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Tech Talk – Recognizing Reverse Polarity

Glls.com Tech Talk 1 Comment

In our last Tech Talk, we covered the difference between open and closed face LED Light Panels.
This week we’re going to discuss how to recognize reverse polarity.

What is reverse polarity?

Reverse polarity, in our case, typically happens during installation. When the wires of the LED Neon Flex fixture are not connected to the proper ports in the decoder, or to the proper wires of the power supply, reverse polarity occurs. You could say the connection of the wires is “backwards”. With a two wire fixture, this means the connections of the ground and positive wires are GND to + and + to GND, instead of GND to GND and + to +.

Reverse polarity has the potential to cause damage to the internal components of your fixture. Without a failsafe, the fixture would become hotter than normal operating temperatures and would eventually burn. Some electrical components also have the potential to explode when connected backwards. Incorrectly wiring the power would also fry the IC.
Fortunately, we took measures to make sure that this common mistake won’t cause these issues. We equip our fixtures with a reverse polarity protection chip to prevent the LEDs from becoming damaged this way.

How do I know when my wiring is wrong?

We’ve included a helpful system in LED Neon Flex that indicates when your wires are crossed. All of our fixture types have a small LED every 20in (0.5m) at the cutting unit that lights up from reverse polarity. Depending on the fixture type, this LED could be different colors. Shown below are a Pixel fixture with warm white indicators, an RGB fixture with green indicators, and a static color jacketed fixture with cool white indicators. Regardless of the fixture type, the entire light will remain unlit except for the indicator LEDs.

Reverse Polarity Indicators

If this occurs, first try re-wiring your fixture. If the problem persists, and your wires are hooked up correctly, contact our support team and they will walk you through the necessary steps to get your fixtures in working condition!

Check back in for our next Tech Talk on March 27th!

Have any technical questions? Contact Tech Support
Want to suggest topics for future posts? Email us!
To speak with a sales rep about our LED Neon Flex products, Contact Us today!

Comments 1

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I would like to add few to your list.

    1. Ecologically Friendly – LED Lighting Is Much More Eco-Friendly
    LED lights are free of toxic chemicals. Most conventional fluorescent lighting bulbs contain a multitude of materials like e.g mercury that are dangerous for the environment.

    LED lights contain no toxic materials and are 100% recyclable, and will help you to reduce your carbon footprint by up to a third. The long operational life time span mentioned above means also that one LED light bulb can save material and production of 25 incandescent light bulbs. A big step towards a greener future!

    2. Durable Quality – LED Illumination Can Withstand Rough Conditions
    LEDs are extremely durable and built with sturdy components that are highly rugged and can withstand even the roughest conditions.

    Because LED lights are resistant to shock, vibrations and external impacts, they make great outdoor lighting systems for rough conditions and exposure to weather, wind, rain or even external vandalism, traffic related public exposure and construction or manufacturing sites.

    3. Zero UV Emissions – LED Lighting Features Close to No UV Emissions
    LED illumination produces little infrared light and close to no UV emissions.

    Because of this, LED lighting is highly suitable not only for goods and materials that are sensitive to heat due to the benefit of little radiated heat emission, but also for illumination of UV sensitive objects or materials such a in museums, art galleries, archeological sites etc.

    4. Operational in Extremely Cold or Hot Temperatures
    LED are ideal for operation under cold and low outdoor temperature settings. For fluorescent lamps, low temperatures may affect operation and present a challenge, but LED illumination operates well also in cold settings, such as for outdoor winter settings, freezer rooms etc.

    5. Low-Voltage – LED Lighting Can Run on Low-Voltage Power Supply
    A low-voltage power supply is sufficient for LED illumination. This makes it easy to use LED lighting also in outdoor settings, by connecting an external solar-energy source and is a big advantage when it comes to using LED technology in remote or rural areas.

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