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        LED Light Strips | The Complete Guide

          ■  Updated: January 22, 2024
        LED Light Strips | The Complete Guide image

        Welcome to the world of LED light strips, where we'll explore how these versatile LED lighting solutions can transform your home, office, outdoor, and other spaces. In this guide, we aim to educate you about everything LED Strip Lighting. We'll start by explaining what LED strip lights are and how they work, making it easy to grasp the basics. Then, we'll share practical tips from our experience on choosing the right ones for your specific needs, both indoors and outdoors, with a focus on simplicity. We'll also answer common questions, such as whether you can cut them and how to install them effectively. To ensure you have a complete understanding, we'll touch upon any potential disadvantages and provide insights into the best LED strip lights on the market. Let's make your journey into LED strip lighting as straightforward as flipping a switch!

        There’s a lot of information here, so we’ve put together a table of contents so you can jump straight to your preferred starting point.

        Table of Contents 


        What Are LED Strip Lights?

        Let's shed some light on the intriguing world of LED strip lighting. Have you ever wondered what exactly LED strip lights are and how they work their magic? Well, you're in the right place to find out. LED strip lighting is like the modern superhero of illumination. It's a flexible circuit board with tiny light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emitting bright and energy-efficient light. These LED lights come in various colours, so you can choose the one that suits your mood or decor best. Think of them as the versatile paintbrushes of the lighting world, allowing you to create stunning lighting effects and accents in your spaces.

        But how do they work their magic? Well, it's all about the diodes. When an electric current flows through these tiny semiconductor chips, they emit light. The exciting part is that you can control the brightness and colour of the light by adjusting the voltage. This level of control lets you set the perfect ambience for any room, from warm and cozy to bright and invigorating.

        How to Choose the Right LED Strip Lights?

        Selecting the right LED strip lights can make all the difference in achieving your desired lighting effect. First off, think about the brightness you need. LED strip lights come in brightness levels measured in Lumens. For task lighting, like under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen, you'll want something brighter, around 500 to 700 lumens per meter. However, a lower brightness level of 100 to 300 lumens per meter may suffice for ambient lighting or decorative purposes.

        Colour temperature is another factor. Warmer temperatures (around 2700-3000 Kelvin) create a cozy, yellowish glow, ideal for living rooms and bedrooms. Meanwhile, cooler temperatures (around 4000-5000 Kelvin) emit a whiter, more daylight-like light, which works well in kitchens and workspaces.

        White or RGB (Colour)?

        White LED Strip Lights

        The choice between white and RGB (Red, Green, Blue) LED strip lights primarily comes down to the kind of ambience you want to create. White LED strip lights are perfect for functional and task-oriented lighting. They offer a range of shades from warm to cool white, making them suitable for various applications like kitchens, offices, and under-cabinet lighting. On the other hand, RGB LED strip lights are all about adding a splash of vibrant, mood-enhancing colour to your space. They're great for creating dynamic and eye-catching lighting displays, perfect for accentuating entertainment areas, bars, or parties. So, your decision depends on whether you need practical illumination or desire to infuse some colourful flair into your environment.

        RGB LED Strip Lights

        RGB LED strip lights do not only produce red, green, or blue. Nope, these little wonders combine those three colours—red, green, and blue—right into one tiny LED. RGB LED Light Strips can give you a whole rainbow of colours, making any space feel alive and dynamic.

        Now, consider the flexibility and size of your LED strip lights. If you plan to install them in tight corners or irregular spaces, choose a flexible strip that can bend without breaking. It's essential to check the quality and reliability of the LED strip lights you're considering. High-quality LED strips will last longer and provide consistent, flicker-free lighting. Choosing the right LED strip lights involves considering brightness, colour temperature, flexibility, size, and quality. By carefully assessing these factors, you'll be well on your way to creating the perfect lighting ambience for your space.

        Example of LED Light Strip with Specifications:

        Where to Use LED Strip Lighting in your Home?

        Kitchen: LED strip lights work wonders under kitchen cabinets. They provide bright, focused lighting for food prep and cooking. You can also place them under the floor cabinets to match the ones under the kitchen cabinets. Just ensure your LED Strip Lights in the kitchen are waterproof (IP65). An IP65 waterproof rating means that the device or product is protected against dust and low-pressure water jets, making it suitable for kitchen and outdoor use, ensuring it can withstand various weather conditions without damage.

