If you’re bored with the same looking light bulbs you have in your St. Louis home, or feel that the usual fixtures sold at your nearest Home Depot can’t create the kind of unique and creative lighting you have in mind, you may be better off turning to LED strip lights. With their flexibility and slim profile, LED strip lights are the ideal lighting solution for adding drama and creativity to your home’s living spaces.
Here’s a quick look at what you should know about LED strip lights.
What Are They?
As the name suggests, LED strip lights are long strips of tape that feature a series of glowing LED chips. Available in a wide variety of lengths and widths, LED strip lights are easy to customize and are narrow enough to be placed in spaces where regular accent lights would be impractical to use—think inside drawers, under cabinets, and steps and stair rails.
What Benefits Do They Offer?
Like all LED products, LED strip lights are very energy efficient. They are not, however, very bright, which limits their use as accent lights. LED strip lights also come in a wide variety of colors, with some even having “smart” features, such as the ability to change colors. Some LED strips are also designed for specific applications, such as outdoor lighting and bias lighting.
What Are The Different Types of LED Strip Lights?
When it comes to installing LED strip lights, you can choose between plug-and-play and wired strip lights. Each LED strip type has its pros and cons, which will depend on how you’re going to use your lights.
For example, while plug-and-play LED strips are more affordable and easy to install and use, they normally come in pre-cut lengths, which can limit their application to smaller lighting projects. For large-scale DIY lighting projects, such as lighting outdoor paths or retrofitting your ceiling lights, wired LED strips are typically recommended. You might, however, require the assistance of an electrician to lay down or splice wires.
Do You Need Additional Equipment?
Some LED strip lights, particularly wired types, need a transformer to function properly. When choosing a transformer, you need to consider the total wattage of your LED strips, size of the LED chip, and the length of the strip.
As a rule of thumb, you want to allocate:
- 5 watts of power for every meter with 60 or so small LED chips
- 10 watts for every meter with small 120 LED chips
- 15 watts per meter with 60 large LED chips
It’s also a good idea to add a 20% buffer of to avoid overloading the transformer. For example, a 3-meter LED strip with 60 large LED chips will need around 45 watts of power, which in turn requires a 54-watt LED transformer.
From adding a bold dash of color to your bed or wardrobe to creating a relaxing mood in your living room or study, the flexibility and versatility of LED strip lights open the door to many lighting possibilities.