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How do LED strip lights work? – A Comprehensive Guide 

How do LED strip lights work

Brief Introduction of LED strip lights

LED strip lights, also known as LED light strips, are innovative lighting solutions that have gained popularity due to their versatility and energy efficiency. These strips consist of a flexible circuit board embedded with surface-mount light-emitting diodes (SMD LEDs) and other components, often featuring an adhesive backing for easy installation. Originally used for accent, backlighting, task, and decorative lighting, advancements in technology have expanded their applications.

Traditionally, these strip lights were employed in settings such as task lighting, decorative elements, and even ultraviolet inspection in manufacturing processes. However, recent developments in luminous efficacy and high-power SMDs have led to their integration in diverse scenarios. Now, LED strip lights offer increased brightness, making them suitable for high-brightness task lighting, replacing traditional fluorescent and halogen fixtures, indirect lighting setups, and even niche roles like aiding in plant growth.

These versatile LED strips have found their way into various contexts, from set and costume design to enhancing outdoor spaces with waterproof LED strip lights. Moreover, they cater to interior environments, with options like hue light strips, USB-powered variants, and smart LED strip lights that can be synchronized with other smart devices. Whether illuminating staircases, adding flair to shelves, embellishing rooms, or even accentuating TVs, these strips offer a simple and effective lighting solution.

LED strip lights come in diverse types, including COB LED strips, USB-powered variants, waterproof options, and more. They are available in various lengths like 5m LED strips, compatible with different voltage inputs such as 240V and 12V, and can be recessed for a seamless appearance. Their adaptability extends to commercial spaces, too, with applications like ceiling LED strip lights, exterior installations, and under-cabinet lighting in kitchens.

In summary, LED strip lights have evolved from simple accent lighting to dynamic and practical illumination tools, catering to an array of needs. With their energy efficiency, flexibility, and wide range of options, these LED light strips continue to transform the way we illuminate and enhance our surroundings.

Design of LED strip lights 

LED strip lights, also known as LED light strips, offer a versatile and energy-efficient lighting solution with a wide array of design possibilities. The design considerations for these lighting marvels encompass various critical factors, including water resistance, color range, adhesives, Surface Mount Device (SMD) choices, driving voltage, control types, and whether they are set up as constant current or constant voltage layouts. While uncoated LED tape is susceptible to water ingress, water-resistant versions are enveloped in heat-conductive epoxy or silicone, safeguarding the circuitry from water exposure and earning ratings like IP65, IP67, or even IP68 for well-sealed connections.

A standout aspect in LED strip design is the management of individual LEDs, particularly in terms of color and addressability. These designs span several categories:

  • Single Color, Non-addressable: Each LED emits a single white shade or a specific monochrome color within the visible spectrum range.

  • Dynamic Tunable White, Non-addressable: These strips enable users to adjust the color temperature output, achieved by alternating LEDs of varying color temperatures.

  • Multicolor, Non-addressable: LEDs capable of displaying red, green, and blue (RGB) can produce various colors by adjusting input voltages.

  • RGB, Addressable: This design boasts individually controllable LEDs, offering a broad spectrum of colors and dynamic effects.

  • RGBW, Non-addressable: Combining single-color and multicolor LEDs in one module, providing enhanced versatility.

  • RGBCCT or RGBWW: A fusion of dynamic tunable white and multicolor LEDs in a single module, expanding the range of achievable lighting effects.

The physical attributes of LED strips also vary extensively, with different SMD types, shapes, sizes, and power levels. Common SMD types include 3528 (single color, low power), 5050 (RGB and addressable), 2835 (single-color with integrated heatsink), and 5630/5730 (high efficacy). The number of LEDs per meter significantly influences brightness and power.

Powering LED strip lights typically involves 12 or 24 volts of direct current. USB strip lights function at 5 volts, while mains voltage LED strips suit longer runs with consistent brightness. Constant-voltage and constant-current designs cater to different power delivery needs, with constant-current design maintaining uniform brightness over long lengths.

Customization necessitates LED controllers to regulate brightness, color, and individual LED behavior. LED strips can even emulate traditional neon lights, using embedded tape within a silicone-filled C-channel for creative designs. LED strip lights combine innovation, design, and efficiency to deliver captivating lighting solutions for various applications.

