Would you like to improve the ambience of your home? Installing LED strip lights should top the list of your priorities. To start with, these lights have revolutionized the way we light up our homes, offices spaces and business premises. Unlike other conventional lights, these ones are more versatile, easy to install, affordable and can be controlled by both a remote control and a smartphone. Besides this, these lights come in a plethora of colors and brightness. As a result, they are ideal for reflecting the mood of the moment. Since they can be installed on nearly any surface you can think of, be sure that they will offer the much-needed value for money. To utilize these lights, you need to cut them into the sizes you want and then connect them to a power supply. In this article, we shall take a closer look at the best ways on how to connect LED strip lights to power supply, alongside other related ideas.
Why You Should Install LED Strip lights?
Before we take a closer look at how you can power these lights, there is a need for you to know some of the benefits of installing LED strip lights. Here are some of the reasons why you should invest in these lights today;
1) They are very efficient in saving energy
When it comes to energy savings, these lights do not disappoint. Unlike the ordinary lights only utilize 75% less energy than the incandescent bulbs. Consequently, these lights are ideal for continuous use as your energy bills will be kept at the bare minimum.
2) They can last for ages
Besides being energy efficient, these lights are very durable. To put this into perspective, some of these lights can operate for 40000 to 50000 hours. Practically, this can be likened to leaving a normal bulb for several years without switching it off. This feature makes them worth investing in them.
3) Flexible lighting choices
Once you purchase these lights, be sure that you can change the mood of any room you please. This can be attributed to the different colors and brightness features that come with these lights.
With these features in place, the only thing that can limit you is your imagination. However, you will be at liberty to choose the color effect you want for a certain room and so forth. With this flexibility feature in place, you will be able to change the ambience of any room you can think of.
Apart from having the above-mentioned 3 features, these lights are very versatile. Whether you want to light up your bedroom or sitting room, be sure that you will be able to light up these places on the go. All you have to do is to stick these lights on a particular surface and then power them on. Besides this, the lights can be installed in places where other conventional luminaries cannot fit.
5) Less heat generation
Ordinary lighting solutions usually produce a lot of heat whenever they are powered on. However, with strip LED lights, be sure that you can leave these lights on for hours without having to worry that they can burn anyone who comes into contact with them.
This is more important if you have kids or pets in your house. Even after being on for hours, you can go ahead and manipulate these lights the way you please without having to panic that your fingers will get burnt. Consequently, these lights are ideal for camping and other outdoor activities.
6) They are programmable
Unlike other lights, these one allow you to program them the way you please. From setting alternating lighting patters to making them flash every now and then, there are many ways you can program them to offer you the kind of lightning you want around your home or campsite. If you have music playing in the background, you can go ahead and pulse them with music. Such combination works magic when you have visitors in your home.
7) Environmental friendly
Since these lights can last for ages without getting damaged, chances are that you will not have to change them every now and then. This mean that you will not dispose these lights like you would do with other conventional lights.
In fact, these lights can also be sold as used lighting and still serve their purpose as expected. This goes a long way in conserving the environment and thus is a great option for those who want to go green.
How To Connect LED Strip Lights To Power Supply
Since you know the various benefits of investing in LED lights, the next thing is to purchase them, take them home and then start the actual connection process. Remember that these lights can only work well once you have them to the power supply in the correct way.
To start with, there are many ways that can help you connect these lights to a power supply. Here, you can either connect each strip directly to a socket or can hardwire these lights directly to the main power supply of your home.
Either of these methods are application depending on the project you have. For instance, if you have a small lighting project, it is important that you connect each strip directly to a given socket. To establish this connection, you can consider using LED light strip clips. On the other hand, if you have a large projects such as lighting up your entire office or building, you can consider hardwiring the LED strip lights to the main power supply of your home or building. Regardless of the method you choose to use, there are a series of steps that you should take. These include:
1) Calculate the LED strip wattage
Before you connect the LED strip lights to your preferred power supply, there is a need for you to determine how much power you will need in order to power the LED Strip lights. Depending on the length of your LED strip light, the amount of power needed may vary.
To calculate the amount of power you need, you should multiply the length of your LED strip by its wattage per meter of the strip. For instance, if your LED strip is 3.8m long and it has 5W/M power draw, be sure that you will need to supply it with at least 19W for you to power it. The good news is that you can readily find power draw details on the packaging that came with the LED strip lights.
