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    Hylec-APL solves connector specification problems to light up Birmingham City Centre

    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’s also important to keep any wiring as discrete as possible so as not to deter from the overall aesthetics of the finished solution. When specifying outdoor lighting components for one of the UK’s highest profile new buildings these challenges are amplified, fortunately Hylec-APL’s innovative weatherproof range offers a solution.

    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 percent, 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; all the while ensuring a discrete and aesthetic solution 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.

    The 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 extremely versatile and includes panel/chassis mount options where required. 2 to 6 pole connections are available and the products vary in size from 90mm to 130mm long (when closed); making them far more discrete 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 discrete 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.”