LED strip: 24v DC VS 12v DC

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-04-22      Origin: Site


When you are ready to buy led strips, you may come across two choices: 12V DC and 24V DC. And the price and performance specifications of the two are the same, so you might think, "What is the difference? Which one should I choose?"

In fact, as long as you choose the right accessory (such as a power supply), the difference between 12V DC and 24V DC will not be very obvious.

If you are not familiar with LED strips, it is recommended that you choose 12V DC, because the distance between the cut lines is relatively short (12V is 1 inch, and 24V is 2 inches). This provides you with greater flexibility to cut the LED strip to the required length.

If you want LEDs to maximize efficiency, we recommend choosing 24V DC because it reduces the possibility of voltage drop.I have sorted out some differences between 24v and 12v light bars:

1. 24V is more suitable for LED.

Although some of the most popular power supply voltage options are 12V or 24V DC, it is important to remember that (most) individual LEDs are actually 3V DC devices. By configuring the LEDs in specific parallel and series combinations, the voltage of the LED system can be matched to a specific power supply voltage.

Usually, a 12V LED strip is connected in series for every 3 LEDs. At each 3V, the total LED voltage is only 9V, accounting for about 75% of the total voltage. The remaining voltage is dissipated by the current limiting resistor. Since the resistor does not help lighting, we can conclude that in the 12V LED strip, about 25% of the electrical energy is dissipated as waste heat.

In a 24V LED system, there is usually enough voltage overhead to allow 7 LEDs in series per string. When each LED is 3V, the total LED voltage is 21V, which accounts for about 88% of the 24V input. In this case, less than 13% of the voltage can be wasted as heat.

In short, a 24V LED system can actually reduce the inherent electrical design efficiency by more than 50%.


2. 24V requires fewer conductor specifications.

The electric power is determined by the formula P = V x I. To maintain the same power (P), if the voltage (V) increases, the current (I) must decrease proportionally.

To give a specific example, if we take 48W as the target output, then the 12V system will need 4 amps (12V x 4A = 48W), and the 24V system will only need 2 amps (24V x 2A = 48W).

In other words, a 24V LED system will consume only half the current of a 12V LED system to achieve the same power level.

3.Why is this important?

The total current, not the voltage, determines the thickness and width of the copper conductor required to safely transmit power. If the current is forced through a small or narrow copper conductor, the resistance inside the conductor itself will start to become very large, causing a voltage drop and heating. In very extreme cases, this may even cause electrical fires. When all other conditions are the same, a 24V LED system can meet half of the electrical conductor requirements. You can use our voltage drop calculator to ensure that you are still using enough conductor gauges for your LED strip project.


4. Smaller power supply.

Similar to the conductor size, the power supply size is mainly determined by current rather than voltage. Part of the reason is also affected by the physical relationship between current and conductor size requirements, because many of the internal wiring of the power supply unit is composed of copper wiring. Install under cabinets that may have space constraints.For items such as LED light bars, the power supply size may be important.


5. Longer linear stroke.

In applications such as LED strip lighting, the maximum continuous length of the LED strip usually depends on the current that the copper traces of the LED strip can handle. Therefore, assuming that the power ratings of the two products are the same, a 24V LED strip will usually be able to handle twice the length of a 12V LED strip.This is true for products beyond LED strips that also have daisy chaining capability. The LED strip has a specified maximum operating length, depending on the voltage: 12V voltage is 16 feet (5 meters), and 24V voltage is 33 feet (10 meters).


In conclusion:

In short, it is recommended to use 12V LED strips in small installations, such as in vehicles or other applications that require 12V batteries. For larger projects, such as office and home installations, 24V LED strips should be considered.

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