Monday, April 5, 2010

plugging in those new lights

One of the things that I dislike the most are the unreliable, fragile, finicky plugs used with miniature lights. At shows they are a nightmare as one never knows if they are going to work and if by some chance they do work at first, will they  keep on working (not bloody likely is the answer). The main problem is that they rely on mechanical contact - friction to hold the wires in place and feeble springs in the sockets to make contact with the pins,   Today I started the process of replacing all the plugs, using electronic machined pins and sockets instead. The left photo show a cir-kits plug, a pin partially cleaned up and ready to use, a strip of pins, and a small socket. Once I cut a pin off the strip, I cut off the remaining plastic and solder in the lead. I then put a jacket of shrink tubing to cover the pin top and the joint
The leads are soldered into the plug pins, so they won't get shaken or pulled loose, nor will the contact be broken by oxides.
The other photos shows how compact the setup is and how many lights I can plug in securely in a very small space. For any techies out there, I'm driving LED lights, so the amperage is very small.


  1. Thankyou for this post!! I haven't got to grips with lighting yet, and my husband's keen on the idea. This is going to help!

  2. another good source for micro electrical contacts is

    Pogo pins are very handy for flat packing a room box or other display to a trade show. Pogos are spring loaded electrical pins that fit into a socket. When the walls are assembled the current flows from section to section through these connectors. My friend Don is a huge resource knowledge base on this kind of item.


questions, comments?