Frequently Asked Questions
LED Strip Lights
Q.) LED Strip light is only available in 5 metre reels, can I trim it down?
A.) Yes you can trim the LED tape on the copper dots or solder joints. For 12v LED tape it is every 3 LEDs, for 24v it is every 6 LEDs.
Q.) If I cut down my LED lights, how do I then connect it to a Driver unit?
A.) There are a few ways you can do this. Remember you will still have pieces of connector cable at one end of the led tape roll that you purchased which you can connect to a driver using U2.1FEM. Other than this you can either choose a connection cable; which involves a push on connector that the LED tape slides in to OR you can solder a cable directly onto the copper dots (to be performed by qualified electricians).
To choose your connection cable you will need to match the tape width with the connector. If you have an 8mm wide tape, you will need an 8mm wide connector. The same applies to 10mm wide tape.
The tape width is written on our product descriptions.
Q.) I’ve read that the connection cables only work on certain LED tapes, why is this?
A.) The connection cables we sell involve a clasp, if you choose an LED tape which has more than 60 LED’s per metre the LED’s will get in the way of the clasp. The only solution for tape which has more than 60 LED’s per metre is to solder a cable directly onto the tape. We can do this for you at a fee if you email us instructions on your project.
Also most of our connection cables won’t work on waterproof LEDs as the silicone coating/tubing will get in the way.
Q.) How do I know which power supply to choose for my LED Tape?
A.) To find out which power supply you need you can multiply the wattage of the tape by how many metres you will be using. For example, if your using a tape which draws 4.8w per metre and you will be using 3 metres, then you will need a power supply which is above 14.4w.
The wattage of the LED tape is written on our product descriptions.
You will also need to match the Voltage of the tape with the Voltage of the power supply, it will be either 12v or 24v.
Q.) How do I connect my LED strip to the power supply?
A.) There are several ways you can connect your LED Tape light to a power supply. Most of our Standard range power supplies include a Male DC connection on one end, to connect this to your tape you can use a U2.1FEM which converts the wires into a Female DC connection. You can also use one of our AXIS-8C cables which integrate a Female DC plug.
Most of our premium power supplies feature Terminal connections. These can be unscrewed and the wires can be directly connected. The red wire is positive and the black negative.
Q.) How do I know how bright the LED is? there are so many to choose from
A.) Our tape has varying brightness levels which is calculated in Lumens, this is written on each of our product descriptions.
Each LED Tape uses a certain type of chip. The lowest brightness levels start with the ‘3528’ chip, the brightness then increases when moving to the ‘5050’ then the ‘2835’, ‘5630 and so on.
See our recommendations sorted by brightness below to help you:
3528 Chip with 60 LEDs – Ideal for kitchen cupboards, ambient lighting pelmets and knock boards
3528 Chip with 120 LEDs – Ideal for lighting small/medium rooms e.g kitchens/bathrooms double the brightness and double the LEDs
5050 Chip with 60 LEDs (RGB colour changing) – Very bright ideal for most applications to create lots of light
2835 Chip with 60 LEDs – Recommended Ideal for most professional and commercial projects, This is a very bright tape ideal for creating light for kitchen work tops and hotel bathrooms.
5630 Chip with 60 LEDs – Ideal for medium to large rooms, wider PCB than 2835 but similar brightness.
2835 Chip with 120 LEDs – Extremely bright to light car show rooms, big spaces and high lux levels. Commercial projects!
2216 Chip with 300 LEDs – Ideal for large industrial projects, very bright tape that must be mounted on metal surface for heat dissipation. Commercial projects where the quality of light is very important such as retail environments.
Q.) How can I run more than 5 metres of LED Tape?
A.) When trying to run too much LED tape in one go you get what is called ‘voltage drop’, the LED tape will start dimming gradually past the voltage drop point. With 12v tape this is around the 5 metres and with 24v tape this is around 7 metres. To bypass this you can do several things.
Use more drivers – you can use more drivers to run 5 metres separately then butt up the LED tape as close as possible so it looks like a continuous run. Or you can use one larger power supply and split the power to run both 5 metres of tape. Power from both ends – If you cannot place a power supply in the center then you will need to power the LED from the other end. You can do this by using a secondary power supply which will feed the other end.
Split the power from a driver – This method is only ever used when you can only power the LED tape from one end and you have no room for additional power supplies. You will need split the power from the driver and run a supply cable alongside the first 5 metres of LED tape to the second run of LED tape. Please be aware that when running more than 10 metres of supply cable you will need a thicker copper cable to carry the power.
Q.) How do I connect Waterproof LED tape IP65?
A.) You can use our waterproof connection cables with our IP65 tapes. We currently do not stock a waterproof connector for RGB Tape. Otherwise you can peel off the Silicone coating and solder directly onto the tape, but please ensure you seal the connection with waterproof glue which we also sell.
Q.) How do I connect Waterproof LED tape IP68?
A.) Our IP68 tape is fully sealed, so cutting and joining additional cable is not recommended and is generally very difficult. IP68 tape does have a pre-soldered connection cable.
Q.) What is CRI?
A.) CRI is basically a measure of how good quality the light is. Imagine being on the top of a double decker bus in winter, and how pale everyone’s faces look. This is because the CRI is very Low. The closer to 100, the better the colours are represented. The closer to 100 the better. The highest CRI we sell is 95 which is very good and suitable for retail environments and areas of living space.
80CRI is ok for living spaces and kitchens, but any lower and the light looks poor and dreary. Most led strip suppliers tape is 70 cri or less. It may be cheap, but the light will also look cheap!
Q.) What is the difference between 12v and 24v LED Tape?
A.) 12v is better for running small projects because you are able to cut the tape in more places as there are more copper dots. Most of our tape is 12v.
24v tape has advantages. It’s not brighter than 12v however it does suffer less from voltage drop and therefore it’s easier to run longer lengths.
Q.) What is the difference between RGB and RGBW?
A.) RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue ( the primary colours) If you paid attention in your physics lesson you will know that from the primary colours you can mix them to create almost any colour. RGB tape uses a special chip which combines the three primary colours and allows the user to adjust the tape to any colour you want using a controller (see controller section). Fantastic hues of colour can be produced in commercial and residential environments. We call RGB 3 channel, because it has Red, Green and Blue Channels. You will either need a three channel controller or a DMX with a 3 channel output to control your LEDs (see DMX controllers).
RGBW is the same as the above, but adds a Fourth Channel. The Fourth Channel is white. This allows you to have a perfect cool white or warm white output on the tape as well as the colours. This means you have to option to party and create crazy colour effects, but you can also relax or work under a nice cool white or warm white light (you can choose either). Great for events in kitchens, living rooms etc. We have two types: RGBWW and RGBCW depending if you want a warm white or cool white light.
Same as above but 5 Channel! This means you can have all the colours, warm white and cool white on the same strip! Amazing combinations giving you full control over the ambient lighting in your living, working or retail space. What ever the mood, event or environment takes you. Don’t forget all can be controlled with our IOS/ANDRIOID APP, wall controllers and hand held remotes.