There are many reasons why you should settle for 24-volt LED strip lights.
For some, it may be due to its high power efficiency, easy installation, and better lighting.
For others, it may be because they have 24-volt batteries or the assumption that they are better than 12V LED strip lights.
Here, we’ll look at the 24-volt strip lights and why they might suit you. Read on.
What Are 24 Volt LED Strip Lights?
24-volt LED strip lights are a lighting system with an array of LED assemblies on a flexible circuit board running on a 24V DC supply.
Generally, they use the same wattage as 12V LED strip lights but at a lower current, meaning that they have less voltage drop.
And the result is that the brightness across the strip’s length remains relatively consistent.
Consequently, they find greater use in larger lighting installations like warehouses and godowns.
Characteristics of 24 Volt LED Strip Lights
(Installing LED strip lights)
24V LED strip lights operate exclusively on 24-volt DC power, like a car battery.
If you are drawing power from the mains, that’s alternating current (AC) power, and you need to convert it to 24V DC.
Running the LED strip on 24V DC also allows a lower voltage drop.
24V LED strip lights have different colors and brightness levels depending on the design.
For instance, you can procedure single-color or color-changing red-green-blue (RGB) options.
Furthermore, you can pair them with dimmers to control the brightness levels or color patterns.
24V LED strips draw less current compared to 12V LEDs.
As the section above shows, both systems draw the same amount of power.
And power consumption equals the product of voltage and current.
For example, if you use a 120 Watts battery, a 24V LED strip draws 5A while a 12V one draws 10A.
(A purple LED strip)
Power loss equals the product of the square of current and LED strip resistance.
Therefore, keeping the strip resistance constant, a 12V LED strip losses more power than a 24V LED strip.
The reason is that a higher current flows through the lower voltage LED system.
Moreover, the lower power drop through the 24V strip means that a higher current reaches the furthest LED leading to uniform brightness.
Installing 24-volt LED strips is relatively easy, especially if they have adhesives that allow you to attach them to any dry surface.
You don’t need screws or clips as you would while running cables to power traditional lighting like incandescent bulbs.
Applications of 24 Volt LED Strip Lights
(LED strips illuminating a bridge)
Here are the applications of 24-volt LED strip lights:
- Residential lighting
- Commercial lighting in retail stores, restaurants, and illuminating logos and signages.
- Architectural lightings, like outlining bridges and buildings
- Automotive lighting, such as accent lighting along the dashboard
- Outdoor Lighting
- Event and stage lighting, such as dynamic lighting effects during concerts
Installation and Maintenance of 24 Volt LED Strip Lights
First, plan the layout of the 24-volt LED strips, including the length, location, and location of the power supply unit.
Second, clean the surface and dry it afterward to promote better adhesion.
Third, attach the LED strips while pressing firmly for proper adhesion.
Fourth, connect the positive LED lead to the positive terminal of your battery.
Moreover, connect the negative to the negative terminal of your battery while ensuring the connection is firm.
The leading maintenance for your 24V LED strips is ensuring you monitor the voltage periodically if the strip is long.
If there’s a significant voltage drop towards the end, use signal repeaters to maintain brightness.
Secondly, provide sufficient ventilation if you operate the LEDs in high-temperature environments.
Comparison with Other Lighting Options
(A fluorescent light bulb lighting a room)
LED strip lights are an option in a field with many lighting sources.
Here, we compare the lighting sources and why LED strip lights are better in certain situations.
Incandescent lights pass an electric current through a high-resistance tungsten filament which heats up to generate light.
However, the heat can cause the filament to burn up in the presence of oxygen.
To prevent such, manufacturers enclose it in a glass bulb full of inert gas, like argon.
The downside is low energy efficiency as it converts most of the power supply to heat energy to produce light.
Furthermore, they have low lifespans ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 hours.
Fluorescent lights have a long tube with a mixture of inert gas, like argon and mercury vapor.
Additionally, they have a phosphorus coating on the inner side of the bulb.
When you power it, electric current flows through, exciting the mercury vapor and causing it to emit UV light.
Next, the UV light strikes the phosphorus layer causing it to fluoresce and emit light.
They are more energy efficient than incandescent lights but less than LEDs.
Moreover, they last between 10,000 and 20,000 hours.
Are 24V LED strips brighter than 12V?
The brightness of an LED doesn’t depend on the voltage supply but rather on factors like the quality and specifications of the LED.
Consequently, the 12V and 24V LEDs have the same level of brightness.
However, the difference is that the 24V LEDs have less voltage drop across the strip.
On the other hand, you will notice that the farthest 12V LEDs will tend to be dimmer.
The explanation is that 24V batteries supply a lower LED current than 12V batteries.
From physics, power loss equals multiplying the square of the electric current through the strip and the resistance.
And, given that LEDs have the same resistance, the low current through the 24V LEDs results in less power loss.
Consequently, a higher current can reach the farthest LED leading to uniform brightness throughout the strip.
How many 24V LED strips can you connect?
Hypothetically, you can connect an infinite number of 24V LED strips as long as there isn’t any power drop through the system.
But, realistically, it is not possible since there’s power loss through the connectors and LEDs.
Therefore, the number of 24V LED strips you can connect depends on the power supply capacity, safety considerations, and voltage drop.
First, each 24V LED strip has a total power consumption per foot or meter.
Afterward, you can calculate the number of strips by dividing the power supply by the individual strip consumption.
For example, a 100W power supply can power ten 24V LED strips, each with a 10W consumption.
Second, consult the product specifications to see how many strips you can connect without overloading the power supply.
Third, for 24V LED strips with uniform consumption, calculate the voltage drop of each strip to determine if your power supply is capable.
If it isn’t, use signal repeaters to keep the brightness consistent.
What is the minimum voltage for a 24V LED strip?
A 24V strip achieves maximum brightness if you connect it to a 24V power supply.
Any voltage lower than that will result in lower brightness.
Generally, the least voltage you can power 24V LED strips with is 15.5V.
To be safe, use the rule that you can power LEDs safely with a voltage supply rated at 65 percent of the LED strip’s voltage.
Generally, 24V LED strips have the same brightness as the 12V ones, and you can use them interchangeably.
However, we recommend installing the former in large light areas using a single power source.
The reason is that it will have a lesser voltage drop maintaining a uniform brightness throughout its length.
If you need lighting sources for large spaces such as concerts, 24V light-emitting diode strips are your best choice.