I think I've found a solution for my previous question and I'm now going to order some FCI "Clincher" connectors from a local supplier to try them out.

My question is, should I terminate the ends of the flexible LED strips with sockets or pins? And why?

(In practice I'm going to be using sockets for this prototype because that's what Element14 have in stock, but if there's a strong reason to do it the other way 'round its worth me waiting for the stock to come in for the "real" (much bigger, more expensive) project.)


2 Answers 2


The general convention is sockets for power sources, pins for loads.

The reason is that you can touch the conductor of a pin, so you don't want to have a voltage on it. Sockets are often designed to make it difficult to accidentally touch the conduuctor. Much less relevant now in the days of low voltages, but why not stick to a convention that was usefull back when a voltage could kill.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, but why? Is there a practical reason or is it just convention? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2010 at 11:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, I didn't know that. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2010 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ The idea is that you don't want live power in a place that you can accidentally touch and/or short (such as pins). So you put your active power protected in a socket. Then your pins are only active when you have them plugged in. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Nov 5, 2010 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Gotcha. Makes perfect sense. Kellenjb, can we edit this into the original answer? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2010 at 18:51

As well as potential shorting issues, you should consider physical robustness, and which end is more likely to sustain damage by handling etc.


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