How to choose an LED tape light controller.

February 21, 2017

How to choose an LED tape light controller.

Right now HitLights offers 13 LED lighting control options. We've done buying guides on controllers before, but we've never had one place that explained all of them until now.

First things first. There are two main categories of LED tape light controllers: Single color & Multi Color.

If it isn't readily apparent to you already, single color LEDs are only able to display one color. Multi-Color LEDs can display different colors. Single color LED tape lights use 2-pin connectors and are dimmable. Multi-Color strips use 4-pin connectors and the color lights are costumizable.

Since these lights are so different, they need different types of controllers. First we'll start with single color controls. Click here if you'd like to skip to multi-color controllers.

SINGLE COLOR CONTROLLERS

Inline On/Off Switch

Things don't get much more straight forward than this. You plug power in one end, the lights in the other, and now you have an on/off switch. It's simple and effective.

Easy-Plug Dial Dimmer



This works mostly the same as the previous controller, with the exception that this dims the lights instead of simply turning them on and off. 

Easy-Plug Touch Dimmer


Remember touch lamps from the 80s? You touch them and they turn on and off. This works similarly. Simply tap the control to adjust the brightness of your strips.

R106 In-line Remote Dimmer


Don't like getting up to turn on the lights? This remote's perfect for you. A great bonus is this controller (and most of the R100 series) uses an RF signal so you don't have to point the remote in any particular direction. It has incremental dimming along with % jumps. So, you can fine tune how dim you want your lights or just jump right to 25% or 50%. There are also a few dimming animations too.

MULTI-COLOR CONTROLLERS

R101 Inline RGB



The R101 is a simple multi-color controller. There are only three buttons to choose from: Mode, Speed/Bright & Color. The Mode button selects a few pre-set animations. The Color key cycles through some color options. When on an animation Mode the Speed key will speed it up or slow it down. While on a static color the Bright key will adjust brightness. 

44 Key RGB


The 44 Key RGB Controller is our most popular remotes. This is mainly because it's inexpensive, yet still has robust color and animation options. This uses IR (infrared) technology, which means you'll have to point the remote directly at the control receiver without anything in between the two. 

R108 RGB


This remote doesn't have quite as many features as the 44-key, but it does use RF like the R106. So the remote doesn't need a direct line of sight to work. 

MiLight

MiLight allows you to control your lights over a Wi-Fi network on any Android or iOS device. There are a ton of features and there are no remotes to lose. 

T3-M Controller



If you have a lot of lights to control independently of one another, and you only want one remote, then the T3M is the controller for you. The remote includes 18 pre-programmed changing modes and uses unique touch control technology. Not only can you control each receiver with the T3-M remote control, but with the 8 touch keys on the receiver you can switch the lights on or off, pause animations, as well as change modes, speed and LED brightness.

Eclipse 20-Key


This tiny controller comes with our most popular kit, the Eclipse Multicolor Kit, but it also works with any of our Luma10 Multicolor strips. The functionality rests between the R108 and 44-Key controllers. It uses an IR sensor, so it needs to be line of sight. The Eclipse Receiver is black, so it is easier to hide in some situations.


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