Connect With flex7

flex7 explains the benefits offered by its range of innovative connection units.

In 1998, flex7 created the world’s first 7-pole lighting connection interface. Since then, we’ve designed an entire connection and control system around these clever plug and socket modules. At the heart of our product range is our lighting distribution unit or, as we prefer, connection unit.

Designed to minimise the labour content of commercial luminaire installation, this was the first product out of the flex7 stable to incorporate our unique interface, and was very quickly adopted by the industry. A comprehensive redesign in 2011 allowed us to turn a pretty good product into the excellent one it is today and make it first choice for electrical consultants and contractors the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland.

Quality front and centre

The first thing to say is that, both mechanically and electrically, it is the most robust product in its class. The aluminium extruded body gives it the strength required to withstand the rigours of installation whilst the patented internal contact system means any risk of high resistive ‘weak’ points are, unlike alternative connection unit designs, entirely eliminated, ensuring years of uninterrupted service.

Furthermore, should the unit be exposed to fire, you can be assured that all non-metallic parts are made from a flame retardant, self extinguishing, halogen-free material; PA6 UL96 V0 rated to be precise. Put simply, the plastic cannot sustain its own flame and, in the event it is subjected to fire, will not produce halogenated gas emissions; the type that play a significant part in so many building fire fatalities.

Time’s money

Installing the connection unit couldn’t be simpler. Two very strong, spring steel clips are supplied with every unit. A single central fixing is all that’s required for each; plug and screw, nut and bolt, wedge anchor, Hilti (type) fixing etc. – your call.

Once they are attached to the building fabric or containment the unit simply snaps into place. The clips have a grip any self-respecting crocodile would be proud of, holding the connection unit securely in place and crucially, because they’re metal, allow full compliance with 521.11.201 of the IET Wiring Regulations, 17th Edition, or 521.10.202 for those already conversant with the recently released 18th Edition.

Finally on the subject of fixing, the unit can be quickly released from its clips should repositioning be necessary at some point in the future; no more struggling with damaged, rusty screw heads while stretching into the ceiling void.

Connecting the fixed wiring is also a breeze. Just one screw secures the slide-off terminal cover and there are multiple 20mmØ and a 25mmØ knockout to accept conduit adaptors or cable glands of any variety. Once inside, there’s bags of space to allow neat routing of the wiring to the strong, cage clamp terminals, each of which easily accept three 2.50mm2 conductors.

Regardless of variant, every flex7 connection unit has two earth terminals in order to allow compliance with 543.7.1.204 of the IET Wiring Regulations 17th and 18th Editions, when the need arises. And continuing with the ‘what you get as standard’ theme, all of our connection units contain seven contacts which means that even if you’re only installing on/off luminaires to start with there’s always an upgrade path to regulating (dimmable) luminaires or products with more complex control requirements if things change in the future.

Joined-up thinking

There are three basic type of flex7 connection unit:

• One employs a single control device (switch, sensor etc.) to control every outlet
• One employs two control devices (switches, sensors etc.) to control their own individual group of outlets
• One employs two completely separate supplies (same phase, separate neutrals) to feed and control their own individual group of outlets – ideal for essential/non-essential circuits, such as those often used in hospital installations.

Two other variants – our tap-off and extender unit – give you the option to simply plug-in extra outlets should you require them.

Every flex7 connection unit is available with two, four, six, eight, 10 or 12 outlets and can accept traditional hard-wired control (a 230V switch for example) directly into its terminals.

If speed of installation is the goal, then the best option is to use flex7 plug-in controls which are fully modular, operate at PELV and require no on-site terminations whatsoever, as all our sensors and switches benefit from RJ connectivity and only need to be plugged-in; it quite literally takes seconds.

So to summarise, connection units from flex7 are:

• Designed specifically with speed of installation in mind
• Mechanically and electrically robust
• Made with safe materials should the unthinkable happen
• Feature-rich and allow compliance with necessary legislation
• Comprehensive in range and flexible in application
• Appropriate for every type of commercial lighting project
• Part of a complete modular concept
• At home whether used stand alone, semi-modular or fully modular
• Designed and manufactured wholly in the UK by a UK company.

For more information on our connection units and all flex7 products, go to our website or contact us directly at info@flex7.co.uk or 020 8580 1066.

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