The Ultimate LED Strip Lighting Guide

LED strip lighting can be used for countless home, landscape, vehicle, retail, office, and industrial applications—from under-cabinet lighting to creating powerful ceiling light fixtures. They’re available in a variety of lengths, intensities, colors, and voltages. And with compatible accessories as well as peel-and-stick adhesive backings, they can be easily installed and mounted. If you’re struggling with…

The Ultimate LED Strip Lighting Guide 1

LED strip lighting can be utilized for numerous house, panorama, automobile, retail, workplace, and industrial functions—from under-cabinet lighting to creating highly effective ceiling lighting fixtures. They’re out there in a wide range of lengths, intensities, colours, and voltages. And with suitable equipment in addition to peel-and-stick adhesive backings, they are often simply put in and mounted. In case you’re scuffling with deciding which strip is correct to your software, selecting an influence provide or equipment, or the best way to set up LED strip lights, you’re in the precise place.

 

LED strip lights - how to choose LED strip lightingLED strip lights - what you need for LED strip lightingLED strip lights - how to mount LED strip lighting

 

LED strip lights - obstacles in LED strip lighting

 

Standard How Tos:

LED strip lights - under cabinet LED strip lightingLED strip lights - cove LED strip lightingLED strip lights - pool LED strip lighting

 

 

Choosing LED strip lights

Indoor/Out of doors

Strips are categorized as weatherproof, non-weatherproof, or waterproof. The kind of strip you want is set by the setting the place your strips might be put in. Every strip has an IP score that signifies the dimensions of solids and stress of liquids {that a} strip can resist.

Indoor

These strips are rated beneath IP65 and aren’t meant to be uncovered to water. Indoor LED strip gentle functions embrace under-cabinet lighting, above-cabinet lighting, pantry lighting, cabinet lighting, bookshelf lighting, cove lighting, bias lighting, and extra. Typically, indoor LED strip lights should not weatherproof or waterproof, however they need to be if you happen to’re putting in them in bogs or different areas the place they might be uncovered to water.

LED strip lights - indoor LED strip lighting

Out of doors

Out of doors strips are rated IP65 and above. They’re designed for a wide range of functions, equivalent to landscapes, autos, bikes, and decks in addition to walkways, patios, gazebos, and railings.

LED strip lights - outdoor LED strip lighting

Size

When selecting LED strip lights, you have to decide how a lot strip you’ll be powering. Measure the size of all areas the place you’ll set up your strip lighting. Account for gaps in addition to dips and turns round corners.

Strips can be found in set lengths, and choose kinds can be found in customized lengths. While you decide how a lot strip you’ll want, you’ll have to seek out out the most run of the strip you need.

  • All LED strip lights have a most run, which is the size of steady strip that may be powered with out experiencing voltage drop. Voltage drop occurs when the provided power of an influence supply is lowered as electrical present flows by wire (or every other items of kit that don’t provide voltage on a circuit). If a run of strip is just too lengthy, lowered power throughout the strip will reduce its depth close to the tip.

LED strip lights - maximum run

The best way to Keep away from Voltage Drop:

  • In case you’re occupied with considered one of our 12-volt strips, we provide 24-volt alternate options that may be put in in longer runs. In case you’re nonetheless going to exceed your strip’s most run, use the steps beneath.
  • After you’ve reached the max run of your strip, wire further strips to your energy provide.
    • That is a suitable answer for single-color strips that solely want on/off performance.
    • In case you plan on putting in greater than the utmost run of your LED strip lights, further strip sections have to be wired to the ability provide as a substitute of to the earlier strip. After you’ve wired your subsequent part to the ability provide, you wouldn’t must run again to energy once more till you’ve reached the utmost run for the brand new part. For instance, if you happen to want a steady 49-foot run of strip lights for a venture and your strip gentle has a most run of 16 3/8 ft, you will have to wire the strip again to energy twice after your preliminary connection—as soon as for each 16 3/8 ft of strip lighting. 
    • You’ll be able to both run wire from every strip to the ability provide or controller, or you may use one run of a better gauge wire and splice every strip into it utilizing a “T” Faucet Wire Splice Connector.
    • You’ll be able to place strips shut sufficient collectively to look as if they’re linked, and if the ability provide is linked to a wall swap, the strips will energy on and off concurrently. If it’s not linked to a swap, you’ll should run all strips again to a controller that’s linked to the ability provide. Nonetheless, it is advisable to be certain the controller can deal with the quantity of energy the strips will draw. Controllers give an amp or wattage score.
    • If you wish to dim your strips or in case you have an RGB, RGBW, or tunable white strip gentle, you’re going to wish an amplifier.