Besides the above-mentioned consideration, you should also pay attention to the voltage requirement for your LED strip light. Ideally, most strips usually have either a 12V or 24V voltage requirement. Therefore, there is a need for you to choose a power source that matches with the voltage of your particular LED strip light.
2) Look out for the right power supply
With the details about power supply at hand, the next step is to look out for the right power supply. Ideally, it should be compatible with your LED strip light, otherwise the LED strip light will not work.
For optimal results, you should choose a power supply that will utilize about 80% of the overall power so as to power up the LED strip lights. This consideration is very critical as far as the durability of the LED strip lights and the power supply is concerned.
For instance, if your LED strip light has a wattage requirement of 19W, your power supply of choice should offer a minimum output of 23W.Such consideration will go a long way in preventing your power supply from overheating. With the minimum wattage requirement in place, time is ripe for you to choose either of the following options for powering up your LED strip lights:
A) Plug-ins or sockets
One of the options you can choose to power up your LED strip lights is by connecting them to the plug-ins or sockets in your house. To connect them here, you will need to have a desktop LED power supply.
Here, you will be required to connect one end of the power supply to the LED tapes and then the other one to the sockets so that you can light up the LED strip lights. If you are using LED ribbon lights in your home, this option can work magic for you. It is also ideal for smaller spaces or areas where you need to have accent or task lighting.
Besides the sockets, you can power up your LED strip lights using batteries. This option is ideal when you want to light up a small piece of your LED strip light. Better still, if you are going to travel with your LED strip, this option is ideal for you.
The above-mentioned power option is ideal if you want to light up large surface area such as your business premise or industry. Here, you will be connecting the LED strip lights directly to wiring system of your house.
To connect your LED strip light to power using this option, you will need to obtain an aluminum case LED power supply. Since this process can be a little bit technical, it is important that you hire the services of a professional electrician.
Connect The LED Strip To The Power Supply
Once you have settled for any of the above-mentioned power options, you can now connect the LED strip lights to one of them. In case you have opted to connect these lights to your plug-ins or sockets, there are two ways to get started. First and foremost, you can connect each length of the LED strip to a single desktop power supply and then connect it to your preferred socket.
Better still, you can opt to connect parallel LED strip lights together using a wire clip. Once you have connected the LED lights to the wire clip, you can thereafter connect the wire clip to the socket.
The good news is that both methods will enable you light up your home without having to worry about voltage drop. If you have to connect the LED strip lights directly to a power source, consider using a LED light strip plug connectors.
Methods to Prevent the LED lights from Overheating
Previously, we have mentioned that LED strip lights can hardly overheat. However, these lights can still overheat if some measures are not taken into consideration. Some of these considerations include:
1) Always follow the specifications of the manufacturer
One of the leading reasons for LED lights overheating is not adhering to the specifications stipulated by the manufacturer. Here, you should not allow excess energy to these strip lights. In most cases, there is a specific wattage that you should not surpass. If you go beyond this threshold, your strip lights will overheat and thus not last for long.
2) Try to avoid small and enclosed spaces
Although you use these lights in small and enclosed spaces, the only risk posed here is that they are likely to overheat. If possible you can space them out and use them in open spaces. By doing so, these lights will hardly overheat and thus last for ages.
3) Installing these lights in an area that has high temperatures
If you install these lights in area that are generally hot, chances are that these LED strip lights will also become hot as well. Consequently, these lights can overheat and thus not last for long. Instead, you should always mount these lights on cooler places.
4) Ventilate your room
Ventilation is not only important when it comes to indoor air quality but also to the lifespan of your LED strip lights. By increasing the ventilation of your space or room, you will be able to lower the temperature of that room and thus offer the much-needed cooling effect to your LED strip lights.
From brightening up your holiday decorations to lightning up your business premise, there are many benefits of installing LED strip lights. Once you purchase these lights, you should connect them to the power supply as illustrated above. As long as you mount them correctly and power them as per the manufacturer’s instructions, be sure that you will reduce the chances of overheating. Consequently, these lights will last longer and offer the much-needed lighting to any given space or room for ages.