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Everything you need to know about LED strips: structure, power, number of LEDs per meter.

The LED Strips and Tubes are ideal as decorative, ambient or architectural lighting. Different lighting projects can be acquired, where the limit is put by the client's imagination. Available in monocolor, RGB and different powers, they make it a very attractive product to illuminate any space.

To be able to talk about LED strips, we must first talk about the voltage ranges to which they work. We can find 4 ranges of stress that we are going to consider as the main ones. These are: 5 VDC, 12 VDC, 24 VDC and 220 VAC.

LED Strips 5 VDC: Within this range we can include the strips that have direct connection to a USB port and some Digital strips. They are not the most common that we can find in the market, although it is well quote them so that the user knows them.

LED strips 12/24 VDC: The advantages offered by this type of strips is that they can be cut every 5 cm in 12 VDC and 10 cm in 24 VDC. With this type of strips, more precise installations can be made than with the strips of direct connection to the network. An advantage of the same is that, when working in low voltage ranges, the manipulation of them is simpler and less dangerous. On the other hand, one drawback of working with this type of strips is the length of the installations. In GreenIce we recommend not to install more than 10 meters in order to avoid stress drops and therefore loss of illumination.

It is necessary to install a transformer that converts the current that pours the electrical network to the working tension of the strips.

220 VAC LED strips: This type of LED strips are a "modified" version. of the 12/24 VDC strips, so that they can be connected directly to the network through a power outlet. The main advantage, as we have said before, is that these LED strips are connected directly to the electrical network in such a way that we save the annoying transformer. In addition, with this type of strips the problem of the voltage drop does not exist so we can make facilities of 50 linear meters without any problem. Regarding the disadvantages, we can find that with this type of strips you can not make more precise installations because you can only make cuts every meter, so the facilities have to be 1 meter long .

Structure of the LED strips

Led strips are composed of three main elements. These are:

Resistance: The mission of the resistances in the Led strips is to limit the current that reaches the Led diodes. In this way, the current that reaches the chips is adequate and thus ensures proper operation of the strip.

PCB board: The functions of this board is to carry the power supply of the diodes and help to dissipate the heat produced. The quality of the PCB is determined by the thickness of it. The greater the thickness of the same, the greater the quality of the strip. In addition, the greater the thickness of the PCB, the larger it will be. the resistance to breakage of the strip.

LED Chip: Led strips have SMD type chips installed. The acronym SMD means, in its acronym in English, Surface Mounted Device or "Surface Mount Device". There are many types of SMD chips, the most used being the SMD 2835/3528. SMD 5050, SMD 3014 and SMD 5630. The numbers behind the acronym SMD refer to the measurements of the chips themselves. For example, the shape of an SMD 3528 chip is rectangular since its measurements are 35 mm x 28 mm, while the SMD 5050 chips have a square shape since their measurements are 50 mm x 50 mm.

Consumption and brightness

Entering a little more in the matter of the chips that use the Led strips, we will explain in a more detailed way the most used chips in the market and their main uses:

SMD strips 3528/2835.

This chip is used for strips of low power and low consumption. They have a low consumption are usually used in facilities where the light that is required is decorative. They are monochrome strips and the most economic option.

SMD 5050 strips

This type of strips have a higher consumption and provide more power than the SMD 3528. They are used for installations, where the luminous requirements are greater than a purely professional lighting. They are monochrome and multicolor strips (RGB).

SMD strips 3014

The most used when the purpose is decorative. They have a higher density of Led's on the strip so that the illumination it provides is of high intensity and continuously. They are strips with a low consumption, but with an exceptional luminous performance.

SMD Strips 5630 strong>

They provide a greater amount of light with the same consumption of SMD 5050 strips. They are used for installations where a high luminous power is required. These strips are monochrome and used in professional installations where high power is required.

Amount of LED's per meter

The amount of LED's in the meter directly affects the luminosity provided by the LED strips and their consumption. Depending on the lighting objective that is required, it should be; use one type of strip or another. Then, we show a rule to choose properly the strip that best suits your needs as a function of the LED 's / meter that has the strip.

30 LED's / meter: On-site lighting. Very used to highlight the selected elements in a tenuous way.

60 LED's / meter: Used to provide a standard lighting. Used for integration in moldings, corridors, bar bars, etc.

120 LED's / meter: For when the luminous requirements are high. Widely used for signage, outdoor lighting, etc.