LED Strip Lighting: Bright enough for task lighting

electronupdate

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Apr 23, 2013
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I recently noticed that LeeValley (leevalley.com) is now carrying LED strip lighting with 120 LEDs per meter... bright enough now for task lighting, not just as an accent.

I bought a roll and put it to use as some jigs for desktop photography lighting. I am pleased with the results. This is perhaps the most interesting bit about LEDs as they get brighter and how they fit so well into novel uses.

 

dspiffy

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I bought some LED strips for use for accent lighting. I bought the brightest ones I could find, as I was accustomed to older rope lighting. When I tell you they are BRIGHT . . . I wasnt prepared for just how much light output they had! I see why people are starting to use it for undercab. I might go that route myself.
 

FRITZHID

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I've actually been using the dual row 5050 strips (120 leds/m) for task lighting for some time now. A long strip (3.5ft) above my lab bench (used for standard lighting and have a 100w MH for serious light when needed)
12 strip segments in an array format with diffuser plastic above my kitchen island.
And a 4ft strip ceiling bounced strip above my bed which is more than adequate for reading, etc. without the blinding effect in the mornings, lol.
I've been thoroughly impressed with these strips. Especially the 5050 types. Just one 6x segment is enough to light my wife's knicknack shelves. I've replaced all my cars interior lighting with them. Made auto-on set for the Mrs closet as well.
Just need to make sure your supplier isn't cheap, the cheap leds tend to burn way to easy so I avoid them.
+2 yrs on most of my setups and no issues at all. :)
GL with your future projects!
 
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dspiffy

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I've actually been using the dual row 5050 strips (600 leds/m) for task lighting for some time now. A long strip (3.5ft) above my lab bench (used for standard lighting and have a 100w MH for serious light when needed)
12 strip segments in an array format with diffuser plastic above my kitchen island.
And a 4ft strip ceiling bounced strip above my bed which is more than adequate for reading, etc. without the blinding effect in the mornings, lol.
I've been thoroughly impressed with these strips. Especially the 5050 types. Just one 6x segment is enough to light my wife's knicknack shelves. I've replaced all my cars interior lighting with them. Made auto-on set for the Mrs closet as well.
Just need to make sure your supplier isn't cheap, the cheap leds tend to burn way to easy so I avoid them.
+2 yrs on most of my setups and no issues at all. :)
GL with your future projects!

You mean 60/m?
 

FRITZHID

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I was gonna say! Mine is 60 LEDs/M and it's way brighter than I expected. 600/M would drown out the sun.

No kidding! Not to mention heat dissipation issues! Lol

But seriously, the 120/m 5050 plcc6 strips are great. 3 led chips per COB x 6 COBs per segment = 18 nicely glowing leds to provide nice even lighting at an affordable price. Easy hook up. No real cooling to worry about as long as not sealed/over driven.
Given, they don't quite provide as much light as an equal length of florescent but thinner profile and much kinder light imo.
They come in a wide variety of colors and can even be very well controlled.
The set I bought are all warm white, but mounted on an RGB strip, making it so I can control each chip in each COB individually, and with the RGB controller, they can go from insanely dim to insanely bright.
If anyone would like to know more about what I've done, PM me. I'm happy to share my learnings. :)
 

aznlapin

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May 22, 2014
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Those who have DIY'd their own undercabinet LED lights, what kind of power supply/driver/etc are you using?

I'm trying to do the same with 2m of 12v LED strip @ 1A/m. Looking for a cheap option that doesn't require too pricey components.
 

AnAppleSnail

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So far, I have had great results (Over-cabinet lighting, but same idea) with have a quality "2A / 12V" wall wart plug. I run the LEDs directly off this device. I have my wall wart plugged into one of those clockwork outlet timers.

No dimming, and all manual control, but dead simple and made of things I had laying about.
 

FRITZHID

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Icelandic wastelands of Monico, WI
So far, I have had great results (Over-cabinet lighting, but same idea) with have a quality "2A / 12V" wall wart plug. I run the LEDs directly off this device. I have my wall wart plugged into one of those clockwork outlet timers.

No dimming, and all manual control, but dead simple and made of things I had laying about.

I concur. You can't beat those little 12v wall wort on price, lol. As long as they provide the voltage/amperage you require. Bee cautious tho, some may say 12v but I've seen them run as high as 16v and those LED strips don't like to run that high constantly. Check with a V/O meter just to be on the safe side.
 

aznlapin

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Messages
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Ahh, I have a few of those wall warts lying around. Though they range from 5v-19v. If I run them off a lower voltage, ie: 9v, would that cause any problems besides being dimmer?