The Ultimate LED Strip Lighting Guide 2

  • Amplifier
    • An possibility for avoiding voltage drop could be to make use of an LED amplifier between most runs of strip. These gadgets amplify energy from the tip of 1 strip to the start of the following to keep away from any energy loss and prolong the utmost run of LED strip lights.

LED strip lights - amplifiers

Voltage

Strips can be found in 12- and 24-volt variations. The voltage you select will rely upon the place you’ll set up your strips. For instance, most autos would require a 12-volt LED strip gentle. In most different functions, voltage normally solely comes into play in order for you longer runs of strip. A 24-volt strip normally has an extended most run than the 12-volt model of the identical strip. Selecting strips with longer most runs will aid you keep away from wiring a number of sections of strip to your energy provide or utilizing amplifiers. You will want an influence provide that matches the voltage of whichever strip you select.

Colour

Single Colour

Strip coloration choices embrace pink, UV (blacklight), blue, inexperienced, yellow, amber, crimson, and orange. Single-color LED strip lights are additionally out there in cool, pure, and heat white. These strips are able to completely different coloration modes and intensities once you’re utilizing a single-color controller. They have to be used with single-color equipment.

The shade and coloration rendering capabilities of a white strip are decided by its correlated coloration temperature (CCT) and color-rendering index (CRI).

  • Correlated Colour Temperature
    • CCT signifies the hue and tone of white gentle emitted from a selected LED strip gentle. You will discover CCT in a strip’s specs desk.
    • 2000K-3500K = orange/yellow referred to as extremely heat or heat white
    • 3500K-5100K = “paper white” referred to as pure or impartial white
    • 5100K+ = bluish-white generally known as cool white

LED strip lights - correlated color temperature of LED strip lighting

  • Colour-Rendering Index
    • CRI signifies how precisely a light-weight supply reveals the true colours of objects, individuals, clothes, and many others. when in comparison with how colours are proven in incandescent gentle or daylight. The nearer a light-weight’s CRI is to 100 (the CRI of incandescent gentle or daylight), the higher the colour rendition of objects underneath that gentle.
    • Excessive-CRI strip lights are nice for retail retailers, jewellery circumstances, supermarkets, meals and meat circumstances, museums, galleries, videography, under-cabinet lighting, and different functions the place depth of coloration is vital.

what is cri

Tunable White

Tunable white strip lights present a variety of coloration from heat to chill white. A tunable white controller is required to vary shades of white. These strips are useful for areas that may perform for various functions (ex. utilizing the eating room desk for dinner or homework). They have to be used with tunable white equipment.

Use these LED strip lights to match time of day/pure gentle coloration. This may assist maintain your pure circadian rhythm. For instance, use pure white within the morning, cool white within the afternoon, and heat white within the night.

RGB

RGB strips use crimson, inexperienced, and blue LEDs to create a wide range of colours together with white. Nonetheless, this white will seem with a purple hue. RGB controllers are required for coloration choice in addition to pace, brightness, and mode management. These strips have to be used with RGB equipment.

RGBW

RGBW strips have separate white LED chips along with RGB LEDs. Separate white LEDs eradicate the unusual hues sometimes related to RGB “white” coloration. RGBW controllers are required for coloration choice in addition to pace, brightness, and mode management. These strips have to be used with RGBW equipment.

Brightness

Coloured LED strip gentle brightness is measured in millicandelas, and white strip brightness is measured in lumens. The brightness of 1 candle is roughly one candela. A millicandela is brightness in thousandths of a candela. There are calculators for changing millicandelas into lumens, however that can most definitely lead to a deceptively low lumen worth.

Lumens measure gentle wavelengths in all colours of the seen spectrum. As a result of a number of wavelengths create white gentle and coloured strips are a single-wavelength supply, coloured strips may have decrease lumen readings. Nonetheless, they’ll seem equally as vivid because the white model of that strip.

LED strip lights - brightness of LED strip lighting

 

LED strip lights -supplies for LED strip lighting

Energy Provide

LED strip lights - power supplies for LED strip lighting

Except you’re utilizing a strip in a automobile and connecting it on to the automobile’s wiring system, you’ll want an influence provide.

  • The best way to decide what energy provide you want:
    • You need to use the ability provide calculator on every strip’s product web page or use an equation (defined a couple of traces down).
    • The voltage of your strip gentle should match the voltage of the ability provide (12 volt or 24 volt).
    • Equation
      • The overall wattage of your LED strip lighting must be at the least 20 % lower than the ability provide’s rated wattage. For instance, in case you have an LED strip gentle that requires 80 watts of energy to run, you’ll want an influence provide that’s rated for at the least 96 watts.
      • Take the size of your LED strip in ft and multiply it by watts consumed per foot, then multiply by 1.2.

