LED technology is evolving at breakneck speed. The light-emitting diodes were invented in 1962, but for about 30 years they were only used for signal transmission. They were also used as illuminated displays at that time. At the end of the 1990s, the time had finally come and LEDs were used as light sources. Later they were also used in the form of LED strips.
Nowadays, LEDs are an integral part of everyday use and can be used in a wide variety of ways. One of the reasons for this is their adaptability, which enables numerous uses. LEDs are enjoying ever-increasing popularity, which of course also contributed to the ban on incandescent lamps. The EU led the way and the US followed shortly thereafter.
LED Strips: A look at the technology
LED strips are particularly suitable for creative lighting. They can be found on stairs and indirectly illuminate TV benches, sofas, and other pieces of furniture. The result is subtle secondary lighting that sets stylish lighting accents at the same time. But what exactly are LED strips and how do they work?
Basically, they consist of a flexible band that is provided with LEDs at regular intervals. Thanks to their mobility, they are very easy to attach – even in places that are difficult to access.
LEDs may be small, but they contain a lot of technology that, among other things, enables numerous light colors. But how do these actually come about? The light color depends both on the doping of the layers and on the semiconductor materials used. Each combination has a different energy level.
With a high energy output, for example, blue light is produced, with a low one, the LED strip lights up red. Thanks to numerous material systems that exist today, LEDs can shine monochromatically in almost all colors. On the other hand, one color that the luminaires cannot produce monochromatically is white. This is only possible thanks to the mixing of several colors or a physical process called luminescence.
For example, white light is created when the colors red, blue, and green overlap. So for this purpose, there must be three semiconductor crystals – one representative for each color. The corresponding LEDs are called RGB LEDs.
Now we come to the principle of luminescence. To do this, LEDs that emit blue light are coated with a thin layer of phosphor. This is excited to glow by the blue light waves, and yellow light is emitted. The combination of both colors ultimately results in white light. Depending on how thick the phosphor layer is, the light appears warm, cold, or neutral white.
But not only the lights themselves can be found on LED strips. There are also series resistors and conductor tracks that ensure the power supply.
Variants of LED strips
As already mentioned, there are LED strips with which a color change between red, blue, and green is possible: RGB LED strips. The so-called RGBW strips also have white light-emitting diodes and thus offer the possibility of generating, even more, light colors.
While some models can only be switched on and off, others can control individual chips directly. This allows the voltage to be varied to dim the light, as well as the selection of specific colors or color combinations.
Why buy LEDs?
A major advantage offered by LED lights is that they consume very little energy and still impress with their high luminosity. They represent energy-saving alternatives to ordinary light bulbs, which consume around ten times the energy. Of course, this also has a positive effect on the ecological balance of the lights.
Added to this is the long service life. This depends on the semiconductor materials used and the conditions under which the LED strips are put into operation. The lights can survive 15,000 to 50,000 hours and thus several decades. During this time they are almost maintenance-free.
The small and discreet design of the strips means they can be used very flexibly. They are flexible, insensitive to vibration, and generate only a little heat. This enables secure attachment to a wide variety of materials.
There is also the option of changing colors and dimming. In this way, the light can be optimally adapted to the current needs at any time.
Put LED strips into operation professionally
All you need to start using LED strips are:
- a pair of scissors for
- desired reductions
- quick connector
- a power pack or an LED transformer
- a dimmer on request
- a controller
If you didn’t buy your LED strip to measure, you can easily cut it to size. This can be done with conventional scissors. As a rule, a cut can be made every three to five lights. It is important that the printed circuit board remains intact.
If the LED strip has a silicone or rubber coating, this must first be loosened at the soldering points. This is the only way to connect the strip later.
Now the quick connectors are used, thanks to which the LED strip can be connected easily and without soldering. All you have to do is loosen the front clamp of the connector and pass the strip through. Before closing, check that the copper conductors are flush under the pins.
It is also important to ensure that the positive and negative poles are connected correctly. If you connect the plus and minus poles directly with each other, you risk a short circuit. If the LED strip is to be laid over a corner, corner connectors can be used.
In general, when buying, make sure that the connector fits the thickness of the LED strip. It can also be determined whether it is a connector for single-color or RGB LEDs.
Be careful when choosing the power pack or transformer
It continues with the transformer or the power pack. Not every model is suitable. It is important to pay attention to the tension. This makes it easy to determine what power the power supply unit has to produce.
