I have a rangehood with some lights for illumination. But they're expensive lamps, mains voltage, not very bright and they run hot. So I'm looking to remove and replace with something LED based. Ideally I'll remove the whole lampholder assembly and store them, and fit a replacement. To do so I'll need to connect to the existing wiring harness with two new plugs.

But I don't know the name to search for, and there are many different standards.

enter image description here enter image description here

The lamps are 240 Volt AC. Both sides of the plug are designed to hide the metal contactors from accidental touch. One side is a round prong and a square prong, and the matching connector has round and square holes. Each block is 4 mm per side, though this is hard to measure, could be 20% off. They are mounted inside an earthed stainless steel rangehood.

As you can see there is not a lot of slack in the wire, so while I could snip these off there's no space to reconnect them. Also local laws allow me to "plug modules in internally" but not "rewire" so plugging is important.

The only other comment is that these are inside the rangehood and are exposed to grease and steam and heat. They're astonishingly clean given an age of ~8 years, with no tackyness or similar feeling, so I suspect I need plastic that is heat-tolerant.

Question: What are these called? And do I need a special tool for them - if so what is that called ?

  • 3
    Are you sure you aren’t doing this the hard way? “Run hot” and “not very bright” implies incandescent, and those must be socketed because they frequently burn out. Why not get LEDs that adapt to that lamp socket, or come off that with a more readily available adapter? Jun 26, 2020 at 13:15
  • Nice schematic drawing! Someone took a mechanical drawing class... ;)
    – FreeMan
    Jun 26, 2020 at 13:24
  • Way too much trouble to try to remedy something which is only slightly suboptimal. And your intervention could go wrong. Try sourcing LED lamps that will fit the existing sockets. Jun 26, 2020 at 16:22
  • @FreeMan nah - I just added some lines in Gimp while cropping the photos. There's not a lot of room in a rangehood and the short wires don't help.
    – Criggie
    Jun 26, 2020 at 23:37
  • 1
    @Harper - LEDs usually aren't recommended to use in range hoods because of the heat from the stove. My range hood says specifically not to use LEDs, but rather to use Halogen bulbs.
    – SteveSh
    Nov 15, 2020 at 0:09

3 Answers 3


Molex is one of the leading brand names for these connectors, there are several different sizes of pins commonly used Based on the amperage. Some manufactures use different shaped pin and sleeve connectors There are tools to slide in and release the connectors so the body can be repinned. The commercial tools are expensive but I have had mine over 20 years. You can get parts online for a few $ molex pins , extraction tools, kits all available on amazon prime. There are also crimp tools (look a lot like wire strippers with a small pair of crimp Jaws again look up molex crimper.

  • 1
    I agree it's probably a Molex or compatible -- browsing through their catalog will probably find it.
    – Nate S.
    Jun 26, 2020 at 15:21

That's a fairly standard quick release type connector called a... um... well....

DigiKey (a very large electronics supplier, and the first result of a search for plastic wiring connector) calls them rectangular connectors and they have a bajillion varieties.

I'm sure most electronics suppliers as well as electrical supply houses (i.e. residential/commercial wiring, not "electronics") will have a pretty good supply. You might even find that style at an auto parts store.

I'd either browse the link above (or any other electronics supplier - I'm not endorsing DigiKey, just the first link I found) or maybe take whatever it was that plugged into that (i.e. the other side of the connector) into your local electrical supply shop to see if they can find you a matching piece.

Then you can replace the bulb/socket/mount with a new one and wire it into your new connector and mount it.


You simply snip the connector off of the existing bulb mount and wire the old connector directly into your new bulb mount? That would save you the time of finding a matching one.

If the wires are too short on the mating connector, there are tools designed to pull the pins out of these headers so you can desolder/resolder new wire to the pins and reinstall the pins. You may need to replace the pins, but I'm pretty sure those are literally a dime a dozen (plus shipping, handling and local taxes).

  • 2
    Connectors of this type usually use crimped pins, rather than soldered, so re-using the pins with new wire is probably not an option. The pins themselves are indeed a dime a dozen, but the crimp tools can be an expense (though there's cheapies available which will probably get the job done for two pins).
    – Nate S.
    Jun 26, 2020 at 15:19
  • 1
    Fair enough point, @NateS. Though I'd think one could solder instead of crimping. (Disclaimer: I've not tried that, so I haven't a clue how well it would work.) There shouldn't be much in the way of vibration in a range hood to shake a soldered connection loose...
    – FreeMan
    Jun 26, 2020 at 15:22
  • 1
    You'd have to be extremely precise with your soldering in order for it to still fit back in the plastic housing -- any big blobs will get in the way. It may not be impossible, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone that's not quite confident in their soldering skills.
    – Nate S.
    Jun 26, 2020 at 15:26
  • 1
    I agree with Nate , I have soldered after crimping with very fine wired 24 awg I believe it was. If you have a well tinned iron it is not difficult but the wires should be crimped first.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 26, 2020 at 16:34

There's a suggestion from a coworker that this is a "Tamiya connector" used in RC cars for battery power connections

enter image description here

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamiya_connector

Although my rangehood plugs appear to be reverse polarity of the DC battery example, and there's a worrying difference between 7~14 volts DC and 240VAC.

UPDATE-1 Turns out that I was incorrect - the halogen lights already installed are 12V not 240V. So I've ordered some of these for testing.

UPDATE-2 No - the tamiya connector is subtly larger than the ones in my appliance, and the one round hole is badge-shaped in the Tamyia connector.

Own work
left: original, right: Tamiya connector

Wikipedia says

There are two sizes of Tamiya connectors: standard and mini. The outside dimensions of the standard connector is: 13.4mm x 5.4mm x 26.8mm
The outside dimensions of the mini connector is: 9.9mm x 5.4mm x 22mm (about 3/8" x 7/32" x 7/8")

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