How Do I stick the LED strips?
The majority of the LED strips in the market comes with the 3M adhesive stick-on tape at the back. The adhesive tape helps in the easy installation of the LED strip to the surface. A common failure for these strips is that their adhesive backing fails on some surfaces or tends to give way over time. All our flexible LED strip lighting has a strong high-quality 3M double-sided tape. Installing LED strips is a no-brainer for many DIYers looking to put LEDs in their home.
How do you power the LED strip lights?
The most critical operation in the strip lights installation is figuring out how to provide the appropriate power input to the LED strip in order to light up. The first step is to figure out the voltage of the LED strip. Most LED strip light products operate on low voltage DC however, there are few strip lights that operate on line voltage. We carry indoor/outdoor low voltage strip lights, both in 12 and 24V DC. We also carry outdoor AC LED strip lights. Before connecting the strip lights to the power adapter, firstly check the output voltage of the power supply. The output voltage of the power supply should match the strip light voltage and Secondly, make sure that the power supply capacity is sufficient for the length of the LED strip being used. This can be calculated by looking at the LED strip’s specifications sheet, which typically lists the current or power drawn per length. Also, make sure the input voltage on the AC side matches your country’s voltage (120V for North America). After choosing the right power supply for your strip lights, check if your LED strip reel comes with a DC plug. If so, it should be compatible with the power supply plug, and you can directly plug the power supply into the wall on one end, and into the LED strip on the other end. Otherwise, connectors help in joining the strip wire with the end of the adapter. We carry both male and female connectors for easy joining of the terminals.
Is LED strips constant current or constant voltage?
Most LED strips are configured to operate at 12V or 24V DC. When running to a standard main supply power source at 120/240V AC, the power needs to be converted to the appropriate low voltage DC signal. This is most frequently accomplished by using a DC power supply. Most people choose either 12V or 24V. Generally, 12V is perfect for small installations, but for large installations, it may be better to go with 24V. We carry strip lights in low voltage, both 12 and 24 V, and outdoor rated line voltage 120 V strip lights.
How do you differentiate an LED strip from another?
The strip lights are very easy to differentiate from 1 type to the other. They are usually compared between LED chip numbers and sizes. The different numbers on the strip-type correlate to the different physical dimensions of the chip. The numbers 5050, 3528, 2835,5630 correlate to the size of the chip in millimeters. Some LEDs are brighter than others and some give off more light per watt. The LED chip you will need will depend on your project. The 3528SMD strip light has a 3.5 mm height and 2.8 mm width, whereas the 5050SMD has an equal height and width of 5.0 mm. Usually, all the popular multi-color strip lights come in 5050 SMD. They are used when you need slight illumination for your project area and especially RGB color-changing lights. ANd based on the type of LED, they have different wattages which helps in choosing brighter options based on your project need.
How to cut the strips in the custom length?
It really depends on the specific product. In general, if the light strip has a cut line, it can be cut. If not, it is best not to cut it. All our LED strips can be easily cut through a pair of scissors. But cutting them in the right spot is important. Most of our strip lights have a cut point at every 4 inches or 2 inches depending on the type of strip you have purchased. Also, all LED strips have a pair of copper dots in between them or a scissors symbol. As long as you cut between the dots, all of the LEDs will work. From there, you can connect the LEDs to a power supply. The strip lights are designed in such a way that they continue to work even after they have been cut at the terminals due to the closed-circuit connections at every cutting point.
What is the difference between rope lighting and LED strip lighting?
Rope lights are basically a group of light bulbs in a cylindrical flexible tube (the light bulbs can either be LEDs or incandescent lights). The tube can be plastic, epoxy, or other clear materials that allows the light to shine through. Specific uses for rope lighting are mainly decorative because the light output is minimal. They can come in either 120/220 VAC input or 12/24 VDC. They come in a variety of single colors but are not color changeable.
Whereas LED Strip Light (also known as an LED tape or ribbon light) looks exactly the way, it sounds. Flat, not at all cylindrical like the rope lighting. The LED strip lights is a flexible circuit board populated by surface mounted light-emitting diodes (LEDs), they come with an adhesive backing. These helps in the easy installation of the lights, making them a popular choice for lighting stairways, cabinets, and display shelves. The flat shape helps in easy cutting to any custom length (at any cut point), making it more adaptable to lighting. These tape lights also come in either 120 VAC input or 12/24 VDC. The LED strip lights come in different brightnesses and are not just limited to decorative applications. Moreover, they come in a wide variety of single colors and multi-color, color-changing options which can be controlled through wireless dimming systems, DMX controllers, and wall switches.
How long can we run the strip lights? Does it lose brightness with the length?
In DC circuits, voltage gradually drops as it travels along through a length of wire (or an LED strip light). So, with every foot of strip, the available voltage to each foot gradually decreases along the length of the wire. This can lead to having one end of your strip lights being brighter than the other end. Strips are available in set lengths that can be cut into any custom lengths. When you determine how many strips you’ll need, you’ll have to find out the maximum run of the strip you want to avoid the voltage drop. It is recommended not to add any extra length more than the length of the full roll. Usually, the strip lights come in 16ft (5 metres), 32ft (10 metres), 65ft (20 meters) or 164ft (50 meters). But if your project needs more than the full roll, take the necessary steps to prevent voltage drop.
Do the strip lights need a heat sink?
A heat sink is usually used to cool electronics to dissipate heat and reduce the temperature of the component. During the conversion, energy is lost, and simply said all energy “lost” during the conversion process is converted into heat. In the low-quality strips, If an LED is not properly cooled it can burn itself to death very quickly, left unchecked they can even reach temperatures where the LEDs start desoldering themselves from its board or strip. Usually, the High-Power LED strips do require additional heatsinking to dissipate heat and the low-power strips with less wattage do not require any heatsink but it is always good to have aluminum channels not just for heat sinking but also to avoid dots and light glaring with its diffuser. All our strip lights are high-quality PCB strips with a thin film on both ends for better heat dissipation of LEDs. Our 3528 LED strip has an output power of 1.5 W/ft and 3 W/ft which do not require a heat sink. However, our 5050 and 2835 LED strips have more than 4.5 W/ft power. It is highly recommended to heat sink those strips for increasing their life span.
Which of the LED strips can be used in outdoor applications?
While looking for outdoor-rated strip lights, we need to see the IP rating mentioned on them. IP stands for Ingress Protection and all lights and fittings are rated on this feature. The IP rating scale essentially ranks the light source by how effectively it is protected from exterior elements such as liquids or solid objects, and this will dictate where your lights can be installed and how much moisture or external force it can safely come into contact with. IP65 rating gives complete protection against foreign bodies and water jets. Water disposed of by a nozzle of 6.3mm will have no damaging effect on your LEDs.