Flexible LED Strip Lights
Some people live life in full color. Our flexible LED strip lights can transform any space you enjoy: kitchens, RVs, campers, home theaters, boats, and more. Because of their size, bendability, and secure 3M™ adhesive backing, these tape lights are a one-size-fits-all lighting option.
We offer the most reliable and brightest LED strips you can find. Many of our flex LED strip lights are backed by a lifetime warranty to ensure this commitment. Check out our various LED strip lights and shop for the perfect lighting to transform your space.
What are Flexible LED Strip Lights?
Flexible LED strip lights are thin circuit boards that house a series of small SMD (surface-mounted device) LED chips and COB (chip-on-board) LEDs. You’ll also hear these lights referred to as LED strip lighting, LED tape lights, or LED ribbon lighting. Strip lights typically come with adhesive tape on the back (ours use 3M™ adhesive backing) and come in a variety of different chip types and chip sizes. Certain light strips can be paired with controllers such as remotes or wall plates to change color, CCT, and brightness.
LED tape lights can be easily cut at the indicated cut marks, meaning they can fit almost anywhere and are customizable for any project. We also sell a variety of complete strip light kits that include everything you need to complete your project.
Most flexible LED tape lights use low voltage DC power and require a power supply and a controller, except a variety of white strip lights. If you have already selected a strip light, you can figure out which power supply will work best using our LED Strip Light Power Supply Calculator.
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Types of Flexible LED Strip Lights
SMD LED Strip Lights
One popular type of strip lights are the SMD LEDs (surface mounted device). In an SMD LED light strip, the chip is mounted and fused onto the circuit board with space in between each chip. These strips are bendable, versatile, and customizable. SMD LEDs can be cut or soldered together to fit the exact length you need. Because of the chip placement, SMD strips can extend their beam 120° around the circuit board.
COB LED Strip Lights
Another option for flexible LED strip lights is our COB (chip on board) strips, sometimes called dotless LED strip lights. In a COB strip, light chips come with a phosphor diffuser over the top and are placed closely together to make an even, continuous glow. The strip remains flexible which allows it to be applied on rounded or sharp application areas. Like standard SMD strips, COB LED strips can be cut at designated marks or soldered together.
TRADITIONAL SMD LED STRIP
COB SERIES STRIP
Black PCB Strips
Black PCB strip lights function as regular SMD strip lights do. The only difference is the printed circuit board is black, not the traditional white. This makes these strips ideal for applications on dark surfaces where you want your strip to blend in.
Multi-row LED strips are LED strips with 2+ rows of chips mounted on a single circuit board. These strips are great if you want a larger light source with all the flexibility of a strip light.
Unlike a traditional LED strip that mounts the LED chips in the center of the circuit board, a side-emitting LED strip mounts the chips on only one side. These are designed to be installed on flat surfaces without showing the strip and they are great for accent lighting.
Flexible Neon Strips
Neon LED strip lights are a perfect alternative to traditional glass neon lights. They are shatterproof and bendable, so you can use them for a multitude of different lighting projects. With an IP65 watertight rating, these strips are perfect for indoor and outdoor use.
COB strip lights are especially useful when you cannot hide the strip behind anything and you don’t want the individual LED chips to be visible. They can also reduce hotspots if you place these lights close to highly reflective surfaces.
The Right Flexible LED Strip Lights for Your Application
Our LED tape lights come with multiple features and specs that give you the ability to bring your specific lighting vision to life.
Color-changing LED strips are perfect if you want the ability to change your lighting color on the fly. These display a single RGB color across your light strip.
Static White or Single Color RGB
Know exactly what color you want to display? Single-color strips contain one type of LED for a particular color. We also have a UV light option in addition to standard RGB colors.
Tunable white LED strips change correlated color temperature (CCT) with the help of a remote or compatible app for increased variability. Select different CCTs ranging from a warm 3000K, for ambient lighting, all the way to a cool 6500K, for task lighting.
