As the tradeshow lighting industry evolves and new products hit the market, we must constantly be aware of products that are not UL, ETL or CSA listed to UL safety standards. Products taking shortcuts in the manufacturing process to increase margins is a risk we must all avoid.
We were recently told a story by an exhibit house that had purchased a hanging tension fabric sign. The internal lighting provided with the sign was a form of LED modular strip and we were now being asked to come up with a safer solution.
Talk about a situation of things having gone bad. It seems that the LED modular strips being used by the tension fabric company in the sign had exposed solder joints, similar to the one pictured above.
As the story was relayed to our team, when the riggers hoisted the sign into the air, their metal rigging cables came in contact with the exposed solder joint(s) causing them to spark and the structure to catch on fire.
The good news is that the problem was noticed immediately, the fire was put out and no one was hurt! This is fortunate for everyone, because the last thing that our industry needs is a fire on show site as this damages the entire industry!
DS&L HAS NO EXPOSED SOLDER JOINTS
Aside from the potential fire hazard, exposed solder joints weaken each time the cable is flexed or bent. If the solder connection breaks, the fixture will not work unless the connection is re-soldered properly. Paying to have this done on show site can be very expensive!
DS&L has no exposed solder joint/wire connection. As the image to the right shows, the wiring on is achieved by inserting the wire leads into plastic encapsulated secured wiring connector, providing for a firm and secure wiring connection.
DS&L Offers a Molded Connector to Minimize Failure
DS&L offers a secure molded barrel connector with a flexible strain relief cover to greatly minimize the risk of breakage or failure grasped and pulled, there is virtually no chance of the connector being removed from the wire.
Lower quality connections call for the crimping of pins to wires and the insertion of a plastic cover over the pins. When the connector or wire is grasped and pulled on in this situation, eventually the connector will separate from the wire rendering the product unusable until it is repaired. It is not likely that such repair can be achieved at show site as the parts and tools are not commonly found on the show floor.
What UL/ETL/CSA Listed Means versus Other Marks and No Marks
To our knowledge, as we are yet to see another example, only DS&L’s LED Modular Strips contain the UL Listing mark.
Right on the strip itself, the DS&L Modular Strip contains the UL Listed mark.
This means that DS&L’s entire modular strip series (the boards, all components, wires, connectors, LEDs and power supplies) has been tested with all components and power supplies connected and fully assembled, and shown to meet or exceed the applicable UL standard for both the US and Canada! This is an undertaking and expense, but something that we think is completely worth the investment for everyone’s safety! Others suppliers have power supplies with the UL mark on it. That means that their power supplies have been tested on their own and meet the applicable standard, but they have not been tested with the assembled strips and components they are intended to power, to see if they meet the standard as a complete lighting system.
Other suppliers have product with the UL recognized mark on them. This means that components used in the assembly process meet UL standards but they have not been tested when fully assembled to see if they meet the applicable standard when used together.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is simple – when it comes to quality and safety nothing compares to the DS&L Modular Strip series. It remains the best value in the market.
For more information, contact DS&L at (800) 468-1488 or www.dslgroup.com
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