        Living Room: In the living room, LED strips can add a touch of elegance. Install them along shelves, behind your TV unit, or under your sofa for a soft, ambient glow. It's perfect for movie nights or setting a cozy atmosphere when entertaining guests.

        Bedroom: LED strips behind your headboard or around your bed frame can create a soothing and romantic ambience. You can install them in your wardrobe or closet for efficient, no-fuss lighting.

        Bathroom: Brighten up your bathroom with LED strips along the mirror or under cabinets. They provide excellent task lighting for your daily routine and add a touch of spa-like luxury to your space.

        Hallways and Staircases: LED strips can illuminate hallways and staircases for added safety and a touch of style. No more stumbling in the dark during late-night trips to the kitchen.

        Remember, the key is to be creative and consider the mood and functionality you want for each space. With LED strip lighting, the possibilities are virtually endless.

        Consider LED Strip Lighting to Brighten Your Outdoor Space

        Let's step out into the great outdoors and discuss how LED strip lighting can elevate your outdoor spaces. If you love hosting barbecues or evening gatherings, consider placing LED strip lights under the eaves or along the perimeter of your outdoor area. It'll make your space look fantastic and provide ample lighting for your outdoor soirées. LED Strip Lights are energy-efficient and create a welcoming and cozy atmosphere. They can be installed along railings, under awnings, or even along pathways to guide your way. LED strip lighting is also a game-changer when it comes to safety. It ensures that steps and pathways are well-lit, reducing the risk of accidents during those twilight hours. When looking for outdoor LED Lighting, always choose IP65 or higher to ensure the product will suit the outdoor conditions.

        Smart LED Strip Lights

        Smart LED light strips are flexible strips of LEDs that can be used to add ambience, accent lighting, or even functional lighting to any room. A smartphone or app or voice assistant (e.g. Google or Alexa) controls them so that you can change the colours, brightness, and patterns of the light with a few taps or commands. Smart LED light strips are available in various lengths and colours so that you can find the perfect one for your needs. They are also relatively easy to install so you can set them up yourself in minutes.

        Here are some of the benefits of using smart LED light strips:

        • They can be used to create various lighting effects, from subtle mood lighting to dramatic party lighting.
        • They can be controlled remotely, so you can change the lights even when you're not home.
        • They can be programmed to turn on and off automatically or to change colours at certain times of the day.
        • They can be used to sync with music or other audio, creating a truly immersive experience.

        If you're looking for a versatile and easy-to-use way to add lighting to your home, smart LED light strips are a great option.

        5 Things to Ask Yourself When Choosing LED Strip Lights

        1. What is my intended purpose for the LED strip lights?

        Consider the primary use of the LED strip lights, whether it's for creating ambient lighting, task lighting, or adding decorative accents to a space.

        2. What is the desired colour temperature or RGB options?

        Decide on the preferred lighting colour temperature, such as warm white for a cosy atmosphere or cool white for functional lighting. Alternatively, consider RGB options if you want the flexibility to change colours for various effects.

        3. How long of an LED strip do I need?

        Begin by measuring the exact length of the area where you intend to install the LED strip lights. It's a good practice to add a small buffer to your measurements. This buffer can account for any minor adjustments needed during installation or for accommodating the LED strip's connectors. Adding an extra 5-10% to your measurement is usually sufficient.

        4. Do I need any additional accessories?

        Determine if you need any additional accessories like dimmers or controllers for brightness and colour adjustments. If you plan to install the LED strips in damp or outdoor areas, consider waterproof or weather-resistant options.

        5. What is my budget for LED strip lights?

        Set a budget for your LED strip light purchase. While budget-friendly options are available, investing in higher-quality LED strips can offer better longevity, performance, and reliability in the long run. Smart LED Light Strips might be a bit more expensive, but the benefits and convenience often outweigh the investment. Consider the trade-offs between cost and quality when making your decision. 

        Can You Cut LED Strip Lights?

        YES! LED strip lights are incredibly flexible and versatile, making them a popular choice for various lighting projects. You can cut them to size without any hassle, ensuring they fit perfectly into your space. The magic happens at designated cut points marked on the strip. Just grab a pair of scissors or LED strip-cutting tools, follow the marked lines, often with a ✂️ symbol, and snip away.

