Author Topic: LED Strip Lighting  (Read 8063 times)

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Offline deFuzster

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LED Strip Lighting
« on: April 19, 2012, 03:49:52 PM »
I've been lookig at setting up some more lighting for our camps and have been curious about those LED light strips you see around all over the place now.

One thing that has been holding me back is the overall cost of the systems. Having said that, when I have looked on the net and on eBay they seem to be VERY cheap.

So I thought I would share the research that I have done just in case anyone else was looking at playing in this space.

Firstly I am only going to talk about the flexible setups that I have been looking at. Specifically 2 types. The rigid ones that I have seen look like they are just using a casing over the flexible setup (other than the Korr ones) anyhow.

With the flexible ones, they are usually refered to by a number. The most popular of these are:
  • 3528
  • 5050
These numbers refer to the size of the actual LED on the strip.
  • 3528 is an led that is 3.5mm x 2.8mm
  • 5050 is an led that is 5.0mm x 5.0mm
The 5050 LED's are also a composite. That is there are usually up to 3 LED chips inside the actual LED package. Therefore the 5050 potentially can be 3 times as bright as the 3528 as there are more LED's producing light per length. In actual fact is is less than that for most cases as the packaging of the individual chips looses some of their effeciency. Normally I have seen them quoted as twice as bright or there abouts for a single colour.

The multiple LED chips in a single LED package don't have to be the same colour either. It is very popular to have a 5050 using a red, green and blue (RGB) LED chips encased in one package. This means that by varying the intensity of each of the 3 LED's separatley, you can generate any colour you wish. There are 4 wire controllers available that allow you to do everything from varying the colour to all sorts of "christmas decoration" type effects like blinking, fading, etc...

When you look at them on eBay or wherever, the 3528 and 5050 LED strips can be found in a variety of configurations.
  • Length
  • Number of LED's per meter
  • Colour (and for the 5050 also RGB)
  • Waterproof or not

The single colour 5050 and all 3528 can be dimmed by a 2 wire controller.
If you want to play with the RGB 5050 then you will need a 4 wire controller.
When choosing your controller just make sure it can handle the current (amps) of the length of the strip you wish to controll. The strip you buy will have a amperage per meter stated in the specifications. Typically single colour 5050 300led/m is about 1.2A/m and 3528 600led/m is about 0.8A/m.

The difference between waterproof and non waterproof, they are essentially the same strip except the watrproof has a plastic case over the entire strip which in some cases is gel (or silicon) filled.

The strips can be cut. You need to look on the actual strip itself to find the cut marks. Typically this will be about every 3rd LED.

Once you have cut off a length, you wil need to connect wires to the strip. At the cut mark, there will be spots on the ribbon that you can either connect a solderless connector (have to buy these) onto or you can just solder some small wires onto thise points. Note that in a waterproof strip, you need to cut away the waterproofing cover to make the connection and then reseal it with something. Heatshrink and neutral cure silastic/silicon seems to be a favourite.

Take note of the polarity when making your connections. That is, '+' goes to positive 12v power and '-' goes to negative 12v power.

Best bang for your buck would be:
  • 5 meters 3528 waterproof with a total of 600 LED's (120/meter) in either cool (blueish) white or warm (yellowish) white  goes for about $12 on ebay including freight from china or HongKong
  • 5 meters 5050 single colour waterproof with a total of 300 LED's (60/meter) in either cool (blueish) white or warm (yellowish) white  goes for about $22 on ebay including freight from china or HongKong
  • 5 meters 5050 RGB waterproof with a total of 150 LED's (30/meter) goes for about $30 on ebay including freight from china or HongKong
Some of these also come with adhesive backs

As for controllers
  • 2 wire dimmer with wireless remote control goes for under $10 (I just picked one up for $7) on ebay including freight from china or HongKong
  • 4 wire controller with wireless remote goes for around the $30 mark on ebay including freight from china or HongKong

Anyhow, storm in a teacup, that's my summary to start with.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 03:52:51 PM by deFuzster »
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Gissmo

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 05:49:39 PM »
Well done Maurits that makes things easy :)
You could have put the ebay seller on there also  8) Even better a direct link so we can order some :P :D

Offline Oldmate

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 06:19:57 PM »
mmmm not sure i need any more lights hahaha. i would need a power station to run them i reckon.

Offline deFuzster

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 06:46:04 PM »
Sure would Olly

Where ever you go now there are UFO sightings!
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CoffeeCat

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 10:56:22 PM »
Loving all the light at the back of the car now. Can't wait to get out and give it a test run!!

Offline deFuzster

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 07:16:56 AM »
But there's always room for more....

Right?
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Offline deFuzster

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2012, 02:07:47 PM »
I wonder how these strip lights would go for rock lights?

Low power and heat. Water proof. Flexible.

Could be mounted to the bottom of steering arms or under wheel arch flares or on the side of chassis rails.

Hey, that could be good for working under the car too. Like gearbox oil changes and greasing uni's.

Hmmm  ::)
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Gissmo

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 04:59:05 PM »
we saw a truck on fraser that had a led on the bullbar that change colour like knight riders car "kit" it very cool 8) 8) 8)

Offline Rumpig

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 05:03:51 PM »


Hey, that could be good for working under the car too. Like gearbox oil changes and greasing uni's.

Hmmm  ::)
they work great mounted to the underside of your bonnet if your trying to work on your vehicle in the engine bay at night time.
Just a heads up...Jeff has changed his signature due to being foolish enough to leave his account logged on when he borrowed my phone.
I preferred his signature i'd written there myself before he changed it...lol
Nice try Grasshopper!!!!!

Offline deFuzster

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 05:41:16 PM »
Awesome idea!
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Offline deFuzster

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2012, 11:05:03 PM »
Ok, I went out and scored a 1m strip with dimmer today from Tentworld. (not the ebay items, still waiting for them)

By the look of it, it is a 1m strip of 3528 in a case connected to a manual dimmer.

I attached it to the back of my tailgate using velcro.



This is the light it throws with the dimmer set to full noise







Not to shabby  ;)
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Cheiffy

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 12:10:00 PM »
Pretty hard to beat the white light for clarity I reckon. I will be looking at lighting in the next few months so well done on the informative post mate.

Cheers
Cheiffy

Offline deFuzster

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 05:51:37 PM »
No worries mate.

When these other strips turn up, I'll put up some pics and prices.

If you want to yack more about them, PM me and we can have a beer and a chat about it.
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Cheiffy

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 06:47:24 PM »
Will definitely do that mate, I was looking at the Korr kits but you may be able to save me a dollar or two with your research.

Cheers Cheiffy

Offline Oldmate

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Re: LED Strip Lighting
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 06:49:48 PM »
You are welcome Cheiffy to come and look at all my led strip lighting and controllers that I have done. Got all my gear off a guy on the patrol forum