A color-chasing LED strip, also referred to addressable or ARGB, is a great option for those wanting a more exciting light experience. With multiple modes, sequence length, and chase speed, these are perfect for lights shows.
Dimmable light strips give you the ability to change the brightness of your LEDs. Shine your lights at full brightness for the highest level of visibility, or adjust the lights down for a softer, subtler effect.
If you plan to install your LED strip light in a location that will come in contact with water, be sure to choose a strip that is weatherproof or submersible rated.
Choose between 12VAC, 12VDC, 24V, 36V, 48V, and 120V strip lights. Different voltages are best suited for a variety of purposes. For example, 12VDC strips are commonly used for mobile applications, while 120V strips are best suited for longer max runs and plug and play projects.
Depending on how continuous you want your light to look, choose from low, standard (medium), or high-density LED strip lights. High-density strips have more LED chips per foot, and low-density strips have fewer. Since lower density strips have more space between each light chip, they emit less light and require less power to run.
For the most even effect, mount your flex LED strip light inside an aluminum channel that can be paired with a diffused lens along with other profile housing accessories. Aluminum channels also work as a heat sink which can extend the lifespan of your strips and ensure optimal performance. For more information on how to install an aluminum channel, visit our blog post here.
Connectors, Wires, and Installation Supplies
Solderless connectors are the easiest way to help you connect and configure your project’s set-up. We offer wire by the foot, or you can cut custom lengths of wires to fit your lighting system in the exact way that you need. For other installation supplies, browse our wide selection of light strip accessories here.
There are many different controllers you can add to your flexible strip light system. Some of our smart home products can be paired with Alexa and Google Home. Others, like our MiBoxer ecosystem, are easily controlled by a smart app or remote. These products, as well our vast selection of dimmers, can change the brightness of your strips.
You should always use a power supply with the same voltage as the tape light you are using. Using a 24V power supply on a 12V tape light, for example, will run the risk of creating a significant fire risk. Once you know what strip light you want, use this power supply calculator to get exactly the power supply you need. We offer popular brands like Diode Drive, Mean Well, and Magnitude.
Browse our various LED strip light series to find the best type of strip light for your desired effect.
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Important Factors to Consider When Shopping for LED Strip Lights
There are many choices, depending on what you need your flex LED strip lights to do. Check out our buyer’s guide here.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself:
- Will your lights be installed anywhere where there could be moisture, steam, or heat? If so, you’ll want to pay close attention to your flexible LED strip’s IP rating. Don’t forget to make sure you select one of our outdoor-rated power supplies, as well as other waterproofing accessories.
- For non-vehicle applications, do you want to use an external power source? If not, you can use our 120VAC lights.
- How bright do you want your LED strip light to be? Don’t focus on wattage, because that doesn’t account for efficiency. Lumens per foot or meter is how you’ll determine the brightness. Don’t forget, you can always adjust your brightness with a dimmer.
- What voltage do you need? For longer runs, higher voltage strip lights will give you more length before you run into a voltage drop. If you’re lighting a car, truck, motorcycle, or RV, 12V will be what you need most of the time.
- Will you be using an aluminum channel or lens? This could impact your decision about the density of your chosen flexible LED tape light. Lower density lights will appear as an even strip of light when installed underneath a lens. However, the lens causes about a 10 percent drop in brightness, which is an argument for higher density or lumens per foot depending on your needs.
- Is it likely your lights will get dirty? An aluminum channel and lens make it easier to keep your lights clean.
- Should you use an LED rope light or strip light? Most of the time strip lights will be a better product, due to their ease of installation and light output. However, flexible LED Neon Strip lights are a great alternative to glass neon lights.
Measuring Brightness of LED Tape Lights
The light output your LED tape lights put out is measured in lumens, specifically in lumens per foot or meter. The lumens metric is what will tell you how bright you can expect your lights to appear to the naked eye. We offer LED strip lights in many different brightness levels to accommodate any project.
If you see a lower lumen value on your RBG strip, don’t worry! Lumens measure all wavelengths of visible light. Since single colors only appear as one wave, the lumen measurement of RGB strips will be slightly lower than a comparable white light strip but will still appear as bright.