Design of LED strip lights

Beam angle of LED strip lights

LED strip lights, also known as LED light strips, are a versatile lighting solution that has gained popularity for their efficiency and flexibility. Among the key factors affecting their performance is the beam angle. This angle refers to the spread of light emitted by the LEDs. Some LED strip lights come with a wide 120° beam angle, emitting light perpendicular to the mounting surface. Notably, 'side view' or 'edge emitter' SMDs are designed to emit light parallel to the adhering surface, differing by 90 degrees from typical tape designs. This unique design enables the creation of LED strips that effectively wash surfaces within limited space or highlight edge profiles, such as signage. This innovation allows for enhanced lighting arrangements in various settings.

As technology advances, innovations like Chip-on-Board (COB) LED strips and waterproof LED strip lights offer even more options for lighting designs. Additionally, options like USB LED light strips provide convenience and ease of installation. Whether used for accentuating spaces, such as staircases or shelves, or providing functional illumination, like under cabinet or outdoor lighting, LED strip lights continue to evolve to meet diverse lighting needs. The flexibility to cut and adjust these strips to desired lengths, often without the need for complex tools, further enhances their usability.

In the United Kingdom, where energy-efficient lighting solutions are highly valued, LED strip lights offer significant benefits. From reducing energy consumption to enhancing aesthetics and mood, these lights cater to both residential and commercial spaces. As the technology landscape evolves, LED strip lights are expected to keep transforming the way lighting is approached in the UK, offering ever-improving efficiency and versatility.

Beam angle of LED strip lights 2

Installation of the LED Light Strips 

LED strip lights, also known as LED light strips or strip lights, have gained popularity for their versatility and ease of installation. Whether indoors or outdoors, setting up these illuminating wonders is a breeze. When used indoors, the process is straightforward. The LED light strips come with a self-adhesive 3M double-sided tape on the back, allowing you to peel and stick them onto your desired surface effortlessly. For outdoor installations, considering exposure to wind and rain, a more secure method is needed. Instead of relying solely on the adhesive, using mounting slots or clips helps ensure the longevity of the installation.

Power Supply and Control

Managing the power supply is crucial for optimal performance. These LED light strips typically operate at a DC 12V voltage. Selecting the right size of a switching power supply is essential; its capacity depends on the combined power and length of your 12V LED strips. For centralized control, you can employ a single large switching power supply to manage multiple LED strips.

Controller Varieties

Enhancing the LED strip experience are various controllers, including infrared, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi LED controllers. The Wi-Fi LED strip controller stands out with its long-distance capabilities. By following the instructions, you can effortlessly connect the controller to your light strips, enabling seamless smartphone control. This innovative controller overcomes traditional distance limits, allowing you to manage your LED strips remotely as long as there's a Wi-Fi connection available.

Connection Distance Considerations

Understanding the LED strip's connection distance is vital. Different types have specific limits: 3528 LED strips can span up to 20 meters, while 5050 LED strips reach a maximum of 15 meters. Beyond these thresholds, excessive heat could compromise the LED strip's lifespan. Adhering to the manufacturer's guidelines during installation ensures optimal functioning and longevity, safeguarding your investment. Remember to avoid running LED strips under excessive load conditions to prevent any potential issues.

Installing LED light strips, or strip lighting, is straightforward and adaptable to both indoor and outdoor settings. While indoor installations capitalize on the convenience of self-adhesive 3M tape, outdoor setups prioritize sturdier methods such as mounting slots. Power supply management is essential, with DC 12V voltage requirements necessitating appropriate switching power supplies. The rise of innovative controllers like Wi-Fi LED controllers allows for seamless long-distance control. However, understanding the connection distance limitations of various LED strips is crucial to ensuring their optimal lifespan and performance. By following manufacturer instructions and adhering to recommended practices, you can enjoy the captivating illumination of LED light strips throughout your spaces.

Installation of the LED Light Strips

How long do LED Light Strips work?

