Frequently Asked Questions
Are there hard wired LED Under Cabinet Lights?
for Flexible LED Strips, LED Under Cabinet Fixtures and LED Bulbs
Yes, there are but they have to have a transformer incorporated into the LED Under Cabinet Fixture. This makes the fixture bigger. It also makes the individual LED Under Cabinet lights more expensive. By separating the transformer, it allows for the fixtures to be much thinner. It also makes it easier for installation, as you can install the transformer in one location and bring all of the connections to that location.What is Voltage Drop?
Voltage drop is where the beginning of a run of Flexible LED strip is brighter than at the end of the run. After about 25 feet you will notice a voltage drop. One way to minimize this is to split your runs to less than 25 feet. You can also reinject 12 VDC at 25 foot intervals.
Lighting effects, dimming, and powering your flex strips for under cabinet lighting
The most popular installation location for LED flexible strip lighting is under cabinets. These lights can give a modern polish to any kitchen, task area, or bathroom. The installation strategy for Flexible LED Strip depends on the lighting effect desired.
1. Even distribution– If uniform and gap less distribution of light is the effect you are looking for, install a single uncut strip of Flexible LED Strip under the entire length of the cabinet.
2. Spot Illumination – Cutting the Flexible LED Strip into 3 inch sections, and connecting them with connector wires at the length of your choice, will give the appearance of puck lighting. The area directly under the cut strips will be brighter than the areas to the right or left of the strips.
However, if you wish to install your Flexible LED strip lighting is up to you. The majority of the new LED flex strips on the market are very bright, so it is highly recommended that you install a dimmer between the power sources and flexible strips for full customization of the brightness desired.
The size of the transformer needed is dependent upon the length of LED lighting installed. For example, 9 feet of uncut flexible LED strip will draw 1.125 amps of current. It is always recommended to use a power supply greater than the actual currents drawn, so for this example, a 2 amp power supply is needed. You can easily hide the power supply in the cabinet itself. Please allow at least two inches of space between the power supply and the edges of the cabinet to insure proper heat distribution from the power source.
How Long do LEDs Last?
Many people ask how long do LEDs last. Under ideal conditions LEDs are rated for 50,000 hours. Thats about six years of continuous use. Of course in an under cabinet or other home lighting installations, it can be longer.
One thing to note is that this rating is whats considered a half life. So after this amount of time, they will dimm but not turn off completely. Again, these ratings are under ideal conditions. If the LEDs are exposed to harsh conditions or are run hot (more than 12 volts DC) then lifespan can change.
How Can LEDs be recycled?
LEDs are usually part of a circuit. Our LED flexible strips are
composed of a flexible circuit and our LED bulbs have a circuit board
on the inside. LEDs are electronic components so in the configurations
that we sell, they have to be in a circuit.
PCBs (Circuit Boards) and electronic components can be recycled. They are recycled in order to reclaim any precious metals. This would be one way of recycling the LEDs.
Another way of recycling LEDs is in reusing them for other applications. LEDs are rated to last approximately 50,000 hours. If the circuit board should fail or if the LED fails you can easily replace the LED or board. This would save having to throw away the complete circuit or fixture. Many times the circuit board is more expensive than the LEDs themselves.
Soldering Flexible LED Strip:
When soldering the copper pads on the strip, you should take note of some helpful tips:
1. Make sure you have a good soldering iron, with a good tip.
2. It is a good idea to secure your Flexible LED Strip so that it doesn't move. We place pliers on the strip to hold it down or tape.
3. Let the soldering iron get completely hot.
4. Once the iron is completely hot, hold the hot tip on the copper pads for a few seconds to preheat the surface of the pads.
5. Introduce the solder on to the tip of the iron. You will have to hold it there for a few seconds until the solder melts and starts to flow.
6. Once the melted solder has pooled on the pad, keep the iron on the melted solder to keep it liquid.
7. Take the tip of your lead wire and slide it into the melted solder.
8. Slowly remove the soldering iron from the Flexible LED Strip and the solder should harden.
9. Test your connections to make sure your LED Flex Strip lights up.
Connect Positive and Negative leads correctly:
LEDs are diodes. That means that current flows in one direction. So polarity is very important. Always connect Positive and Negative correctly. This is not an issue if you are using LED MR16, GU10 or other LED bulbs.
LED Lights don't have Mercury in them and they can be recycled! Unlike flourescent bulbs which do have mercury and can be dangerous if broken. You also have to dispose of flourescent bulbs properly. They cannot be thrown away with the regular garbage. They must be taken to a hazardous waste facility.
Save on Your AC bill!
LED Lights don't emit heat into the room. So you save on the energy efficient lights & you don't have to run your AC as much!
Energy Efficiency Comparison!
Incandescent - 90% Heat (10% Light)
Flourescent - 45% Heat (55% Light)
LED Lights - 7% Heat (93% Light)