I have a mix of lightly used track lighting pieces that I got second-hand. The connectors seem to different brands, but all fit with each other. (Same profile.)

My question is about the contacts on the connectors, that connect the bus bars of one piece of track to another piece. Some appear to be bare copper, others brass, others appear to be aluminum, or maybe tinned copper? Do I need to be concerned about long-term compatibility here?

track connectors

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    I looked up Nora Lighting's spec sheet, specifically their NT-300 series. All bus bars are copper. Some connectors appear to be brass/copper-colored, others appear silver/aluminum-colored. So if one manufacturer seems to mix and match, I'm assuming I can do the same between manufactures, without risking corrosion or incompatibility issues.
    – PhilPDX
    Nov 25, 2017 at 23:36

1 Answer 1


This is exactly what I was trying to say before, (what you found on Nora's spec sheet) admittedly not as clearly as I should. These manufacturers are not going to put their products at risk with such a fundamental flaw. I have seen bus work in load centers over the years and learned that all those different colors mean little of nothing. People will often think that just because a contact metal is silver in color, it has to be aluminum. These manufacturers know very well the dangers of oxidation and specifically the problems with the oxidation of aluminum. They avoid it like the plague. Additionally, they know the results of mixing dissimilar base metals and the electrolysis that if can cause. This, they avoid as well. The problem gets worse: The metal ‘copper’ alone or in high concentration is actually a problem also because although it is an excellent conductor it alone is too soft to stand up to the rigors of an electrical contact surface. Therefore, manufacturers combing copper with other alloys to make it stronger. Every manufacturer has their own proprietary mix and the resulting look or color is different in every case. They pay metallurgist big money to figure these things out. You can be quite sure of this; the contact metal, you speak of, will stand up the rigors required and at the same time do an efficient job of conducting the electricity necessary without harmful reactions between metals. I hope I made this more clear. P.

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