LED light strips, as common home decoration, are assembled on flexible circuit boards or PCB hard boards and are named after the strip-like shape of the product. Due to their long lifespan (typically 80,000 to 100,000 hours) and the fact that they are very energy efficient and environmentally friendly, they are gradually becoming more prominent in various decorative industries.
Read on to find out more about the various types of LED strips and how to buy the right one.
Factors to consider when buying LED strips
Colours: What colours are available in led strips?
There are several types of LED strips on the market. Most people will choose RGB LED strips as they can be used to create a variety of colours such as red, green, blue, purple, orange, cyan and white. These LED strips can produce a natural light source.
Sometimes LED strips are purchased with a remote control that allows you to change the colour from a distance, but of course, there are also regular coloured strips or smart adjustable strips.
Lumens: How many lumens are the strips?
The brightness of an LED strip is usually expressed in lumens per foot (or metre). A good quality LED strip should provide at least 450 lumens per foot (1500 lumens per metre).
The brightness of an LED strip is determined by three main factors.
- The light output and efficiency of each LED emitter.
- Number of LEDs per foot.
- Power consumption per foot of LED strip.
LED strips without a lumen specification are a red flag.
Wattage: What is the optimum wattage for LED strips?
Make sure that the total wattage of the LED strip is at least 20% less than the power rating of the power supply. For example, if your LED strip requires 80 watts to operate, you will need a power supply rated at least 96 watts.
Voltage: What is the optimum voltage for LED strips?
If you are installing low-end wattage LED lights, then 12V would be ideal.
Price: How much do LED strip lights cost?
When buying LED strips individually, your costs can range from $20 to $50 per strip, depending on colour, length etc.
Types: What are the different types of led strips?
- Flexible LED strips
These are LED lights mounted on flexible PCBs that allow them to be bent in any direction and any shape without damaging anything inside.LED strips are the most common LED strips on the market because they are in high demand. They are mainly used for commercial signage.
At home, you will find them mounted on cabinets, stairs and walls. They are also suitable for use in cars, especially for interiors. Professional photographers also use them extensively for ring lights.
- Rigid LED strip lights
These are the opposite of flexible strips. They are a series of LEDs placed on a rigid aluminium PCB. they are protected by aluminium housing, which makes them very robust and cannot be bent around the surface. They are waterproof and work well when installed in outdoor spaces.
Rigid LED strips can be mounted with mounting clips and can even be hung on any hook. Although they are not flexible, they work well if you only need a strategic light source that does not require much movement.
- White LED strips
White lighting is the most common type of lighting you will encounter in many places and homes. For this purpose, three versions of white LED strips are usually used.
Warm white: This is often used in the home as accent lighting in cupboards, closets, bathrooms or under beds in bedrooms. It is best suited to these locations as they give the room a warm, cosy feel and a soft, inviting ambience that pervades the entire house. Warm white has a colour temperature range of 3000K - 5000K.
Cool white: these lamps have a futuristic tone between blue and white. You need it when you want to highlight a specific point in your house or premises. This is the type of light you can find in a jeweller's shop because it makes the stones shine even more - cool white has a colour temperature range of 12,000K - 14,000. Ultra-bright accent lighting.
Neutral white: this is the light colour closest to pure white; there are no yellow or blue tones in it. It is the ideal lamp for general lighting in the home, as it gives the room a modern colour and a sophisticated, elegant look. It is almost similar to a fluorescent lamp. The colour temperature neutral white ranges between 8000K and 9000K.
- Silicone neon strip
This is a light placed inside a transparent silicone material which is not only flexible but also allows a glow of light to pass through the filter, resulting in a very coloured string of light.
What makes it better than the flexible tape light is that the silicone is waterproof. This allows it to be mounted on any surface; you can even mount it underwater in a swimming pool and turn it into a treasure trove of colourful light.
The silicone LED lights can be used up to 120m long and are available in a wide range of colours, depending on the occasion or function you intend to use them for.
Power consumption: How much power does an LED strip consume?
In general, LED lamps consume very little electricity. For a lighting level of 450 lumens, LED bulbs require only 4-5 watts, whereas incandescent bulbs require 40 watts. For LED strips, the answer depends on the length of the strip.
Features: What are the benefits of LED strips?
LED strips are long circuit boards with surface-mounted light-emitting diodes (SMD LEDs) that provide a warm glow to any room. Also known as LED strips or light bars, these strips often have an adhesive backing for easy installation.
Power supply: What power supply do LED strips use?
LED strips are not as simple to install and set up as traditional incandescent bulbs. Because they run on low voltage DC, they require a power supply device that converts 120V/240V AC (depending on your location) into a voltage signal that the LED strip can use.
CRI : What is a good CRI rating for LED lamps?
The colour rendering index is important when choosing an LED strip. It is basically a lighting aspect that helps you to determine how good the output is when switched on. The index used starts at 0 and goes all the way up to 100; the higher the number, the better the colour rendering index and the higher the quality of the LED strip. The closer it is to 100, the more realistic the natural colours will look in this light.
If you like high colour in everything, then choose an LED strip with a CRI score of 80 and above.
Waterproof: What should the strip's waterproof rating be
Waterproofness determines where the LED strip is installed. LED strips are graded according to a standard called Ingress Protection, which is the industry standard for determining the waterproofness of LEDs. There are three classes involved and they include the following.
IP33: This is the lowest rating and indicates that the LED strip is not waterproof in any way and should be used in waterproof and dust-free areas such as bedrooms and living rooms.
IP65: This is a coated strip that can handle a certain level of water, possibly a little fur and some dust. It is resistant enough to the elements that it does not become brittle too quickly.
IP67: This is a waterproof rating. LED strips with this rating have a very nice coating and can be used outdoors in areas that may be hit by water and dust. They are perfect for bathrooms, kitchens and any other areas where water and dust are common.
Density: Are the LED strips bright enough?
LED strips are available in two densities; a standard density strip with 30 LEDs per strip and a high-density type with 60 LEDs per strip. This translates into 9 LEDs per foot and 18 LEDs per foot respectively.
Typically, standard density strips are used for accent lighting and for tight spaces that do not require much light. High-density LEDs are used for outdoor lighting or for rooms with more space.
Now that you know a little about LED strips, buying LED strips is not that complicated. Remember, you don't have to limit yourself to one LED strip. You can install more than one around your terrace or barbecue deck to create a very nice, high-brightness ambience at a low price.