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LED strip guide:understanding the life, installation, wiring, and other details

LED strips light D3 (2)

LED strips are a popular lighting option, favoured by consumers for their long life, energy efficiency and environmental protection. However, many people have questions about the life of LED strips, cutting, installation, wiring and other issues. This article will provide detailed answers to these questions.

>>If you want to know some basic information about LED strips, please check: What are LED strips of light?

LED strip guide:understanding the life, installation, wiring, and other details

How long do the LED strip lights last?

Do the light strips you buy last work well now? What do we need to know before we buy to get a good quality, long-lasting strip?

Most LED strips can be lit for between 20,000 and 50,000 hours, depending on the installation method, the product used, how long you have it on constantly, and the diode manufacturer. Fifty thousand hours equals 17 years of light output, 8 hours per day. LED strips differ from traditional incandescent lamps because LEDs fade slowly over time. Useful life is the hours until the LED reaches about 70% of its light output. More than 70% is “end of life,” and the light output behind it is often too dim to be meaningful. These numbers give us consumers an indicator of how long we can expect this light to last.

What is LED's L70

How is L70 Calculated_

Unlike incandescent lights that burn and fluorescent lights that start to flicker, LED lights slowly and gradually lose their light output over time. Therefore, without any serious faults, such as power surges or mechanical damage, LED strips are fine to keep using until you think they are too dim.

But how dim is “too dim when in use”? Well, there are many answers, as everyone feels differently. However, the LED industry considers a 30% loss of light, or 70% of the remaining light, to be the line in the sand. This is often referred to as the L70 metric and is defined as the number of hours it takes for an LED to dim to only 70% of its original light output.

How is L70 calculated?

LED's L70

Given certain conditions, the L70 rating measures how long an LED will last. Many factors affect the life of an LED, such as material selection, durability, and quality. However, higher temperatures and drive currents generally cause the light output to degrade more rapidly.

Because material selection can vary greatly between different types of LEDs and manufacturers, there was a need for a testing method that could standardize the main criteria for testing light output lifetime. This led to the creation of LM-80 testing, specifying testing samples under predefined temperatures and driving current conditions to measure output degradation over 1000 hours at 10-hour intervals, up to 10,000 hours being possible. Third-party laboratories typically perform LM-80 tests to ensure objectivity in results reporting; all reputable manufacturers will have their products tested according to this standard format, and reputable LED lamp suppliers should not have any issues providing you with this test data if you are buying wholesale quantities.

The difficulty with LED life testing lies in its length: even if your LED is on 24/7, it takes 10000 hours.

Does LED strip light will burn out?

The installation also determines how long your LED strip will last. Any bends, creases, or unusual applications can affect the diode and circuitry. Cutting and lengthening your strip can also cause a voltage drop that affects the quality of your strip. Look for a safety listing. Ensure the LED strips you buy have a safety listing such as UL or ETL. This means they have been tested, meet standards, and are rated for various specifications.

What is the structure of the LED strips light composed of?

What is the structure of the LED strips light composed of_

The main components of an LED strip are LEDs, FPCB (Flexible Printed Circuit Board), resistors, or other components. LED strips are manufactured using an assembly process called Surface Mount Technology (SMT) to mount the LEDs, resistors, and other components on the FPCB.

Some outdoor or underwater LED strips will be wrapped with silicone or PU glue.

Please note that high IP-rated LED strips will have a shorter lifespan than IP20 LED strips because high IP-rated LED strips cannot dissipate heat faster. Generally speaking, the colder the environment, the higher the light output of the LED. Higher temperatures usually reduce light output.

The most critical component of the LED strip is the SMD LED. the life of the SMD LED determines the life of the LED strip.

What factors affect the life of the LED strip?

1. FPCB (Flexible Printed Circuit Board)

High-quality double-layer pure copper flexible printed circuit board can ensure the smooth passage of large amounts of current, reduce heat generation, and dissipate heat faster. Heat will shorten the life of LED, so we need to find ways to dissipate the heat. By fixing the LED strip to the aluminum profile, we can dissipate as much heat as possible and reduce the working temperature.

2. Double-sided adhesive tape

At kingornan, we use 3M brand VHB tape. However, many suppliers offer unbranded backing tapes or counterfeit brand adhesives.

3. Resistors

Resistors regulate the forward current through the LED to make the LED work at the designed brightness. Resistor values may vary from batch to batch. It is important to purchase high-quality resistors. Low-quality resistors may shorten the life of the LED strip or even damage it.

