Learn More About Lightning Cables
Let’s get one thing out of the way. If you're an iPhone or iPad user (which is extremely likely since you’re here, coupled with Apple’s multi-trillion-dollar worth), then you’ve definitely got at least a little experience using Lightning cables -- providing you haven’t already gone through a dozen of them.
These notoriously ubiquitous connectors charge most Apple products and are even compatible with other devices. But what are Lightning cables exactly, and where can you find a good one (a super good one, like, one that’s in it for the long haul)?
Hang around for a couple of minutes to find the answers to these questions and more.
Spoiler Alert! You can snag low-priced, high-quality Lightning connectors right here in Moment’s shop.
What Is a Lightning Cable?
Introduced by Apple themselves back in 2012, the Lightning cable was an upgrade to the previous 30-pin connector. Though the 30-pin was a game-changer in itself, it was considered cumbersome, compared to the direction Apple (and by default, everyone else) was going with product design -- slim, compact, minimalist, and “smart.”
The lightning connector met these criteria, instantly became a hit & best-selling cable, and gave Apple further (quality) control over its products by soon integrating the Lightning connector to all of its mobile hardware.
Instead of 30 pins, Lightning only has eight. Instead of having to play with the cord to find the right side to plug in, Lightning can be inserted face up or down. Plus, different adapters allow the Lightning cable to be used with other cables and connectors such as USB, USB-C, HDMI, and more.
When the cable was first released, they were distinguished by Apple’s classic style, they were white, and about three feet long. Today, you can find Lightning cables from a variety of brands, in a variety of colors, and even different sizes.
Some are great, specifically Lightning connectors that come with a MFi certified badge. However, some aren’t so great -- easily bend, and break, and are actually capable of damaging your phone’s battery over time, or straight up not work. We’ll talk more about how to identify counterfeit connectors with genuine ones in a bit. First, let’s quickly go over uses for Lighting cables.
Convenient charging is the main use for Lightning connectors. Their simple, relatively fast charging capabilities are what made them so popular to begin with. As of now, lightning connectors are still the standard charger that comes with every new iPhone.
Transferring data between devices is the other common use, whether that’s between your iPhone and laptop or another device. You do need to have the right adapter on the other end to do so, though. Examples of data transferring and connectivity uses are Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter. This adapter supports screen mirroring from your Apple device to your TV in 1080p HD.
So now that we know a little history and use cases for the Lightning connector, how can you ensure you purchase the best lightning cables for your Apple products? Here’s a quick rundown.
First, there’s the MFi certified badge. It’s a clear insignia that reads “Made for iPhone” (or iPad and iPod). You can also identify fake Lighting accessories by the look of the connector itself. Certified Apple accessories will have smooth, rounded, gold silver pins. Fake Lighting accessories tend to have rough-looking pins with varying lengths or widths. There are other ways to tell, but ultimately, legit connectors tend to be smoother and fit Apple’s strict design aesthetics perfectly. Counterfeit cables tend to be jagged or flawed. Save your expensive Apple product. Keep an eye out!
Here are a couple of high-quality, genuine Lightning connectors you can find right in our shop.
Best Lightning Cables
At Moment, we offer the Powerline III USB-A to Lightning Cable by the trusted brand, Anker, in three or six feet versions. This charger is MFi certified, built to last, and powerful -- able to withstand 25,000 bends and capable of transferring data (whether music, movies, or photos) at speeds of up to 480Mbps. We recommend the three-foot version for cars and other short-range charging scenarios. Cop the six-foot version if your bed isn’t an easy access to your power outlet! Simple.
Ultra Durable Lightning Cable
Another great cable by Anker is the Powerline+ III USB, the souped-up version of the previously mentioned cable. Available in the same lengths, the Powerline+ comes with a lifetime warranty, premium nylon braiding, and is 35x stronger than other cables (including the Lightning charger that comes in your iPhone box). And, yes, it’s MFi certified.
Premium Lightning Cable
Our premium certified charger is the Zendure SuperCord USB-C to Lightning Cable. Woven with defense-grade fibers including nylon and Kevlar (you know, that material that bulletproof vests are made from). As strong as the last two cables were, the SuperCord can withstand an industry-leading 50,000 bends! Add that to the fact that this charger can power your iPhone up to 50% in 30 minutes and you’ll quickly see why it’s referred to as the SuperCord.
Hopefully, you’re equipped with what you need to know to find a genuine Lightning cable for your Apple device. Have more burning questions? See out our FAQ below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why are Lightning Cables so bad?
Lightning cables sometimes get a bad rep, but the good news is that it’s mostly subjective. If you buy a “cheaper” lighting connector, meaning it’s usually not certified, you can expect it to last about as long as yarn. But if you opt into purchasing an MFi certified charger, capable of withstanding tens of thousands of bends, like the Powerline+ III USB-A to Lightning Cable, suddenly they’re not so bad.
Other reasons Lightning connectors are thought of as being bad is because they don’t typically support fast charging, and they’re proprietary (so not compatible with everything). Good news, though. The newest, quality cables, such as the Zendure SuperCord USB-C to Lightning Cable do support a level of fast charging.
Are there different types of Lighting Cables?
Yes. Cables range from quality brands we carry (Nomad, Anker, and Zendure) to the different lengths, and features. Some support fast charging while others don’t. Different Lighting cables also connect with different USB cables and other adapters.
What is the difference between a Lightning Cable and a USB Cable?
Lighting cables have eight pins and are proprietary apple products. Lightning cables have reversible designs, with various USB-type cables on the ends. USB cables are the universal standard, so they’re compatible with more devices like keyboards, mice, video cams, etc.
Bet you never knew there could be so much to say about Lighting cables! For Apple users, these cables are vital components used to power devices, transfer data of all types between them, and more. So, finding the best Lightning cable is non-negotiable. Thankfully, that’s what we offer here at Moment -- from the nearly indestructible to the fastest available. If you’re ready to checkout, don’t forget to snag a Lighting cord or two on your way out or connect with our Gear Guides to help power your decision.