        This flexibility allows you to customise your lighting to fit any area. Whether working on a DIY project, accentuating your kitchen cabinets, or creating unique lighting designs, cutting LED strip lights to the desired length is simple and convenient. Just remember to choose the right length and plan your cuts carefully to achieve the desired lighting effect.

        How to Install LED Strip Lights

        Installing LED strip lights – it's easier than you might think! First, ensure you have all the necessary components: your LED strip lights, a power source (usually an LED driver or transformer), and some connectors if you need to link multiple strips.

        Measure and Plan: Before sticking anything down, measure the length of the area you want to install the LED strips. Cut your LED strips to fit this length, keeping in mind the designated cut points.

        Clean the Surface: Ensure the surface where you're sticking the strips is clean and dry. You want a good bond for your strips to stay in place.

        Peel and Stick: LED strips usually come with adhesive backing. Peel off the protective cover and carefully stick the strips where you want them. Be precise, as it can be challenging to reposition them once they're stuck.

        Connect and Power: If you're working with multiple strips, use connectors to link them together. Then, connect the strips to the LED driver. Finally, plug the LED driver into a power source.

        Test and Enjoy: Turn on the power, and voilà! Your LED strip lights should be illuminating your space. You can also explore dimmers or remote controls for added convenience.

        What Are the Disadvantages of LED Light Strips?

        Let's talk about LED light strips and the potential downsides. While LED strips have many advantages, it's essential to be aware of their limitations.

        1. Limited Colour Rendering Index (CRI): One notable drawback is that LED strips may not render colours as accurately as some other lighting sources. LED strips might not be your best bet if you need precise colour representation, like in a photography studio.

        2. Heat Buildup: LED strips are highly energy-efficient but can still generate heat, especially if they're run at high brightness for extended periods. Ensuring proper ventilation and avoiding covering the strips is crucial to prevent overheating.

        3. Initial Cost: LED strip lights can save you money in the long run due to their energy efficiency, but the upfront cost can be higher than traditional lighting options. However, this initial investment typically pays off in energy savings over time.

        4. Installation: Installing LED strips is slightly more complex than screwing in a lightbulb. If you're uncomfortable with electrical work, consulting an electrician to ensure a safe and proper installation is a good idea.

        Despite these disadvantages, LED light strips remain a fantastic choice for many lighting needs. Being aware of their limitations allows you to make an informed decision and effectively address potential drawbacks.

        Which LED Light Strip Are the Best?

        Let's shed some light on finding the best LED strip lights for your needs. With so many options out there, it can be a bit overwhelming but fear not, we'll help you navigate the choices.

        Brightness Matters: Regarding LED strip lights, brightness is a crucial factor. Look for the number of lumens per meter to gauge how bright the strips are. For task lighting or accenting, you might want something brighter (around 500-700 lumens per meter), while for ambient lighting, a lower brightness (around 100-300 lumens per meter) should do the trick.

        Colour Quality: The quality of light matters too. Check the Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of the LED strips. Higher CRI values mean better colour accuracy. So, if you want your space to look its best, opt for LED strips with a high CRI.

        Ease of Installation: Consider how easy it is to install the LED strips. Look for strips with adhesive backing for simple sticking. Some come with connectors, making it a breeze to link multiple strips. The simpler the installation, the better.

        Quality Brands: Consider going for reputable brands with good customer reviews. Here at Sparky Direct we stock reliable manufacturers and offer warranties, giving you peace of mind that your LED strips will last.

        Customisation: If you're into DIY projects, check if the LED strips are cuttable and linkable. This flexibility allows you to customise your lighting to fit any area.

        Smart Features: For added convenience, you should explore LED strips with smart features that can be controlled via your smartphone or voice commands.

        Wrapping Up

        I really hope you enjoyed The Complete Guide to LED Light Strips. LED Strip Lighting is all about your creativity and your choice of illumination. We've taken you through the basics, explaining how these versatile lighting solutions work and why they're a fantastic choice for transforming your spaces. From choosing the right LED strip lights to practical tips for installation, we've aimed to educate and simplify the entire process for you.

        Best LED Strip Lights Australia

        Now, armed with knowledge and practical know-how, you're ready to shop for your ideal LED Strip Light. Here at Sparky Direct, we ship the best LED Strip Lights and all other products lightning-fast Australia-wide. Check out our huge range of LED Strip Lights