LED Interior Tape Lighting – Buyers Guide
LED lights have become increasing popular over recent years for a wide variety of uses. The fact that they use minimal power and can be placed in so many different areas around the home and garden make them ideal for multiple uses. LED stands for light emitting diode, it is a simple two lead semiconductor that once energy passes through it the diode will emit light, hence the name.
LED lights, as I have already said, have a wide range of uses and some of these include the following:
- Business Use
- Cars, boats and RV’s.
- Art Work
LED strip lights are simply a strip of LED’s that can be placed wherever you want them. The come in a wide range of colours too such as red, green, blue, yellow and purple. This means that they can easily be adapted to fit into any rooms décor to enhance it by providing an accent lighting feature. It can be used to add some subtle light to the kitchen or something funkier to your bathroom, with the use of waterproof LED strip lights, or even your bed itself. The limit to its uses are really only your imagination as these lights are very flexible and can be put up almost anywhere.
There are a few points to think about before making a purchase and they are important.
The first point to think about and look into is the type of transformer you will need. Just to be clear, LED strip lights need an ELD transformer to work if you are planning on wiring them into your home electrical circuit. This is because they run a lower wattage than other appliances and the normal level of power will blow them immediately. Now the type of transformer that is required will; depending on several other factors such as the length if the strip being used, the watts per chip and of course the total wattage of the strip.
A rough guide is to allow 5 watts per meter for 60 small chips, 10 watts per meter for 120 small chips and 15 watts per meter for 60 large chips and nit is best to add about another 15-20% on top of that just to be one the safe side. An example of this is a 5 meter strip with 60 small chips in it will require a 30 watt LED transformer. Just remember to check the chip size and amount per meter prior to purchasing so you know which transformer size you will need as there is nothing more annoying than getting home and getting started on the project only to find you don’t have the relevant parts needed for the job.
You can also opt for the plug and go kits that have a varying amount of LED lights attached to a normal plug, this option does require less technical know-how but does mean you need to have a spare plug socket in the vicinity of the area you wish to illuminate.
The brightness of the strip lighting will depend greatly on the amount and size of the LED’s in the strip you are using. The number of LED’s, or chips, per meter varies from 60 per meter up to 120 per meter. There are also two sizes of LED, SMD 3528 are 3.5mm by 2.8mm and have a wattage of 0.08 per LED. SMD 5050 are 5mm by 5mm, hence the bigger of the two and have a wattage use of 0.24 W per LED.
All you need to do in order to get the lights working is connect the strip of LED’s to the transformer and then connect the transformer either to a normal plug or directly to your mains. Of course, if you are going directly to your mains and you’re not a qualified electrician please do not try this yourself and call someone in to do it for you.
If you are installing a multi-coloured strip, or RGB, then the process is a little different as it will need a controller.
There are of course the classics such as warm and cool whites but the variety of colours is enough to create a full on rainbow if you felt so inclined. Just remember that if you are going to multi-coloured you will need to make sure you have a controller for it, the controller will allow you to select a colour and brightness which can add that extra touch of ambiance when needed.
So, there we have it in a nutshell. Where and what you chose to illuminate it entirely up to you, get creative and make your house a home with the addition of the useful little lights.