LED flex strips are great for all kinds of projects, but sometimes it is hard to know where to start. Follow this 7 step guide if you are stuck not knowing where to begin. The guide shows the various LED Strip options and and what to plan for in order to make your do-it-at-home LED strip lighting a complete success! LED strip lights
LED Strip Density = Brightness
The density of an LED light strip means how many LEDs are in a set area. For LED flex strips, density is measured in ‘LEDs per Meter’. The Standard Density strip has 30 LEDs/M whereas the High-Density has 60 LEDs/M and 120 LEDs/M. A higher density strip equates to a higher quality, brighter light. The table below shows the differences between the standard and high density strips. Take note of the Lumen outputs as well as the differences in cut lengths and the max run length for each.
A Lumen is the measurement of brightness as perceived by the human eye. Thanks to incandescent lighting, most of us use watts to measure the brightness of a light. With LEDs, Lumens are the new standard to describe light output. Lumen output is one of the most important parts of choosing LED strip lights as it will determine the type of light you will receive.
Make sure to note how Lumens are tracked when comparing LED strips brightness . In the above table, strips are labeled as Lumens per Meter. In order to find total Lumen output just find how many Meters you will be running.
Different projects require certain amount of brightness to achieve their purpose. My advice would be to always go for the brighter option and add a dimmer. Below is a helpful guide on Lumen requirements:
- Accent or Mood Lighting – 100-300 Lumens/ft.
- Under Cabinet Lighting – 175-360 Lumens/ft.
- Task lighting w/ higher distance from source – 300-450 Lumens/ft.
- Bedroom, Cove Lighting – 180-500 Lumens/ft.
Color: RGB Multicolor, UV, Colors, White CCT Range
LED strip color depends on personal preference. RGB LED strips are a good option for those that like some variety and color effects. RGB strip lights are color changing strips that are great for accent lighting all around the home. They use red, green and blue diodes so that they can be mixed to create many different colors. If you are using RGB strips just make sure you use a 3 channel controller from the dimming section of this guide.
There is an Ultra Violet (UV) version of the strips available. This is a great option for UV applications or for making your own black light!
The strips are also available in single colors of: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow and White (3000-6500K CCT).
CCT stands for Correlated Color Temperature which is the color temperature of light, measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The temperature rating of an LED strip directly affects what the light looks like. Look at the photos below for reference. Warm White is what we call 3000K which gives off an orange or yellowish appearance. As we increase degrees Kelvin the color changes from yellow to off white to natural white and then to bluish white which is known as Cool White.
So which color do I choose? Look at the below room with Warm White, Neutral White and Cool White Strips. Notice how color temperature of a strip light affects the look of the entire room? This totally depends on personal preference and the overall style and feel you want the room to give off.
Warm White creates an inviting, cozy area. It is generally used in rooms where everyone gathers to visit or relax (living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, etc.).
Neutral or Natural White creates a natural, daylight effect. This is the best selling strip as it mimics natural light and is comfortably used anywhere in the home. This is our most popular strip for under cabinet LED lighting.
Cool White complements contemporary and modern styles, casting a bright, fresh glow. Cool white is great for task lighting as it is a brighter, more focused light. The bright, cool colors are used the most in bathrooms, kitchens and work spaces.