What to consider when buying LED strip lights?

What to consider when buying LED strip lights?

Today we would like to give you some tips for your lighting project. What to consider when buying LED strip lights? The lighting market is full of different not only LED strips but LED other lamp types as well. But let’s start with the terminology. LED strips are also well known as LED light strip, LED strip lighting, LED tape, flexible LED ribbon and probably a whole bunch of other names. And guess what? They all are the same thing just called in a different way. But when it comes to the names you may also see some other things like e.g. 4 digit number or a combination of 2 letters and 2 numbers. Now we will explain all that before we go to other important points because in the name are hidden important information about the product.

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Let’s take for example one of our products:

What’s the Meaning of This: 2835 SMD 120 LED IP20

2835 is a type/size of the diode, in this case, it is 28mm by 35mm; SMD is a type of mounting – Surface Mounted Diode” (all the strips are SMD type but for bulbs or other lights you can also see COB what basically means Chip On Board); 120 is a number of diodes per roll (in this case it is 120 LEDs per 5m); IP20 is an International Protection marking or Ingress Protection marking where the first digit describes the protection against the objects such as dust and the second against liquids such as water.

So what to consider when buying LED strip lights?

For this article, we will focus on 3 types of LED strips (3528, 5050, 2835)

Size

For 3528 diodes the standard width of the strip is 8mm same as for 2835 but you can also find them on the strips with 5mm width. The strips with 5050 diodes are 10mm wide and the width is one of the things to consider when buying an LED strip especially if you are planning to paste them into an aluminium profile. So yeah the size matters at least in this case.

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Light

  Warm white, neutral white, day light, cool white, cold white…. again so many names to describe the same thing which is a shade of white (the light appearance provided by the LED). For this factor, not the name is important but the value of a magic letter “K” that stands for Kelvin. The most commonly used lamps are on a scale from 3000K to 6000K (as lower the number is as more yellow the light is, as higher the number is as more blue the light is)

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IP rating

You got to choose wisely in here as the non-waterproof strip cannot be used in the bathroom, outside, or any other wet places. IP20 strips are designed to be used only indoor in dry places or to be placed inside an aluminium profiles. For the indoor use an IP rated strip such as IP45 (protected with a silicone tube) or IP65 (protected by PU or silicone cover). For the outside use IP67/IP68 strips in silicone tube injected silicone.

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Number of LEDs per meter

The number of LEDs per meter is also an important point when choosing a LED strip as it affects the brightness (lumens) and light pattern of a strip. Our LED strips are available in variations:

30 LEDs/m

60 LEDs/m 

120 LEDs/m

Voltage

You may be surprised but an LED strips are mostly low voltage products so it basically means that you cannot just plug them into your wall socket (mains voltage) as it will blow the LEDs. To run your strip you will need a transformer to lower the voltage to e.g. 12V, 24V. Always check the packaging for voltage information. If unsure, ask the seller for advice.

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Wattage

For some of you the effect may be more important than the cost but you have to have in mind that with a higher Wattage comes higher power consumption what basically means bigger electricity bills.

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Power supply

When buying an LED power supply, LED transformer or LED driver always have a look at the voltage to make sure you get the right one for your strip and make sure you buy a power supply with a bigger Wattage than your strip! For example, if your LED strip requires 72W (5m RGB 5050 LED strip with 300 LEDs) get at least 90W power supply. This will let the power supply to run cool and extend its life span.

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Summing-up

What to consider when buying LED strip lights? There is a lot of LED products on the market and to get the best one that will suit your needs it is not easy but we hope that this article made you aware of things to look at when buying an LED strip and now you will have a confidence with making a right choice. Just got to remember! Don’t rush, take your time, get the information, look at the specs, make an excel spread sheet if needed to compare the products and if in doubt? Ask!

We wish you a bright future with High Lumens and Low Wattage.

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