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A guide to LED Neon Flex voltage options

January 07, 2021

Advice Centre > Neon Flex Lighting > Neon Flex Lighting Help > A guide to LED Neon Flex voltage options

Looking for the right LED Neon Flex lighting? A stunning internal and external lighting option for any office building or home, this LED technology is a highly flexible, modern alternative to traditional glass neon lights.

There are two voltage options available for Neon Flex: 12v and 24v. Before buying, you should consider the similarities and differences between these two options to help you decide which is right for you.

In this guide:

The main things to consider

Ask yourself two questions: how am I going to be using LED Neon Flex lighting, and where am I placing it?

Without an answer to both of these questions, you're unlikely to make the right decision.

How am I using my neon strip lighting?

By 'how', we're referring to scale. If you have a big lighting project planned, such as a large commercial space, then you should opt for the 24v strips. Why?

To summarise, the higher voltage will simply be more capable of supplying bright and even light. Applications on a smaller scale, such as small neon signs for retail displays, don't need that level of power supply, so you'll be fine with a 12v option.

Where will I place my LED Neon Flex?

Commercial or residential? Indoors or outdoors? The stronger the voltage, the more capable your LED strip light will be at doing its job. So if you're planning on using your lighting outdoors, choose 24v to guarantee brightness. As mentioned, indoor settings (unless it's bigger than an average-sized room) will be fine with a 12v output. A 12v voltage is also ideal for small spaces, as we'll go on to discuss.

12v vs 24v LED Neon Flex lighting

Similarities

Both voltage options for Neon Flex lighting come with the same lifespan, which is helpful to know when you're looking for a lasting solution. Furthermore, the light output will not be affected by your voltage choice, both producing the same amount of glow.

Differences

You must have the compatible PSU to run the LED Neon Flex; i.e., 12v product needs a 12v PSU. The 12v LED Neon Flex can be powered from one end up to 8m and up to 16m from both ends. The 24v LED Neon Flex can be powered from one end up to 15m and up to 30m from both ends. These are for static colours. If you choose to power longer lengths, you may see a dimming of the lights which is due to the voltage drop. RGB and Pixel require different levels of power input and is best resolved by getting in touch.

This won’t cause any issues unless you use the wrong voltage for the LED Neon Flex you want to use. Using the wrong supply of power can damage the LED Neon Flex beyond repair and may also cause damage to your electrical supply. If a 12v strip is powered to 24v it will burn out the LEDs, and if a 24v strip is powered by 12v it will flash or be dim but the LEDs shouldn’t burn out. If either are plugged into 240v, game over!

Benefits of 12v LED Neon Flex

Some of the benefits of selecting 12v LED Neon Flex lighting are:

Lower electric shock risk

The lower the voltage output, the lower risk of electric shock. Simple.

Reliability

As 12v is half the voltage of a 24v output, it requires less electricity to light up. This is important if you rely heavily on your circuit: think of it like you would a kitchen full of appliances. Use too many at once and you risk the fuse. A 12v light doesn't 'contribute' much to the circuit, so will remain lit without interference. These lights are also much easier to repair.

Works for small spaces

The lower the voltage, the smaller the filament in the bulb. This makes white or colour 12v LED lights a great choice for smaller spaces where you'd still like to use Neon Flex.

Ready to be plugged in

As a 12v power supply is a common voltage platform, it can be directly plugged into a 12v battery pack or vehicle without the need for a separate power supply—especially true if you're using strip lighting in a vehicle or other battery-powered supply.

Benefits of 24v LED Neon Flex

LED Neon Flex 24v lights are larger profiles designed to be used outdoors or for contouring walls; bigger projects where the bend radius for the corner doesn’t have to be too small. Some of the benefits of selecting 24v LED Neon Flex lighting are:

Greater power transmission per light strip

While there's little difference between light when it comes to application across a wider area, per strip, you may notice that a 24v LED Neon Flex strip has a slight upper hand thanks to its doubled power transmission.

Versatility and intensity

The 24v option is more versatile for most applications, working for indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly. Coupled with the greater power transmission, and you've got a more adaptable and light-intensive LED strip solution.

Power supply must be 24v

As 24v is a 12v power source outgrowth, it's important that the power supply is 24v. If not, this can be easily amended, as scaling upwards from 12v to 24v is relatively simple with the use of an adaptor.

Efficiency and scale

A 24v voltage LED Neon Flex strip light offers a more consistent voltage output. So if you're looking for efficiency, go for 24v. This is particularly pertinent when you scale up, which 24v lighting is ideal for.

Frequently asked questions

I need a 12v LED Neon Flex—which product should I choose?

A good starting-point for 12v neon lighting is the 6x12 Dome Mini 12v LED Neon Flex and the 8x16 Dome LED Neon Flex are a good choice. They have a tight corner radius, are offered by the metre and can be supplied in a variety of colours as standard.

I need a 24v LED Neon Flex—where do I begin?

If you're looking for a 24v light solution, then we'd recommend starting with 14x25 Contour LED Neon Flex - 24v. Available in pure and warm white, blue, green and red, this 24v LED strip is ideal for large indoor and outdoor installation, being waterproof and IP65-rated.

Questions? We're here to help!

We're passionate about all LED lighting solutions, so if you have any queries or are still unsure about which LED Neon Flex voltage is the correct voltage for your desired application, get in touch with our team today.