It comes as no surprise that around here we think our patented Tiger Paw® connectors are the best thing since sliced bread! This ingenious little product line began with a few simple and commonly used styles, like our standard screw terminal and plug-in connectors, which allowed electricians and DIYers alike the freedom to cut, connect, and design low-voltage lighting systems in-field.
But we didn’t stop there! Over the years we’ve designed thousands of custom LED layouts, and in the process discovered innovative ways to make our products easier to use in a wide variety of applications. We adopted new connector sizes and styles, and even developed a selection of Right Angle Tiger Paws® to deal with tight corners. But as job requirements grew, one of our biggest challenges came from getting stuck in the middle- literally! This is how the Blue Screw Terminal Mid-Connector was born…
Most often when dealing with flexible LED strip lights, power is supplied from one end. But depending on the length and brightness of the product, this may cause voltage drop- a gradual but visible decrease in light output from the beginning of the strip to the end. When lighting a standard under-cabinet application, for example, a short strip of LED tape light around 34” can easily be powered from one side. However, when it comes to lighting a soffit or cove, light strips can easily extend over 20 feet in length. Under these circumstances, voltage drop becomes a much bigger issue, as the brightness level at the beginning of the strip becomes more distinguishable from the end.
Fortunately, this problem is easily resolved by powering the LED strip from the center, allowing light to be evenly dispersed twice as far in both directions. Inspired LED’s new Blue Mid-Connector Tiger Paw® utilizes our patented technology to make secure terminations from a power source to the center of an LED strip, making voltage drop a cinch to solve
Let’s check out how to properly install this new connector in order to take full advantage of its features!
When inserting a flexible LED strip into the Tiger Paw®, you will want to first make sure the adhesive backing has been removed from the strip. Then pull open the black latch and slide the flexible LED strip between the beige bridge piece and the latch. Make sure the polarity is the same across both flexible strips. We like to think of this as a “train track” in which the polarities continue on the same sides. Otherwise one of the strips will not illuminate.
Push the black latches closed to lock flexible LED strips are locked into place, then use a small screwdriver to open the screw terminal ports for wiring. During this step, it may be helpful to mark the polarity of the positive or negative side before attempting to wire into the connector, we recommend marking with a sharpie on the positive terminal!
Strip the ends of your 16-22 AWG solid or stranded wire, and match polarities as you insert each side into the screw terminal ports. Double check the polarity once more before re-tightening your screws.
Now that everything is installed and connected, turn on your power to ensure everything is working properly, then it’s time to sit back and enjoy your new LED lighting system!
The Blue Screw Terminal Mid-Connectors are now available online at inspiredled.com. Be sure to check out all of our Tiger Paw connectors to determine which is the best product for your next LED lighting project. For more specific details about this specific connector, check out the spec sheet here.