Quality Construction and Size Should Not Be Overlooked with This Popular Lighting Option
Smart light strip lighting has become a popular choice for homeowners. Consumers can easily install these convenient lights to any room to control brightness, add color, and create just the right ambiance or mood for whatever the situation.
As popularity has grown, the market has been flooded by these lights, leaving shoppers confused by all the options. However, understanding some basic characteristics of strip light construction will make finding the right product much easier.
What is a light strip?
With a peel-and-stick backing for easy mounting on various surfaces, a light strip contains many small LEDs closely placed one after another on a long, narrow strip. You’re likely to find these underneath or above kitchen cabinets, bordering walls or TVs, or on top of the fireplace mantle. They’re perfect for adding accent lighting and vibrant color to any room.
Sengled offers a number of smart, multicolor light strip products using various connectivity options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Mesh, Zigbee) and lengths (2, 5, and 10 meters). The 10 meter Smart Wi-Fi LED Light Strip is a great choice for larger rooms. In addition, the light strip with Audio Sync has a built-in microphone and is perfect for placing on TVs.
Lumens: The key to unlocking brightness
You may be wondering just how much lighting power you need for a particular room. While that may seem like a logical question, the first thing to keep in mind is that in the lighting world, “power” is calculated in Watts and relates to power consumption. So, the question you are likely seeking an answer to is how bright of a light you need. Brightness is all about lumens, which is a measure of the amount of light a bulb provides.
For comparison’s sake, it’s fairly simple: the higher the lumen rating the brighter the bulb. Most lights prominently display the lumen rating on packaging (in fact, it’s required by the Federal Trade Commission, so be sure not to overlook this number.
Pro Tip: You may be wondering how a lumen rating is calculated on a multi-light device like a light strip. In other words, for a single, traditional light bulb, it seems obvious the lumen number represents the brightness of that individual product. However, a light strip contains many small LEDs. Therefore, the lumen number represents the brightness of the entire strip.
Other Brightness Considerations
Now that you’re an expert in lumens, don’t make the mistake of overlooking other key factors, especially related to light strips.
- LED Spacing – As described, light strips are constructed with many LEDs. How closely they’re spaced is important. If they are further apart, this will weaken illumination and brightness because the strip will have fewer total LEDs per meter. This also results in an inconsistent and less smooth distribution of the light.
- Size – Light strips typically come in different lengths to accommodate your installation requirements. While most can be trimmed with scissors to meet an exact size, this should be minimized as much as possible because it can negatively impact brightness. Therefore, the adage applies here (with a slight modification): measure twice, order once, and be sure to order the size as close to the length you need. In addition, light strips can typically be combined to extend their reach. Again, this should be kept to a minimum to ensure quality is not diminished.
- RGB vs. RGBW – RGB refers to a 3-in-1 LED light that includes red, green, and blue, whereas RGBW has the addition of white. The former is more entertainment-focused and uses the 3 colors to make other colors, including a white that isn’t quite as bright as a regular white LED. The RGBW is typically much brighter and great for task lighting like under a cabinet in the kitchen for cutting veggies or writing.
Pro Tip – Sengled’s RGB light strips are great for entertainment use when you don’t need the higher lumens. The Wi-Fi strips with Audio Sync, featuring a built-in microphone, interact with sounds from your television or other devices to enhance the experience. In addition, they use a segmented design that creates a perfect fit around the corners of your TV screen.
Why are some brands more expensive than others?
Generally speaking, Sengled light strips have a much higher lumen output, more LEDs per meter, and an overall better construction. In fact, Sengled uses a clear epoxy coating to secure the LEDs and create a high-quality product with a moisture-proof protective layer. Some light strip brands don’t use this same construction and the LEDs are exposed, creating a fragile product with a higher likelihood of damage.
A Brightness Example
Sengled’s Zigbee 2-meter Light Strip is our brightest strip and uses RGBW construction (technically an RGB LED chip plus a separate White LED chip). This is a highly functional product and can be used for decorative lighting as well as functional, everyday task lighting.
- Lumen output per LED chip: White – 700, Red – 40, Green – 100, Blue – 20
- LED quantity per meter: 24
However, the typical cheap brand is likely to use RGB construction, thus providing a lower quality, dull lighting experience.
- Lumen output per LED chip: White – NONE, Red – 8, Green – 35, Blue – 7
- LED quantity per meter: 18
Here’s one final tip to assist you when shopping. Before purchasing a light strip online, research the company name or brand. This type of lighting has become very popular recently, encouraging many newcomers to the marketplace who have very little light manufacturing experience. If the company doesn’t have a website or they are not an actual lighting company, tread lightly. Sengled has been an industry leader https://us.sengled.com/pages/company for nearly two decades, creating reliable, quality products.