LED strips are now an incredibly popular option for many homes and there are many reasons why! To start with they are incredibly versatile and easy to fit, meaning that you will probably struggle to find somewhere that they CAN’T go, rather than struggling to find somewhere that they can! Not only this but, thanks to the LED bulbs, they are going to do a fantastic job of lighting up even the darkest of spaces.
There is a reason that LED bulbs are going to be so popular…they are going to be brighter, cheaper to run, longer lasting and won’t produce as much heat, which is why they are now becoming so much more popular in cars, home lighting and many more uses. Another benefit of LED strip lights is that they are compact, which means that the strips are going to be flexible, allowing you to use them wherever you see fit!
If you are thinking that an LED strip light may be just what you need then look no further, we are here to brighten your world with all that you need to know before purchasing an LED strip.
Best Pick LED Strips – Govee 5m
- Multi-Coloured: The LED strip light is featured with not only RGB, white and other 16 colours shown on the remote, but also 6 colour DIY options. Create a romantic, festive atmosphere.
- Dual Control: Remote control with up to 10 Metre control distance. The control box can adjust brightness and colours. (please use the packaged adapter to meet working power requirement)
- Dimmable Lighting: With adjustable 6-level brightness, the Govee LED light can be warm or bright. The LED lights for bedroom, living room, kitchen, home, TV and wall.
- Easy to Install: All-in-one package kit for easy installation. (Note: Connectors are not included, you need to buy extra 4-pin connectors for reconnection)
- Adhesive & Cuttable Design: Can be easily stuck on dry, flat surface (Please clean the surface before installation). Use 5 support clips for better fixation. Not intended for illumination. Only used for creating ambiance. ( Do not roll up when using)
In A Hurry?
If you have a space that needs brightening and lightening then here is where you need to be. We have included all the key information that you should consider first before you go out and buy the best LED strips.
Types of LED Strips
The type of LED strips that are going to be right for you will really determine what you are wanting to use them for and the place that you are planning to position them. There are a range of strengths and material types to choose from.
- Flexi-Strips – These are designed so that the LED lights are positioned on a very flexible strip. This makes them perfect for more fiddly jobs that require bending and moulding the strip, but this can also mean that they are less durable and sometimes have less bulbs per length (more on this below).
- Rope LED Strips – These are designed so that the LED bulbs are wrapped in a rubber “rope” like casing. Although still an LED strip, you will usually find that the point of these is to actually be ON SHOW rather than hidden away like the other types of LED strips. They can be used for feature lighting either inside or outside.
- Heavy-duty LED strips – If you are looking for a more powerful LED strip that is going to be durable and give off a lot of light then look out for models that are fixed on plastic or metal. These are going to be much harder to manipulate but they will be much stronger.
You then need to consider the length of the LED strip that you are going to require for the space that you are working on. LED strips are going to come in a range of lengths so this is always worth checking for first. Some types of LED strip lighting will actually allow you to cut down the strip to the length that you are going to need – which isn’t something that you would normally find yourself doing with electrics! These are great as they will allow you to achieve the perfect finish for your strip lights. However, they do tend to be found in the less heavy-duty types of LED strips – although that is probably a good thing so that you aren’t cutting through really expensive strips! There is a massive variety of lengths to choose from starting at around 3ft up to a massive 32ft!
If you do opt for LED strips that can be cut down to length, we really like models that come with cut lines. This may sound like a small and insignificant feature but actually it will make it so much easier to see exactly where you can and can’t cut so that you don’t risk damaging the strips.
Alternatively, if you are actually needing extra long strips then look out for LED strips that can be connected together. This will give you considerably longer strips of flowing lighting.
TOP TIP: We would also recommend looking out for how flexible the strips actually are. If you are using your LED strips for the edge of straight lines, like under a kitchen unit, then you won’t need as much flexibility as you would for going round a more circular shaped mirror, for example.
Although it is obvious that the LED strips are going to come with LED bulbs, there are still more things to consider! The first thing that you need to consider is the number of bulbs per length of material. If you are wanting to create a bright area then you are going to need more bulbs per length, but these are going to be more expensive and require more power. We did find that strips where the bulbs are spread too far apart tend to result in patching light rather than one bright glow of light. This is going to give a much less professional finish and affect the quality of light that you get in really dark areas.
You also want to check on the brightness of your bulbs, as there is no point having a high number of bulbs on your strip if they aren’t going to be very bright. Check the wattage of the LED strips that you are considering as this is going to be a good gauge of whether it will be bright enough or not. This can be judged by the lumens. We would recommend looking for around 150 lumens or more if you are wanting a nice bright light for the space that you are working in!
