Plastic interconnect system enables easier application of LED arrays

March 19, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Molex has introduced a new development in LED array holder technology with integral electrical, mechanical and optical connectivity for optimal performance. This plastic interconnect also simplifies design integration for lighting manufacturers.

Existing LED arrays represent a challenging compromise between the LED array metal printed circuit boards or ceramic substrates being small enough to minimise costs and deliver the optical performance required while also providing electrical, mechanical and optical attach features to make them easier to use in a lighting system. The technology now introduced by from Molex transfers the connectivity and ease of use features from the LED array metal or ceramic substrate to a separate plastic body substrate, allowing for improvements in thermal, optical and mechanical interconnect functionality. This plastic body substrate can be combined with the LED array package in a number of ways to provide an array top side surface with multiple connection choices.

This new technology, co-developed with Bridgelux, Inc., has been incorporated into the recently announced Vero array product family from Bridgelux. The interconnect technology is expected to make future LED array products easier to integrate and more cost effective, enabling lighting OEMs to reduce system costs, decrease time to market and to improve the reliability of LED luminaires they design. These advances include thermally isolated solder pads, an integral Molex Pico-EZmate header, and improved mechanical attach and optical reference features, all while maintaining a very low profile. The solder pads are designed to make direct soldering easier and more robust than soldering to current array packages made of materials such as aluminium or ceramics. The Pico-EZmate connector header option enables a solder free electrical interface and options for field service and replacement. The new interconnect technology simplifies resolving many system integration problems, and will help usher in the era of smart lighting systems, the vendor promises.

"We know that in the not too distant future we will see convergence occur in solid state lighting, just as it has with consumer electronics. That convergence will require additional functionality, sensors, communications, and other features incorporated into the LED light engine. This platform technology is well suited to