How to design an LED Light Strips System - A three part blog series [Part 3]

November 27, 2018 1 Comment

How to design an LED Light Strips System - A three part blog series [Part 3]

In this three part blog series we’ll be going through the steps you need to take to design your own LED light strip system. You can read part one here and part two here.

Part 3 : What do you need?

Now that you know what you want and you know what you have, you can use this information to determine what you need. When you’re done you should have a parts list, something like below, that lists everything you need for your installation.

1 x 60 WATT DC POWER SUPPLY (UL-LISTED) - 12 VOLT
1 x PREMIUM LUMA10 LED LIGHT STRIP, SINGLE COLOR (UL-LISTED) 16.4 FEET - HIGH DENSITY [IP-20] Color : Cool White
1 x 8MM SOLDERLESS LED LIGHT STRIP CONNECTORS AND EXTENSIONS : SINGLE COLOR Style: 6 Foot
1 x 8MM SOLDERLESS LED LIGHT STRIP CONNECTORS AND EXTENSIONS : SINGLE COLOR Style: Any Angle (4 Pack)
1 x SINGLE COLOR MINI DIAL DIMMER

Step 1 : Calculate total length of LED strip required



Back to the work we did in Part 2 - In our diagram, we see a total of 36, 30, and 30 inches - a total of 96 inches or eight feet.


Step 2 : Select strip and calculate total power draw.

Based on your work on requirements in Part 1(I want single colour strips in cool white for indoor use, controlled by a low voltage dial dimmer, and bright enough for task lighting.) use the  LED strip selector at HitLights.com to make your final selection. For this example, we’ll pick the  PREMIUM LUMA10 (5050) LED LIGHT STRIP, SINGLE COLOR (UL-LISTED) 16.4 FEET - HIGH DENSITY [IP-20] in Cool White. The specifications for that strip list a wattage requirement of 3.4 watts per foot, so our total power draw for eight feet of strip will be 27.2 Watts.

Step 3 : Select your power supply and control options

Here again, our previous work pays dividends. We already know we want a our strip to be‘controlled by a low voltage dial dimmer’, so let’s select an appropriate  dimmer. We won’t need a dimmable driver, so let’s select a non dimmable power supply rated for at least 27.2 Watts. This  60 Watt model will do the trick.

We now have a power supply, controller, and an LED strip - enough to turn on and get started. Our next step then is connectors.

Step 4 : Connectors

Aside from the power source, which per the specifications has more than enough cable to make the 30 inch gap, we need one connector to make a 90 degree bend in the cabinet corner and one to cross the gap by the sink. The corner is easily dealt with - the  any angle connectors come in a pack of four and will easily do the trick - the gap across the sink is a little tougher. We could jump that gap with a three foot (36 inch) connector, but just having it hang in the air isn’t ideal. Instead, let’s go all the way back to the wall, across, and back up.

Unfortunately, we neglected to get measurements for the depth of the cabinet (if you’re still on site, that would be an easy fix), but let’s make some simple assumptions and see where that gets us. Let’s assume they’re two feet, just like the width (24 inches). Our wire would then have to go back 24 inches, across 24 inches, and then back up 24 inches, for a total of 72 inches or six feet. While we do stock  six foot connector, let’s be sure that we’ll make it all the way and go up to the next size -  twelve feet. This is likely more than we need, but the excess can be tucked away. It’s better to be safe and have a little extra.

When choosing connectors, always make sure to select the size (width) appropriate for your strip so that they fit. In our case for the Luma10 strip, everything we need is 10mm wide.

Step 5 : Mounting and other considerations

While the LED strips do have mounting tape, for installations where they’ll be installed upside down (supporting their own weight) you might consider some additional  mounting hardware or other options (like glue). For the connector wire crossing the gap across the sink, you might consider some  wire clips.

Complete!

Now you're done! Did you accurately answer all three questions? Does your final list of what you NEED satisfy what you WANT in the space that you HAVE?

 


1 Response

Monte LaDow
Monte LaDow

November 27, 2018

Awesome detail. Nearly all my questions and concerns have been addressed. I’m ready to order!!

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