Your Ultimate Guide on Buying LED Strip Lights

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LED Strip lights are becoming more and more popular for home lighting. More than likely you have heard the argument for LEDs over incandescent and even halogen bulbs: they are more efficient, brighter, longer lasting, they don’t produce much heat, they are easily controlled and programmed…the list goes on and on. LEDs come in extremely compact packages that are durable and resistant to shock, making it so they can be used in a variety of ways.

One increasingly popular method is LED strip lighting. Linear (strip) lighting has become very popular and is becoming an affordable option for commercial and residential lighting applications. Buying LED strips may seem relatively simple, but there are many things you need to consider to ensure that you get the right type of light for your needs. Please complete this article as we come to understand the important elements of LED strip lighting throughout our full range of LED strips.

Type of LED strip

The LED strip category is a broad category, including all different types of LED strip. Depending on how you plan to use LED strips, you may need one type rather than another. For example, the IP65 LED flexible strips are better suited for outdoor and wet areas because they have protective coverings that make them waterproof. The following is a brief description of each LED strip, which will be detailed later in this guide, as there are several types of strips in these categories.

DC LED flexible strips - powered by 12VDC, these flexible strips have a sticky backing that is easy to install and can cut up to two inches. They offer waterproof options, with 30 LED/M or 60 LED/M.
AC LED flexible strip - a flexible strip lamp that extends directly from your socket. Just plug it in.
LED cord light - fully enclosed omnidirectional LED in standard cord light package.
High output LED strips - high power leds from Cree, Luxeon and Nichia are mounted on rigid strips with onboard drives and circuits.
When buying LED strips, it is important to check the number of leds per length. For brighter output and higher light quality, you should look for the strip lights with the highest number of leds per foot (meters, meters, etc.). If leds are spaced too far apart on the strip, they can produce speckled lighting rather than clean, constant light. Manufacturers use different units of measurement to advertise this, which can be confusing. My suggestion is to stick to a certain measurement and then convert all the other measurements to see that each measurement unit has the most strips of LED. Note that this is not the only factor determining brightness and light quality. Our LED cord lights, for example,

LED strip brightness
With the development of LED technology, LED strip continues to play a greater role. This does not mean that all bands will be super bright, and in some cases, you may not even want the light to be super bright. An example of this is key lighting within the shelves.

The brightness of the LED is measured in lumens. Depending on how you use the LED strip, you may need a certain amount of lumen. For accent lighting, you may not need 200 lumens per foot, but for other applications where you want more light, it just depends on your personal preference for the brightness you want. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to lumen/length and LED/length, as this can have a strong effect on the quality of light and the type of light emitted by the strip.

LED light bar color
Our LED light strips come in a variety of monochrome and multicolor strips (RGB). The most basic LED strip is our monochrome, giving off only a fixed light color. We offer: warm white, neutral white, cold white, red, green, blue, yellow and UV (UV).

Color bars are called RGB bars. These leds can display any combination of red, green and blue. These strips require a controller to change the color in the flash or to maintain a selected solid color. Take a look below to see how these bar lights work and look.

Color temperature
Color temperature is our way of distinguishing the various whites that leds can produce. Temperature indicates the "warm" or "cold" state of the light. Temperatures are measured in kelvin, with higher temperatures representing cool tones (blue tones) and lower temperatures representing warmer colors (light bulbs may produce yellowish light). See a more intuitive explanation below.

Install LED strip
When purchasing light strips for your application, you should always know how to install them and set them up. With Strips like DC LED Flex Strips, it's as easy as exposing the adhesive backing and sticking them on a clean surface. Other installations may be more difficult to install, cut and connect strips. Here are some of the factors you should always keep in mind when we talk about each individual band, which we'll further specify in this article:

Know the total length of the required LED strip
Know how much light will rest or how many separate strips you'll need
Know your power and voltage requirements
Flexibility of LED strip
Durability of LED strips: does it need to be waterproof?
Determine whether additional components, such as connectors or additional wires, are required
Decide how to dim, control or program the strips you set
LED lamp with wattage
Another key factor in setting up LED strips is knowing the wattage. First, you need to figure out the power of the system to set. At LEDSupply, we provide you with wattage per length, so once you know how many linear feet there are, you can easily find your total wattage. Looking up total wattage not only helps you find enough power, but also lets you know how much power your new setting will use.