Don’t over-brighten your LEDs. They will appear brighter at first but will fail quickly. We know of several competitors that do this. Too much heat can also be dangerous if installed on flammable materials.

4. Power supply

The power supply is also a critical part. You must make sure to use a brand-name, quality-assured power supply. A bad-quality power supply may output an unstable voltage higher than the operating voltage of the LED strip, thus burning the LED strip.

And make sure that the power of the LED strip does not exceed the rated maximum capacity of the power supply. To ensure that the voltage can work more stable for a longer period, we recommend that the LED strip’s power should not exceed 80% of the rated maximum capacity of the power supply.

5. Heat dissipation

Heat can greatly shorten the life of the LED. Therefore, we should find ways to dissipate heat promptly when we use LED strips. Try to install the LED strip in a well-ventilated place. If budget allows, the LED light bar insists on using an aluminum profile. Aluminum is an excellent metal for heat dissipation, which can dissipate the heat from the LED strip in time and extend the life of the LED strip.

6. Screw terminals with no solder

LED strips with solderless terminals allow you to clip the two ends together without worrying about soldering them together. Solderless connectors have the same function. Screw terminals require you to connect the two terminals by screwing them together. Using screw terminals can cause structural stress and damage the ribbon components, reducing life.

7. Installation process

When installing LED strips, it is extremely important to read the instructions. Be aware that poor installation work will not only reduce its life but will also void your warranty.

Therefore, be careful when installing these products. Please consult a professional if you do not understand how to install them.

8. Moisture or heat may cause damage

The presence of moisture increases the chance of rusting and short-circuiting. Therefore, it is best not to install LED strips in humid areas such as bathrooms.

9. Type of wire connection

Be sure to use the correct wire. If you use a wire of insufficient gauge to handle the voltage required to run the strip, the strip will run at a lower voltage, increasing wear and tear on its components.

10. Protective Cover

Do your best to protect your light strip from external environmental factors such as heat, humidity, dust, etc. The best way to do this is to use a protective cover for your LED strip.

When using LED strips, attention to these factors will help your LED lights last longer. In addition, you can take extra precautions to extend the life of your light bar even longer.

How to extend the life of LED strip lights?

1.  By collecting dust

Over time, your LED strip will naturally collect dust. Large amounts of dust may interrupt the circuitry of your LED strip. Therefore, it is best to clean your LED strip frequently. Instead of wiping down the dust, consider using a vacuum cleaner or blower to remove it. This allows you to clean the components without touching them.

2.  Keep the temperature low

Try to mount the light bar in a location that maintains normal room temperature. Please do not install the light where it will be exposed to sunlight for long periods.

3.  Avoid series connection

Connecting LEDs in series in a circuit can greatly increase voltage requirements. In addition to putting a lot of strain on your wires and power supply, this can also cause the temperature of the light bar to rise a lot.

Therefore, you should always connect your LED strips in parallel.

4.  Regular Inspection

As with any electrical component, regular inspection and maintenance are essential to extend the life of your product.

When people ask how long LED strips last, we always tell them to keep checking their lighting fixtures. That way, you can fix any small problems before it gets worse.

5.  Don't Bend Your Light Bar

Bending your LED strips can stress and strain the components inside them. If you need to cycle or turn the orientation of your strips, we recommend using back-to-back or 90-degree connectors, keeping in mind that bending these strips may also void their warranty.

6. Please wear gloves when installing

Oil and moisture on your hands may cause the LED’s components to malfunction. To avoid this, wear gloves when handling these products.

7. Wrap-up

When it’s all said and done, buying the right type of LED strip, installing it properly, and performing all maintenance measures correctly can increase the life of your LED strip by almost 50% of its original life.

Understand that quality always comes at a price. Therefore, even though reliable brands cost more, their products may last longer, saving you money in the long run.

Is LED strip lighting suitable for use?

Is LED strip lighting suitable for use_

In recent years, LED strips have been popular due to their flexibility, brightness, and colorful lights and have been widely used in residential and commercial lighting projects worldwide. However, the safety of using LED strips has also received more and more attention. Are they safe to use? The answer is yes.

