Choosing LED strip for home
Plain or multicolor?
The first thing you should decide when choosing which type of LED strip you need in a house or apartment. Today, there are single-color products that can only shine in white, blue, red or green, as in the photo below.
An alternative is multicolor (RGB), which can change its color according to the controller signals, which you will control. To choose a good LED strip, first you need to figure out its purpose. For decorative lighting of the room it is better to choose the RGB option. For high-quality illumination of the work area - countertops in the kitchen or a table with tools in the garage, we recommend choosing a plain white ribbon.
The brightness of the glow is affected by the LEDs that are installed in the product. Now led strip manufacturers can install LEDs like SMD3528, SMD5050 or SMD5630. The four numbers in the marking indicate the dimensions of the light sources themselves. For example, "3528" makes it clear that the size of the LED is 3.5 * 2.8 mm, which is clearly seen in the picture below.
Accordingly, the larger the dimensions, the better the brightness of the LED glow. To make it easier for you, we will provide the luminous flux of each type of LED:
- SMD3528 - 5 Lumens;
- SMD5050 - 15 Lumens;
- SMD5630 - 18 Lumens.
At the same time, in order to choose an LED strip by brightness, you must determine the number of LEDs per 1 meter of the product. The minimum number of light sources per meter is 30, the maximum is 240 for the SMD3528, 120 for the SMD5050 and 72 for the SMD 5630.
The higher the density of the LEDs, the correspondingly brighter the backlight. By the way, the power of the lighting device depends on this parameter. If you do not know how to choose an LED strip for power, consider the following advice:
- For local lighting or, for example, shelf lighting in the closet a tape with a power of not more than 10 W / m is enough.
- For main lighting, the power should be higher, at least 14.4 W / m.
The next, no less important selection criterion is the power and type of the power source (block) itself. To correctly choose the power of the LED strip power supply it is enough to calculate how much the LEDs themselves consume and add to this value a power reserve of 20%.
For example, you have chosen a product with SMD 3528 LEDs (placement density 60 pcs / meter). The power consumption of such LED strip is 4.8 W / m according to the table below.
Total, for 5 meters, consumption will be 24 watts + a supply of 4.8 watts, in total - 29 watts. To illuminate the ceiling or shelves you need to choose a power supply with a characteristic of at least 30 watts, preferably more. Similarly, with this calculation, you need to select the controller if you use a multi-color (RGB) tape.
In addition, it is important to correctly select the voltage of the LED strip itself, the power supply and the controller. Most often, LEDs operating on 12 Volts are used. Accordingly, the power supply must be selected 220-12v. The controller is selected for the same voltage.
By function, the controllers can be quite diverse. Dear models allow you to smoothly change the brightness and color of the glow. In cheaper button controllers, you can only select 1 of 4 colors.
You can find out more useful information about power supplies by watching this video:
To independently choose a high-quality LED strip, just look at it and see how the resistors and LEDs are soldered. If the soldering is of poor quality - the elements are installed crookedly, it is better to find another store or at least a manufacturer.
Also, when choosing, we advise you to pay attention to the characteristics of the resistors. In quality products, the resistance of the resistors is at least 150 Ohms (marking 151) or 300 Ohms (301). If the LED strip is cheap and of dubious quality, the resistor may have a resistance of 100 ohms (101).
Well, the last thing we advise you to pay attention to is the rigidity of the base itself, to which the LEDs are attached. If the LED strip easily bends, then the current-carrying paths are quite thin, which will negatively appear on the life of such a product and, no less important, the quality of the glow of the extreme LEDs.
Degree of protection
As you understand, there are several options for the design of LED strip - reliably protected from moisture and dust, partially protected and completely unprotected. Roughly speaking, the design can be silicone and silicone-free. The first version is recommended to be used outdoors, as well as in places with the probability of moisture. For example, if you want to do hidden floor lighting, it is better to choose a protected LED strip, because there is a chance to wet it with wet cleaning. In order to simply make the shelves in the cabinet light, just pick a model without protection.
By the way, by the same principle, you need to choose a power supply. For street use use products IP degree of protection which have at least IP65. For home use, it is enough to put a power supply with IP20 characteristic, if it is, of course, not a bathroom.
Today, the best manufacturers of LED strip are firms Elektrostandard and Gauss. The cost of the products of these companies, of course, is high, but the price justifies the quality. If you want to choose a cheaper option, we recommend paying attention to, although Chinese, but still quite popular manufacturers - Feron and MAXUS.
So we came to the final part of the article - tips for choosing LED strip for each room. Next, we will briefly consider how to choose a product by brightness, degree of protection and color for different types of rooms.
In the garage, to illuminate the working area, it is better to choose a waterproof tape of a bright white glow. In this case, it will be more convenient to wipe it from dust, and you can work in a well-lit area. We recommend choosing the same version for lighting the countertops in the kitchen. If you want to install the LED strip under the cabinets above the kitchen apron, select one-color white LEDs coated with epoxy.
For the main lighting of a suspended or suspended ceiling in the living room, it is better to choose a bright single-color LED strip placed in a special profile along the contour of the ceiling. In this case, the light will be a little dim, as in the photo below, but still quite suitable for these rooms.
In the hall and bedroom, it is recommended to use the RGB model to give the interior a more original look. In addition, using the controller, you can always change the color to a darker / brighter one.
For the bathroom, we recommend using a waterproof version, including the power supply. If you want to make the mirror backlight or niches, we recommend choosing an RGB tape.
The children's room does not need to do too bright lighting. Therefore, to illuminate one of the zones, for example, the gaming one, it is better to pick up the LEDs of a dimmed glow, and already use a table lamp for study.
That's all I wanted to tell you about how to choose an LED strip in terms of power, color and manufacturer. We hope you now know which option is better for certain conditions in your home!
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