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With the continuous improvement of LED strip lighting, the popularity of linear lighting applications continues to increase. LED flexible light strips have become the standard for adding indirect accent lighting in the home. These low-voltage 12V light strips are used extensively in under-cabinet lighting, back lighting, and shelf lighting... A big disadvantage is that they are not long in length, and the longest single operation option is only 16.4 feet (5m). Standard density light strips can be connected up to 32 feet long, but this is still too short for overhead and bay lighting, outdoor deck lighting, or any application that requires long light strings. Fortunately, there is an AC-powered LED strip. It has a heavier design. I can place any element without any problems, and it can run up to 150 meters!
As the name suggests, these LED strips use a linear voltage of 120VAC. They actually come with a power cord, which has a small device built in to switch the power of the LED to a DC power source. This already makes them simpler than low-voltage belts, because you don't have to buy a power supply with them. Everything is contained in this strip, all you need is to place a well-positioned socket near your installation. These 120-volt LED strips operate extremely efficiently and consume only 2.3 watts/ft. This is almost the same as the standard density flexible light bar. Compared with the LED light bar, the light bar only outputs half the lumens.
The strip is equipped with 5050 SMD LEDs, the size is the same as the standard and high-density 12V LED strips. With a capacity of 20 LEDs per foot, this is our highest-density flexible LED strip. Higher LED density improves overall light quality, so this provides a good light strip for task and accent lighting. The 120-degree projection of the LED helps to achieve this, and it does spread the light and does not appear to be speckled. The LEDs are connected in parallel in the light strip, so when one LED is off, the entire light string will not be cut off. The 5050 LED is really capable, because the light bar output is about 180 lumens/ft for cold white light and about 145 lumens/ft for warm white light! This makes our brightest bar light, which can be used for accent lighting or any task lighting that requires linear lamps. In addition to cool (5000K) and warm (2700K) white, the strips are also available in red, blue and green! The RGB plug-and-play strip is now also available!
Professional, Heavy Duty Design
This AC 5050 LED Strip still qualifies as a flex strip but is much more heavy duty than standard flex strips with adhesive backing. The LEDs are held in flexible rubber housing. The housing is covered by a PVC lens which also blocks UV rays. The heavy duty design and PVC covering make for water resistant led lights that are fantastic for outdoor use. At the end of the post there will be some real life applications of how the strips have been used in some great outdoor settings to add nice linear landscape lighting.
Plug In LED Lights
The plug in style make these lights super easy to set up. Usually you will have to find a power supply sufficient enough for your length of strip, then worry about how you are going to connect it to the power source. With these strips the attached power cord allows you to just plug and play. If you need a gap in your strips, there are jumpers available to go from strip to strip. This is helpful in areas where you need to go around a tight corner, as there are 6-inch jumpers for this case. The longer jumpers are for larger gaps in your application where you might have to cross to your next length of lights. Longer jumpers are available in 3, 6, and 10 foot lengths.
Mounting the Strips
Whereas many flex strips have an adhesive backing for quick, simple lighting; the heavier duty AC strip does not have any adhesive backing. The strip comes with mounting clips that give enough for 1 for every 3 feet give or take (a 3ft. strip would get more than just one clip obviously). The clips are clear and come with screws to mount in on either side.
There is also a plastic mounting track that the strip can slide into for mounting purposes. This protects the strip even more but also keeps the strip straight with no slight curves or bumps. If you are using this LED strip in an application where the strip is facing downwards, I would use this mounting track. The track will keep your strip running smooth even at long lengths. If you are using the track you will want to use a strong adhesive on the back of the strip to adhere to where you need. Any clear drying, high bond epoxy will work for this and will mount your strips well as the tracks cover the front side. Additional mounting ideas: U-shaped nails, brackets, aluminum channel.
AC LED Strip Applications
1. Outdoor LED Deck Lighting
One of our customers did a fantastic job with the AC LED flex strips. Running the Warm White strip under the handrail of the deck made for a great accent light around the whole deck and leading down to the hot tub. This provides a perfect indirect accent light for nights out on the deck!
The AC strip can be great in cove lighting that usually needs longer lengths. This also usually allows you to mount the strips up top easier where you won’t need to worry about plastic mounting track or adhesives.
This customer had 120VAC going into his work trailer. He strung two strips on either side to illuminate the trailer. This picture really attests to how bright these strips are! Perfect for when you need it but luckily the strips are dimmable so you can bring the light down when you feel the need.
4. Hand Rail Lighting
Stairway lighting is a great way to add some accent lighting that doubles as a safety feature to keep those tricky stairways illuminated at night. This spiral staircase hand rail was fitted with the AC5050 LED strips. The Customer used the strip and a few jumpers to complete the entire staircase and add a nice accent/safety light.