When using LED strips, there are some important things to note to ensure that the strips continue to function properly:

  1. Be aware of the power connection. LED strips come in various types, such as a plug-in, battery-powered, or USB-powered. When using them, protect the plug on plug-in types, the battery compartment on battery-powered types, and the USB port on USB-powered types. Although most LED strips are waterproof, the plugs, battery compartments, and USB ports are not.
  2. Be aware of the connection distance. Different types of LED strips also have different connection distances. For example, the maximum connection distance for 5050 series LED strips is 15 meters, while the maximum connection distance for 3258 series LED strips can reach 20 meters. If the connection distance is exceeded, the LED strips will easily heat up, affecting their performance and lifespan.
  3. Be aware of whether LED strips can be cut. Due to the fixed length of LED strips, finding a suitable length for purchase is often difficult. Many people will try to cut them. However, not all LED strips on the market are supported by cutting. This depends mainly on the product you purchased. Generally, if LED strips have cutting lines, they can be cut. Otherwise, they can not be cut.

>>Learn more about LED strip installation precautions: Precautions for installing the LED strip light

How much electricity does an LED light strip use?

How much electricity does an LED light strip use?

The amount of electricity an LED light strip uses can vary depending on the product’s power consumption. LED light strips generally use less electricity than traditional incandescent or halogen lights.

Typically, the power consumption of an LED light strip is measured in watts per meter. For example, a 5-meter LED light strip with a power consumption of 4.8 watts per meter would use 24 watts.

You can also check the voltage and amperage of the power supply used for the LED light strip. This will give you an idea of the total power consumption. The voltage is typically 12V or 24V, and the amperage can vary depending on the length and power of the LED strip.

It’s also worth noting that the electricity usage of an LED strip light will also depend on how many hours you keep the light on and the brightness setting. The longer the light is on, the brighter it is, and the more electricity it will use.

In general, LED light strips are more energy-efficient than traditional lighting options and can help you save on your energy bill.

How many LED light strips do I need for a room? How many lumens do you need? Today’s energy-efficient LED bulbs are measured in lumens (lm), several lumens that indicate the brightness of the bulb. (Lumens are a more accurate way to measure the quality of light compared to the previous measurement of watts, which refers to how much energy the bulb uses).

As a basic guide to how many lumens you need in a room, first, multiply the length and width of the room to get the square footage – so a 10 x 10-foot room has a total area of 100 square feet.

Next, you must figure out how many lumens you need per square foot. This will depend on the individual room and what it is used for.

A living room or bedroom typically requires 10-20 lumens per square foot, while a bathroom or kitchen requires a more intense level of lighting, around 70-80 lumens per square foot. To figure out how many lumens you need, multiply the area of the room by this number. So, our 100 square foot living room with 10-20 footcandles would require about 1000-2000 lumens.

Calculating the lumens will give you a rough idea of how many light strips you will need for this room.

When Should You Reset Led Light Remote?

When your Led light starts to flicker or misbehave, resetting the remote may fix the problem.

When Should You Reset Led Light Remote_

Instructions: How to Reset Led Light Remote

Method 1: Hard Reset

If your LED light remote doesn’t respond to any buttons, or if you have replaced the batteries and it still doesn’t work, you need to perform a hard reset. To perform a hard reset, follow these steps.

  • The first step is locating the remote control’s reset button. The button is usually small and hidden on the back or side of the remote control. You will notice a small hole next to the button.
    – The second step is to press the reset button with a paperclip or other small object. Take a paperclip or something similar and insert it into the hole next to the reset button. Press the paperclip until you feel a slight click. This click indicates that you have successfully pressed the reset button.
  • The third step is to hold the reset button for 3 seconds. After you press the reset button, you need to hold it down for 3 seconds. After 3 seconds, you can release the reset button, and your LED light remote control should be reset successfully.
  • The fourth step is to test the remote control. Once you have reset the remote control, it is time to test it. Turn on your LED light and use the remote control to change the brightness or color. If the remote control works properly, you should have no problems controlling the lights. If not, you may need to try other methods.”

Method 2: Replace the battery with a new one.

It may be because the battery is dead.

Method 3: Use the factory reset function.

The first step is to find the factory reset button on the remote control. This button is usually small and hidden on the back or side of the remote. You will see a small hole next to the button. Press the factory reset button.

