Welcome to our guide to the difference in LED strip lights! We have seen LED lights gain tremendous growth and acceptance within the last ten years.
We can confidently attribute this growth to the LED’s higher energy efficiency, versatility, and durability.
However, variations in LED strip lights define an LED’s unique features and application. Key differences in control options, brightness levels, and color temperature might arise.
Understanding these strip light variations helps you make an informed lighting decision to make your space vibrant or provide efficient lighting.
Keep reading for more information regarding differences in LED strip lights. Let’s get rolling!
Understanding LED Strip Lights
As the name suggests, LED strip lights are flexible lighting options with long, narrow strips and multiple LEDs mounted on them.
The flexibility allows the strips to bend and fit into different sizes and shapes.
We know these strip lights for their versatility and high energy efficiency, guaranteeing more energy output and less wastage.
And what’s more, they come with dimming features that enable you to adjust the color and brightness to fit your lighting requirements.
The strip light versatility allows you to install them almost anywhere to serve multiple applications, including task and accent lighting.
Some benefits of LEDs that you won’t get in traditional options include ease of installation and high durability.
Key Factors That Differentiate LED Strip Lights
(Someone installing LED lights)
Although LED strip lights appear similar at a glance, we have several factors that keep them different and impact their performance.
This section highlights critical factors that differentiate LED strip lights.
First, the type of LED you use will determine its energy efficiency, brightness, and color accuracy.
The most efficient LEDs are the ones that employ surface mount technology (SMT) and include 5050, 2835, and 3528.
These types of LEDs offer better efficiency and performance than the older LED versions.
Light Brightness and Output
We measure the light output or brightness in lumens per unit length (meter or foot).
Generally, different LED strips come with unique lumen outputs, and a high output value represents a brighter illumination.
Therefore, you should always consider your lighting requirements and select its brightness level.
Surprisingly, light color is a representation of a specific light wavelength.
Therefore, LED lights are available in different colors or wavelengths, including color-changing options and single-color ones like cool, warm, and white light.
Fortunately, many LED lights have adjustable color temperatures that you can easily manipulate.
Another color aspect is the color rendering index (CRI) which determines color accuracy, especially in applications like retail displays and photography.
A higher CRI represents a higher color accuracy.
This feature allows you to adjust the light brightness as per your requirements.
The LED dimmability also varies from product to product, with LED cost increasing with dimmability.
It is upon you to check whether or not your LED requires dimming controllers or is compatible with dimmer switches.
But before buying an LED light, ensure it is flicker-free and has a smooth dimming range.
Another LED differentiating factor is Ingress Protection (IP) rating which determines the protection level an LED has against water and dust.
For example, the IP68 and IP65-rated products provide better waterproofing features.
Therefore, anytime you want to install LEDs in place with high moisture, ensure they have a high ingress protection rating.
Flexibility and Length
(A flexible LED strip light)
LEDs are available in varying lengths and flexibility, with the cost increasing as each factor increases.
Therefore, consider the length you want to cover and choose a strip that you can easily cut or extend.
And the more flexible the strip is, the more freedom you have to install it on irregular surfaces.
Power Supply and Requirements
LEDs, just like other electronics, require power to function effectively. Funny enough, different LEDs have different power requirements.
Therefore, when buying LED lights, check the power supply quality and type and ensure it matches the electrical power supply.
Also, the power system should have a guaranteed power supply.
Quality and Cost
The qualities of an LED light directly determines its performance, with high-quality products providing better performance.
However, with improved quality comes a higher cost.
We recommend buying a high-quality, costly product over a cheaper one since it’ll consume less power and emit more light.
Types of LED Strip Lights
(Colored LED strip light)
We have many LED strip lights with unique designs to fit certain lighting needs and applications.
This section outlines the common LED strip types.
Single-color strip lights: These lighting options produce a single color, such as cool white, warm white, and white lights.
Generally, you’ll find them in general lighting applications.
RGB strip lights: These have individual red, green, and blue lights that combine to produce a wide range of colors.
Therefore, the ability to produce a combination of colors makes them perfect for decorative applications.
RGBW lights: This is simply an RGB light with additional white light.
As such, you can get a dedicated white light or a mixture of colors.
CCT Strip lights: The color-changing temperature lights allow you to switch between cool and warm lights.
We use these lights when we want to change the lighting atmosphere.
High CRI lights are high color rendering index lights, and we use them when high light accuracy is necessary, including in art display and photography.
Waterproof LED lights: These LED lights are meant to resist water or moisture exposure.
Therefore, you’ll find them with silicone casing or protective coating to limit the damage cases.
We recommend these LEDs in the kitchen and bathrooms where humidity is high.
Differences Between Standard Density and High-Density LED Light Strips
(Beautiful glowing warm LED strip light)
The main difference between a standard-density and high-density LED strip is in the number of LEDs per unit length, which affects the overall lighting effect and brightness.
For example, while high-density lights have at least 120 LEDs per meter, the standard ones only boast 30-60 LEDs per meter.
And since the brightness increases with the number of LEDs per unit length, high-density LEDs are brighter than standard ones.
Also, high-density LEDs are closely packed, thus offering a more uniform illumination than standard ones.
Furthermore, they consume more power, and we find them costly to buy and run.
However, the standard LEDs are more flexible since they have wider spacing between the diodes.
Are all LED strip lights the same?
Not at all! LED strip lights vary in different aspects, including color accuracy, dimmability, color option, and quality.
In most cases, you’ll get strips having different numbers of LEDs per unit length, thus producing diverse features like brightness levels.
Moreover, factors like the manufacturing process and the type of LED in question vary from product to product.
You must consider all these factors to guarantee the best LED light performance.
What are the disadvantages of LED strip lights?
Although LED strips present the highest energy efficiency and versatility of all the lighting options, they also experience the following downsides.
- First, LED lights have a high initial cost than incandescent or fluorescent lights.
- Secondly, LED generates heat; if you fail to provide sufficient heat dissipation mechanisms, they might reduce performance.
- Thirdly, you might notice color inconsistency, especially in low-quality strips.
What benefits do you get from using LED strip lights?
There are reasons why almost every homeowner nowadays is replacing traditional incandescent lights with LED strip lights.
It’s because LED lights are better in almost every aspect than the other lighting options. Check out the benefits of using them below:
- High energy efficiency
- Longer lifespan
- High versatility
- Easy installation
- Low heat emission
- Dimming capabilities
- Instantaneous lighting
The general agreement is that LED strip lights perform better than traditional incandescent lights.
However, within the LED family, some products have better features than others.
And some factors that differentiate them include dimmability, LED type, light brightness, and color option.
Also, you’ll find differences in quality, power supply/requirements, IP rating, and flexibility.
Therefore, you have all the power to assess your lighting needs and buy a product that meets your expectations.