It is also worth thinking about the colour of bulbs that you want. Not only will you have the choice between a warm light and a bright light, but you will also have a choice between a range of colours! These are perfect for creating a more unique feature in your home using the lighting strips. It is worth mentioning that for a cool white colour you are going to need to look out for lights that offer around 5000K, whereas warm lights will be more like 3000K. If you are wanting more of a “neutral” white colour then look out for something in the middle!
TOP TIP: A great way to check how many bulbs you have per length is to look out for models that are advertised as either standard density (SD) or high density (HD). Standard density strips will usually have bulbs around every 4 inches whereas with high density bulbs this will be more like every 2 inches.
Best Budget LED Strips – Coolapa 10m
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LED Strips Power Options
You are going to have two main options when it comes to powering your LED strips. Your first option is going to be battery powered and your section option is going to be mains powered. You are obviously going to get more power, brightness and reliability from mains powered options, but you do have the downside of having to conceal the wire and finding somewhere to actually plug in your lights, which isn’t always an option – particularly if you are using your lights outside. However, you won’t need to worry about charging the lights which can become a real problem if you are having them fitted somewhere around your home. We would recommend that if you are planning on using your strip lights to create a feature as part of the furniture – for example as part of a television wall – then it is definitely worth opting for the plug in options.
You then need to check the wattage that is offered with your LED strips. The best way to compare this is to look out for models that offer you the wattage per X amount of length – as comparing the wattage from a longer and shorter LED strip is obviously going to give you different results. You also need to check what voltage the LED strips are actually going to need – some will be 12V whereas others will be 24V.
The Best LED Strips
If you are wanting to use your LED strips to create a feature in your home then you want it to look right. Even if you are just using your LED strips to light up a cupboard or your shed, then you need to be able to rely on those bulbs to get the job done and light the space sufficiently.
- Smart device controlled – Some LED strips can be controlled by your mobile phone or tablet. This means that once they have been connected you can control whether they are switched on or off, and sometimes even the colour or brightness using your phone!
- Colour changing – Some LED strips are going to allow you to change the colours depending on the mood and vibe that you are feeling! The colours that they will work between are so vast that you will struggle to use the same colour twice! Colour changing lights are going to be known as RGB strips. Some are going to be changed using a controller whereas others can be changed using your mobile phone (as we mentioned above).
- TV and Music Colour changing – Following on from our last feature, some LED strips are actually going to be able to connect to your music player or television (providing you have the correct device etc). These will change colour depending on the mood of the music that you are listening to or what film you are watching on television! This is the perfect way to create a real cinema experience!
- Waterproof – Not all LED strips are going to be waterproof, but if you are wanting to use the strip outside, in heavy walk areas or in your kitchen/bathroom then you are going to need them to be waterproof to be sure that they are not going to be damaged, so this is always worth checking for. Look out for IP65 rated LED strips if you need to be sure that they are going to be waterproof – this rating will also mean that they cannot be damaged by dust!
- Fitting your LED strip lights – Most LED strips are going to come with double sided adhesive so that they can be easily stuck to whatever surface you are wanting to use them on. However, we would definitely recommend checking reviews to see the quality of the adhesive as many cheaper models will just peel off after a short amount of time. Others are going to come with clips which can be more reliable and better suited to some surfaces.
- Heat – If possible, check the heat that your LED strips are going to give off. This is particularly important if you are wanting to use your strips in smaller spaces because you don’t want too much heat to be generated and this to create damage or cause an accident!
- Strip width – For most people choosing LED strips, part of the appeal is how discreet they are! If this applies to you as well then look out for the width of the strips as this will determine where you are going to be able to stick them discreetly. Some will only be a few millimeters in width which will keep them well hidden out of the way!
Best of the Rest
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long will LED strip bulbs normally last?
LED bulbs last for an incredibly long time so you really won’t need to worry about them running out any time soon. We found that on average LED strip bulbs last between around 25,000 and 50,000 hours! This would mean that you can leave them on for more than 3 years continuously before worrying about them running out!
Can you use LED strips in the bathroom and kitchen?
Provided you purchase LED strips that are going to have enough level of water resistance, there is no reason why you cannot use them in your kitchen and bathroom. IP65 graded lights will be totally waterproof. We would also recommend checking the quality of the glue if your strip has to be stuck down, as some can come loose quite easily if they become wet.