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LED Strips Purchase Guide



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The LED strips come in many different versions. The power, the light rendering, the width of the band, the waterproof standards... So many things to know, but also so many beautiful things to achieve with these strips. The applications are multiple, behind a TV stand, under high kitchen furniture to illuminate the worktop, in a closet or dressing room, but also in a cornice in indirect lighting, under a bar or a light sign, a storefront ... The list is non-exhaustive so it's up to you to create your project to transform your objects, rooms, spaces ... But first, let's approach the basics of this product.

The choice of this product is based on these criterias: length, width, power, number of LEDs, watertightness. Let's go through all these elements one by one ...

Length


bande2It is important to define the length beforehand, because depending on the type of strip - waterproof strips for instance - it is not possible to cut them without going through welding. Length is also important to choose the power supply. You should also know that you cannot put several lengths of led strip behind each other in series indefinitely. Why ? Simply because at some point, the strip will lose intensity and therefore the light power will fade gradually. We observed that on average, after 15 meters, it is best to plug a second power supply to avoid the loss of light intensity.


Width



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You must know that all LED strips are not the same width. Most often, you will find 8 to 15mm ones. 8mm LED strips are more likely to hold SMD3528 small leds and 10-15mm ones hold SMD5050 and SMD5730 LEDs, much more powerful than SMD3528 LEDs. By the way, what is said previously does not make sense to you? It is quite simple, SMD3528 is a led measuring 3.5mm by 2.8mm. For your information, the SMD3528 LED diffuses about 7 lumens, the SMD5050 14 Lumens and the SMD5730 60 Lumens.



Power


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Like for LED bulbs, you must be careful not to rely on the value in watts because it only defines the value of the consumption and not the power output. The lumen value is the only one to take into account when choosing the output power needed for your project. For the calculation of your power supply, it is extremely simple, you just have to multiply the value in watt / meter indicated on the data sheet by the length in meters needed. Once the result is obtained, add 20% and choose the nearest superior power supply. The 20% is a security to avoid overheating issues.


Number of LEDs



bande2The amount of LED is important, because in addition to the power, it will also control the light output and the "point by point" effect. This effect is not so much noticeable on the 60 leds, 120 leds versions and more/per meter. You must then pay attention to 30 and less LEDS/meter LED strips.




Watertightness

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Depending on your needs, you will or will not need waterproof LED strips. Generally the non-waterproof strips are IP33. For waterproof strips, you can find standards between IP64 and IP68. Here is the definition of these standards:


IP

1st digit = Protection from dust

2nd digit = Protection contre l’eau

0

Non-protected

Non-protected

1

Protected against solid objects greater than 50mm

Protected against dripping water

2

Protected against solid objects greater than 12mm

Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15°

3

Protected against solid objects greater than 2.5mm

Protected against spraying water

4

Protected against solid objects greater than 1.0mm

Protected against splashing water

5

Dust-protected

Protected against water jets

6

Dust-tight

Protected against heavy seas

7

-

Protected against the effects of immersion

8

-

Protected against immersion

Important

Non-waterproof LED strips can be simply cut and then connected with connectors available on the website. But waterproof LED strips are covered with silicon and cannot be connected without a little welding.

Specifications: the connection to the power supply is easily made for monochrome strips; the + of the strip on the + of the supply and the - of the strip on the - of the supply.


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