External lighting projects can pose many challenges for electrical installers. Connections need to be protected from poor weather yet easy to install and quick to access in the event that maintenance is required; it is also important to keep any wiring as discreet as possible so as not to deter from the overall aesthetics. When specifying outdoor lighting components for one of the UK's highest-profile new buildings these challenges are amplified; fortunately, Hylec-APL offers an innovative weatherproof range.
The new Library of Birmingham is an important step in the redevelopment of the UK's second-biggest city; a project which will see it expand by 25 per cent, improve its transport system and turn it into one of Europe's cultural hubs. The new building is designed to make an impact on the City's skyline and attract many thousands of visitors each day. Part of its distinctive design includes a lighting display with 273 individual LED lamps to ensure that it can be seen at any time, day and night.
When specifying the connection components for the lighting display it was vital that a product was found which would provide protection from the elements and allow for easy installation with quick and low-cost maintenance, while being discreet and aesthetic, so as not to detract from the lighting itself.
The electrical contractor for the building searched the market for a high-quality component which would meet the project's requirements. Eventually it was recommended the TEEPLUG, available exclusively from Hylec-APL. Hylec was able to meet the requirements and deliver to a very short lead time through one of its UK stockists, Edmundson Electrical, Birmingham.
TEEPLUG is part of an extensive range of weatherproof products which are available exclusively from Hylec-APL. The plug and socket connector is easy to wire and uses a simple male/female connection which employs a keyway assembly to ensure the correct mating of the connectors. For added safety during installation the earthing pin has been designed to be extended so that it is the first to connect and last to disconnect. Once mated the connection is secured using a twist lock collar.The product offers IP68 ingress protection thanks to a double seal design, and the casing is made from tough polycarbonate which is resistant to UV light and protects against external knocks.
The TEEPLUG consists of two parts - male and female - which join to form an inline connection. Each part can be pre-wired, which reduces installation times and minimises errors on-site. The range is versatile and includes panel/chassis mount options where required. Two to six-pole connections are available, and the products vary in size from 90mm to 130mm long (when closed), making them far more discreet than traditional industrial connectors.
Des Tully, Area Sales Manager for Hylec-APL, comments: "The wiring for the external lighting will potentially be visible when visitors look out of the windows, so the installer needed to keep all the connections as discreet as possible to maintain the building's aesthetics. The TEEPLUG is smaller than almost any other product that offers the IP protection that was required. Not only that, the simple plug and socket nature of the product means that each connection can be pre-wired prior to installation.
"When lighting is external you don't mess around trying to diagnose and fix a fault. In the event of a problem the maintenance team will be able to easily disconnect the problem LED and fit a new unit in a matter of minutes. This makes the TEEPLUG economical through the entire life of the building rather than just during the original build."
For further information about the TEEPLUG and other outdoor lighting components, please go to www.hylec-apl.com/.