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Connector Insights from iCONN

How Embedded LED Lights Can Save You Time and Money

Posted by Rick Regole on Mon , September 19, 2016

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It used to be trendy to put Embedded LED Lights in overmolded cable connectors. But more and more people are discovering the additional value they provide. They can be a cost-effective addition to your overmolded cable assemblies.

Overmolded cables and connectors provide incredible value in complex and expensive electrical assemblies. Because overmolded cable assemblies enclose the wire and the connector within a single shot, the finished assembly is more aesthetically pleasing and more robust compared to other assembly methods, such as enclosures or mechanical back-shells.

More importantly, overmolded cables and connectors are extremely durable. They provide 360-degree strain relief, water protection, increased pull strength and flexible support at the cable exit to withstand high-repetition movement. With these assemblies, cable sets are better protected against environmental factors, resistant to abrasion and, if needed, will increase electromagnetic interference (EMI) performance.

Customizing Overmolded Cable Connectors

Embedded LED lights are just one way to customize your cables. The overmolding process continues to evolve. Advancements in injection molding allows manufacturers to create high-quality molded cable assemblies and tailor them to your needs.

To make overmolded electrical assemblies, manufacturers inject a plastic resin around important electrical connections. Design for these assemblies has come a long way in recent years, and today, skilled engineers are capable of meeting highly specific application requirements by fully customizing overmolds. Customizations include:

  • The type of molding material used, such as PVC, TPU, PBT, PA, santoprene, polycarbonate (PC), macromelt and many more
  • Different termination styles, including crimp & solder

  • Type of connector used 

  • Color coding to match cable jackets or equipment

  • Material bonds that create ingress protection to meet IP67 and IP68 standards

And don't forget about  the built-in benefits of overmolding cable assemblies. Things like: ingress protection, shock and vibration protection, and physical abuse.

Embedded LED Lights In Overmolded Cable Connectors

Connector and cable assembly providers are always on the look-out for ways to outpace competition and better serve their customers. They stumbled on hidden gem when they started embedding LED lights in overmolded cables. What was once a new trend in the world of overmolded assemblies has emerged as a mainstay in the industry. Now, overmolded cable assemblies can be manufactured to include embedded LED lights. And this customization feature has customers excited for several reasons.

As you know, a lot can go wrong when wiring a complex cable system and often, the issue isn’t obvious. It may take hours for an electrician to assess every cable and connector, and identify that an installation error has been made or a bad connector is preventing power from reaching a machine. Meanwhile, a mission-critical operation might be impaired and the subsequent downtime and resources to fix the problem is costing the organization money.

Overmolded cable assemblies with embedded LED lights decrease repair times and can significantly reduce the risk of costly downtime by enabling electricians to immediately identify which connector isn’t carrying power. The LED light associated with the bad connector will appear unlit, and can be addressed quickly to get the system back on track.

Each LED light is visible to an electrical worker from any angle in bright or dim environments. Connector and cable assembly designers are also capable of further customizing these overmolded cable connectors by integrating different colored lights, including: black, gray, yellow or white to support specific applications.

The emergence of LED technology spurred a rapid transformation in the lighting industry. It also turned, what was once a trendy feature on overmolded cable connectors into a valuable addition.

Achieve a more compact finished assembly. Improve the reliability of your assembly. Meet standards for ingress protection and EMI performance. Save time and money otherwise spent searching for and fixing bad connectors. Consider an overmolded electrical assembly with embedded LED lights for your next project.

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