Wednesday, July 10, 2013


When I bought BIANKA she had a combination of lights. Some were fluorescent and some were regular tungsten lamps. Which are power hogs compared to the florescent lights. I've been replacing the tungsten lamps with much more energy efficient LED lamps. I also am replacing the fluorescent fixtures with LEDs as they fail instead of getting them rebuilt. The fluorescent fixture in the head area died a while ago and the other day I decided to rewire it for an LED replacement:

After making sure the breaker was turned off I first removed the bulbs and then the metal shield that covered the ballast electronics::

I was then able to cut the power wires to the fixture and remove the four screws holding the fixture to the cabin top. There were two wood shim pieces on the back of the light to take in account the curvature of the cabin top. I am going to reuse the fluorescent fixture and it's switch but, I have no use for the failed ballast circuit board so I will remove it and a lot of the associated wiring:

To remove the ballast board I had to drill out the two rivets holding the circuit board to the light frame from the back of the fixture:
With the circuit board gone there is a lot more room to install the LED replacement lamp(s):
Turning back to the light wiring. I noticed that someone had used wire nuts to attach the light to the boat wiring:

This is not a good idea for a whole bunch of reason on board a boat, Especially from a corrosion standpoint. I removed the wire nuts and replaced them with versatile  Anderson Powerpole Connectors :
This will make it east to reconnect the new LED lights when the fixture is installed. It will also allow for easier modification and changes in the future.


Ed and Lori G said...

just a suggestion, my boy and I build and built a couple of offroad baja bugs and we did all the wiring and soldier most if not all then cover that with 3:1 adhesive type shrink tube. You could even just use this over your crimp connection for a long lasting and corrosion preventive repair. just a thought. said...

Ed and Lori G.
Thanks for the suggestion I do use adhesive lined heat shrink for connections in other areas of the boat. The Andersons are used for connections where I may need to disconnect, repair or modify things in the future and mostly in dry areas of the boat. I like their versatility over other types of connectors in some applications.