12 Volt LED Light Strips: Powering and Wiring

LED strip lights have become a quick and efficient answer to providing accent lighting around your home. A relatively low cost option is low voltage, 12 volt LED strip lighting. These discrete strips are sometimes called led ribbon lights or flexible led strips, referring to the ease at which they form to any surface to…

12 Volt LED Light Strips: Powering and Wiring 1
12v-LED-Flex-Strip

LED strip lights have change into a fast and environment friendly reply to offering accent lighting round your house. A comparatively low value possibility is low voltage, 12 volt LED strip lighting. These discrete strips are typically referred to as led ribbon lights or versatile led strips, referring to the convenience at which they type to any floor to offer a gentle, clean accent mild. Their low 12VDC energy enter makes them run at an environment friendly fee whereas 5050 LEDs maintain it operating cool and secure to run in tight areas. All of those issue into what makes 12V LED strips so nice for below cupboard lighting, accent lighting, bookshelf lighting, process lighting, cove lighting and a lot extra. Since they’re 12VDC powered they’re additionally well-liked in automobile and boat purposes. All through this publish we are going to undergo how you can be sure to are powering your LED strips appropriately and alternative ways of wiring your strips to make for the very best LED lighting arrange.

The Fundamentals of 12V Versatile LED Strips

Their identify says all of it, these strips have a versatile linear base that holds 5050 LEDs on it. 5050 is simply the scale/kind of LED. This can be a frequent dimension for LED strip lights, they’re large and vivid however nonetheless run cool. 3528 is one other frequent LED kind utilized in LED strips, I might keep away from these as they’re loads smaller and dimmer. Any bigger than 5050 and the lighting turns into rather more costly, and runs a lot hotter, bringing heatsinking and temperature management into the combo.

These LED flex strips are available pure white colours: 3000K (Heat-White), 4000K (Impartial-White) and 6500K (Cool-White). Shade LED strips are additionally obtainable in Pink, Yellow, Inexperienced, Blue and RGB (color-changing). For more information on the fundamentals of 12V flex strips, test right here.

These selecting white LED strips have a selection between two completely different densities. The density is simply the quantity of LEDs inside a distance alongside the strip. The usual density strips have 30 LEDs/meter (150 per reel) that give off about 540 Lumens per meter. The excessive density strip doubles that with 60 LEDs/meter (300 per reel) and provides off 1080 Lumens per meter! These searching for the brightest mild they will get for process lighting ought to undoubtedly go along with the excessive density as they’re considerably brighter. Accent lighting usually simply wants a gentle glow, nevertheless, which is the place you may use the usual density as they’re priced decrease and received’t be too overpowering. NOTE that top density strips will run at the next wattage however we are going to go into powering under.

12V-LED-Strip-Cove-Lighting Cut Lines for LED Flex Strips

12V LED strips are available reels of 16.4 ft (5m). Right here at LEDSupply we provide smaller lengths of three, 6, 9 and 12 ft. The strips can simply be reduce all the way down to dimension as there are reduce marks together with solder pads each 4 inches for traditional density and each 2 inches for top density. Right here is a straightforward run by means of of how you can reduce customized lengths and add connectors in an effort to join strips collectively.

The light-weight versatile strips mount straightforward as they’re backed with adhesive tape that may persist with your floor, flat or rounded. They’re additionally coated in a silicone coating to guard from water. Utilizing 12 volt led mild strips will reduce down on arrange time and the general value of your mission. In all probability the 2 greatest issues individuals run into is (1) not realizing what dimension wattage energy provide to buy, or (2) how you can join a number of strips, both collectively or again to the identical energy supply. Under we are going to dive into some good practices for powering your LED strips.

Powering LED Strips

A continuing 12VDC enter is required for these strips. The one different factor you want to know by way of discovering an influence provide to your LED strips is the wattage. The specs under lists wattage for each normal and excessive density strip lights. This can allow you to discover the wattage of your system simply after which choose the suitable energy provide.

Size (Ft.) Size (Meters) 30 LEDs/M
Wattage
60 LEDs/M
Wattage
1 0.3048 2.4 4.8
2 0.6096 4.8 9.6
3 0.9144 7.2 14.4
6 1.8288 12.15 20.8
9 2.7432 22.05 33.6
12 3.6576 22.05 33.6
16.4 (Full Reel) 5 27 40

Calculating Wattage, Instance #1: So think about you simply have a size of about 20 ft that you want to cowl in a single strong run with Normal Density strips. This may be achieved through the use of a full reel after which including on 4 further ft with a gapless connector. Utilizing the desk above we will discover this.

Wattage = Full Roll Wattage (Normal) + 3Ft. Wattage + 1Ft. Wattage

Wattage = 27 Watts + 7.2 + 2.4

Wattage = 36.6 Watts

You normally need to give some cushion between your wattage and the rated wattage of the ability provide. With this utility you ought to discover a 12V energy provide able to a minimum of 40 Watts.

Calculating Wattage, Instance #2: Take for instance you need to run 18 ft of excessive density LED strips for one more utility.

Wattage = Full Reel (excessive density) x 2Ft. Wattage

Wattage = 40 + 9.6

Wattage = 49.6 Watts

For this utility I might stick to a 50 Watt energy provide a minimum of. Bear in mind we need to give the availability a bit cushion so you’ll be safer selecting a 60 Watt energy provide.