LED light strips have a remarkable lifespan, offering up to 50,000 hours of continuous illumination – that's over 2,000 days of consistent usage before showing signs of wear. However, various factors influence their longevity beyond these impressive numbers. Improper installation can lead to damage, shortening the lifespan. Specifically, the absence of suitable anti-static measures during manufacturing can result in burnt LEDs, causing premature failure. Flexibility also plays a role; if the copper core wire or flexible circuit board isn't robust, the strips might bend and break, endangering their operational life.

For optimal performance, LED light strips usually require a constant voltage power supply. Fluctuations or instability in the output of the power supply can expose the LEDs to non-standard voltages, compromising their longevity. Additionally, the number of LEDs in the strip matters – if insufficient, the voltage distribution could lead to excessive heat generation within resistors, diminishing the overall strip life.

It's crucial to consider these aspects when investing in LED strip lights. Adequate anti-static protection during manufacturing, sturdy materials to ensure flexibility, stable power supply, and an appropriate number of LEDs collectively contribute to the extended life of these versatile lighting solutions. In your pursuit of ideal lighting setups, it's worth selecting reputable brands and products that address these critical factors, ensuring your LED light strips shine brightly for years to come.


How do you make LED Strip Lights dimmable?

LED strip lights have become an integral aspect of modern interior design, finding diverse applications in various fields. While their primary purpose isn't just illumination, these 12V LED strip lights are commonly employed to fashion distinct lighting atmospheres. The dimming functionality of these lights serves as a pivotal element, enabling the creation of diverse ambiences while conserving energy, enhancing quality of life, optimizing light source efficiency, and extending strip longevity.

Dimming Methods:

  1. PWM Dimming (Digital Dimming): PWM, or digital dimming, involves digital programming to achieve wireless 0-100% dimming. This method offers impeccable dimming effects, albeit at a relatively higher cost. It's well-suited for intelligent settings that demand precision dimming control.

  2. Intelligent LED Controllers: These controllers feature built-in WiFi/Bluetooth modules, connecting to smartphones via apps for seamless 0-100% dimming. Compared to traditional dimming, LED strip controllers exhibit higher intelligence and accuracy.

  3. LED Dimmer Controllers: Equipped with dimming capabilities, these controllers offer a plethora of functionalities, including timing, a wide color spectrum, and even voice control when paired with intelligent speakers. They encompass a holistic collection of intelligent features.

  4. Switch Dimming: This method harnesses the existing light power switch for dimming. With no need for extra dimmers, adjusting the number of presses and the speed of the power switch allows for varied lighting fixture dimming.

  5. Silicon Controlled Dimming: Utilizing a thyristor dimming switch, this approach replaces the original power switch. Rotating the switch adjusts brightness levels, often used when the power switch requires replacement.

Amidst the escalating demand for energy efficiency and environmental consciousness, LED light strips are capturing attention for their eco-friendly attributes, compact form factor, minimal energy consumption, and high reliability. As a seasoned LED light strip manufacturer in China, we provide comprehensive intelligent solutions to cater to this burgeoning need.

Dimming Insights:

LEDs can be effectively dimmed via pulse-width modulation (PWM), where rapid on-off switching occurs around 500 times per second, altering voltage from zero to the designated value. This modulation strategy utilizes square wave patterns, adjusting the relative widths of the on and off segments to control brightness. Addressable LEDs feature internal dimming through data signals, while non-addressable LEDs require external PWM controllers for dimming.

In a world increasingly concerned with energy conservation, LED light strips embody the ethos of sustainability, marking a pivotal step toward a greener future. With a focus on environment-friendly practices, low energy consumption, and lasting reliability, LED strip lights exemplify the evolution of contemporary lighting solutions.

Kosoom is at the forefront of this transformative journey, offering innovative LED strip lighting solutions that not only illuminate spaces but also contribute to a more sustainable and efficient world. Our wide range of products, from cob LED strips to waterproof options, is designed to cater to every lighting need. Whether you seek to enhance your home's aesthetics or elevate commercial spaces, we're dedicated to providing cutting-edge LED lighting solutions that align with today's eco-conscious ethos.

Applications of LED Strip Lights.

