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Strip lighting has two flavors, the roll of LEDs that are uncovered and added in a flexible way and also the ceiling mounted fixtures commonly seen in parking garages and businesses everywhere. We’ll discuss both.
More likely than not, you have come across the argument for LEDs over halogen and incandescent bulbs. It is hard to argue otherwise as the LEDs are more durable, brighter, more efficient, easy to program and control, and produces less heat. While the bulbs have dominated the world of LEDs, there is a new entrant; the LED strip lights. They are versatile and a new form of lighting. With many exceptions and variants, they have the following characteristics;
The LED strip light is up to 16 feet (5 meters) or more in length and typically 1-4 inches in width. With a pair of scissors, it is possible to cut them along the cut lines, situated every 1-2 inches, to specific lengths. LEDs are mounted along the strip individually, with every foot having approximately 18-36 LEDs. The quality and light color of the LEDs define the overall quality and light color of the strip. On the back of the strip, they have double-sided adhesives. For mounting on any surface, the liner is peeled off. Due to the flexibility of the circuit board, you can mount the LED strips on uneven and curved surfaces.
LED Strip Lighting Brightness Levels
With the technological advancement, the strips keep getting brighter. Brightness is determined using metric lumens. As different LED strips can possess various levels of efficiency, it is not always meaningful to use wattage rating to determine the actual light output. Therefore, the brightness of these lights is depicted in lumens per foot (or meter). The minimum lumens per foot of good quality LED strip is 450 lumens per foot. The light produced by such a strip light is approximately equal to a conventional T8 fluorescent lamp light output. Factors determining the brightness of the LED strip include:
- Light efficiency and output per LED emitter
- The number of LEDs in every foot
- The LED strip`s power draw in every foot.
If you find an LED strip light without a brightness specification, you should consider such as a red flag. Also, be wary of the cheap LED strips claiming high brightness. They pose the danger of overdrive to the LED, which potentially leads to premature malfunctioning.
Types of LED Strips Lights
They belong to a broad category that encompasses all diverse forms of LED strip lights. Based on your planned use for the strips, you might prefer a certain type of the other. Take, for instance, IP65 LED strips; they are more suitable for the wet areas and typically the outdoor setting due to the protective covering, making them waterproof. The following are some of the types of LED strips.
• DC LED Flex Strips- they are flexible strips with an adhesive backing for installation, utilize the 12 DC, come in 30 LEDs/M or 60 LEDs/M with waterproof options.
• AC LED Flex Strips- they are flexible lights powered directly from your outlet.
• LED Rope Light- Encased, Omni-directional LEDs.
• High Output LED Strips- high powered mounted to rigid strips with onboard circuitry and board drivers.
Input Voltage & Power Supply
A majority of the LED strips utilize 12V or 24V DC. When the power source available is 120/240 AC, it is converted to the needed low voltage DC signal. It would be best if you had a power supply with sufficient power capacity for powering the LED lights. To know the total power draw of the LED strip, the formula below applies.
Power= LED power (per ft.) × LED strip length (in ft.). For instance, an LED strip 5 ft. long consuming 4 watts per ft.: Power = 4 watts per ft. × 5ft. = 20 watts.
LEDs strip lights – The Fixture Kind
At the time of purchasing the LED strip rights, consider the number of lumens to length. To obtain brighter output, choose the strips with the most lumens per foot. With the distant spacing of the LEDs on the strip, you might end up with spotty lighting as opposed to constant and clean light. Depending on where you want to set up your light, there are different lengths.
• 2-foot surface mounted LED strip lights are ideal, suitable, and functional as an indoor lamp for commercial purposes. They are complementary to any setting, handsome and sleek in design.
• 4-foot LED Strip Light offers an incredible substitute to the conventional fluorescent fixtures. Their energy consumption is low with the durability and quality of the brightness. Usage includes settings such as manufacturing plants, commercial and retail stores, and warehouses.
• 8-foot LED strip lights are a versatile solution for a reliable lighting system. For powerful industrial illumination, they make the ideal choice.
Applications of LED Strip Lights – The Fixture Kind
1. Retail lighting has the power of generating an exciting experience, out of the ordinary, and inspiring to ensure that you stand out. It is because the eyes tend following light. With a good ambiance provided by the LED strip lights, you can reinforce your brand and entertain clients simultaneously. Retail shops require the perfect lighting experience for the clients to enjoy shopping. The obvious choice for generating different lighting arrangements is the LED strip lights. 2. Parking garages lighting – in these spaces improves the safety and security of the people and the vehicles. LED strip lights provide uniform and bright lighting and eliminate shadows. The result is enhanced visibility for drivers and pedestrians.3. Shop lights- besides being used for lighting up workbenches and small task areas, the LED strip lights are utilized for illuminating shops, utility rooms, workshops, and garages. It is no surprise as they bring along several benefits. These are areas that demand a lot of brightness, and the LED strips offer you just that. Their efficiency and durability make them ideal for the shop setting.
In purchasing the LED strip lights, many fixtures allow you to daisy chain lots of lights together. As such, it becomes easier to light up large spaces. If it is something you require, ensure that your fixture supports it. Additionally, determine the number of lights possible to daisy chain. In case the limit is six, and you require eight, then you might have a challenge. However, if you need them for a single-use, then you are good to go.If interested in more diffused, subtler, and even light, you need to opt for frosted LEDs. They are easier on the eye, do not create a filament shadow, and lacks the popping witnessed by the clear ones. They are ideal and common in spaces preferring well-distributed and even output.