Blog

Latest news for November 2016

Wednesday, 16 November 2016  |  Admin

This month we've added an LED Brightness Guide and Technical FAQ Section to our Knowledge Centre. We've also reduced shipping charges for Highlands & Islands destinations - great news for our customers in those more remote areas!


LED Brightness Guide

One of the questions we are often asked about our range of LED lights is 'How bright are they?'.  This is difficult to answer as LED lights cannot be directly compared with traditional incandescent light bulbs because they draw much less power for an equivalent light output. Most of us have a rough idea of how bright a 60W incandescent bulb is but we would probably have no idea how bright a 5W LED light would be. The brightness of LED lights is quoted in Effective Lumens and we have created a quick guide so you can compare traditional lighting wattages with Effective Lumens when deciding which LED lights are right for you.

Find out more: LED Lighting Brightness Guide


Frequently Asked Technical Questions

We often get asked the same sort of questions in relation to various 12V topics and we thought it was about time to pull together all the answers into a handy reference guide. So we've created a 12 Volt FAQs section in our Knowledge Centre and hopefully all your technical questions will be answered!

Find out more: 12 Volt FAQs


Highlands & Islands Shipping Costs Reducing

We are pleased to announce that from 1st December we will be bringing our shipping charges for Highlands and Islands destinations in line with the rest of the Mainland UK. So regardless of whether you live in London or Jersey you'll benefit from the same low, flat rate charge of £2.95 for standard shipping on all orders up to £100 and receive FREE shipping for all orders over £100.

See our Delivery & Returns section from 1st December for full details.

 

 


Get Connected - New products for Aug 2016

Friday, 19 August 2016  |  Admin

We're now stocking the Blue Sea Systems range of weatherproof plugs, sockets and accessories designed specifically for use in harsh marine environments, as well as their new OLED voltmeter and twin fast charge 4.8A USB socket.


Blue Sea Systems Weatherproof Plugs & Sockets

This weather-proof 12 Volt DC plug and socket socket system is designed to withstand the rigors of wet environments and constant vibration found in marine use. The tough plug/socket design features a twist-lock system to securely hold the two together and a seal around the plug prevents moisture ingress, so they can be used in cockpits exposed to spray. Corrosion resistant materials with large contact surfaces are used throughout to ensure good electrical connection and minimal voltage drop.

Find out more: Weatherproof plugs and sockets


Blue Sea Systems OLED Voltmeter & Twin Fast Charge USB Socket

Another great new product from Blue Sea Systems, this compact, panel-mounted voltmeter features a crystal clear OLED display that can be read even in bright daylight conditions.  It can be used with 12V or 24V systems and has a waterproof facia so can be mounted in exposed locations. 

Their new twin fast charge USB socket provides a whopping 4.8A to allow optimised fast charging of two devices simultaneously - perfect for those with multiple mobile devices needing to be charged on the go.

Find out more: OLED Voltmeter      Twin Fast Charge USB Socket


 More from LED Autolamps...

To complement our existing range we have introduced three new LED Autolamps products this month.  Large round interior lamps which are ideal for use as central lighting in living or work areas, a compact strip lamp with red LEDs for night working and a door entry scene light for illuminating entrances to motorhomes, caravans etc.  All are built to the usual high standard we've come to expect from this manufacturer, backed up by a 3 year warranty.

Find out more: Large Interior Lights      Red Strip Light      Door Entry Scene Light


Lighting The Way - New products for July 2016

Friday, 15 July 2016  |  Admin

This month we've added some of the best new LED lighting designs to our range to bring you even more choice when fitting out your boat or vehicle


Compact Work Lamps

These compact work lamps are ideal for use on motorbikes, trikes, quads or any other application where mounting space is limited. At 1000+ lumens they are high output for their size and come in either rectangular or oval housing designs. They're also  fully waterproof with stainless hardware and tough polycarbonate lenses, meaning they'll withstand the rigors of daily use.

Find out more: LED work lamps


Flexible LED Strips With Self-Adhesive Backing

This new range of flexible LED strip lighting makes easy work of illuminating under shelving and other areas where discrete and compact lighting is needed. Simply peel off the protective tape from the adhesive foam backing, apply where needed and wire up to the pre-installed flying leads. Available in four lengths to  suit the vast majority of applications and fully waterproof  so they can be used outside.

Find out more: Flexible LED strip lights


Touch Sensitive Interior Lights

A stylish and contemporary range of low profile strip lights that will blend well with any modern vehicle interior. They can be wired to be turned on and off by an in-built touch sensitive switch or they can be powered directly so you can switch them from a remote location.  At only 11mm deep they are low profile and are available in a choice of three lengths. We're currently stocking them in graphite grey but will also have them available in black in the next few weeks.