LED strip lights - watts per foot of LED strip lighting

  • (size (ft) x watts (ft) x 1.2
  • This gives you the minimal sized energy provide you’ll must run your strips. As a result of energy provides can be found in a wide range of wattages, you’ll take the quantity you got here up with and discover the closest energy provide that’s rated for a wattage larger than that quantity. Tremendous Vibrant LEDs’ energy provides vary from six watts to 1,500 watts for compatibility with all kinds of LED strip lights.
Controller/Dimmer/Sensor

A number of choices can be found for controlling LED strip lights—from dimmers that regulate solely brightness to controllers with wi-fi remotes used to regulate colours, modes, pace, and brightness. Movement sensors are additionally out there to function strips mechanically when somebody is close to them.

Single Colour

Choices embrace dimmers and controllers with remotes, in-line dimmers and controllers, and knob dimmers for single-color LED strip lights.

  • Single-color controllers allow you to change the colour, mode, pace, or brightness of your strip.
  • Single-color dimmers allow you to regulate solely the strip’s brightness.

LED strip lights - single color dimmers and controllers

Tunable White

These controllers allow you to change the colour temperature (from cool to extremely heat white) and brightness of a tunable white strip gentle.

LED strip lights - tunable white controllers and dimmers

RGB/RGBW

These controllers allow you to change the colour, color-changing mode, pace, or brightness of your RGB or RGBW strip. Select between many dynamic or static single-color or color-changing modes.

  • Use Dream-Colour controllers and remotes to pick out or regulate color-chasing/altering patterns, pace, or brightness on Dream-Colour LED strip lights.
  • Management your RGB or RGBW LED strip lights utilizing your smartphone or pill with a Wi-Fi controller and Wi-Fi hub. Obtain the Milight app, and sync your machine to the controller to function your strips from anyplace.

LED strip lights - RGBW and RGB controllers

Amplifier

An possibility for avoiding voltage drop could be to make use of an LED amplifier between most runs of strip. These gadgets amplify energy from the tip of 1 strip to the start of the following to keep away from any energy loss and prolong the utmost run of LED strips.

Forms of amplifiers:

See examples of the best way to use an amplifier in our cove lighting and pool lighting posts.

LED strip lights - amplifiers for LED strip lighting

Equipment

Relying in your set up, you may want a number of equipment, equivalent to pigtail connectors or interconnect jumpers to affix strip sections, CPS adapters to attach strips to an influence provide, further wire for masking gaps in an set up space, mounting clips, adhesive foam pads, silicone tubing, finish caps, and warmth shrink tubing for waterproofing, wire nuts, and extra.

LED strip lights - accessories for LED strip lighting

 

LED strip lights - mounting LED strip lighting

Adhesive Backing

You’ll be able to rapidly and simply apply your strip to any floor if it has a peel-and-stick adhesive backing. Merely clear the set up space and peel off the strip backing as you put in it.

If the world you want to adhere your strip to will not be fully clean, you possibly can profit from 3M Adhesion Promoter. This product will permit your strips to stick higher to the set up floor.

LED strip lights - adhesive backing

Mounting Clips

For added safety or in case your strips don’t have an adhesive backing, you should use strip mounting clips to completely connect them to a floor.

LED strip lights - mounting clips

Aluminum Channels/Klus Housings

Create your personal gentle fixture with aluminum profile housings. Full with finish caps and lenses, the housings give strips a clear, completed look. LED linear extrusions can be found in numerous shapes and kinds. Select from versatile extrusions for bends and turns, channels for edge-lit glass, corner-mount channels for stair nosings or shelf lighting, and extra.

Click on right here to discover ways to create a fixture with aluminum channels.

LED strip lights - aluminum channels

 

LED strip lights - obstacles
Connecting strips
Turning a nook
Masking a spot
Finish of max run
Waterproofing/weatherproofing

When putting in a strip, you may encounter sure obstacles, equivalent to gaps, corners, reaching the tip of a strip run, or the necessity to seal or weatherproof connections. There are equipment used to assist set up strip lights in all of those conditions.

Connecting LED Strip Lights

Soldering

Soldering is a solution to securely, completely bond LED strip lights collectively. You’ll want a soldering iron and solder. When soldering strip collectively, you may want scissors, further wire, and silicone sealant for waterproof and weatherproof strips which have been lower and might be rejoined.

