Conducting current through metal frame elements for LED strips - Okay?

Thread Starter

Curtis Nelson

Joined Mar 4, 2018
3
Hi,

I'm working with a developer to make an electronic device that has an external LED strip overhanging the main housing to assist with function of an optical sensor. The developer currently has the power for the LED strip being routed through the metal rods that physically connect the LED strip to the main housing.

From the first prototype, it seems like a great solution to me. I haven't noticed an interference when touching the metal rods and you definitely don't get shocked when touching the rods or any other components. Is this okay? Are there other devices out there that route the power through a physical component of the housing itself?

Is the developer breaking any product safety rules?

Any feedback would be helpful.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,525
It will depend on the LED voltage being low and isolated from the mains. It is fairly common to have 12V lamps clipped on to wires or rods to allow them to be positioned easily as well as powered.
But if it is mains voltage, NO!
 

Thread Starter

Curtis Nelson

Joined Mar 4, 2018
3
I believe it's isolated, but I'll confirm. I'll also take a voltage measurement next time I'm near the device to confirm how low the voltage is.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
6,039
It will depend on the LED voltage being low and isolated from the mains. It is fairly common to have 12V lamps clipped on to wires or rods to allow them to be positioned easily as well as powered.
But if it is mains voltage, NO!
Dendad is right! BUT the need for caution is definite. My suggestion is use the rods for the "neutral" side of the LED supply voltage, and if you are in an area that requires a grounding connection then also connect the green wire ground to that same part of the frame. Also, just because a prototype is safe with the power supply used for the prototype, you still need to be sure that whatever supply is used in production is also an isolated type. Sometimes purchasing folks make unfortunate engineering changes, I have discovered. But following those principles your "thing" should meet most electrical codes.
 
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