How Long Do Flexible LED Strip Lights Last?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy, one-size-fits-all answer for knowing how long your flexible LED strip light is going to last. That’s because there are a few factors that will either help you extend the life of your lights, or increase the likelihood of damage. If you take proper care of your strip lights, your lights could exceed the expected lifetime of 50,000 hours.
Getting the Right Power Supply
An LED strip light is one piece of a system that includes a power supply, connectors, wiring, and controllers. Generally speaking, the LED strip light will last longer than the power supply. Selecting an appropriate, high-quality power supply is the first step to making sure your lights last as long as possible. Read our blog post on choosing the right power supply help you calculate and determine which product you need for your project.
Adding a Heat Sink
One of the best ways to protect your strip light is to add a heat sink. A heat sink works to absorb emitting heat and direct it away from the LEDs so that the system doesn’t overheat. You can easily add an aluminum channel and polycarbonate lens to pull heat away from the light strips.
Exposure to the Elements (Rain, Dirt, Heat, Humidity, etc.)
The environment that you install your strip lights in is another essential factor to consider when thinking about how long they will last. Heat and humidity are two of the main reasons for a decreased life span in your LEDs. The ingress protection rating (IP) refers to a product’s ability to protect itself from solid objects (the first number) and moisture (the second number). This rating helps ensure you purchase strips that can withstand the ruggedness of your application. Remember that your entire set-up is only as protected as the most vulnerable piece. That means that you must seal and protect the power supply, wires, and connectors.
Your LED Tape Light’s Lifetime Performance
Another thing worth remembering is that LEDs, like all light sources, put out decreasing amounts of light over time. You’ll often see this noted as L70 and a number of hours, such as 50,000 hours. This means that after 50,000 hours, you can expect your flexible LED strip to retain 70% of its original lumens output. Generally, this is when you would replace your strip light.
LEDs are some of the most robust lighting products, and all of our products have been tested by our in-house team of engineers. In fact, some of our customers have LEDs they haven’t turned off for 10 years. With the right care and planning, you’ll likely find your flexible LED tape lights are built to last.
What Is The Max Run For My LED Strip?
Max run is the maximum length a strip light can extend from a single power source without experiencing an excessive voltage drop. Voltage drop occurs when a circuit gets so long that the voltage at the end farthest from the power source is not strong enough to push enough power down the strip. The result is that LED chips at the end of the circuit get dimmer than those at the beginning of the circuit.
Many factors can affect the max run of your LED strips. If your strip lights have a higher light density, such as a COB strip, then the max run will be lower since there are more components causing the voltage to lower. On the other hand, strips with a higher voltage, such as 24V, will have a longer max run because there is a lower current draw.
Determining the max run of your LED strip depends entirely on your project and how you intend to use your lights. For more information on max run and voltage drop, read our blog post on 12-Volt vs. 24-Volt LED Strip Lights.
Residential LED Lighting Strips
There are countless ways you can use LED strip lighting to improve the look and feel of your home. In particular, there are some specific rooms where flexible LED strips are immensely popular among homeowners.
LED Strip Lighting for Kitchens
Under cabinet lighting is one of the most popular residential uses for LED tape lights and can create a more luxurious, expensive feel in your kitchen. A high-quality kitchen can add to your home’s value, and strip lighting easily contributes to this. Better illumination also makes it easier to clean, cook, and use your kitchen at all hours of the day. Other common uses for strip lights include toe kick lighting, island lighting, and behind mirror lighting.
LED Strip Lighting for Bedrooms
LED Strip Lighting for Bathrooms
The bathroom is an essential part of any home and deserves to be furnished as such. Using LED strip lights in your bathroom helps create a relaxing environment and can help upgrade the space. Tunable LED strip lights are a popular choice for bathrooms because you can easily shift from a cooler white temperature in the morning to a warmer, more relaxing white in the evening.
Even if the strip light is not close to the sink or shower, your bathroom will most likely fill with condensation during hot showers, which means you’ll want to make sure you select strips with an IP rating of IPx4 or higher.
