Monday, February 9, 2015

Littlite Console Light Standards-Kinda Sorta.

In the 30+ years that we’ve been manufacturing task lights for audio and lighting consoles, a few informal standards have been adopted by the industry and are in use by the vast majority of console manufacturers.

It is generally accepted that an on-board task light connector provide power compatible with a 12-volt light drawing at least 380m (500mA is the norm). Coincidentally or not, that is the specification of the Littlite Q5 halogen bulb as used in our High Intensity lights for decades. There have been rare power variations so it’s always a good idea to double-check your manual before connecting a light. There should be a minimum of 12Volts/150mA specified for the connector for safe use of our Littlite LED products and 12Volts/380mA for our High Intensity light. (Soundcraft Expression and Performer Series consoles do not meet these power requirements).   

The common task light connectors are either BNC or a three or four-pin XLR connector.

In recent years we’ve been advocating the use of a TNC connector in place of the BNC and we are starting to see some manufacturers such as Crest Audio and Moog heed this advice. (BNC connectors are small and inexpensive but don’t do a very good job of holding a light in place. TNC connectors are a threaded version of the BNC with the same size and cost and they do a much better job of securing the light).

XLR connectors are strong and do an excellent job as a task light connector but because the pin patterns have a specific profile, the connectors have to be correctly orientated on the console in order for the light to be positioned over the work surface.

A few years ago Littlite introduced our LLX, our proprietary XLR connector. Prior to the LLX we used and modified standard XLR connectors for our X and XR Series lights and while they worked fine they did present some limitations for us. Our LLX is purpose-designed as a gooseneck connector and, as you’ll see below, we built in some features that have come in handy.   

                    Littlite LLX

So back to those “informal standards”. Standards, especially informal standards, are often overlooked which can result in some minor complications. Recently we’ve had to react to a few situations  


These consoles use 4-Pin XLR connectors mounted on the back panel. With this type of console we would normally recommend one of our XR-4 Series lights (Right Angle XLR connector) such as the 18XR-4-LED or 18XR-HI-4. However, the XLR connectors on these consoles are located too close to a lip over the top edge preventing the lights from snapping into the connector.

Solution: The Littlite LLX was designed to accommodate different mounting orientation. By rotating the pin inserts, the gooseneck will change position once it is snapped into the XLR panel socket. For the PRO series product, rotating the pins 90 degrees enables the light to snap into the socket and the gooseneck to curve over the top of the lip overhang. (See details here:

We also offer lights pre-configured for these consoles.

The MIDAS M32 also uses a 4-Pin XLR connector on the back panel but it is installed 180 degrees from the “informal standards” and requires the pin inserts in the LLX to be rotated 180 degrees as described in the link above.

Our pre-configured lights for the MIDAS M-32 is the 18XR-4-LED-M32.

Same as the MIDAS M-32.
Rotate pin inserts 180 degrees or use the 18XR-4-LED-M32. 

Your new digital console is likely to have a dimmer control for your task light. And it is likely that this dimmer control is in an unlikely menu like talkback or monitor. Check your manual, scroll and click to increase the light intensity and your Littlite LED will magically turn from red to white unless you want it to stay a cool, vibey red in which case, do nothing.

Donn Deniston

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