Choosing the right LED strip lights for you
Choosing between all the different LED strip lights on the market can turn into a chore if we fail to use appropriate criteria when making our selection. Strip lights are increasingly popular for use in homes, offices, retail premises and many other buildings, but their function is principally decorative since they are great for creating moods and affording certain physical features added definition.
In this article we will talk about...
- Things to keep in mind when choosing LED strip lights
- Standard LED semiconductors
- SECOM LED strip lights
Things to keep in mind when choosing LED strip lights
When it comes to choosing the right product, it is important to keep the characteristics of LED strips lights in mind. Below are some of the most important considerations.
Many of these lights require direct current. The voltage tends to range between 12 and 24 volts and the maximum length of the strip is directly associated with the voltage. In other words, the higher the voltage, the greater the potential span. Strips measuring up to 20 metres long need 12 V and, over 20 metres, the voltage needs to be 24 V.
Each type of LED strip light requires specific power. We can work this out by dividing the lumens produced by the watts we need.
In strip lights, the size of the LED chip affects the luminous flux. There are different widths to choose from depending on where we are going to install the strip or depending on the required power. The options are 8, 10 12 and 15 mm.
This characteristic of strip lights can impact installation. Flexible strips are best for domestic use in small spaces and around corners. However, more rigid options are preferable for façades or large spaces.
LED RGBW strip lights come in a wide range of colours. In fact, this is precisely one of the characteristics that has increased the popularity of these products. We can use them anywhere in our homes, business premises or other buildings and we can adjust the colour and light temperature to suit the mood.
Resistance levels are also an important consideration when we make our choice. Sometimes, devices can be subjected to dust, humidity and water. This is why it is important to look for IP index levels that give us the resistance and durability guarantees we need. An IP65 or IP66 protection level will give us greater resistance and protection guarantees. In fact, these IPs are particularly suitable for any luminaires we intend to install outdoors. They can even provide protection against the rain.
Choosing the right power source will depend on whether we are going to install our lights indoors or outdoors. It is also important to calculate the total expected power consumption in watts per metre. After this, we can choose the right power source to function at 80% capacity so that we have an additional 20% free and are not pushing the device to the limit.
Standard LED semiconductors
There are many different ways of sorting strip lights into categories. However, when we talk about types of LED strip lights, we tend to mention size, light and output. This is why we use combinations of four numbers to categorise these devices. The first two refer to the width of the plastic cover and the other two are the length. Below are the four most common models.
These are the LEDs of choice for domestic use such as in living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. They give great results when they are combined with ceiling lights, wall lights and lamps. They are 3.5 x 2.8 mm in size and produce a soft light at around 0.07 W. They are primarily used for decorative purposes but can also work well along shelves, around mirrors, around windows and along staircases and steps.
This device is almost double the size of the one above. It measures 5.0 x 5.0 mm and gives off a bright light at around 0.24 W. We commonly find these lights in retail premises but they are also suitable for indoor and outdoor domestic use.
These devices give off a bright light and measure 5.6 x 3.0 mm. The wattage is around 0.25 and they are great for domestic and professional environments. We tend to see them on high ceilings and in large indoor and outdoor spaces.
This is another of the most commonly-used options and it is 2.8 x 3.5 mm in size. Many come with very efficient heat dissipaters and are a powerful light source. As with the options mentioned above, they are suitable for professional and domestic use.
The size of the LED also affects the size of the strip. Larger chips are available but this means that the cover is also larger.
SECOM LED strip lights
At SECOM, we have a wide range of LED strip lights. Not only do we have an extensive catalogue of models to choose from, but these lights are versatile and easy to install. Here is one example:
This flexible LED strip light has a tightness rating of IP65. It is commonly used for outdoor decorative lighting and installed as a continuous line. It is connected directly to the 230-volt power supply with an ED driver. It is very resistant, incredibly dust- and watertight and great at dissipating heat thanks to its transparent PVC cover. We do not need to use transformers, amplifiers or adapters with this product.More in our blog