Upgrade Your LED Strip Light Installation: 5 Benefits of Aluminum Channels | Hitlights

One of the reasons people love LED strip lights is their simplicity. As one of our HitLights fans said it, “How much more simple can you get—spool, lights, tape, clips, boom; you got light.” We get what he’s saying. LED strip lights are known for their ease, their plug and play installation. But there are times and situations where you need a little more—a little more polish or a little more structure or a little bit more of a finished look to your LED strip lights. That’s where aluminum channels and diffusing covers come in. HitLights is pleased to offer three different types of aluminum channels that are sure to become your go-to accessory for your LED strip light project. As your experts in the industry, we are going to share with you the when, how, and why of aluminum channels with diffusing covers so you can choose the right product for your needs. And don’t worry—all these channel options are not going to make your lights complicated! With this explainer, you’re going to get all the benefits of using aluminum channels while keeping one of LED strips greatest strengths—simplicity. 

Table of Contents:

Are LED channels necessary?

While LED strip lights can be applied directly to many surfaces, there are several circumstances where using an aluminum channel to install LED strip lights will make your project easier, better looking, and longer lasting. For example, LED strip lights work best with a smooth, even surface. If you have an uneven surface, using an aluminum channel provides you that smooth surface for optimal installation. If there is a chance that your LED strip—meaning the strip itself—will be seen, using an aluminum channel with a cover gives your installation a more professional, finished look. If you are putting in an LED strip light in an area that may collect dust or is generally inaccessible (like in coving or crown molding in a living room) the aluminum channel with a cover provides protection from dust settling or gathering on the strip. The option to use an aluminum channel can give you options for proper placement, aesthetics, cleanliness, and longevity. 

What kinds of LED strip light channels are there?

HitLights is pleased to offer a variety of aluminum channels with covers, perfect for whatever you’re trying to achieve with your LED strip lights. All of our channels are made with anodized extruded aluminum, providing you strength and easy heat dissipation. Choose from surface mounted; corner mounted; or recessed mounted styles of aluminum channels with complimentary covers. How are each of these aluminum channels different? A quick breakdown of each:

Surface Mounted Aluminum Channel (A-A1507-SM-5PKS)

This channel is a great choice for many of the most popular LED strip light uses. The cover of the channel is flat. The sides of the channel are slightly angled (giving it the “u” appearance in cross section.) The channel can be cut to fit exactly where you need it. Opt for this channel if you are putting in LED strip lights in your closet; under cabinets; back splashes and other similar places. 

Corner Mounted Aluminum Channel (A-A1616-CM-5PKS)

The favorite of the LED strip light superfan. This channel is a 45-degree body with a rounded quarter arc cover. An angled surface runs the length of the channel (this is where you place the LED strip light.) If you’ve ever seen videos of Smart home enthusiasts with LED strip lights outlining the corners of a room, this is what they use. Other popular uses for the corner mounted channels are on stair nosings; bookshelves; some cabinets; anywhere you’re trying to work with an angle and install LED strip lights. Like with all our HitLights aluminum channels, this 5-pack comes with all the clips and mounting hardware you need to get these placed and hung in a snap.

Recessed Mounted Aluminum Channel (A-A1706-RM-5PKS)

Don’t gimme any lip—unless you’re talking about the lip on the recessed mounted aluminum channel. The lip we mean here is part of the aluminum body of the channel, allowing for this application to rest on a groove and give a recessed appearance to your LED strip light. The cover on this channel has a slight arc, a mild defense against settling dust and other normal wear and tear. Cut this channel for a perfect fit; enjoy the easy installation and the fact that most LED strip lights fit this channel without any hassle. 

What are LED strip light aluminum channel covers?

Let’s talk about the covers that go with these aluminum channels for a moment. The technical name (which we know you love knowing) is diffuser lens. The technical name explains a lot. If you are looking for a method of softening the light output of an LED strip light, the cover to an aluminum channel will provide a diffusing effect, creating a pleasant glow. If you like the look of LED strips, but don’t want a polka dot appearance that comes with the diodes of LEDs, the diffuser lens solves this. 

We’ve already illustrated how these covers provide protection from dust and other debris, but you can also imagine how the diffuser lens gives additional protection from splashes; lights getting touched or bumped. The covering is multifunction and may even be the reason you select to use an aluminum channel for your LED strip light plans. 

Do LED strips stick to metal?

Yes! We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: much of the success of your LED strip light installation comes down to the quality of your double stick tape. HitLights has exactly the double sided, heavy duty, nice-n-sticky tape you need for any LED strip light project you can think of. Check out all of our tape collection here. We love talking tape so much, plus we want to make sure you get the right tape for your job, you can always consult with our team to make sure you are getting all the parts, tape, and accessories you need.

What are the benefits of using aluminum channels with LED strip lights? 

Let’s pull it all together before you go shopping for the set of HitLights aluminum channels for your LED strip lights. There are plenty of reasons people use aluminum channels for their LED strip lights, the top five reasons are: perfectly straight lines and smooth surfaces; allow you to place strip lights in visible locations (where you otherwise would not install LED strips); protection from dust, debris, bumping, touching; soften the look of the light output; using an aluminum channel with a cover gives your LED strip light a completed, polished, professional appearance.

  1. Perfectly straight lines and smooth surfaces

Achieve straight, clean lines for your lights and create the optimal environment (namely a smooth, even surface) on which to place your strip lights. This will help your lights last as long as possible and look their best.

  1. Place strips in visible locations (where you otherwise might not)

You can love LED strip lights without having to love looking at an actual strip. (And hey, if you like the look of a strip—more power to ya!) But if you want the light output of an LED strip without having to see the strip, installing the LED strip light into a channel is the solution for you. This is especially a nice option for LED strip light lovers who want to experiment with modern looks like lining the corners of a room with LED strip lights or lining a window with LED strips. You get the light without the visible strip. 

  1. Extra Protection for the LED strip light

Even in the cleanest house, there’s some dust. Even in the most careful homes, things get bumped or nudged. Even if something is placed out of reach, it can accidentally get touched. In all of these circumstances, an aluminum channel with a diffuser lens cover gives you that little bit extra protection for your LED strip light. By keeping the LED strip light covered, you are well on the way to getting the maximum life and beauty out of your lights. 

  1. Soften the look of the light produced by the strip

Sometimes it’s all about the diffuser lens. Yeah, the aluminum channel is great, but there are instances where what you are really after is the appearance created by the diffuser lens cover. Go for the glow. If you are looking for a softer, more diffuse look of the light or want to avoid the polka dot look of uncovered, raw LED diodes, you know what to do—get that channel with a diffuser lens cover. 

  1. Achieve the most complete, finished, and professional look you can

Picture an old school incandescent bulb. You wouldn’t just pop one of those babies into a light fixture and leave it uncovered, would you? Why not? Because it might look janky, ill-suited, unattractive, and the light output probably would look harsh and jarring. Aluminum channels are like the fixture for your LED strip lights. When you use a channel with a diffuser lens, the LED strip lights look finished and complete. It’s a style factor that allows the lights to blend into the environment better and give an overall professional feel. You’ll love how your LED strip lights look once they're installed with any of our HitLights aluminum channels.

Need help to get started? Our team is ready to help you out now. Whether you need help selecting the right aluminum channel for your installation or you want helpful tips about connecting entire circuits of lights, our knowledgeable tech team is ready to help you get all the items you need to make your LED strip light project come to life. Call us today at 1 (855) 768-4135 to talk aluminum channels or diffuser lenses or anything else you want help on. We're ready to talk!

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