Keep your lights in their best working condition by following some of these tips. The better informed you are about installation and preventative maintenance, the longer life your lighting products will have.
DON’T ASSUME YOUR LIGHT IS THE PROBLEM
Do a little extra work before making any assumptions when solving lamp problems. Make sure you are identifying the real source of the problem and not just fixing a symptom of a BIGGER issue. First, test with either a meter, power supply, or battery. Then if you want, open the lens on a discarded lamp and examine the bulb. It will tell you why it failed. Some examples:
• A bulb with stretched or broken filaments was subjected to heavy vibration.
• A yellowish, whitish or bluish glaze on the bulb indicates a rupture in the bulb glass envelope.
• A dark metallic finish indicates old age.
• A black, sooty bulb indicates a poor seal in the bulb
TEST ALL LAMPS ONE LAST TIME BEFORE YOU DISCARD THEM
General findings show that up to 30 percent of all lights sent back are still in good operating condition.
DO NOT USE A TEST PROBE TO PIERCE WIRE INSULATION
When troubleshooting lighting complaints never pierce the wire insulation. Wicking action takes place, which causes moisture to travel along the wire strands and corrode critical connections. If probing a harness or wire is unavoidable, make sure the puncture is properly sealed.
DISCOVER THE REAL PROBLEM WHEN CORRECTING VOLTAGE PROBLEMS
Under-voltage is often caused by poor electrical connections. To correct under-voltage or illumination problems, don’t just turn up the voltage, find out what caused the under-voltage problem.
ALL LAMPS WILL LAST LONGER IF THEY RUN COOL
Dirt on the lens increases the heat, so you need to keep them as clean as possible. Certain lighting products generate heat so care should be taken to avoid contact with flammable materials. All lighting must breathe to eliminate the damage for heat build-up and thus shortening of lamp life.
INSPECT FOR IMPROPER GROUND CONNECTIONS
This is a major cause of lamp failure, especially when used for a ground. When lamps are grounded through the lamp housing, make sure there is a clean connection (ex: metal to metal). Also, a fifth wheel ground strap may be used for added protection on the chassis ground system.
LOOK FOR LOOSE, BARE OR UNSPPORTED WIRE AND FIXTURES
Harnesses and wiring should be on the underside of top frame members rather than on the bottom where dirt and road splash collect or where it could be easily broken.
INSPECT THE GROMMETS THAT HOUSE THE LAMPS
As grommets age they will eventually deteriorate from sunlight, ozone and harmful chemicals. New grommets restore shock protection, security and improves general appearance.
ALWAYS REPLACE WIRING, TRAILER LIGHT CABLES AND HARNESS WITH AN EQUAL OR HEAVIER GAUGE OF WIRE (FROM ORIGINAL SPECIFICATIONS)
If you don’t, unnecessary problems may arise.