Find out more: Touch sensitive interior lights


Extended range of copper tube terminals

Due to popular demand we are now stocking copper tube terminals with 5mm diameter connection holes. These are available on terminals to fit  6, 10, 16 & 25mm2 cable sizes.

Find out more: Copper tube terminals

 

New products for April 2016 UK-made switch panels

Wednesday, 27 April 2016  |  Admin

This month we're continuing to expand our range of high quality products from marine electrical experts, Blue Sea Systems, and are pleased to introduce a range of UK-made switch panels for those wanting an integrated solution to circuit switching and protection.


Switch Panels

These switch panels fill a gap in our product range by offering a solution to those customers wanting integrated switching and circuit protection. UK-made using high quality Carling switchgear, they are stylish and robust and come pre-wired so there's minimal work involved during installation. Available in various configurations including switches only, switches/fuses or switches/circuit-breakers, plus there is a matching twin-battery status meter in the range. Some panels are water-resistant and suitable for use in cockpit areas where exposure to spray and rain is likely. All variants come with self-adhesive legend sets.

Find out more: Switch Panels


Blue Sea Systems Terminal Blocks

Blue Sea Systems are a leader in the field of marine electrics, producing some very high quality components, so we thought it was time to expand our offering from them. These rugged terminal blocks are a much more professional solution to making multi-way connections than flexible terminal strips. 'Jumpers' are also available to 'common' together individual circuits, meaning you can have a mixture of individual circuits and busbar circuits in a single unit, allowing greater flexibility in your system design. Available in 20A and 30A ratings with 2 to 10 circuits per block.

Find out more: Blue Sea Systems Terminal Blocks


Blue Sea Systems 'Feed-Through' Power Connectors

Sticking with Blue Sea Systems we are also now stocking these feed-through power connectors which provide a very convenient method of routing large gauge cable through bulkheads, decks and hulls. They eliminate cable strain at the pass-through point, are very tough and are rated to IP66 for a waterproof connection.

Find out more: Blue Sea Systems Feed-Through Power Connectors


Panel Mounted, Switchable Circuit Breakers

Adding to our range of already popular surface mounted switchable circuit breakers, we can now offer panel mounted versions in 50A, 80A & 100A ratings.

Find out more: Panel Mounted, Switchable Circuit Breakers


New products for Jan 2016

Friday, 8 January 2016  |  Admin

This month we're focusing on our new range of chargers and inverters from Sterling Power Products. Sterling's battery-to-battery chargers will be of particular interest to those of you wishing to charge a secondary battery in a vehicle with a 'smart' alternator, where a traditional split charging using a VSR won't work properly.


Sterling Mains-Powered Battery Chargers

Sterling's multi-award winning range of 'Pro Charge Ultra' multi-stage battery chargers are suitable for use in professional and recreational applications alike. Packed with a host of useful features and utilising some of the very best charging technology available they are designed for high reliability, un-rivalled charging performance and global use. Sterling are at the forefront of charging technology and the Pro Charge Ultra range are fitted by many of the World's largest production boat builders as original equipment. Suitable for all battery types including wet lead acid (open and sealed), AGM, Gel, calcium and lithium.

Find out more: Sterling Mains Battery Chargers


Sterling Quasi-Sine Wave Inverters

Quasi (or modified) sine wave inverters take a 12V DC power source and closely approximate the shape of the AC waveform that you get from your household electrical sockets, meaning that they can operate about 95% of 240V AC powered equipment.  These quasi-sine wave inverters from Sterling Power are robust, reliable units and are more cost-effective than pure sine wave inverters if you are running basic electrical items like kettles, microwaves, hairdryers, fridges, TVs, blenders, laptops, games, consoles etc.  They are a compact size for their output power and incorporate several safety features to protect the inverter and battery from damage.

