LED Strip Lighting – 5050 type, Finished Piece

LED Strip Lighting – 5050 type, Finished Piece
Our Price: $2.95

For a long time these strips of low-power LEDs offered somewhat poor performance. Not any longer. These things are really bright and boost decent efficiency as well.

About

Strip LEDs are small surface mount LEDs that are mounted on a flexible plastic tape with adhesive backing. They include current limiting LEDs and are designed for 12 volt operation. Each 2 inches of length are an independent strip, so it can be cut to virtually any length in 2 inch increments and hooked up to a 12 volt power source. Compared to an incandescent light bulb, for about the same illumination as a 60 watt bulb, these strips use:

  • 12 watts when broadcast in all directions
  • 6 watts when directed downward toward a work surface

Since they also run on 12 volts DC, they have marvelous potential for different applications:

  • Off grid locations such as remote cabins, sheds and other structures
  • Backup lighting for when the grid goes down. In fact, you can light your entire home without interruption simply by converting to these lights and keep a 12 volt marine battery charged for when the grid is not available.
  • Illuminate difficult to reach areas – the small low voltage wiring can be run on exposed surfaces, embedded into drywall or along molding without danger of fire or electrocution. There is also very little heat from these lights, so large lamp fixtures are also unnecessary. Just peel and stick wherever desired. Examples include:
    • Under cabinets and desks
    • Above shelves
    • Hallways & Stairs
    • Bookcases
    • Refrigerators and Freezers
    • Closets & Medicine Cabinets
    • Above kitchen Sinks and Stoves
    • Nooks and crannies that are too dark
    • Security lighting
    • Architectural uses
    • Automotive – light up those hard to see dark areas

Choosing

These strips come with two different sizes of LEDs – 3528 and 5050. This fact may be confusing, so here is the difference and how to choose which type you need (the 3528 is the type used in this product. Here is the 3528 product listing).

The 5050 has a larger and brighter LED than the 3528. The numbers stand for the size of the LEDs in tenths of millimeters. The 5050 is about twice as bright as the 3528. It also draws twice the power and costs twice as much. For dollar spent or watt-hour used, they are roughly equivalent. So how do you choose between them? It all depends on how much light you need in a given area. For the brightest illumination, choose the 5050. For areas needing some help, but you really don’t want it overly bright, choose the 3528. For example, in a kitchen with adequate lighting, the 3528 is perfect for brightening up the counters. Ditto for bookcases, shelves and cabinets. For putting these into a table or hanging lamp, use the 5050.

As a rough guide, four feet of the 5050 is roughly equivalent to a 60 watt light bulb when broadcast in all directions. When directed downward, you can expect about twice as much light. Don’t sweat over making your choice. Since both types are roughly the same in terms of light/$ or light/kw-hr, if you find you don’t have enough light, just add another strip. If you have too much light, you can either try using shorter strips or use a PWM dimmer to reduce both the light and the power used.

Buying

These are finished strips. They are ready to connect to your power source and go. You have two choices of connection: wire (6″ black/red pair) or wafer. Wafer connectors are a small 2-prong polarized male end. You can plug and play by inserting into wiring with the mating end. With these connectors, you can make up your own wiring harnesses and simply plug and unplug the strips whenever you like. With the wire connections, you can either solder them to your wiring harness, use wire nuts, crimp connectors, or a screw terminal to 2.1mm DC Jack.

We also sell these strips in bulk by the foot, where you have to solder your own connections.

Using

You can buy these with one of two means of connection:

Wire

This option provides a 6″ length of two-conductor wire on the end. The positive (+) wire is red, and the negative (-) wire is black. For connecting to other wiring, you can solder them, use wire nuts, or use automotive crimp connectors. For connecting to DC power supplies with 2.1mm plugs, you can simply screw our screw terminal to 2.1mm DC Jack to the ends and plug it in.

Wafer

This option provides a male 2-pin wafer connector on the end. This is a polarized connector, so it can only be connected one way. To connect to your wire supplying power, attach the female wafer connector to your power wiring, then simply plug them together.

Attaching

These strips coming with self-adhesive backing. Simply peel the backing off the tape and attach to the desired spot.

Tips

  • If your strip does not light when connected, quickly disconnect and try reversing the leads. If it then lights, you have your polarity backwards and you may need to swap your wires. Remember, positive (+) is goes to the red wire and negative (-) to the black wire.
  • The adhesive is not very strong. It works best on clean, smooth surfaces. If it fails to stick properly, a little hot glue or super glue will work nicely to keep it firmly attached.
  • We carry what is commonly called the indoor version of these strips. The reason is that the outdoor version is difficult to cut and attach wires because the entire thing is embalmed in heavy silicone rubber. If you want to use these strips outdoors, they will probably work just fine the way the are, but no guarantees! For harsh conditions or long term outdoor use, they are easy to waterproof by merely coating with silicone rubber.

Detailed Specs:

  • Color: Warm White
  • Color Temperature: 2500 – 3000K
  • View angle:120°
  • Working Voltage: 12VDC
  • LED Quantity: 18 LEDs per Foot
  • Current: 220 mA/ft
  • Power: 2.5 watts/ft
  • Light Intensity: 180 lumens/ft
  • Light Output (efficacy): 72 lumens/watt

LED Strip Lighting – 5050 type, Finished Piece by Provide Your Own is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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