Flexible LED Strip Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose LED Strip?

Jun 2, 2022

When it comes to home lighting, there are plenty of options. From table lamps and pendants to recessed lighting and chandeliers, you can find just about any light fixture you can imagine. But for a more creative look that’s still easy on the eyes, flexible LED strips are an excellent option.

Flexible LED strips are thin strips of LEDs that come in various lengths that you can customize for multiple purposes. They provide an energy-efficient method of enhancing your home, business, private space, outdoor project, or even elevating the architectural features of your building.

What to Consider Before Starting Your Project?

As a first step, you should define the purpose of your project. Is it for home use or commercial? What is the budget? How much power do you need to power up your LED strip lighting?

The next thing to consider is size and material. What is the length of your strip light, and what material should it be made from? Is it going behind a cabinet? Are they near water sources? Here are a few suggestions for finding suitable parameters for your flexible LED strip buying decision.

1. Location

Location is the first thing you should consider when buying flexible LED strip lights. The answer to these questions can help narrow down your choice of flexible LED strips.

LED strips are ideal for a multitude of applications such as:

  • Under-cabinet lighting
  • Behind TVs and monitors
  • In closets, cabinets, and pantries (appliances)
  • Around stairways, hallways, or outdoor pathways for guests and residents
  • On walls under crown molding, signage, or to accent architecture on your building

2. Functions & Aesthetic

Think about how you want your flexible LED strips to perform when on. Do you need them to provide various colors and luminance according to music or a prearranged schedule? Think about if you want to see the strips when they are not turned on or if they should be hidden away, so only the glow from the light is visible. This is especially important for clubs, restaurants, and hotels that prefer a more subtle display.

3. Emotions

Lighting plays an essential role in setting the mood for a location. That is why it is such a valued skill on movie sets and the theater. Are you trying to have a more informal setting like a nightclub or something that stands out, like a sign with your restaurant name? What emotion are you trying to evoke in your home, work, or business setting?

How to Choose Flexible LED Strips Based on the Above Mentioned Factors?

Your final choice of flexible LED strips should be based on the specific needs and goals of the destination. Working with a professional manufacturer and supplier that understands how to best accommodate these needs is the best way to find your LED solution. Make sure you can address needs like:

1. Color Rendering Index

The color rendering index (CRI) measures the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of various objects. It is an important factor in choosing LED strip lights, as it affects the appearance and quality of the light emitted.

The higher the CRI value, the more natural color it can produce. A high-end LED lighting system can have a CRI up to 97, which means better color fidelity and brightness than other lights with lower CRI values.

2. Color Temperature

The color temperature of your decorative LED strip light will affect its appearance in different rooms throughout your house or business. For instance: if you want to create an inviting atmosphere for customers at home or work, go for warm white LEDs. Opt for cooler whites if you want something more exciting for adding ambiance to parties or relaxing on weekends (or both). Finally, if you’re looking to add some futuristic vibes to your decorating scheme, choose blue-white LEDs. The possibilities are only limited by the color variety offered by the products you consider.

3. Compare Lumen, CCT, & CRI

You should also be aware of your LED strip's color temperature compared to the CRI and CCT. The CCT (correlated color temperature) refers to the “warmth” or “coolness” of a light, which is measured in Kelvin (K). A lower CCT will make the light appear warmer, while a higher one will look bluer. The higher the lumen output is at a given wattage and CRI/color temperature, the brighter your product will be.

4. Compare LED Strip Size and the Number of LEDs on the Strip

The length, width, and thickness of each different type of LED strip are important to consider. For example, if you are trying to fit a certain amount of LEDs into an area that has a limited amount of space (such as under cabinets or behind fixtures), make sure that the size of your chosen LED strip matches those dimensions before purchasing.

5. Wattage Consumed Per Strip of LEDs

A set of LED lights will use more power than a single string or tape but have the advantage of illuminating large areas in your home or office space since they are spread out over a site rather than located at intervals along one fixture or line.

The total wattage you need to look out for here is consumed by all the strips together, plus any additional overhead like transformers and power supplies.

6. Verifiable Quality

The quality of the LED strip should be verified by the manufacturer. This can be with certificates, datasheets, or even photographs that show you an example of the quality control process. If you can see a picture of the testing facility and certification from a third party, this means that the strips have been tested for safety and performance standards and have passed.

Working with the Experts at Refond

The final thing to consider is the environment where you are setting up your LED strips. There are different needs for an outdoor setting compared to an indoor environment. That is why it is crucial to work with a team of experts like those at Refond. We at Refond can provide all the guidance necessary to transform your next lighting need into an incredible outcome.

Schedule a call with our professional team, or feel free to browse our many flexible LED products. We have years of experience crafting exceptional solutions tested to quality control standards known in the industry. We look forward to helping you find a quality solution.