08 February 2021
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Essentra explains LED lighting spacers and mounts

Widespread use of LED technology for lighting tasks from indicators to headlights has brought forth a need for many mounting possibilities, as described in this Knowledge Centre article offered by Essentra Components (Ireland). Accessories such as LED spacer mounts, LED light pipe panel mount technologies and LED lens holder options are discussed.

Essentra Components explains that it is important to account for the number of leads when you choose an LED spacer or spacers for your project. The LED light mount will have holes or slots to pass the leads through before soldering the LED to the PCB (printed circuit board). Through hole LED sizes vary, but the LED spacer must have the appropriate number of holes to accept the number of leads attached. This helps maintain through hole LED polarity to eliminate short circuiting.

While the T-1 and T-1 3/4 round LED lamps can be soldered directly to the PCB, the lead arrangement leaves room for the lamp to move back and forth, potentially breaking the delicate leads. That's just one reason for using LED spacer mounts. The spacer raises the LED from the board surface and provides more stability, rigidity, and height conformity.

It points out that rigidity and stability are important during manufacturing and when the cabinet or device is open to service, troubleshoot, or repair the PCB or other internal components. Spacers and mounts can help resolve these issues.

For example, maintaining a consistent LED height can be crucial for many applications in order to ensure that lumen output and colour rendering to the exterior of the device remain consistent. This is the case in signage which often uses LEDs to form static or moving patterns of text. To ensure that there are no dim or bright spots, LED spacers standoffs are used to keep the LEDs on the same horizontal plane.

While moving text with uneven lighting, controlled by turning LEDs on and off with a Philip Lighting Cluster (PLC) bulb, might not be as noticeable, static displays will show it more prominently. This can ruin the appearance of the sign or notification. To do that, the LED must be secured with an LED lens holder to hold the lamp in place. The lens holder is often a two-piece assembly, although single piece snap in lamp holders are available.

Another LED lens holder allows the light to be observed from an angle. This is useful when the panel enclosure is mounted above eye level and may be accomplished by an internal bevelled lens that can be pointed in various directions.

Other lamp mounting options include those that allow the lamp to be installed at a 90-degree angle.

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