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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Have a question? +

    These are the questions we receive the most. If your question isn’t listed or you need further clarification, please contact us. Click on any question for the answer. There will be a ‘Read More’ link to a full article if the answer requires a detailed explanation.

  • Why is my light flickering on startup? +

    Your light will flicker on startup and you will lose the dual power (high/low) function in your light if you have purchased an over-the-counter bulb and not modified it. This can eventually over-stress the ballast which will cause it to fail. Please see ‘How do I modify a CFL bulb?’ to fix this problem.

  • How do I modify a CFL Bulb? +

    Here are the instructions on how to modify stock bulbs off-the-shelf for yourself, as well as what to look for in a compatible bulb. These are handy instructions to keep on board, especially when cruising. Without the modification, you lose the dual-power (high/low) function, and get excess flickering that will over stress the ballast.

    Cut off the very end of

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  • How do I test my fluorescent light ballast? +

    It is worth a little investigation before going to the trouble of replacing the ballast. If you have a digital amp meter in your system and can determine the actual power consumption (by comparing system amps with the light on vs. off), that would tell if the ballast is operating at the correct level.

    Alternatively, if you have a decent

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  • I just hooked up my light out of the box and it won't work. What's wrong? +

    It's probably just a reverse polarity problem. If they are wired backwards, they won’t work — but it won’t harm them. Boat wiring isn’t very well standardized so you can’t really rely on the color coding. Try reversing the leads.

    If you’re using wiring from previous lights, refer to ‘ Is your old wiring adequate?

    Also check your connectors. We have seen crimp-on

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  • Is my old wiring adequate? +

    If the wiring worked for your earlier lights, it will work for Alpenglow lights just as long as it is a 12-volt DC circuit. In fact, they are even less demanding of the wiring than older lights, because they draw less power and are less affected by low voltage from voltage drop.

  • My CFL light stopped working. How do I know if it is the bulb or the ballast? +

    A fairly typical symptom of a failing bulb is that, it (the bulb) will go out, then come on, then flash, and then go out completely! Usually, just replacing the bulb will take care of it.

    However, once in awhile a failing bulb will draw several times the normal power during the last few minutes of life, and it’s possible for that

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  • My CFL Light has low or dim light output. What is wrong? +

    Does your light put out the same brightness on both high and low? If so, it could be a switching problem, and we can send you a new switch. If not, you may have purchased defective or inferior bulbs. We find that the quality of bulbs vary from batch to batch. When we purchase our bulbs, we do random testing

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