Find out more: Sterling Battery-To-Battery Chargers


Sterling Battery-To-Battery Chargers

Battery-To-Battery chargers allow you to charge an auxiliary / leisure battery from your alternator whilst driving. They are installed in-line between the positive terminals of two batteries (one of which is connected to an alternator, typically a starter battery) and offer several benefits when compared with traditional split charge systems that utilise a Voltage Sensitive Relay (VSR) or heavy duty alternator-triggered relay.
  • Direct alternator charging used in a traditional split charge system with a VSR will only achieve around an 80% charge state. VSRs simply allow charge to pass directly from the alternator to the auxiliary battery whereas Battery-To-Battery chargers take the alternator output and boost or reduce it to provide a stable voltage output according to a multi-stage charging profile. This provides a 100% re-charge for your leisure battery in a controlled way and typically achieves it around 5x faster than with direct alternator charging.
  • Current flow is limited by the charger's current rating, eliminating potentially damaging high in-rush currents and allowing the use of smaller connecting cable than with VSR-based split charge systems.
  • Using a battery-to-battery charger is the only solution if you intend to re-charge a second battery in a modern vehicle that has an ECU-controlled 'smart' alternator (generally Euro 5/6 compliant engines onward). These have a highly variable voltage output that is often too low to provide a charge or (in the case of regenerative braking systems) so high that it can damage some battery types.  VSRs are not suitable for use with 'smart' alternators and a battery-to-battery charger must be used instead.

Find out more: Sterling Battery-To-Battery Chargers

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New products for Oct 2015

Wednesday, 21 October 2015  |  Admin

An extended range of Anderson Power Product's industry leading connectors hits our warehouse shelves this month, plus a 10-way waterproof fuse box for those tough environments.  We are also now stocking a range of adaptors to interface Superseal connectors with convoluted sleeving, providing your wiring harnesses with better protection and a professional finish.

Read on for more detail...


Anderson Powerpole Connectors - Smart, Simple, Versatile

Powerpole connectors from Anderson Power Products provide a smart, simple and extremely versatile connection solution for cable sizes from 1.5mm2 up to 35mm2.  They are a genderless design, so just flip one housing upside down and push it together with another of the same size to make a connection. They can also be interlocked side-to-side, top-to-bottom and at 90º to each other to form banks of connectors in multiple configurations, allowing blocks to be keyed and prevent incorrect connection.

Find out more: Anderson Powerpole Connectors


Superseal To Convoluted Sleeving Adaptors  - Connection Protection

These clever adaptors allow you to easily and neatly connect 10mm OD convoluted sleeving to 2, 3 or 4-way Superseal connectors, providing un-interrupted protection for your cable and creating an extremely professional finish to your wiring harnesses. The grooves in the sleeving sit tightly inside the adaptor, creating a solid interface with high pull-off force that provides effective strain relief and prevents accidental damage to the cable during connection and disconnection. Available in straight or 90º swivel versions.

Find out more:  Superseal Connector Adaptors For Waterproof Sleeving


10-Way Waterproof Fusebox  - IP56 For Tough Environments

This high quality, rugged fusebox is designed for use in damp environments such as engine compartments, bilges, cockpits and even external mounting on vehicles. It has 10 holders for automotive-style blade fuses and features red LEDs against each circuit to indicate fuse failure.  A ribbed silicone seal runs around the fuse compartment forming a waterproof seal against the lid, whilst a rubber gasket ensures a watertight fitting between the rear of the fusebox and the panel surface. There are also 6 additional slots to store spare fuses so they're to hand when you need them.

Find out more: Waterproof Panel Mounted Standard Blade Fuse Box With LEDs - 10 Way


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New products for Sep 2015

Wednesday, 30 September 2015  |  Admin

Our LED lighting range has had a further expansion this month with a range of waterproof scene, awning and strip lights from UK company Labcraft. We can also now offer a terminal crimping tool that is dedicated for use with heat shrink terminals and prevents damage.

Read on for more detail...


 

LABCRAFT LED LIGHTS - Leading The Way In UK Design & Manufacture

We're pleased to announce that we're now stocking a range of LED lights from UK designer and manufacturer, Labcraft.  Established for over 50 years, Labcraft have a proven track record of innovative, high quality products with stylish designs and are a popular and trusted brand within the auto, marine, leisure and commercial markets. Most of these lights are backed by a 10 year guarantee so you can be confident of their performance and reliability.

The range includes very high power scene lights, awning lights and strip lights - all waterpoof to IP67. We are also stocking their dual-colour map/chart light and a Passive Infra-Red (PIR) sensor for automatic light operation.

Last minute update: Last few lights from our initial stock remaining with more expected to arrive on Thursday 1st October

Find out more: Labcraft External Lights | Labcraft Map/Chart Light | Labcraft PIR Sensor


CRIMP TOOL FOR ADHESIVE-LINED TERMINALS  - Right Tool For The Job

We introduced a comprehensive range of heat shrink crimp terminals a few months ago and a dedicated tool is now available for crimping these. General purpose tools for crimping red/blue/yellow pre-insulated terminals have a tendency to damage and even pierce the heat shrink tubing, potentially allowing moisture to penetrate and corrosion to take hold. These dedicated ratchet crimpers feature a special flat jaw profile that crimps the conductor effectively without damaging the heat shrink tubing, ensuring that your terminals maintain their moisture resistant properties.

