LED Strip Light Diffuser: Enhancing Illumination and Aesthetics

You can comfortably enhance the illumination of your space by installing an LED strip light diffuser. 

They will protect your light strips and reduce eye discomfort from staring at bright LEDs. 

LEDs are a popular light source due to their low power consumption, durability, and water resistance. 

On the downside, most people complain that they emit bright light that creates shadows all over the room. 

You should cover the strip with a light diffuser to overcome such issues. 

But not any that you come across. In today’s piece, we’re giving you the types of diffusers and why they suit specific applications. 

What Is a LED Strip Light Diffuser

Generally, LEDs produce directional light that tends to create points of light and shadows across a space. 

Installing a diffuser softens and scatters the light by breaking up directional beams and spreading them in several directions. 

Consequently, lowering hotspots and the ability to spot the lighting effect of an individual LED.  

Additionally, the diffusers reduce glare by dispersing light in many directions. 

As such, you won’t suffer much eye discomfort if you install light diffusers over your LED strips. 

Types Of LED Strip Light Diffusers

Frosted diffusers over LEDs on a staircase

(Frosted diffusers over LEDs on a staircase)

Below are the main types of LED strip light diffusers:

Clear Diffusers: They provide minimal diffusion and are suitable for applications whereby you need the lights of individual LEDs.

 Their primary purpose is to improve the LED strip’s aesthetic appeal while protecting it from damage.

Frosted Diffusers: Frosted or milky diffusers diffuse light uniformly with minimal hotspots. 

Generally, they have a milky appearance and light transmittance of 65 to 70 percent. Moreover, most have plastic as their main material.

Opal Diffusers: In between the frosted and clear diffusers are the opal diffusers. They balance light diffusion and transmittance to offer a softer lighting effect.

Fabric Diffusers: When you need an organic and decorative lighting effect, use nylon or polyester to create fabric diffusers. Interestingly, they are cheaper and easy to install than most diffuser systems.

Lens Diffusers have varying patterns that spread and concentrate light across a room. They are vital to achieving a specific lighting pattern in your space.  

Choosing the Right LED Strip Light Diffuser

A lady looking at the specs of an LED bulb in a store

(A lady looking at the specs of an LED bulb in a store)

LED diffusers will diffuse light evenly across space and protect your light fixture against hazards. 

Therefore, you must be careful when selecting the one for your strip. Here are the important tips to follow. 


Most LED strip light diffusers in the market have Acrylic, PVC, and Polyvinyl Chloride as the cover material. 

First, PVC is an excellent low-cost option resistant to flames, acids, and alkalis. 

On the downside, it turns yellow with time making it a poor choice for long-term installations. 

Second, Acrylic or PMMA is a tough material with high resistance to scratches and good transparency. 

Conversely, it has low resistance to impacts and chemicals. 

Third, we have Polyvinyl Chloride (PC), a scratch-resistant material with good resistance against most chemicals. 

On the downside, it absorbs moisture and gets brittle with time. 

Transparency and Diffusion Level

LED light diffusers on the roof and along walls

(LED light diffusers on the roof and along walls)

The second item to consider is the amount of light your LED strip diffuser allows. 

If you go for a transparent cover, expect minimal diffusion, as it will enable as much as 95 percent of the light through. 

Thus, use them for showcase, shelf, and kitchen counter lighting. 

If you go for a frosted diffuser, expect as much as 85 to 90 percent of the light through. 

Its advantage is that despite the minimal diffusion, there’s a massive reduction in hotspots.  

The other options are opal and milky diffusers with around 75 and 60 percent transparency, respectively. 

Size and Shape

Consider the thickness and shape of your LED strips before settling on a diffuse since most are available in different forms. 

For instance, you’ll find tubes, covers, channels, and other custom shapes of diffusers. 

Moreover, you should consider whether you need it to cover a small section or the whole length of the LED strip.  

The Future Of Innovations in LED Strip Light Diffusers

LED lights from the outside of a hotel

(LED lights from the outside of a hotel)

One promising area when it comes to diffusers is customizable light diffusers.

 They will allow users to select the diffusion patterns or adjust diffusion levels according to their preferences. 

A second area is integrating the diffusers with intelligent technologies. 

In other words, the diffusers will link with sensors that detect the ambient lighting conditions and adjust transmittance. 

For example, if you’re lighting a dark surface, the diffusers can transmit maximum light while still diffusing some.

 And, when you walk to an illuminated space, the diffusers will adjust transmittance accordingly.


What can I use to diffuse LED strips?

The materials you can use to diffuse light depend on its brightness, intensity, and desired output.

 Consequently, you can even use a piece of paper over the LED strip if you need very little light to pass through. 

Additionally, use frosted LED strip covers that you can order online or from an electronics shop nearby. 

The covers, by design, fit over the LED strip, scattering the light and reducing hotspots. 

Second, use polycarbonate sheets that you can cut and cover the LED light strip with. 

Third, a homemade option would be to use a piece of translucent fabric like nylon or polyester. 

With this method, you’ll achieve a softer light that spreads across the room evenly. 

However, don’t use heavy fabrics as they cut off the majority of the light, leaving you in darkness. 

Do LED strips need diffusers?

Generally, LED strip lights don’t need diffusers if you need full brightness or if they have dimmers.

 In some cases, some LED strip lights focus light brightly in a given direction, which may harm human eyesight. 

Moreover, LED strips can produce high-intensity light creating shadows and distinct light points. 

If you dislike such, it is best to diffuse the light with a diffuser. 

Furthermore, you can install an LED diffuser if you don’t like the look of your LED strip lights. 

For instance, maybe you don’t like the look of the LED strip running along your wall and would prefer a design that conceals the strips. 

However, remember that some LED strips have built-in diffusers or a design that diffuses light without extra materials. 

Consequently, check the item specification before installing a diffuser for your LED strips.

How do you keep LED strips from glowing when off?

If you are new to LED strip lights, you may wonder what the cause of the lights glowing is, given that the power supply is off.

 While generally not harmful to your LED installation, the effect can be irritating and undesirable. 

The cause is that some diodes, especially low-quality ones, can pick up low levels of electric energy due to electromagnetic induction. 

Therefore, the little energy causes them to glow dimly, as you can mostly notice in the dark. 

To keep the LED strips from glowing, install high-quality ones from a reliable manufacturer. 

However, if you find that expensive, another option would be to ground the wiring by adding a Zener diode to the circuit. 

The third option is to install a neon indicator that dampens the energy preventing it from reaching the LEDs. 


Some LED strips are so bright that they cause eye discomfort or temporary blindness. 

Additionally, they may cast shadows all over, which may be undesirable, primarily if you use them for accent lighting. 

To diffuse the light, the best option would be to use a diffuser of any form. If you can’t buy one from a shop, we recommend covering your bright light source with a translucent fabric.