LED Strip Technical Information Help
LED lighting solutions are an innovative modern technology, and LED strips are an increasingly popular choice for a variety of applications, from cabinet lighting to office spaces and warehouses. However, trying to understand the different technical elements that make a LED light strip or how to safely cut a strip to a custom length can be a little confusing. Thankfully, expert information is available to help you make sense of LED strips so that you can choose the right type or configuration for your lighting needs.
This article covers some of the technical information to know about when purchasing LED strips, including the anatomy of a strip and how to connect a strip to the power supply.
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The anatomy of LED strip lighting
The fundamental components of an LED strip are the circuit board, surface mounted diodes (SMD) also known as LED emitters, and cut points and connectors. These parts work together to help the strip emit its light, and to keep it working effectively and safely.
The circuit board is the backbone of an LED strip light, providing a structure that holds the SMD LED emitters in place. The flexibility of the circuit board allows the strip to be mounted on surfaces that are curved or uneven with ease.
On the circuit boards are copper ovals which represent the cut points and connectors. This is where you can safely cut your LED strip to a custom length, and connect it to a DC power supply. More on cutting and connecting LED strips below.
For more information about LED emitters, circuit boards, cut points and connectors, read on at our expert guide to the anatomy of an LED strip.
LED strip technical elements
The technical details of LED strips may seem complicated, but once you know the different parts that make up a strip (see above) grasping the factors that help LEDs function becomes much easier.
All LED strips run on direct current (DC) rather than alternating current (AC). Because of this, you would need a transformer to convert the AC power supply from your plug to use your LED strips.
Lumens are the measure of how much light is emitted from LED strips and other light sources. To achieve different brightness levels, LED strips can be manufactured with different lumens per metre. The Classic 120 in 12v, for example, is 850 lumens per metre and will emit a crisp, bright white light that is perfect for office or retail spaces. A strip that is around 400 lumens per metre will give off a softer light that is more suited to highlights and accent lighting.
Our guide to LED strip technical elements covers power supply, LED density and lumens in more detail.
LED strip voltage options
Voltage is another important technical feature in LED strips. Before you purchase and install your strip light, you need to make sure that the voltage of the strip you intend to use matches the power supply. So, a 12v LED strip needs to be connected to a 12v DC power supply.
At WeLoveLEDs, our LED strips come in three voltage options: 5v, 12v and 24v. A low-voltage strip such as the Pixel 60 in 5v is a safe and long-life solution for internal decorative lighting. For reliability and cost-effectiveness, try a 12v strip like the Water Resistant 60 LED Strip that can be used externally with appropriate weather protection and fixings. But if you need longer lengths of strip to be powered from one end, the SuperSlim 60 LED Strip might be the one for you.
Cutting, connecting and installing LED strips
One of the biggest advantages of using LED strips is that they can be cut down to custom lengths so they can fit your application area perfectly. Cutting LED strips is a relatively simple process, but you should bear your own safety in mind as well as the circuit board and technical intricacies of the strip (see above).
Before cutting, the strip should be disconnected from a power source and laid out flat on an even surface. With a sharp cutting tool, cut the strip only on the markers indicated by copper ovals. This will leave one end with an exposed circuit, which will need to be properly closed off with some electrical tape. You can also connect multiple LED strips together using clip-on or fold over connectors.
Installation could not be easier, as LED strips have a strong adhesive backing. Some things to bear in mind include installation around corners and proximity to a power supply. As mentioned earlier, the benefit of using a flexible LED strip system is that it can be installed on curved surfaces; however, you may need to use a connector to make this a bit easier.
For more safety advice and tips, go to our guide to cutting, connecting and installing LED strips.
At WeLoveLEDs, we have a range of different LED strip types and colours, including single-colour and RGB/RGBW, SuperSlim and eco. Get in touch with a member of our team today to discuss your next LED lighting project.