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.
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!