LED strip lights’ popularity is growing every year – it’s a fact. Why is this happening? What’s the reason? Maybe the thing is that they can be used in many ways? Or maybe this is partly because we can pick from products and find the perfect one for us? One thing is certain – we will do our best to answer the question here. Let’s find out together!
What exactly are LED strip lights?
A LED strip light is a circuit board. We also call it ribbon light or LED tape because it looks like a tape. The circuit board is populated by SMD LEDs and different components which typically have self adhesive backing. In the past, LED strip lights had been used in backlighting, decorative lighting, task lighting etc. Nowadays, the use of LED strips is much wider! High brightness task lighting, set and costume design and… everyday situations in everyday life!
Why are LED strip lights so special?
The popularity of these LED lights didn’t come out of nowhere. For some reason, people are becoming more and more willing to buy LED strip lights for their homes, sometimes they use them outdoors too. It should be noted that each LED strip tape is different – there are different IP ratings, different numbers of LEDs per metre, different colour types etc. Each LED strip light is special! We can say that LED strip lighting can be perfectly adjusted to people’s needs.
Different IP ratings
LED strip lights are not all the same. They differ in many aspects. First of all, they may have different leakage rates. Usually it’s IP20, but we may find some IP44, IP65, IP65HS and IP68. The higher International Protection Rating is, the more durable strip light is.
If we decide to choose IP20, we have to realise that we cannot use it outside because those strips can be used only in dry places, such as living rooms, bedrooms and dressing rooms. Choosing IP44 will be a good idea for places exposed to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. They are easy to install and even easier to clean.
IP68 LED strips are suitable for outdoor use – they’re “not afraid” of no rain, no snow and no storm. A strip compliant with IP68 protects the LEDs from any dust. It can be immersed in water and nothing bad would happen. When it comes to indoor use – those LED strip lights will work perfectly mounted in the shower.
Different numbers of LEDs (per metre)
There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to the number of LEDs on strip lights. Each strip light has different numbers of LEDs per metre which determines brightness of the strip. 30 LEDs per metre means low density. 72 LEDs per metre means medium density. And finally, 120 LEDs per metre means high density.
The last one usually provides us with a lighting effect which is the most evenly distributed. However, as a consumer, you are the one who decides which solution will be the best for you. Take advantage of the opportunity to make a decision according to your preferences.
Different types of LED chips (SMDs)
SMD2835, SMD3528, SMD5050… What does it mean? That may sound confusing to the layman, so let us explain. LED strip lighting can be produced using different types of LED chips. As you may have noticed, they are identified by a four-digit number every single time. The numbers are not without significance – for example, 2835 stands for 2.8 mm x 2.8 mm. You’re right – this is the size of the chip!
Each of the chips has its own specification. Their power requirements differ. Their output power requirements are not the same too. It’s hard to say that one type is better than the other one. It all depends on your project! To sum up the issue of LED chips – it’s great that they vary in size, because people can choose exactly what they need.
Nowadays it’s hard to imagine buying anything without a guarantee – with the assurance of quality, with the best price guarantee, sometimes even with a money-back guarantee and free tracked delivery service… It is no different in the case of LED strip lights. The producer of the product guarantees the integrity of the product. He is responsible for that. The duration of the guarantee may reach seven years, depending on a product. People appreciate it and become more willing to make purchases.
Different colour types
We can divide LED strip lights by colour – there are single-colour strips and multi-colour strips. Single-colour strips are just perfect for feature lighting at home. However, they are great not only for house owners but also for business owners! If you are an owner of a club, restaurant, bar or hotel, consider using single-colour LED strip lights.
When it comes to multi-colour strips, we can find RGB (red, green, blue) and Dream Colour strips on the market. There are chips in three colours mentioned before, which can give off blue, green or red lights. What’s more, they may glow in any colour, it’s the matter of combining two or three chips. You can control them via remote control!
Dream Colour is something even more “advanced” because those strips put IC chips on beads of the RGB type. Thanks to that it becomes possible to achieve rich animation effects. If you’re a parent, you should consider this option. Children would love the horse-running effect (and many more)!
Different colour temperatures
There are different colour temperatures of LED strip lights and it’s very important. Indeed, different temperatures create different moods. Temperatures start with 1700K (degrees Kelvin) which is really warm, up to 9500K which is very cool.
If you need a warm white, you should target the range between 2700 and 3700K. If a neutral white is something that you look for, you ought to aim at 3900-4200K. And finally, if you search for cool white (bright white of natural daylight), you’d better choose something from the 5000-6500K range. How convenient for you to have so many options available! It’s definitely another reason why LED strip lights are so popular.
LED strip lights have it to themselves that are available in many different versions – this also concerns the issue of different voltages. When it comes to LED strips, 12V and 24V ones are the most popular choices. If you want to install LEDs with a low-end wattage, you should use 12V tapes – you won’t need more to achieve an effect of full brightness along one LED strip light (assuming that the LED tape is long enough).
On the other hand, if you’re installing LED strip lights with a higher wattage, you will need a 24V driver to power them. Choosing a higher voltage is reasonable because it carries current much more effectively. Without them, you won’t get the full brightness that you want. With that knowledge you will choose the right strips and you will be satisfied for sure.
Different power supplies
The power supply is crucial – it provides just the right amount of electrical current to laptops, smartphones or – in this case – to LED strips lights. Thanks to that, devices do not overheat. The key is to calculate which power supply you need, according to power consumption, dimmability and voltage. It all matters!
Additional benefits of using LED strip lights
There is no more flexible lighting than LED strip lighting. If you think that some places in your house are beyond your reach and you’re not able to light them up – try with LED strips! You can bend them vertically up to 90 degrees! It’s just a perfect choice for your shelves, cupboards and for uneven surfaces.
You can create ambient lighting with these LED lights. You can brighten your house properly in a few easy ways – by indirect lighting, accent lighting, task lighting and dimmers. What’s more, LED strips owe their popularity to their versatility. They can be used in houses – kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms etc. but it’s also okay to use them in swimming pool areas. Illuminating patios, driveways and gardens with LED strip lights sounds good too!
We have to add that LED strip lights are bright and they have a long life span. They’re cost effective. They’re energy efficient. They’re easy to install. They’re durable. They’re safe. They produce little heat. Their packages are resistant to shock.
LED strip lights – summary
There are many reasons for choosing LED strip lights – cost effectiveness, energy efficiency, flexibility and many more. LED strips are each different. We can choose from different colour types, colour temperatures, voltages and so on. LED strip lights are so versatile that they deserve to become even more popular than they are right now!