Let’s take a 4 meter long LED strip with an output of 5 watts per meter as an example. Both values must be multiplied together. The required capacity is 20 watts.
However, there should never be a full load. Therefore, an average of 20 percent buffer is calculated. For the example, this results in a capacity of around 25 watts.
And there is something else to consider: LED strips are operated with direct current. The same should therefore apply to the transformer or power pack used. If, on the other hand, they supply AC voltage, the strip can be damaged.
If the right power supply has been selected, the LED strip can be connected to it. Here, too, it is of course important to ensure that the poles are connected correctly. If desired, a dimmer can be integrated in between.
Controller for RGB LEDs
If the choice fell on an RGB LED strip, the interposition of a controller is necessary. This is the only way the lights can be switched on and off and color changes can be carried out.
RGB LEDs are equipped with a four-wire connection cable. This consists of a black or white positive connection and a red, green, and blue negative connection each. The colored cable ends are connected to the corresponding terminals. So the red wire is connected to the terminal R and so on. The black or white cable finds its place in the positive pole of the controller.
The controller must then be connected to the power pack using a low-voltage connection cable. The black wire is connected to the V- terminal, the red to the V+ terminal. The cable connector ends up in the controller coupling, which is marked Power.
In the last step, the cable ends of the supply line are fed into the connection terminals. The outer conductor, which is usually brown or black, goes to the L terminal. The blue neutral conductor goes to the N terminal and the yellow or green protective conductor to the PEN terminal. This can also be marked with the protective conductor sign instead of a combination of letters.
Quality meets innovation and sustainability
LEDs stand for innovation, just like our company. We at LED Strips are not only market leaders in the field of LED diodes, but also in controls and housing construction. With passion, we implement your projects efficiently, sustainably, and of the highest quality.
You will look in vain for single-use products with us. We enrich the market with contemporary, innovative solutions with which we want to ensure more sustainability. We only use the best raw materials so that our products can convince with long service life. We attach great importance to fair trade and long-term cooperation.
But what is most important to us is the satisfaction of our customers. That is why we offer you tailor-made solutions that are optimally tailored to your needs. Of course, this also applies to our LED strips. So let’s take a closer look at our QLF and QLF Pro series. We offer you years of lighting experience of the best quality.
The QLF series for indoor use
Our QLF LED strips impress with a colorfastness of over 80 CRI. You choose between color tempera temperatures between 2200 and 6500 K. Whatever your decision, you can always rely on color homogeneity.
Our LED diodes are up to 5 meters long and can be shortened as required. They offer maximum flexibility and can be optimally integrated into your project. But that’s not all. Our products have very low energy consumption, which makes them incredibly durable.
Of course, the high-quality raw materials that we process also play an important role. At room temperature, the LEDs shine for up to 50,000 hours, around 15 years.
If you are looking for LED strips for general linear lighting, furniture or light accents in the house, our QLF strips are the best choice. These are the advantages at a glance:
- 200 LEDs per meter for homogeneous light and lighting without any shadows
- no additional cooling devices required thanks to low heat development
- low wear due to a load of just one watt
QLF Pro for special projects
Our QLF Pro Strips meet very special requirements and are equally suitable for indoor and outdoor use. We use ceramic in the chips, which convinces optimal light transmission and temperature resistance. This makes the material not only flexible in use but also durable.
In addition, there are conductor tracks with a gold coating. They offer the QLF Pro Strips protection against oxidation and corrosion and allow them to be used outdoors. Temperatures from -40 °C to 120 °C are no problem.
Whether in your own garden, as facade lighting, in industrial halls, or hotel lobbies: A colorfastness of up to 100 CRI is always given. In addition, the QLF Pro LED strips can be individually cut every 10 to 20 millimeters and thus offer optimal flexibility.
At room temperature, the LED strips have a service life of up to 200,000 hours, which corresponds to around 60 years. How does this long life come about? The gold-plated conductors enable very low energy consumption – even with LED strips several meters long.
Tailor-made masterpieces at LED Strips
We at LED Strips stand for tailor-made product solutions of the highest quality. We develop these together with you. We appreciate close contact with our customers and are happy to take on your personal ideas and wishes.
We are proud of the great trust that we are allowed to enjoy day after day. We would be happy to advise you in detail and look forward to hearing from you.