The lighting industry has transformed over the past few years, as the requirements for energy and cost savings have become more and more important. Apart from the obvious changes of the introduction of low power led lighting and more efficient energy saving control systems, there has also been a trend to improve the connectors and cable assemblies required to make the connections within the systems. Some of the main features of the connectors and cables requested by designers and installers of lighting products is ease of mating (particularly important in high or awkward areas), screw terminations to simplify installation, environmental sealing against water and dust, “plug and play”, reliability, and of course the most important requirement, cost.
Selwyn Electronics, “The Interconnection Specialists”, have been working with Engineers over the past 31 years, to help them with their connector and cable assembly requirements, and for the past 4 years they have been working closely in the lighting industry, which has now become one of their key markets. The reason for this involvement 4 years ago was due to the introduction of their new range of waterproof plastic circular connectors, which were designed and developed primarily for lighting applications. These connectors now have a proven track record in various significant lighting projects around the world, as well as many non-lighting products such as marine electronic equipment (demonstrating their water protection features) and transportation (demonstrating their high reliability).
Selwyn’s range of products suitable for the lighting industry is vast, with 82 different styles of circular connector, all offering IP65-IP68 sealing, and with body diameters from approximately 13mm up to approximately 30mm. They have a pin count from 2 to 24, and the current capacity starts at 2A and goes all the way up to 20A per contact. There are also options with mixed signal and power contacts within one connector body, to save on costs and space, if you need both control and power lines. There are essentially 3 different locking styles: screwlocking; bayonet locking; and push locking. The push locking style is particularly user friendly and the perfect choice when you need a fast, reliable method of knowing that you have successfully mated the connectors, which is particularly useful in those awkward to reach places, or when time is of the essence. Most of the connector styles have right angle body options and all the cable connectors can be supplied as overmold cable assemblies, although if you prefer the ease of screw terminations this is available on some of the options. If there isn’t a standard connector suitable for you within the range then Selwyn can design and develop a custom part to meet your exact requirements. Wherever possible their Engineers try to modify an existing standard product by changing the connector molding, contact design or materials used, but they can easily design a new part if that is the only way of giving you what you need. They have a great deal of experience of producing custom parts, with surprisingly low tooling costs, so this shouldn’t be discounted, and can often save on your overall manufacturing costs or increase the features of your product to the benefit of your customers.
To help with installation, and easy system expansion, there is also a range of splitter boxes and T-piece connectors, allowing easy series and parallel connections and protective caps are also available for any connectors left un-used.
To support these products, and offer their customers the complete service, Selwyn offers custom cable assembly manufacture across its’ range of products, with factories in the UK and China. This means that they can offer high reliability, economically priced small volume to large volume cable assemblies within relatively short timescales. They can even help to design the cable assemblies for you, if you haven’t finalised what you need or would like some suggestions as to the most appropriate connector and cable style for your application. Both factories are ISO9001 certified, with testing and quality inspection tightly controlled, ensuring complete confidence in the quality and reliability of the assemblies supplied. A full mechanical assembly service is available, if required.
So, if you are designing a new product or looking to re-design an existing product, to save on costs or improve the features, then before you decide on the connectors and cables needed, contact Selwyn to see what they can offer. The waterproof section of their website has details of most of the connectors offered although there are regular new additions to the range, so if you don’t see what you are looking for then give them a call or send them an email. Samples are available upon request across the range and one of their Sales Engineers can visit, to help move things forward for you, if required.