LED strip lights, also known as LED light strips, have become an indispensable lighting solution with an array of contemporary applications. These versatile strips, available in both indoor and outdoor variants, offer the advantage of flexibility, making them suitable for a diverse range of installations. Their capacity to be easily divided between LEDs enhances their adaptability, making them a popular choice for various creative projects and functional uses. When integrated into DIY endeavors or as luminous elements in clothing, strip lighting adds flair and uniqueness. Moreover, their USB or battery-powered operation ensures portability, enabling applications such as computer illumination, costume accents, and workspace lighting. LED strip lights are equally at home enhancing ambiance, whether by providing subtle monitor and display illumination, accenting alcoves, or even extending the visual experience of a flat-screen television by casting light onto surrounding walls. The modern LED strip light landscape also includes innovations like waterproof designs, color-changing capabilities, and compatibility with smart home systems, opening doors to inventive exterior lighting solutions, under-cabinet brilliance, and dynamic room setups. The remarkable versatility and evolving features of LED strip lights continue to brighten various corners of contemporary living.

Applications of LED Strip Lights


To power LED strips, you can use a plug-in power supply. It usually has a 2.1mm Male Barrel plug as its output connection. If you’re using a full reel of LED strips, it comes with a 2.1mm female plug for easy connection. For shorter lengths, you can use screw-in terminal connectors. These options ensure a seamless power connection for your LED strips. This information is relevant for people in the UK who want to set up LED strip lighting.

  1. Prepare the Strip: After cutting the strip to the desired length, find the open end of the connector.

  2. Gentle Insertion: Slide the strip gently into the open connector end. This helps prevent any damage to the strip or connector.

  3. Wire Alignment: Make sure to match the wire colors on the strip with the correct ones in the connector.

They can be expensive and might not fit everyone’s budget. Sometimes, the light they give off isn’t very warm and can feel harsh. Plus, they might not be as bright as other lighting options. If not good quality, they can stop working sooner. Also, some cheap options can be unsafe. Always check before buying.

Absolutely, you can leave LED strip lights on throughout the night without any worries. LED lights are designed to be used continuously for extended periods without overheating or posing safety concerns. They are highly energy-efficient and produce very little heat compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. This makes them a reliable and safe choice for keeping your space illuminated overnight. Just remember to ensure that the LED strip lights are of good quality and have proper ventilation to ensure their longevity and optimal performance.

To connect LED strip lights to the UK mains power supply, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the LED Strip and Connector Wire: Get your LED strip and the connector wire ready. Make sure the LED strip has a red wire (+) and a black wire (-).

  2. Align the Wires: Match the red wire from the LED strip with the ‘+’ sign on the connector wire. Likewise, match the black wire with the ‘-‘ sign.

  3. Connect the Wires: Insert the end of the LED strip into the clip on the connector wire. This joins the wires together.

  4. Secure the Connection: Press the back of the connector clip firmly to close and secure the connection.

By following these steps, you’ll successfully connect your LED strip lights to the UK mains power supply. Always ensure safety and proper insulation while working with electrical connections.


About Gilbert

Our email: [email protected] Dear readers of Kosoom.uk! I am delighted to introduce myself as Gilbert, your dedicated source of enlightenment when it comes to LED lights. If you have questions about any LED lights, please feel free to contact us to our email: [email protected] We will give you a satisfactory answer as soon as possible. Hailing from the heart of England, I bring to you a wealth of professional expertise and a passion for all things LED. As an Englishman with a fervent interest in illumination technology, I have made it my mission to illuminate the path to understanding LED lights, tailored especially for the inquisitive minds of Britain. With a background steeped in the intricacies of LED technology, I stand ready to shed light on every facet of this brilliant innovation. Through my articles, I intend to guide you through the captivating world of LED lights, providing you with insights that not only unravel the science behind these luminous marvels but also highlight their practical applications and benefits in the UK context. In collaboration with Kosoom, I embark on this journey to demystify LED lights for you. Whether you're curious about the evolution of LED technology, eager to decipher the nuances of LED color temperatures, or seeking advice on optimizing lighting choices for your home, workplace, or public spaces, I am your trusted companion. My articles will offer you clear, concise, and expertly-crafted explanations that bridge the gap between complex technical jargon and approachable, relatable understanding. Stay tuned for a series of articles that will not only elevate your understanding but also brighten up your perspectives on the art and science of lighting.

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