We have 4 fixtures in our 2004 Monarch. They all light quickly and bright. If you like I will check voltage tomorrow with all running.

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Old 08-17-2009, 12:08 PM   #6
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Mike - Thanks for the offer to check your voltages, but I'm sure mine has a voltage too low to start all 3 of the lights - I would bet yours has a heavier guage wire to carry the heavier current demands when these lights start up.

Don - Your idea will definitely work - Our MH has two florescents in the living area, then one in the hall directly above the refrig. and the control panel. If I use the little rocker switch on the light above the refrig to turn it off, then the other two lights come on instantly at full brightness when I hit the 3-way main lighting switch. So yes, I could just leave one light disabled until I need it, but I kind of like things to work as they should You did give me an idea, though - If I can get a 12 guage wire either over to the refrigerator or to the control panel, then I could drop the wire down to a better 12v power source, then use a relay at the light to control that 12v source for the light itself - the relay would likely have very little power draw.
Maybe I'll try that if no one else comes up with a better idea.
Thanks again to all that replied!!
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