Table of Contents:
- Installing Flexible LED Strip Lights in Difficult Areas
- What Are Flexible LED Strip Lights?
- Why Use Flexible LED Strip Lights?
- How Do You Choose the Right Flexible LED Strip Lights for Your Project?
- How Do You Install Flexible LED Strip Lights in Difficult Areas?
- Add High-End Lighting Effects With Flexible LED Strip Lights
Installing Flexible LED Strip Lights in Difficult Areas
Whether individuals or businesses, today's clients are looking for the "wow factor," the unique touches that set their homes or offices apart from the rest. How do you make a space completely unique while staying within budget and in the style of the area? One of the best ways to accomplish this is with flexible LED strip lights that can be installed in many challenging configurations.
What Are Flexible LED Strip Lights?
LED or light-emitting diodes are tiny light sources that are highly efficient, using only 10% of the energy of traditional bulbs. To power the lights, electricity passes through a microchip, while the heat is absorbed into a heat sink, making this type of lighting cool to the touch and safe for a variety of applications.
A flexible LED light strip has diodes applied to a pliable circuit board that you can install almost anywhere using the adhesive backing. They come in a variety of colors, wattages, and lengths. You can also find water-resistant or waterproof LED light strips and components.
Why Use Flexible LED Strip Lights?
This versatile lighting option is useful in illuminating spaces where it traditionally has been difficult or unsafe to fit lighting, such as on bookshelves, under cabinets, inside pantries, near water, and in outdoor areas and other dim spots. There are many advantages to using pliable LED strip lighting in your projects.
They Are Bright
Traditional fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs shine light in all directions. In contrast, LED lighting is directional. You can change the focus of the light by applying the strips in different orientations, such as forming it into an angle or curving it around a shape. Because they use energy so efficiently, LEDs are very bright without requiring much power.
They Are Versatile
Flexible LED strip lights can be used in many applications where lighting is typically uncommon. They can also replace outdated lighting with a more efficient, modern, and economical option. While LED lighting is known for its brightness, it also comes in different voltages, wattages, colors, and shades of white.
This type of LED strip lighting can be made even more versatile with dimmable lighting components. Dimmable strip lights let the user choose their brightness for different times of the day. You can also change the appearance of the light source from spaced dots of light to a smooth stream of consistent light by changing from a standard to a high-density strip, which has twice the number of diodes.
They Are Easy To Maintain
One of the most compelling reasons to use flexible LED strip lights is no more changing bulbs! There is little required maintenance as long as you get quality UL-listed LED lighting strips, choose the ones best suited to the application and location conditions, and install them properly.
They Are Long-Lasting
Most LED lights have a useful life of between 20,000 and 50,000 hours. As with any product, the expected life is determined by a number of factors. First, the best performance comes from choosing the appropriate wattage and using the corresponding power supply. Matching the voltage between the strips and the power supply is essential, as using a power supply that is too strong for the LED light voltage could cause it to burn out much quicker than if they are paired correctly.
They Can Be Used in a Variety of Applications
Flexible LED strip lights are so popular because they can be used in so many ways. Tight spaces where it may be difficult or impossible to put a traditional lamp or sconce are ideal for LED light strips. Small spaces are another application that is well-suited to flexible strip lights, as they can be cut to any size. You can even hide them inside of or underneath cabinets and shelving.
Outdoor lighting can be a challenge. LED lighting strips can be used with the appropriate weatherproofing components in areas exposed to the elements. Waterproof LED light strips are ideal for damp areas like pools, bathrooms, or close to sinks or other water sources.
They Come in Many Colors
The diodes in LED strip lights are actually small semiconductors. The color of the diodes depends on how much energy it takes for the released photons to cross the semiconductor's bands. They come in a variety of shades of white, as well as amber, red, blue, and green. The white lights are made by combining colored lights or using phosphor to add a yellowish hue.
How Do You Choose the Right Flexible LED Strip Lights for Your Project?
With all the lighting options available, it helps to know the best practices for choosing the right LED light strips for your projects. The following tips will help you get the best results:
- Choose a quality supplier: No matter what you are buying, you can't overestimate the importance of dealing with a reputable supplier. You must understand the quality not only of the products but of the customer experience so that you can be assured any problems will be handled quickly and professionally. HitLights puts verified customer reviews directly on our website for full transparency into the customers' satisfaction.
- Assess how the lights will be used: Do you need to adapt the light to varying lengths or fit around irregular shapes? Will they be used indoors or outdoors? Do they need to be dimmable? You can choose HitLights flexible LED strip lights in a wide variety of lengths, densities, colors, water resistance, and premium UL-listed or standard product lines.
- Determine the appropriate power supply for the wattage: Use the rule of 80% when choosing the correct power supply. For example, if you have a 10-foot LED light strip that uses 4.4 watts per foot, to find the max power needed, multiply 4.4 x 10. The result is 44 watts, representing the total power the strip will use. To ensure you only use 80% of the power supply, multiply 44 x 1.2. You'll need a power supply that is rated for at least 52.8 watts.
How Do You Install Flexible LED Strip Lights in Difficult Areas?
One of the most compelling characteristics of LED light strips is their ability to conform to complex geometries. It is also very easy to accomplish with the right approach.
Installing LED Strip Lights on Shelves
When installing on shelves, first, sketch out your design so you can keep the components hidden. If you are lighting multiple shelves, sketching out your design helps you determine where to connect the strips so that you leave adequate room for them.
To avoid a voltage drop when connecting multiple reels, you need to determine if the length of the shelves will exceed the maximum run length. If your strip has a maximum run length of two reels and you need three, you'll have to add the third strip directly to the power source. If you need more, keep in mind you can only connect two at a time before connecting the next joined pair at the power source to avoid experiencing a voltage drop.
Installing LED Strip Lights Around Curves or Corners
Cut the strip in the cutting mark and simply connect to the two lengths of light strips, then place the connection points close together in the corner and use any angle connector. For added security, consider the appropriate mounting supplies to supplement the adhesive backing, such as aluminum channels or heavy-duty foam tape.
Installing LED Strip Lights on Stairways
Avoid any missed steps at night or in low-light areas by adding flexible LED strip lights. There are multiple options for placement, such as:
- Underlighting your stair treads
- On the sides of each tread
- In the middle of the riser
- Under a handrail
- Along the wall trim above the steps
Determine whether you want the option to change colors or have only white lights. If white, decide on cool or warm tones. Follow the same steps as with shelf lighting to avoid voltage drops and keep the components hidden. Consider adding a dimmer switch and driver to adjust the light as needed so it is bright enough to highlight the steps at night without lighting up the whole room or blinding a person as they go up or down the stairs.