Once you know the total wattage, you can find the power source. In addition to the plug and play option (AC5050 strips and LED cord lights), you need to power all of our strips. Plug and play with a power cord, switch transformers online, so there is no need to add power.

The first thing to know when looking for power supply is the input voltage required by the LED strip. The strips found on LEDSupply can be plug-in, 12V or 24VDC power supply... Just make sure you know what your strip needs and find the power source with that output. Second, make sure the power supply is at least 10% higher than the wattage consumed by the LED strip. If wattage is not listed on the power supply (which is always available on our website), please note: output voltage x amperes = power supply.

Buy LED light strips at LEDSupply
Now that we've learned the basics of buying LED strips, it's time to take a look at our specific strips. In the rest of this post, I'll cover each one, hoping to help you determine which one is best for your application. This is the most important part of this article because it helps you find the strips that best fit your needs and will give you all the information you need to set up and finish the project.

DC LED flexible strip
DC LED flexible strip
These 12 volt flexible LED strips are among the most popular products in home lighting DIY projects and renovations. Thousands of customers and contractors, like you, have found these lights to be extremely helpful for their home tasks and focus lighting. A number of free accessories are also available to make these strips very user friendly.

What makes them so easy to use?

The strip is made of 3M double-sided backing tape for easy installation. Second, they are in a very low profile: 10 mm wide and 3 mm high! They produce very little heat and are therefore ideal for tightly spaced applications. The strips provide a full reel of up to 16.4 feet (5 meters) in increments of 3 feet, but they follow the strip cutting line so that you cut to a more accurate measurement.

12 VDC power supply
The ribbon requires 12VDC input. Low voltage lighting makes installation safe for beginners. It not only makes wiring and connections safer than direct ac line voltages, but also allows it to power them with batteries! When powering your home, be sure to use a power supply or transformer that will provide 12VDC and enough wattage for your strip length.

Article waterproof... Or not
These flexible strips come with two different types of strips. The IP65 LED s waterproof strip is wonderful for indoor and outdoor use. These leds have a thin layer of silicone on top of the flexible strip that can withstand these elements. Waterproofs are recommended for outdoor lighting, pool/patio lighting, bathroom lighting, and cabinet lighting to collect moisture or dust.

Flexible strips are also IP20 style, basically IP65 strips minus protective silicone layer. These strips are perfect for areas where you don't have to worry about any water or dust damage to the strips and components.

Standard 30 LED/M or high density 60 LED/M.

DC flexible bars have two different density options. Standard density bar with 30 LED/M and brighter upgrade, high density bar with double LED, 60 per meter! Obviously, those looking for the brightest light should migrate to the high-density bands, but note the differences between the options in the table below.

Density LED number lumen wattage
Maximum clippable (per roll). run
Stents. (SD) 30 / M 540 / M 27 w / 4 "32.8 ft
High (HD) 60 meters / 1,080 meters / 40 watts per 2 "16.4 feet
Standard density flexible strips are ideal for small Spaces or indirect lighting. They're obviously not as intense as high density, so they're better suited for low-light applications. Examples of this are shelf lighting, backlighting and other soft accent lighting.

One of the great advantages of the 30 LED/M bands is that they can be connected end-to-end up to 32 feet... Double connection of high density. This is a definite benefit for lamps, helping those who need longer lengths and do not care about brightness.

Remember how we talked about light quality and how it depends on LED brightness and LED density (LED/M)? The high-density strip then USES the same precise diode on the strip but doubles the number, thus providing more powerful mass light than the standard density strip.

If you are looking for more light output, the high density strip is a major upgrade to the standard density. These are mainly used for applications that have a higher ceiling bay and need more light, or if you use them as the primary light source for a specific area. Light output is well suited for a variety of task lighting, and you may even need dimmers to adjust it as needed.