Click on right here to discover ways to solder.

soldering LED strip lights

 

Connectors

Pigtail connectors, interconnect cables and jumpers, CPS connectors, splitter cables, and angle connectors all mean you can join strips collectively or to energy provides and controllers. They are often simply eliminated and used to simply join strips to further wire when masking a area that won’t be illuminated, equivalent to a kitchen window when putting in under-cabinet lighting.

LED strip lights connectors

Turning a Nook

You may come throughout a nook once you’re putting in bias lighting, cove lighting, signal lighting, and many others. You’ll be able to both solder a small run of wire between the strips on each side of the nook or use a strip connector.

The Ultimate LED Strip Lighting Guide 3LED strip lights - 90 degree corner connector

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attainable provides: interconnect jumper, 90-degree connector, pigtail connector, two-conductor, tunable white, RGB, or RGBW wire, wire nuts, solder gun, solder

Masking a Hole

While you’re putting in LED strip lights, you may come throughout a spot the place you don’t need your strip to run.

LED strip lights - covering a gap

Examples:

Beneath-Cupboard Lighting: stoves, sinks, home windows, cupboard junctions

Car Footwell Lighting: heart consoles

Deck Rail Lighting: steps

Attainable provides: interconnect jumper, pigtail connector, two-conductor, tunable white, RGB, or RGBW wire, wire nuts, solder gun, solder

Go to our under-cabinet/over-cabinet publish to see examples of the best way to cowl a spot.

Max Run

After you’ve reached the utmost run of your strip, wire further strips to your energy provide.

  • That is a suitable answer for single-color strips that solely want on/off performance.
  • In case you plan on putting in greater than the utmost run of your LED strip lights, further strip sections have to be wired to the ability provide as a substitute of to the earlier strip. After you’ve wired your subsequent part to the ability provide, you wouldn’t must run again to energy once more till you’ve reached the utmost run for the brand new part. For instance, if you happen to want a steady 49-foot run of strip lights for a venture and your strip gentle has a most run of 16 3/8 ft, you will have to wire the strip again to energy twice after your preliminary connection—as soon as for each 16 3/8 ft of strip lighting. 
  • You’ll be able to both run wire from every strip to the ability provide or controller, or you may use one run of a better gauge wire and splice every strip into it utilizing a “T” Faucet Wire Splice Connector.
  • You’ll be able to place strips shut sufficient collectively to look as if they’re linked, and if the ability provide is linked to a wall swap, the strips will energy on and off concurrently. If it’s not linked to a swap, you’ll should run all strips again to a controller that’s linked to the ability provide. Nonetheless, it is advisable to be certain the controller can deal with the quantity of energy the strips will draw. Controllers give an amp or wattage score.
  • If you wish to dim your strips or in case you have an RGB, RGBW, or tunable white strip gentle, you’re going to wish an amplifier.

The Ultimate LED Strip Lighting Guide 4

Amplifier

An possibility for avoiding voltage drop could be to make use of an LED amplifier between most runs of strip. These gadgets amplify energy from the tip of 1 strip to the start of the following to keep away from any energy loss and prolong the utmost run of LED strip lights.

Forms of Amplifiers:

LED strip lights - amplifiers

Waterproofing/Weatherproofing

Strips that might be put in outdoors or close to water needs to be weatherproof or waterproof. In case you’ve altered your strip in any means or if you happen to’ve linked it to a different strip by soldering or with a connector, you will have guarantee that all connections and uncovered conductive traces are sealed.

weatherproof and waterproof LED strip lights

 

Sealant

Use sealant to use a protecting silicone coating if you happen to’ve eliminated present silicone to connect with one other strip or amplifier. You can even use sealant to stick finish caps to strips.

LED strip lights - silicone sealant

 

Silicone Tubing & Finish Caps

This tubing makes non-weatherproof strips waterproof. It’s out there in 8- and 10-mm widths and needs to be used with silicone sealant and silicone finish caps.

Finish caps are designed to seal the ends of weatherproof or waterproof LED strip lights. They need to be utilized with silicone sealant.

LED strip lights - silicone tubingLED strip lights - silicone end caps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warmth Shrink

Choices embrace warmth shrink tubes and butt connectors that create a weatherproof seal when warmth is utilized.

LED strip lights - heat shrinkLED strip lights - butt connectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Tape/Self-Fusing Silicone Tape

With PVC or self-fusing silicone electrical tape, you possibly can insulate and weatherproof or waterproof wire splices or strip connection factors.

LED strip lights - electrical tapeLED strip lights - silicone electrical tape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For technical questions, don’t hesitate to name us toll free at 866-590-3533. Our customer support and technical assist groups can be found from 8:30 a.m. to eight p.m. CDT Monday-Thursday and eight:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT on Friday.

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