How to connect LED strip light

How to connect LED strip light

There are a few ways to repair LED strip lights, depending on the specific issue you’re experiencing. Here are a few common problems and solutions:

  1. If the LED strip light is not turning on at all, the first thing to check is the power source and connection. Ensure the power adapter is properly plugged in and the voltage is correct for the LED strip.
  2. If certain sections of the LED strip are not working, the problem is likely with the connection. Check the soldered joints and ensure that they are securely attached. You can try re-soldering them or replacing the connector if they are loose or corroded.
  3.  If the LED strip is dimming or flickering, it could be a problem with the power supply or the quality of the strip. Check the voltage and amperage of the power supply to ensure it is compatible with the LED strip. Also, check if the strip is of good quality and not damaged.
  4. If the color of the LED strip has changed or is inconsistent, the problem is likely with the LED driver or control. The LED driver is a small electronic device that regulates the power supplied to the LEDs. You may need to replace the driver or control unit.
  5. If the strip is physically damaged, such as bent or cut, it is best to replace it.

Before troubleshooting and repairing the LED strip, it is important to ensure that the power is off and be careful not to touch the soldered pins of the LED chips. Using the right tools and equipment is also important to avoid causing further damage. If you are not experienced in repairing LED strips, it is best to consult a professional electrician.

When were LED light strips invented?

LED light strips, also known as LED tape or ribbon lights, were invented in the early 1990s. The technology for LED light strips was first developed by companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Nichia Corporation, which were among the first to develop high-brightness blue and white LEDs.

The early versions of LED light strips were primarily used for industrial and commercial lighting applications, such as lighting for signs and displays. However, as the technology improved and the cost of LEDs decreased, LED light strips began to be used in a wider range of applications, including residential and architectural lighting.

LED light strips in residential and architectural lighting began to gain popularity in the early 2000s. By the 2010s, it had become a popular and widely used lighting solution. Nowadays, LED light strips are widely used in various applications, from indoor to outdoor, from commercial to residential, and can be found in many forms, such as flexible or rigid, with different color temperatures and brightness, and even with smart control.

Where to cut LED strip light?

Where to cut LED strip light_

LED strip lights are typically designed to be cut at certain intervals, known as cutting marks or cut lines. These cutting marks are usually indicated by a small line or a set of small dots along the strip and can be located at regular intervals, such as every 3 or 6 LEDs.

When cutting an LED strip light, it is important to only cut at the designated cutting marks to ensure that the LEDs and the circuit board are not damaged. Cutting at the wrong location can cause the strip to stop working or to work poorly.

Additionally, it’s important to use a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife to cut to avoid cracking or breaking the strip. And after cutting, you should use the proper connector to connect the strip or some heat-shrink tubing to protect the strip from short-circuit.

Not all LED strip lights are designed to be cut, and if you’re not sure if a specific LED strip can be cut, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s specifications or consult an expert.

How to cut LED strip lights?

How to cut LED strip lights_

Cutting LED strip lights is a simple process, but it’s important to follow the correct steps to ensure that the strip is cut correctly and that the LEDs and circuit board are not damaged. Here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Locate the cutting marks: LED strip lights are designed with specific cutting marks, typically indicated by a small line or a set of small dots along the strip. These marks are located at regular intervals, such as every 3 or 6 LEDs.
  2. Measure and mark the cut: Measure the length of the LED strip you need and mark the cut location with a pen or a piece of tape at the desired cutting mark.
  3. Use sharp scissors or a utility knife: Use a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife to cut. This will help to avoid cracking or breaking the strip.
  4. Connect the strip: Once the strip has been cut, you should connect the cut ends using a connector, typically a small clip that snaps onto the strip. This will ensure that the strip maintains a continuous electrical connection.
  5. Alternatively, you can use heat-shrink tubing: Instead of using a connector, you can use heat-shrink tubing to protect the cut ends from short-circuit. To do this, slide the tubing over the cut end of the strip, then use a heat gun or a hair dryer to shrink the tubing and seal the cut end.

It’s important to note that some LED strip lights might have a different cutting method; for example, some strip lights may have a soldering pad; in that case, you will have to solder the strip after cutting to ensure the continuity of the circuit. And always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before making any cut.

>>Learn more about the steps to cut the LED strip in detail: Can you cut LED strip lights?

Conclusion:

This article provides detailed answers to questions about the life span, installation, and wiring of LED strips. Among them, we explain the concept of L70 and explain in detail the calculation method of L70 for the lifetime of LED strips. In addition, suggestions on how to extend the life of LED strips are also provided. For installation and wiring issues, guidance instructions are also provided. If you have any questions about this article or LED strips, please get in touch with us. kingornan‘s technical team will be happy to answer them for you.

>>For more information about LED strip lights, check out our other LED strip lights blogs.

>>Check out the latest styles, the hottest LED strip lights.

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