LED Strip Light Buying Guide
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LED Strip Light Buying Guide

Types of LED Light strips

3528

The number “3528” indicates that the dimension of the LED chip included is 3.5mm*2.8mm. 3528 LED strip lights are less bright, thus suitable for producing ambient light.

5050

The dimension of 5050 LED chip is 5mm by 5mm. The brightness of the 3528 strip lighting greatly differs to the 5050 as the LED on the 5050 strip light is almost twice the size.

The number of the LED chips per meter

All biard 12V LED strip lights have 60 LEDs per metre wheter 3528 or 5050, this mean that a five metre reet will contain 300 LEDs in total. All biard LED strip lighting is sold in five metre reets. In general, the larger the number is , the brighter light the strip produces.

Colour

There are 2 types of colour design in total. The most basic LED strip lights are called ‘non addressable' and the other type is called non-addressable RGB'. LED that have a single solid colour are ‘non-addressable’ LED strips. They are cheap to buy and easy to fit. This type of LED strip is Ideal for some easy accent lighting in that kitchen or bathroom. Compare with 'non addressable', ‘non addressable RGB’ LED strips can output any red, blue, or green colour but these lights are typically a little more expensive and need a controller.

Colour Temperature

Color temperature is very different than the color of LED light.. The short and simple version is warmer colour temperatures (around 2700k to 3500k) are better suited to living rooms, bedrooms; where as cooler colour temperatures (4000k -6500k) are better suited for cleaner lighting effects e.g. kitchens, hallways or bathrooms.

Wattage

Power consumption is probably the number one reason we as a society have begun switching to LEDs. Wattage tells us how much power we are consuming while these lights are on, and in turn how much we’ll have to pay at the end of each month. Once again, be sure to verify the wattage per foot, meter, or reel before you buy.

Voltage

One of the first things to figure out is whether you need 12 volt or 24 volt strip light. This really depends on the size of the place where you will be using your strip light. 12 volt strip light is typically used for shorter runs while 24 volt strip light is better for longer runs. The reason is because higher voltage strip lights can sustain longer runs without voltage drop becoming a problem. Basically, the further your lights are from the power supply, the lower the voltage becomes down the line, which can cause the LEDs on the end of the strip to appear dimmer than the LEDs near the front. To avoid voltage drop, observe your LED strip light’s maximum run, which should be specified on your lights’ packaging or data sheet.

The things you need

Drivers

Integral 12V LED strip operate with a 12V DC constant-voltage power supply known as a driver. Drivers are sold separately and are available in varying wattage outputs. LED drivers (also called power supply adaptors) convert incoming voltage and current supplies to the amounts needed to operate your strip light. For example it converts the domestic 220V AC current from your sockets to the 12V DC voltage that is needed to run the strip lights. For traditional 12V lighting the transformer is usually referred to as a power supply. For 12V LED lighting and within this guide we refer to the power supply as an LED driver but essentialy these are the same thing.

LED Strip light controller

Controller is used with RGB LED strip light and is usually placed between the power supply and strip light to control the colour of it, it will also control the different modes and speed of the strip light for example fade, strobe and flash. It may also alter the brightness of the strip light and turn the strip light on and off.

LED strip light controllers come in two main types, IR and RF which represent inferred and Radio frequency respectively. IR controller only operates over short distances and works by sending an infer red signal from the remote to the controller, much like a TV remote. As the signal is infer red the remote has to be able to see the controller for it to work, therefore if there are obstacles between the controller and remote it will not work.

Dimmers

Singer colour strip lighting such as cool white or warm whit lighting does not use a controller so the dimming function has to be done via an inline dimmer, the dimmer is usually connected between the power supply and the strip light and can also control the on/off function of the strip light.

LED amplifier

An LED amplifier is placed within a longer length of strip light; when 10 or 20 metre lengths of strip light are connected together the power weakens as it travels through the strip light. Therefore, the lights get dimmer, the amplifier, when connected inline and power is applied to it, will boost the wattage keeping the light consistent. The amplifier will also boost the RF signal from the remote, meaning no matter how long the length of the strip light all the lights will change colour together the instant the remote is pressed.

Cables and connectors

Since every application of the strip light is different here has to be a wide range of connectors that can be purchased for LED strip lighting from connectors to take the strip lighting around corners to extension cables and just straight forward strip light to strip light connectors. The type of connector needed will depend on the application of the strip light.

Things should be considered before installation

Whether the strip needs to be programmed

Required length of the strip/number of strips needed

Power and voltage requirements

Direction of the LEDS on the strip and the flexibility

Whether components such as connectors are needed


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