The 12 volt LED flexible strip is very simple to use. However, there are many options that can make the task seem overwhelming. If this LED light bar interests you and you would like to know more about your Settings, please follow our instructions for installing the 12V LED light bar. This guide is specially tailored to DC Flex Strips and introduces all the information and useful accessories you need to set up your lights!

AC LED flexible strip
AC LED flexible strip
We also have an AC option in the 5050 SMD LED strip. They are slightly wider than DC bars because they are 9/16 "wide" and 1/4 "high. Don't worry about increasing the size, as they contain a lot of light, 20 leds per foot, and emit 180 lumens within that range. The best part? These are plug and play strips, just buy the length you want, plug it in, and these babies are ready!

Another great advantage of the 5050 style is that they can be continuously 150 feet long and cut every 18 inches! This allows it to run for longer lengths without any breaks, even cutting strips when it needs to be loaded at a certain length! If there is a gap in your application, you can easily select a strip jumper to fit the gap and keep the light connected seamlessly.

Installation is not as easy as DC flexible strips because they have no sticky backing. Fortunately, they come with mounting clips (one every 3 feet) for mounting to the surface. For those who don't want to deal with clamps or want to use LED strips in very compact linear applications, a 3-foot track is a great way to set up LED strips.

If you run longer lengths (75' and above), it's best to consider AC LED strips. These strips work better over distance and do not require the purchase of multiple power supplies and dimmers, as they can be run directly from 110-120ac line voltages. Check out our AC5050 review, which details the use of these bar lights.

LED rope light
LED rope light
Well, we've now removed the flexible strip and turned it into a slightly different type of linear LED, LED cord light. Instead of flat flexible strips of ribbon, the LED cord lamp is wrapped in a circular rubber plastic 1/2 "diameter. The case enables the waterproof cord lamp to be bent in all directions and has omnidirectional LED. This means that unlike the LED Flex Strips that are emitted from the top, these LED Rope Lights emit around the entire Rope and have no back or area where you can't see the light. Rope lights are not so bright, but they work well for dim, focused lighting, or just add a touch of color to your outdoor deck, patio, garden, etc.

Like AC LED Flex Strips, the LED rope lamp can be plugged directly into standard wall sockets and run from 120VAC. They don't get hot and use very little power because they only have 0.77 watts per foot. LED cord lights are warm white, cold white and blue.

The rope holds 12 leds per foot, with an inch between each. Lumen output is well below our other linear options, 6.3 lumens per foot for cold white and 5.5 lumens per foot for warm white. We offer custom cut cord lights of length 3,9,15,30,75,105 and 150 feet. Like AC LED Flex Strips, Rope Light can be connected to a jumper but can be up to 150 feet long. For every 3 feet of rope lamp purchased, we will install a clip wherever you like. The cables look like a typical ropelight, in the sense that you can see where each LED is placed, and it doesn't mean it's always a steady, smooth light. The light emitted is suitable for some areas, but not enough to serve as a separate illumination for a room.

LED rope lamp application
This rope lamp has a high value, with a 60,000 hours white life rating and 100,000 hours color life rating. They are very durable and add a nice touch to your position. Use them where you don't want bright lights, or just something to draw your attention to a part of the house or the outside area. Take a look at the pictures above and see how they are used.

High output LED strip
High power LED strip
The last three strips we provide are LED strips that emit a lot of light. Unlike the flexible strips and cord lights above, these strips mount leds on surfaces with medium to high power on harder strips.

Duo Strip

The duet LED strip is made here by LuxDrive in the United States. If you want to make your own LED linear lighting, this is your light engine. Duo has 48 Nichia 757 diodes on a 1-foot-by-1-inch printed circuit board (PCB). On-board drives ensure LED safety and require only 24V input. Each 1-foot Duo Strip runs about 8 watts and produces over 870 lumens!

Duo can be shrunk to smaller parts to increase design flexibility. There is a dotted line cutting line every 3 inches, showing that it can be cut with the circuit board

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