Streetlight Power Tap Operations Basics

Streetlight Power Tap Operations Basics

Power Tap Basics

power tap allows the use of existing light pole infrastructure to power auxiliary equipment like wireless access points, CCTV cameras, sensors, routers, and gateways etc. It taps into the power supply of a streetlight by connecting between the photocontrol and locking type receptacle of the luminaire.

Power Tap with Photocell on Luminaire

The tap functions without interfering with the operation of the photocontrol unit as provided for by the ANSI C136.10 (Locking-Type Photocontrol Devices and Mating Receptacles - Physical and Electrical Interchangeability and Testing) and ANSI C136.41 (For Roadway and Area Lighting Equipment—Dimming Control Between an External Locking Type Photocontrol and Ballast or Driver) regulations of 2013.

The photocontrol primarily switches the luminaire on or off as required using a dusk to dawn sensor or a photocell. However, some have 2 or 4 pin contacts added to provide for dimming control. Available with two or four dimming contacts to support one or two channel dimming protocols. They regulate the output intensity and energy consumption of the light sources by varying the input voltage.

Dimmers can be:
  • Manual Dimmers
  • Photosensor-Activated Dimmers
  • Programmable Dimmers
Typical Connections for Power Tap:

An important point is that the power tap can be switched on/ off as desired by the user, same way that the photocontrol controls the luminaire. It can be a dusk to dawn power tap (supplies power at night only); a continuous on system (24/7 Supply) or even be controlled by a manual/ automatic timer as desired by the user.

a) NEMA 3 PIN Connection

3 connection points for the photocontrol prongs with no contacts for dimming control.

3 Pin Receptacle

3 pin wiring control

b) NEMA 5 PIN Connection

3 connection points + 2 dimming signal contacts.

Receptacle with 2 dimming signal contacts
5 Pin Wiring Control

c) NEMA 7 PIN Connection

3 connection points + 4 dimming/signal contacts.

Receptacle with 4 dimming signal contacts

7 pin wiring control

Benefits of a Power Tap
  • Quick Installation – very easy to secure onto the luminaire using the twist lock mechanism
  • Cost Effective – Easily supply power to devices power to existing infrastructure without changing the entire light pole or using long cable runs
  • ANSI Compatibility – Plugs into standard ANSI C136.41 receptacle connectors located on top of the luminaire, accommodates 5 &7 pin control nodes for easy replacement
  • Uninterrupted operations – Does not disturb the functionality of existing photocontrols or control nodes attached to the pole

For more information on Power Taps and assistance in designing a solution contact our specialists here or through +1 480 218 1877 or +1 410 877 6887.