Thanks for the info so far. Now, time to get the solder out. :santa:
 

eyeeatingfish

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Apr 19, 2007
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Where do you get the quality strips? I bought some on Amazon and for $8 for 5 meters I and checking them out I am thinking I probably ended up with cheap stuff. I am going to see if I can return them.

I've actually been using the dual row 5050 strips (120 leds/m) for task lighting for some time now. A long strip (3.5ft) above my lab bench (used for standard lighting and have a 100w MH for serious light when needed)
12 strip segments in an array format with diffuser plastic above my kitchen island.
And a 4ft strip ceiling bounced strip above my bed which is more than adequate for reading, etc. without the blinding effect in the mornings, lol.
I've been thoroughly impressed with these strips. Especially the 5050 types. Just one 6x segment is enough to light my wife's knicknack shelves. I've replaced all my cars interior lighting with them. Made auto-on set for the Mrs closet as well.
Just need to make sure your supplier isn't cheap, the cheap leds tend to burn way to easy so I avoid them.
+2 yrs on most of my setups and no issues at all. :)
GL with your future projects!
 

nitedrive

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Apr 30, 2014
Messages
95
I recently did an "ebay" kit in my kitchen. I've also picked up several strips just to play with them. The "kit" required a fair bit of soldering and hookup wire. I suspect I could have paid less if I skipped the kit and bought the parts individually. Anyway it contained several feet of 5630 60 LED/m strip (the length was based on what I ordered), a 12V 2A wall wart and an RF remote that controls on/off, dimming and LED tricks such as strobe effects. Each part of the kit could likely be found for around $10 or less on ebay. Regardless, the results were perfect. Full is just a bit brighter than I need and 50% is great. That's probably a good thing as I've read come cautionary tails regarding cheap white LEDs on this forum. Some people are complaining about losses in output and LEDs not working after just a few years. It seems most of the complains center around the 3528 based strips. People have also suggested that running the lights with a PWM cycle will extend their lives. That does ring true from what I recall of red LEDs from 15 years back. You actually got more average light out of them by over driving then shutting them off vs constant on. PWM isn't an issue for me since I want the lights to be just a bit dimmer anyway.

Since getting the lights under the cabinets I've ordered both a 3528 warm white 60 LED/m strip (all of $2.20 including shipping) and a double row, 240 LED/m waterproof strip ($8 shipped). The cheap stuff still puts out a decent amount of light though not as much as the 5630. The double row stuff is noticeably dimmer even when I ensure the voltage in is the same (bench power supply with voltage and current gauges). The double row feels quite a bit warmer at the power line end suggesting we are getting a big voltage drop along the length of the strip. My take aways are don't assume all chips of the same size output the same amount of light. Do assume the resistance of the strip maters and if you are using the cheap stuff, either add some secondary wires or cut the strip into multiple sections and run wires to each from a central point. My 300 warm white LEDs drew about 1.4 A at 12.3V. The 240 LED/m strip, 1200 LED total, didn't seem any brighter but drew 3.0 A at the same 12.3V. It seems like the 240 LED/m would be better as an accent vs task light.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a few more projects with these things
 

Illum

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I concur. You can't beat those little 12v wall wort on price, lol. As long as they provide the voltage/amperage you require. Bee cautious tho, some may say 12v but I've seen them run as high as 16v and those LED strips don't like to run that high constantly. Check with a V/O meter just to be on the safe side.




Most if not all switching power supplies labeled 100-240VAC input are regulated to 12V, the linear ones with just a transformer, rectifier, and cap well yes those may run as high as 22V open circuit till whatever load it was meant for pulled it down to a more believable level.
 

FRITZHID

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Well, many of the wall wart style have some sort of regulator inside, it's just some are really poor quality or never tested well before packing. The linear style are rarely used these days except for sla chargers and some incan lighting.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G730A using Candlepowerforums mobile app
 

hippy

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Oct 14, 2008
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I just ordered some similar strip LEDs (FlexFireLEDs Ultrabright) to use as task lighting. I plan on only using 2 of the 3 LED sections due to space constraints and hope to use old wall transformers that where laying around. I was wondering how low you can turn the voltage down on your strips before they dim to about 1/2 brightness?

I am hoping I do not have to order new drivers and PWM controllers to get the some additional lighting on the work area, which is very small.
I think these strips are current driven but I am hoping the reduced voltage can accomplish a similar outcome, and I have some 5 and 9 vdc transformers.

Thanks.
 
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