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Connectors: Vital Link in Lighting Systems PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 November 2009
Ronald Weber from Tyco Electronics in LEDs Magazine
Connectors play a pivotal role in solid-state lighting applications, and connector selection needs to be given the same thought and consideration as is given to thermal, optical, and electrical issues at the early design stage, but they are often left to the end of the development cycle. This lack of foresight can result in fewer choices and higher costs. It is important to consider connectors early in the design to gain the widest array of options. Too, it’s crucial to understand some of the basics of connector technology to make informed decisions about various options and tradeoffs.

The connectors shown, for example, are low-profile, surface-mount (SMT), two-position connectors designed for use in PCB-based LED strings, lighting controls, and other applications that can benefit from an easy poke-in wire termination to the PCB. The connector speeds assembly and routine maintenance of lighting systems through an application-specific design.

The basic connector consists of housing and contacts used to create a separable electromechanical interface. The physical elements common to all connectors are the housing design and material, the contact design and material, and the contact plating system. Depending on its design, the basic connector can be used for wire-to-wire, board-to-board, and wire-to-device/ board connections.