TECHNOLOGY REVIEW > continued
TE Connectivity makes a family of 2, 4 & 6 pole hermaphroditic, blade and receptacle, in-line connectors for these applications. The low profile connectors (3.9mm) have contacts rated at 6A, 125 VAC and 125 VDC.
STANDARD CONNECTORS OFFER FAMILIARITY AND EASE OF USE While lighting-specific connectors provide a tailored solution to a defined problem, many designers prefer to stick to proven solutions if possible. According to Avnet Abacus’ Marco Enge, Interconnect Marketing Manager: “The immense diversity of lighting applications, together with the vast portfolio of standard connector types on offer, means that there is often a standard product available which is fit for purpose”. FCI produces a number of product families
that fit into the category of general-purpose connectors that are suitable for LED use. These include wire-to-board and board-to-board, high- density 0.8mm and 1.0mm pitch mezzanine connectors in the MEZ Select family; and 2mm or 2.54mm modular interconnect from its Basics product range. Where connector height is not a critical
consideration but there is desire to minimise inventory, Samtec’s hermaphroditic board-to- board self-mating and board-to-board power connectors (Figure 5) may provide the answer. These shrouded and polarised connectors minimise the number of discrete parts within the interconnect system. An audible click confirms that they are properly mated, speeding up assembly, which as we have seen can be a critical factor in design choice.
Figure 5: Samtec’s hermaphroditic self-mating connectors reduce inventory and feature an audible click to confirm a good connection
Other lighting interconnect products from Samtec include wire-to-wire and wire-to-board connectors with pitches from 1.27mm to 6.35mm, including circular wire-to-board parts with 1.27mm or 2.54mm pitches, IP68 sealing and a choice of plastic or metal shells. In other cases, even more familiar
connectors – for instance DIN 41612 and D-types – can also be used in solid-state lighting, as can standard ribbon cable connectors such as those in FCI’s FFC/FPC/CIC families. The company’s modular jacks are often used in data and power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connections between intelligent LED modules.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS Many applications present very specific connectivity requirements, for example automotive and roadside lighting that has special requirements driven by safety standards and approvals, which often overshadow the elements of the specification derived from a connector’s use with LEDs. For instance Molex’s passive safety pole
connector (Figure 7) was designed specifically to meet new European requirements which state that all roadside lighting and electrified
signage must have a power quick-disconnect system. Much of this lighting and signage is now LED-based in order to reduce operating costs, both through saving energy and reducing maintenance requirements. To comply with the legislation, the connector system must disconnect the electrical supply to the pole or sign within 0.4 seconds of an impact. The Molex passive safety pole connectors, which are IP68 sealed and have a waterproof cap and built-in pole fixing strap, come pre-assembled with their cables and are designed for street lighting, traffic lights, traffic bollards or posts, or anywhere else on roads where power is used.
Figure 7: Molex Safety-Pole connectors are designed to disconnect the electrical supply within 0.4 seconds of any impact
SUMMARY Often, the challenge for designers making and using LED lighting products is not in finding a suitable connector but in selecting the right part from a choice of many. This is where a distributor such as Avnet Abacus, which is familiar with the comparative strengths and weaknesses of connectors from a variety of manufacturers, can help. Designers should also look for a supplier which can offer a complete portfolio of power, passive, thermal management & control components to fully support the whole design. This holistic approach coupled with established logistics & supply chain services ensure that Avnet Abacus are the ideal partner for your LED Lighting design & component supply.
MAGNETICS IN LED LIGHTING SOLUTIONS DC/DC LED Driver
APPLICATIONS • LCD backlighting • Illumination • Signage display • Automotive
MODELS, FEATURES & BENEFITS Power Inductors / Filter Chokes / CMC:
• SRR / SRU / SRP / PM21xx Shielded series for low radiation, low DCR & high performance
• SRN Semi-shielded series for a lower cost alternative
• SDR Non-shielded series for high saturation current & lower costs
• DR / SRF and Toroid Common Mode Chokes for high inductance, impedance and low DC resistance
BOURNS® MAGNETIC PRODUCTS www.avnet-abacus.eu
8 focus magazine - issue 12
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