Everything You Need To Know About LED Strip Lights
Everything You Need To Know About LED Strip Lights
LEDs or “Light-Emitting Diodes” are becoming increasingly popular for both domestic and corporate illumination purposes. In comparison with traditionally used incandescent and halogen lights, LEDs are hugely superior in that they require just a tiny amount of electricity, have a very long lifespan, produce hardly any heat, and can easily be controlled and programmed.
Buying LED strip lights may appear at first glance to be fairly straightforward, however, in actuality there are a great many different factors that buyers need to take into consideration to ensure they get the right lights to suit their requirements.
Reasons To Choose LED Strips
Obviously you’re interested in LED strip lights (who wouldn’t be?), but do you know just how amazing they are? Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the types you can choose, we should examine why so many people are deciding to use them for illumination in the first place.
LEDs are incredibly energy-efficient in comparison with all other forms of illumination. Indeed, they require, on average, just 10% of the power of an equivalently bright traditional bulb. This can and does mean substantial savings on your electricity bill, and a rapid return on your initial investment.
LEDs have an unbelievably long expected life-span, compared to both incandescent and fluorescent lights. With an average life-expectancy of some 50,000 hours, LED strip lights will still be burning bright in 17 years’ time, long after their traditional counterparts will have expired.
With strip Lights, it’s important to safeguard their longevity. Installing them using Aluminium LED profiles will help them achieve their maximum lifespan, acting as a sink to dissipate any potentially harmful heat.
Profiles will also enable you to optimise the wide 120° beam angle of your LED strip lights, ensuring you achieve exactly the right light placement for your installation. Plus, a correctly chosen diffuser will enable you to realise a light quality that’s perfect on the eye.
Should your installation require a shorter length of LED strip light, or you need to adjoin varying lengths, you can cut them at clearly marked intervals, using nothing more complicated than a pair of household scissors.
If you’re not keen on carrying out this operation yourself, remember that Wholesale LED Lights is the only company in the whole of the UK that offers its customers a free, bespoke cutting service, so just request this prior to completing your purchase.
LED strip lights require no soldering whatsoever, relying instead on nifty little connectors. Not only will they ensure a safe and solid join, they’ll also make finish off your installation, giving it a professional, aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Factors Determining Your Choice
The first factor you’ll need to consider when planning to purchase LED strip lights is how exactly you’re going to use them. This will very much determine the type of LED strip light you’ll buy.
Ingress Protection Ratings
For example, LED strip lights boasting a high IP (Ingress Protection) Rating will be best suited for use in areas such as the bathroom, as they’re much more water resistant than those with lower ratings.
Our highly IP-rated LED strip lights are protected by a silicon coating that effectively blocks entry by dust and water, but for a more in-depth look at IP-Ratings and their individual specialist applications, take a look at the table below:
Protected against solid objects larger than 12mm, but has no protection at all from water. It’s mainly used under plinths and as cabinet lighting, as well as for general backlighting.
IP44-rated LED strip light is fully protected against solid objects larger than 1mm and from light omni-directional splashes of water. It can be used for all indoor applications and also for certain outdoor ones.
This is a splash-proof LED strip, best suited to bathroom installation where it might be exposed to water and steam. Strip with this level of protection can also be used in the kitchen and for outdoor applications like garden and patio lighting.
This is a completely dust-tight strip that can also be fully immersed in 1 metre of water for up to 30 minutes. This makes it the ideal level of protection for all outdoor applications.
This is generally used for swimming pool installations, as well as ponds and large fish-tanks. Great for indefinite immersion in water up to a depth of 1.5 metres.
Over the last few years, LED technology has significantly improved, meaning that the small light-emitting diodes will now produce a much brighter light than ever before. For certain applications, such as in accent lighting, you may not even need particularly brilliant light.
Contrary to popular belief, light brightness is measured in lumens and not watts, so you’ll need to consider the number of lumens that each type of LED strip light is capable of producing. This choice will also be highly dependent upon how you intend to utilise your LED strip lights, so as a general rule-of-thumb, please refer to the table hereunder:
Lumens required per metre
150 - 250
175 - 450
Task lighting (close to source)
250 - 450
Task lighting (distance from source)
350 - 700
375 - 575
500 - 750
Following directly on from the lumen count of each length of LED strip light, is the colour or choice of colours you require for your installation. Here’s where the variety and versatility of LED strip lights really shows.
They’re available in many different varieties, so you’ll be able to find the type that’s perfect to suit your particular lighting requirements.
Single Colour – This comes in a choice of two voltages so, depending upon the length you need, you’ll go for either the 12V or 24V available in red, green, blue, pink and also warm (3000K), cool (6000K) and daylight (4000K) white colour temperatures, this LED strip light will be ideal for all general lighting applications. From 4.8W to 14.4W, the tape’s light intensity is determined by its power requirement.
Dual Colour – Equipped with sequenced warm and cool white LEDs, this 4W strip light can be used in all domestic applications, as well as in a wide range of commercial settings. Producing 1020 lumens, its light is the equivalent of an 80W traditional bulb, for a fraction of the energy.
RGB Colour 12v – This LED strip light is available in 2W and 14.4W versions. Its colour-changing abilities have been utilised extensively, in both domestic and commercial settings.
RGBW – This style of LED tape creates similar effects to that of the aforementioned RGB, only with the added cool or warm white options, both of which will enable you to achieve a wider range of colours. Its amazing lighting effects are controlled by the RGBW LED Remote.
RGB Pixel Tape – The perfect product for use in any commercial application, it was used at Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet & Gear launch in 2013. LED pixel tape has so many spectacular colour-changing lighting features that it requires the dedicated 16 Key LED Pixel Tape Remote Control to ensure that you make optimum use of them all.
The colour temperature of your LED strip lights is an important consideration, as it will allow you to fine-tune the ambience of your area according to its function. This is especially relevant in the non-addressable single colour LED strip lights as they’re available only in individual colours, so getting it right first time is a priority.
This table should give you a basic idea of the various applications for each colour temperature:
Warm White (3000K)
Most people’s go-to choice for family and living areas like the lounge and the bedroom, it has a mellow, convivial quality that’s ideal for relaxing and socialising.
Daylight White (4000K)
The most naturalistic colour temperature, it has traditionally been used for offices and studies, but is now making in-roads into many domestic living spaces.
Cool White (6000K)
Best suited to functional rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom, it has a clean, bright quality that’s great for task-centred activities.
Should you require any further assistance when you’re choosing your LED strip lights, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our excellent customer service advisors on 0116 321 4120. They’ll be happy to discuss your requirements with you, and to answer any questions you might have.