LED Strip Lighting for Living Rooms
Adding LED ribbon lighting in your living room has become increasingly popular in recent years. LED strips are most commonly installed behind TVs to not only make your living room feel more modern but to also create a more enjoyable viewing experience. Lighting behind TVs creates bias lighting which can relieve eye strain from staring at bright screens for too long. Bias lighting can also be helpful around computer monitors or anywhere you have an intense screen light.
Cove lighting is also a popular option to upgrade your living space. Cove lighting is typically installed on your ceiling and can create dynamic lighting effects. For installing cove lights, view our installation guide here!
Flexible LED strip lights can create a variety of different effects in the bedroom. An often overlooked space that requires illumination is the closet- add LED strip lights to make it easier to find the exact clothing item you need. Additionally, install LED lights behind your headboard or under your bed to give a soft glow and a relaxing, homey feel.
Search for the best strip lights for your bedroom with our strip lights buying guide here.
Flexible LED Strip Lights for Landscapes, Hardscapes, Decks, and Patios
LED strip lights are an excellent choice for handrails, decks, fire pits, patios, steps, and other key pieces of outdoor landscape or hardscape areas. These features not only make it easier to host garden parties or barbeques, but they also have a demonstrated ability to help you add value to your home.
Here are some ways you can use LED strip lights to add a beautiful gentle glow to your outdoor space:
- Contour curved pathways or illuminate walkways
- Around built-in furniture, benches, and fire pits
- Under steps
- Along retaining walls
- Backlighting sculptures or outdoor wallhangings
- Around the edge of rock or zen gardens
- Under the handrail on decks and patios
For photo inspiration on how to incorporate strip lights into your landscape, look through our numerous LED landscape lighting ideas for creating the perfect outdoor oasis. Be sure to select the product with the appropriate IP rating to ensure your lights will last in various outdoor conditions. Remember to install and protect your LED strip lights, power supplies, and controller by installing them away from dips and sags in the landscape.
Commercial LED Lighting Strips
Commercial LED lighting strips are helping businesses of all types create an atmosphere that entices customers to feel comfortable and relaxed. While LED tape lights were once primarily a residential product, more and more businesses are reaping the benefits of these versatile, powerful lights. This includes establishments such as restaurants and retail stores now utilizing LED strip lighting to make the perfect ambiance for all customers.
LED Strip Lighting for Restaurants
Flexible LED strips are essential to restaurant lighting. They create warm, inviting layers of light that make the atmosphere seem more expensive and encourage guests to stay longer. LED tape lights can not only draw the eye to decorative details along the wall or ceiling, but they can help eliminate uncomfortable glares by ensuring the space is evenly lit. For a bolder look, use RGB lights to match your lighting with the colors of your restaurant decor.
Creative use of flexible LED strip lights on the outside of your restaurant can create an enticing front for your restaurant. This could draw the eye of drivers and pedestrians to your doorway or patio and make your restaurant stand out from neighboring places. Ambient lighting can make your patio the “it spot” for evening hours and late-night events.
Ready to revamp your restaurant space? Check out our LED strip lights buying guide here.
Strip LED Lighting for Retail
You know how important your storefront is. It tells customers what to expect from your store and draws in people as they pass by. Flexible LED strip lights are an excellent choice for your storefront because you can use them in a myriad of different ways to stand out from the other buildings, showcase hot new products, and even make your signage pop.
Color rendering index, or CRI, is an important feature to understand anytime you use LED tape lights, but in a retail setting it is absolutely essential. CRI marks how accurately the lighting shows the true colors of an object in comparison to how it appears in natural light. Choosing LED ribbon lights with a high CRI will allow your customers to see the most accurate range of colors for your store merchandise.
Tunable flexible LED strip lights are also an excellent choice for retail, especially in display cases, where the best color temperature will depend on whether you’re predominantly showcasing gold or diamond jewelry.
For more information on the do’s and don’ts of LED retail lighting, click here.
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