In case you plan to install LED strip lights (also known as LED tape), you need to be capable of accurately calculating the power required. Having an inadequatesupply will lead to only some (or none) of the LEDs enlightening or can cause annoyance flicker. An overstated power supply will cost more to buy and will also be more difficult to fit as they are bigger.
To be able to calculate the power supply required for your new LED strip lights, you need to know:
- Length of the strip or tape
- Number of LEDs per meter
- Power consumption per LED
If you wish to calculate the size of the power supply (in Amps), you will have to multiply the length of the LED tape by the number of the LEDs per meter and then multiply this by the power of the LED (0.08w to 0.24w per LED are characteristic values). Furthermore, you then have to divide the value by 12 volts to calculate the required Amperage of the power supply.
A simplified representation of the formula is—
(Length of LED Strip x LEDs per Metre x LED Power) / 12
We advise you to add at least 10% to the calculated value to consent for the cables’ resistance and losses.
Example 1: A 5m roll of SMD3528 (0.08w) with 60LED/m would be: (5m x 60 x 0.08) / 12 = 2amps +10% = 2.2Amps.
For any LED strips over 2 meters in length, you can deliver a 12volt feed to both ends of the strip or one feed in the middle by cutting the strip into two and linking the power supply to both strips. This gives a more smooth power distribution and should be responsible for more consistent lighting.
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LED Strip Light Uses
There are two prime explanations for using LED strips. One is competence – LED lights are very efficient, with most of the power successfully producing light, not heat. Their enormously long life (20,000 hours is characteristic) means that they also do not need to be substituted very often, leading to massively abridged lifetime expenses.
The additional reason is aesthetic. LED lights can be made tremendously small – some LED lighting strips are as thin as 4mm – and so can be connected in places where traditional lights would not fit. Additional to this, the various LED color options comprising RGB LEDs with remote controlled color changing capabilities. This gives a whole new range of likely lighting effects that can melodramatically alter a room’s look.
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