Priced at £38.42 inc. VAT

Find out more:  Heat Shrink Terminal Ratchet Crimping Tool

 


 

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New products for June 2015

Friday, 19 June 2015  |  Admin

We've some exciting new additions to our product range this month with a full selection of adhesive-lined heat shrink crimp terminals for those really demanding environments, plus dual power posts for extend high current cables. We also have a touch-sensitive, waterproof LED light and covers for our fused battery terminal clamps.

Read on for more detail...


ADHESIVE-LINED HEAT SHRINK TERMINALS - For Maximum Protection

We've extended our range of crimp terminals and connectors this month to include these adhesive-lined heat shrink versions. The terminals are first crimped over the cable and then the insulation is shrunk with a heat gun or torch until the adhesive lining melts and flows throughout, providing the dual-benefit of a long-lasting environmental seal and excellent strain relief for the cable.

These terminals have passed rigorous tests for sealing and pull-off loadings and are superior to standard pre-insulated terminals, making them them the 1st choice for use in demanding environments such as marine or external vehicle wiring applications.

 

To see the adhesive-lined heat shrink at work take a look at our Youtube clip below:

Find out more: Adhesive-lined heat shrink terminals and connectors


DUAL POWER POSTS - Easily Extend Your Power Cables

These dual power posts from marine electrical components specialists Blue Sea Systems feature 2 electrically isolated 3/8" studs mounted in a compact and tough glass-filled nylon block. Primarily intended for extending starter motor cables from outboard engines, they are also ideal for joining cables in any high current application on boats or in vehicles and can be used as an alternative to 2 individual power distribution posts.  Rated up to 48V with corrosion resistant stainless steel fixings they also come complete with dual-entry, red and black PVC  terminal covers.

Find out more: Dual power posts


WATERPROOF TOUCH-SENSITIVE LED LIGHT - IP67 Rated

This brand new surface-mounted LED ceiling light is suitable for both internal and external use thanks to its IP67 rated waterproof housing and convenient touch sensitive ON/OFF switch.  The body is a sleek aluminium extrusion that has been anodised for corrosion protection and is finished with black end caps. The high intensity cool white light output of  320 lumens (approximately equivalent to a 25W halogen bulb) is achieved by using 32 surface mounted LEDs and the light comes complete with sealed flying leads and stainless fixings. At only 21mm high this low profile light is ideal for any commercial, marine or leisure application where it might be exposed to moisture (e.g. awning light, external mounting on a vehicle etc.).

Find out more: Waterproof LED light with touch ON/OFF switch


FUSED TERMINAL CLAMP COVERS - Protection Against Shorts

Although we have stocked fused battery terminal clamps for some time now we have only just received matching covers so are finally able to add them to our range. Made from flexible PVC and available in right or left hand entry options, they provide protection against damage and shorting for your terminal clamps and cube fuses.

Find out more: Fused terminal clamp covers

You can find further detail for all the above items on our New Products page


New products for November 2014

Friday, 28 November 2014  |  Admin

November has seen a variety of new products filling our shelves in the run-up to the festive season, including fused battery clamps, LED hand lamps, Victron battery monitors and rectangular interior lamps from LED Autolamps. 

Will any of them make it onto your Christmas list? Read on for more detail...


MAXIMUM PROTECTION - Fused Battery Terminal Clamps

Fuses are critical in any electrical system to protect the cable from a dangerous over-current situation but it is important to appreciate that only the section of cable after the fuse is protected. In  a typical battery installation it is common to find a short section of cable between the +ve battery terminal and the first fuse, and if this section of cable shorts to ground then the fuse is by-passed and will not protect the cable. Normal practice is to keep this un-protected section as short as possible to minimise the risk, but there is a better solution.....

To eliminate this risk entirely these clever fused battery terminal clamps have the fuse built into the clamp itself, meaning there is a direct, solid connection to the battery post and no unprotected cable to worry about.  If you're looking for maximum protection for your electrical system we highly recommend these.

Fuses are available in ratings from 50A - 300A.

Find out more: Fused battery terminal clamps


HANDS FREE LIGHTING - Cordless LED Hand/Inspection Lamps

These rugged LED hand lamps we've recently added to our range are essential bits of kit for those dark winter evenings spent working on your vehicle or boat. Both models have inspection lamp and torch functions and are fitted with powerful ultra-bright LEDs. They also have magnets and folding hooks built into the bodies to provide numerous mounting options to direct the light exactly where you need it.

For additional lighting flexibility the larger model also has a pivoting head, whereas the smaller telescopic model is more compact and ideal for storage in a tool or glove box.

