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LED strip lights are one of those things where there are a ton of different and varying qualities, outputs, and lifespans. I have done a lot of research and have favorites. The question for you is really, what is the intended use and lifespan you are looking for vs budget.
If you are looking for something that will last 10-15 years, have amazing color rendering, use the best LEDs with the best phosphors, 3-4oz copper strip for heat dissipation, and a really bright output, you probably want to avoid aliexpress and most amazon sellers. I am sure there are great ones on amazon. I couldnt find it. Also here in this page I have seen people link to amazon with referral links. Check the link before you take someones advice.
5050s are the older LED type and pretty inefficient compared to the new LEDs out there. If you are looking for color changing RGB, yeah the 5050s are good. But if you are looking for cove lighting with a nice warm white… I would recommend 3014, 2835, 2216, and 2110 LEDs (in high density).
You’re probably going to need something 300-500 lumen per foot + on a dimmer if you need some good output.
I recommend going with a 24V light, as you can make longer runs without doltage drop or uses of amplifiers.
Amazon is a crapshoot. I have had great results for small behind the TV projects but when purchased again from same seller, the product changed and was junk. Others I got from amazon got too hot. I think they are overdriving the LEDs to achieve brightness.
Option 1 – Flexfire LEDs – Great super-bright product. I ordered years ago and the lights are still extremely bright, run cool, and they had a design service for free where I took my photos of my project and they built it all out and quoted it. A little more than I wanted to spend but for a 30-day guarantee, I said go for it. They have like 1500+ 5-star reviews that I assume are real. I love these.
Option 2 – Elemental LEDs I also tried these guys but I cannot find where you can buy online anymore. They had a good selection of dimmers and remotes and I used their lower output lights on my kickboards. They are still running well!
Option 3 – Environmental Lights – Great for DMX and controlls. I havent tried their lights honestly but the specs look good.
Just make sure you compare apples to apples and compare:
Lumen output per foot
How many oz of copper in PCB
Maximum run length
compatibility with dimming systems
for me… customer support and warranty
Price. I tend to go higher quality = higher price. I think I paid like $115 for the Flex fire stuff per reel but it was 3x as bright as the other stuff and has lasted forever.
Color temperature and CRI (will each reel you get match the other reels color?) You do not want 5 reels with different shades of white, even a slight variation sucks.
I love strips and have them everywhere… Good luck
edited for missing info