What is the Difference between LC and SC Fiber Optic Connectors?

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Optical fiber connectors literally connect optical fibers and allow connections between different wired networking devices. These connectors come in different shapes and sizes and the most commonly used ones are the SC and LC connectors.

In this blog, we will walk you through the difference between these connectors and where you can use them. Let’s dive right into it.

LC Fiber Optic Connector

LC or Lucent Connector (lucent means light bearing in Latin), is smaller in size as compared to the others. It features a 1.25mm ferrule made from ceramic material. A ‘ferrule’ is a tiny tube or a mechanical fixture that protects the exposed/stripped fibers of the cable.

It is inserted into devices which provides the interface for the device and the cable to transfer data on a light beam.

You can use this connector for Singlemode fiber cables. Singlemode fiber cables have a core with a small diameter that can only transmit one beam of light.

This particular connector was a modern replacement for the SC connector but it was not effective. It has a latch-style lock system.
The applications of this connector are in Datacom’s and high-density patch applications. Its smaller size makes it ideal for smaller places and densely populated panels.

SC Fiber Optic Connector

SC or Standard Connector, introduced in 1991 is one of the oldest fiber connectors. Unlike the LC connector, it has a push-pull lock system which ensures durable connections.

The applications of this connector are in common video and audio cables. It is easy to use and can be connected or disconnected with a simple push or pull, respectively.

Initially, this connector was used for Gigabit Ethernet (1 GBit/s) networking. And it has remained pretty much dominant for over a decade due to its excellent performance and easy-to-use features.

So, what factors make the LC and SC connectors different from one another. Let’s have look.

Magnitude

This is one of the basic differences between these two connectors. The SC connector has a ferrule size of 2.5mm while the LC features a 1.25mm ferrule which is exactly half the size of the SC connector.
Because of the smaller size, LC is more commonly used in offices and data centers where there are clusters of Fiber Optic Cables and space for making connections is limited. It allows you to connect more cables as compared to its counterpart.

Design

SC comes with a push-pull lock system while LC has a latched-style locking system. LCs have an innovative style and that is why their demand is higher.
Whereas the design of SC is easy to use and ensures strong connections.

Lifespan

As mentioned earlier, LC connectors are relatively new. SC connectors are widely in use all across the world, but LCs are also catching up.
The insertion loss (the loss of signal or data packets) and return loss (measurement of the amount of light that is reflected back toward the source) capabilities are the same for these two fiber optic connectors.
Both connectors have a design that provides great speed and durable connections.

Cost

The cost of LC connectors is rather higher as compared to the SC. Because the design of the LCs is more complicated and more detailed, their manufacturing costs go up. Whereas the SC connectors can be manufactured at a lesser cost.

Which one do you need?

If you need the connectors for a data center or any other purpose where you will be connecting too many of them, you indisputably need the LC connectors. Their compact and modern design will allow you to connect as many connectors as you need.

On the other hand, for regular purposes such as connecting fiber optic cables with a computer, Wi-Fi router, gaming console, etc, you need the SC connector. It provides a reliable connection at a much more affordable price. Happy Networking!

Why NewYork Cables?

NewYork Cables is the leading brand of cutting-edge networking cables and accessories, including premium-quality fiber optic cables and connectors. We are renowned for producing products at market competitive prices that surpass industry standards. In addition to the unmatched quality of our products, we are also known for having the best customer support in the industry. Place your order now or contact us at [email protected] for more info.

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