Both lamps come complete with 240V AC mains and 12V DC in-car chargers. Re-charge time is around 6-7 hrs with an operating time of around 5-6 hrs.

Find out more: LED hand lamps


RUNNING ON EMPTY? - Victron BMV-700/702 Battery Monitors

We often take our batteries for granted, assuming they are performing well without really knowing what's going on inside them. Given our reliance on them wouldn't it be good to be able to monitor their condition and ensure that they are not going to let us down?

The Victron BMV 700 and 702 battery monitors do just this by acting as a fuel gauge for your battery or battery bank and providing a range of information including voltage, current, power, Ah consumed, charge level (%), 'time to go', and total KWh charged/discharged. They are simple to install and setup and contain a host of useful features such as alarms, relay output, auto re-calibration and auto detection of system voltage. In addition to these features, the BMV-702 model has the ability to monitor the voltage of a 2nd battery (typically the starter battery).

Find out more: Victron battery monitors


ILLUMINATING STUFF - Rectangular LED Interior Lights

Our range of LED lighting has expanded again this month with the introduction of these 12V rectangular interior/courtesy lights from LED Autolamps. The surface mounted, low profile design is a perfect replacement for existing incandescent lighting, consuming far less energy yet providing a 120º spread of light equivalent in brightness to that of a 10W bulb.

These lights are 148mm long, 71mm high and only 19.5mm deep. Available with black, grey or white surrounds they will suit a range of applications from work vans though to motorhomes and boats.

Find out more: 12V rectangular LED interior lights


You can find further detail for all the above items on our New Products page

 

 


New products for October 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014  |  Admin

This month's additions include an expansion to our range of workshop assortment kits, a 3-output 30A Blue Power charger from Victron Energy, white-sheathed tinned marine cable from OceanFlex and LED step lights from LED Autolamps.


GET YOUR GARAGE KITTED OUT - New Workshop Assortment Kits

We've added a couple of new connector assortment kit boxes to our range this month to get your garage or workshop stocked up for the Autumn and Winter. The brass bullet and connector kit is ideal for those of you carrying out a major wiring project as part of a classic car restoration, whilst the Mate N Lok connector and terminal kit will appeal to anyone needing a good selection of high quality, multi-way connectors for general auto or marine use.

Priced at just £46.99 for the brass bullet kit and £49.99 for the Mate N Lok kit, both come in a tough compartmentalised storage case and are great value.

Find out more: Brass bullet and connector kit | Mate N Lok connector kit


CHARGING MORE THAN 1 BATTERY? - Victron 3-Output Charger

If you want to charge more than one battery you can connect them in parallel to charge them from a single charger output, however the batteries should be of the same type, size and age to make sure that they receive equal charge. They should also be discharged as a combined bank to make sure they don't 'age' at different rates which could cause a permanent charging imbalance.

Another option is to use a multi-output charger which allows you to use different batteries, to keep them separated if required and also to discharge them independently without any adverse effects. With this in mind we've extended our existing range of Victron Blue Power multi-stage battery chargers by adding a 30A version with 3 separate outputs. This allows easy connection of multiple batteries for simultaneous charging using Victron's well-proven adaptive charging technology. Designed for professional use, these high-end chargers are extremely well designed and built and will provide many years of reliable service.

Find out more: Victron 30A 3-Output Blue Power Charger

Suggestion - Why not complement your DC charging system by adding 240V AC capability with a Victron high efficiency pure sine wave Inverter?


OCEANFLEX MARINE CABLE - White Sheathed Tinned Cable

OceanFlex cable is a high quality, UK-manufactured, marine grade tinned copper cable for use in harsh environments and we're pleased now to be able to offer versions with a white insulating sheath, making it ideal for those marine installation where the cable is visible. Available with 1.5mm2 (21A) conductors, these 2 and 3 core cables can be supplied by the metre, or on 30m or 100m reels.

Find out more: Tinned copper cable

MIND YOUR STEP - Miniature LED Step Lamps

Vehicle entry illumination can save you from a nasty accident in the dark and if you're going to fit some lighting it might as well look good in addition to being functional. Our new range of step lights from LED Autolamps ticks both these boxes, very effectively lighting steps and entrance-ways with a minimalist contemporary design in a range of colours. At only 65mm wide by 30mm high, these miniature lamps are very discrete and throw a beam of light outwards and downwards thanks to the hooded-housing design. Priced at £11.99 each, they're suitable for external or internal use and are multi-voltage so can be used with 12 or 24V systems.

You can find further detail for all the above items on our New Products page


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