How to join LED Arrays without gaps
There are many methods to join LED array strips within the electronics industry. However, many of these methods sacrifice an LED position to leave room for mounting the connections. But you don’t have to compromise.
Existing clip connectors and multipin connections require the space of an LED to provide the secure connection between each strip. In a high-density array, these light gaps might become noticeable, and detract from the aesthetic seamlessness of the rest of the LED array. By utilising a Clip and Bar system, supplied by Harwin, the connections can now be made alongside existing LED elements.
Ease of processing
The system comprises two elements – surface mount clips, and solid round removable bars. The clips are surface mounted at the same time as all the LED elements. The bars are then quickly and solidly snapped into place once the LED arrays are laid out into the final unit. This eliminates post-assembly soldering operations and the use of more costly conventional connectors.
The novel design also brings the additional facility to easily service and rework the display both in the factory and in the field – bars can be removed and replaced as required, giving users the opportunity to swap out LED strips in the middle of a unit.
Clip and Bar options
The two elements of the removable link system are supplied separately. The clips are provided in tape and reel packaging for automated placement, 10K per reel, and come in a choice of are available in both Vertical and Horizontal orientations. The removable link bars are bulk-packed in 5K bags, and are available in either 15mm or 23mm lengths.
Removable Links occupy minimal board space. Depending on the choice and layout of the clips and bars, they have been tested to be capable of 3A up to 13A. This makes them capable as a cost-effective PCB connection system for power as well as signal. By mounting the two clips for each connection as close as possible to each other, the current rating is maximised.
Comments the PCB Hardware Product Specialist: "The alternative to our Clip and Bar removable links is either soldering a bar or wire connection, which is time-consuming and risks damaging the board; or the use of a plug-and-socket connector, which is expensive and makes the replacement of any one module within a complex array almost impossible. This Clip and Bar system enables fast connection to all four sides of an LED array, and can even accommodate PCB misalignment."
Although obvious applications include LED lighting tubes, LED lighting arrays, LED signs and other similar products, Clip and Bar removable links are an ideal solution wherever a low-cost, low profile, separable connection is required.
For more information and product part numbers, visit the Product Highlight page on harwin.com.