In line with versatility and embracing new technologies, strip lights have now become the in thing! These are LED emitters mounted on narrow circuit boards operating on low voltage. You may have seen these in homes and loved how variable their colors and brightness are and maybe thinking of getting some for your home. While you are on the right track by installing energy-efficient lighting in your home, getting the best-LED strip lights for your home is not as easy as it may look. We have come up with some important considerations to make to get the purchase right every time.
How many types of LED strip lights are there?
Usually, people bundle LED strip lights as one, which may have you thinking that you only have one option. However, this term refers to LED lights available in strip form. You have to consider how you will use the lights to figure out which types you will need. For example, when installing super long color-changing LED light strips, you have to think about where you will use them. Bathrooms and other moisture-prone areas require coated lights, while other spaces can work with pretty much any light. A porch or another space in the outdoors could use an aluminum panel LED strip light. To help you choose Lepro LED light strips for room based on suitability, consider these options:
- LED ropes: these are also known as encased flexible LED strip lights
- LED ribbons: these are the non-encased versions
- LED light bars: these are rigid LED strip lights
- Aluminum LED strip lights
- Self-adhesive LED strip lights
With all these options, you have to question how you will use the room and choose the best strip light for your home.
How long should the strip lights be?
Are you thinking of choosing your lights based on length? That would be a mistake. True, the length is important, but that is not the only thing you should consider. You can go ahead and choose the length that works for you. But as you do so, look at how many LEDs the light has per foot or another measurement. Why is this important? Your LED strip light might be long enough to cover your walkway, and you may feel that this makes it the right choice. However, if the lights are spaced far apart, the light will be spotty. You will end up with shimmers of light every few steps, and it will not have the awe-inspiring look you may have in mind.
How then can you figure out the number of LEDs per strip? Do manufacturers have a standard? Well, no! Every manufacturer is free to use as many or as few lights as they wish. What you see in one light might be worlds apart from what you see in another. It can be confusing when you see one manufacturer with 40 LEDs per foot, yet another has 100 LEDs per meter. Start by deciding on which unit of measure you want to use. It can be feet, yards, or meters. For example, you can choose to go with meters. In this case, you would see that the first manufacturer offers about 120 LEDs per meter, more than the second manufacturer. The first choice will be the best if you want bright and continuous light.
How bright should the strip lights be?
It’s now becoming increasingly common to hear people describing brightness in terms of lumens rather than watts. There was a time when people equated watts to brightness and often went for higher watt amounts. They now realize that watts measure energy use and have embraced LEDs with their low wattage yet high brightness. We now measure light output in lumens which is what we will use for this point.
LEDs have come a long way, and you can pretty much assume that the lights will be bright regardless of the wattage. However, you have to consider the lumens as they affect how well you can use the lights for specific tasks. For example, when lighting signs, you are better off using 500 to 750 lumens to create adequate brightness. Otherwise, the sign will not be so clear, and people might miss or disregard it. On the other hand, accent lighting does not need to be this bright; else, it will not serve its purpose. It would suit you better to use lumens in the range of 150 to 250.
Checking the number of lumens per light should be easy as most manufacturers readily provide this information. Please note that you still have to be careful with the units of measure. 150 lumens per meter will not be as bright as 150 lumens per foot. Be wary of this and make sure you do your conversions.
What colors are available?
Strip lights are known for their pomp, and you likely want to add some of this touch to your home. Take Christmas decorating lights as an example. Do you want to go with bland options? You’ll have two options.
The first is the non-addressable strip light which comes in only one color. On the plus side, it’s cheap and won’t strain your budget much. It’s also easy to install and works for situations where not much pomp is necessary.
For holidays, you may want to go with the addressable strip light that can display red-green-blue colors. You can control each light, making this the best option to add some color to any room. Your house will have a much better chance of winning Halloween, Christmas, and other holiday decoration awards. This lighting will cost you more and is not ideal for general home needs. But when you want to throw a fantastic party, you know where to turn.
Does color temperature matter?
Do you know that there’s a difference between light color and color temperature? The latter refers to the warmth of the color, not in terms of heat emission, but how it makes the room feel. For example, colors used in workspaces are cold whites as these are clear and very bright. In a dining area, people use warm whites as these create an ambient space.
Color temperature, measured in kelvins, is essential in achieving the perfect feel in your home. Aim for 5000-6000K for bathrooms, outdoors, and areas that need a lot of light. With bedrooms and other cozy spaces, work with 2700-3000K and get a soft white glow. Anything else in the home like your kitchen will fall between these extremes.
You can now go ahead and purchase your LED strip lights!