LED Energy Provide Choices

PSAC24A-120L6 Wall Mount Power Supply

The primary possibility can be to go along with a plug-in energy brick. Wall Wart or desktop energy provides will plug immediately into your wall outlet and change the road voltage all the way down to 12VDC for the strips. That is helpful for smaller purposes or in spots the place you may have a hidden outlet that’s out of the best way. It actually makes wiring simpler as you simply plug in and don’t have to attach wires on to predominant strains.

This brings us to our second possibility, a hardwired energy provide that connects straight to 120VAC strains after which outputs the secure, low DC voltage to your strips. These energy provides usually come in additional discrete sizes and may be a lot simpler to cover inside partitions or wherever wanted. Caged, Open Body Energy provides usually fall on this class as effectively and are very useful with their screw-in terminal ports for straightforward connections and a number of ports. That is undoubtedly a extra skilled look than simply plugging straight right into a wall however it should require you to have predominant strains available by your lights.

hardwired-led-strip-power-supplies

Connecting LED Strips to Energy Provide

Connecting strips to energy is pretty easy, it simply adjustments relying in your energy supply and such. For these going with a plug in energy provide, the output connection is normally a 2.1mm Male Barrel plug. Fortunately full reels of strips include a 2.1mm feminine plug to make a seamless connection, when you’ve got a shorter size you should utilize the screw-in terminal connectors under.

With hardwired energy provides it’s a little completely different as they’ve wire leads coming off, no direct plugs. In case your strip has the two.1mm feminine plug on it then it may be best to attach a screw-in terminal connector (2.1 male) to the output wires of the ability provide so you may make a sound connection. You even have the choice of chopping the connector off your strip and simply making wire to wire connections utilizing solder or wire nuts.

The right way to Join A number of Strips to One Energy Supply

Connecting a number of strips to at least one supply throws a loop within the mission as there’s normally only one connection to the ability supply. Caged, Open Body Energy provides are unbelievable for utilizing a number of strips as they’ve two channels with terminal ports the place a number of strips may go in every.

12 Volt LED Light Strips: Powering and Wiring 2

If you want to go along with a plug-in type, then I might counsel operating each your strip connections into an LED Strip Splitter which is able to then plug seamlessly into the male plug of the ability brick. LED Strip splitter cables are available as much as 4-outputs so you may probably have 4 strips operating seamlessly from one Energy Provide connection!

When hardwiring the strips, you’ll simply have to make strong connections between all of your strip wires to the output wires on the ability provide. This may be carried out with wire nuts or wiring all strips to a standard constructive and destructive wire so you may make a one to at least one reference to the hardwired energy provide.

Voltage Drop and The right way to Keep away from It

An important consideration that’s generally ignored with these flex strips is the impact of Voltage Drop. In DC circuits, voltage will step by step lower because it travels by means of wire (or LED strip). Merely put, with every foot of wire, the obtainable voltage to every foot drops alongside the size of wire. This can impact Normal Density Strips eager to go longer than 32 ft and Excessive Density Strips eager to go longer than a full reel (16.4 ft). When you go longer than these lengths, the strips will probably be affected and won’t work correctly, so you can not chain strips collectively longer than 32 for traditional density and 16.4 for top density.

To stop voltage drop you’ll want to divide lengthy runs of LED strips into shorter lengths. The shorter lengths can then join in parallel from the ability provide. There are a pair alternative ways you may make this occur, lets check out the completely different wiring setups under.

Wiring #1: Operating a number of parallel runs of strip lights

You need to set up a steady run of 60 ft of LED strips beneath a bar counter for accent lighting. For the reason that longest run you may make is 32 ft, you’ll need to separate it into a minimum of 2 lengths. To be able to do two equal elements, you need to run two strips at 30 ft every. Run the primary strip straight from the ability supply. Run a parallel set of wires to the purpose the place the primary strip ends to feed the second strip with energy.

LED Strips in Parallel

Wiring #2: Energy Provide within the Center Method

This can be a nice method should you can one way or the other put your energy supply in the midst of an extended size of strips you want to run. This manner it cuts down on further wire lengths as you may break up it in half and simply run each strips in reverse instructions straight from the supply.

Parallel-led-strips

Wiring #3: Use A number of Energy Provides

Typically, somewhat than run lengthy lengths of wire and break up up the wires going from the ability provide, clients will select to make use of separate energy provides in numerous areas. This works nice should you can provide energy within the particular locations you would wish them, however that’s the difficult half.

Useful Components for Connecting LED Strips to Energy

This could get you effectively in your technique to organising your LED strip lights with the best wiring setup and energy provide. Like at all times we wished to depart you with some useful elements that may actually make connecting strips collectively a complete lot simpler.

12 Volt LED Light Strips: Powering and Wiring 3

LED Strip Splitters: These LED Y-Connectors make it so you may plug in a single energy supply and join a number of LED runs off it with a easy plug in connection. These can be found in RGB and single coloration choices and obtainable in two, three and 4 output connections.

barrel plug connectors for LED strips

Screw-In Terminal Connectors: These small connectors are available tremendous helpful when you want to make strong connections between two units of wires. Simply by a female and male finish, screw down your wire connections for each and plug in with ease. Additionally works when you want to go from wire results in a 2.1 or 2.5mm plug of some type.

EZ Clip LED Strip Connectors: These connectors snap proper onto the top of you strips the place you narrow them. There are strip-to-strip or strip-to-wire choices. This makes it straightforward to attach LED strips or add gaps throughout the set up with out having to solder.

Easy clip on connectors for LED strips

Previous Long-established Means: Get away the solder iron and wire and make these connections the best way we do right here.

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