LED strip Lighting and DIY problems

Discussion in 'Bob & Don's Electronics Forum' started by DonL, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Hello all,

    I was wondering how many people are doing there own LED light strip installs ?

    And if insurance companies make you jump thru hoops, to be covered by their insurance.

    Mose of the home stuff is 12 Volt, the serious installs may be 24V.

    These things are great to go off grid.

    But how safe are they ? They are not just plug and play, for the most part.

    Even being low voltage the Power required could be a hazard, If not installed properly.


    State and Local laws shut down a lot of DIY projects, Now a days. Insurance companies and HOAs have a way of sucking.


    Just wanting thoughts of others and their endeavor to go Green, and the problems doing it with LEDs.
  2. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hi Don,

    I have not tried any LED light strips, but LED R30, R40 and other screw base bulbs have come "way" down in price recently, and I have been replacing most of my incandescent bulbs with them. About a month or so ago, I bought 13 BR30 (Wide angle Floods) at Costco for 7 bucks each having an instant 8 dollar rebate at the register. Some lamp fixtures, like chandeliers in my dining room, look much better when dimmed down with incandescent bulbs than LEDs dimmed down. filament bulbs have a little romantic feel to them that LEDs when dimmed down do not. Costco has been carrying a nice variety of LED bulbs lately at descent prices, HD has a much larger variety to chose from, including warm or cool color temps. Personally, inside, I prefer the warmer colors ~2700K, that simulate incandescent bulbs. I a few of the whiter ~5000K that are much brighter looking, but to me, they are ghoulish:eek:. I don't think I will be trying out any LED light strips any time soon unless my wife sees them and says "wow, lookit that". I may look out for them just to see what they actually look like though.
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
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    When you do check them out, look for the 5050's.

    They can dissipate heat a bit better than the smaller LED chips.

    All of the LED screw in type that I have get hot near the base.


    Time will tell on expected lifetime in the real world.
  4. appdude

    appdude New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ontario
    Well here where i live, all the street light's are being replaced with LED one's. They save energy and last longer the the HPS streetlight. So right from there I think LED's are reliable and last long. I'm currently working out the plans for my under cabinet lighting.

    You could use strip to strip connectors making it an almost plug and play situation. They are safe to the touch because they don't heat up excessively. not sure about the screw in led bulbs.
  5. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Where I live, all the street lights in my town have ALREADY been replaced with LED units. I think the light they give off sucks, both in brightness and in color temp. Much too dim, and the color is a ghoulish blue-white, something you'd expect to see in a vampire movie. Eeeech!:eek:

    The screw in light bulbs I had mentioned earlier, do get fairly hot at their screw bases, and they are NOT recommended to be installed in fully enclosed fixtures according to the packaging they came in.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  6. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I just measured the Temperature of the Round Base Heat-sink on a Cree 60W equal - 9.5W Warm White 800 lumens, and it was 196 Degrees F.

    Room Temperature is 70 F. and the bulb is in a open fixture.


    That is a bit warm.
  7. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yup, that's why we have no idea yet how long they will survive or even meet the mfrs warranty of 7 years or so that I THINK i've seen on the packaging. I've been saving EVERY package's printed card with the details and the purchase receipts. Most likely, those warranties will be meaningless when the mfr changes their name or is out of business. Maybe we need to put in water cooled bases for them like some of us have water cooled CPU's in their PC's:p. Some of the first R30 LED floods I bought actually have die cast metal heat sink fins on them at the "funnel" area.
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Make sure you make a copy of your disappearing receipt, Because the original will be blank, most likely.

    This one has a 10 Year Warranty, and is Made in USA.

    I have a bunch of CFLs that have quit, way before the expected life. Still in Warranty, but I will not return them, I knew it was a gamble to get something for nothing.

    I would rather take them apart, and see what is Burnt, than return them and never know.


    Time will tell my Friend.
  9. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
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    I just posted a long winded reply and got the "do you really want to leave this page" thing again, and to avoid a double post of it, said yes, and lost it all. Not going to type it all over again, but yes Don, time will tell.
  10. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I hate when that happens.

    The best thing to do is "Stay on page", then Copy what you typed to your Clipboard (Select all, Ctrl-c). Then you can paste it back (Ctrl-p), if your post don't work.

    I get that message every time now a days. It is a vB thing that Terry may need to tweak.


    Anyway, I am not sold on the LEDs yet, But I have bought a few for test.

    I can see problems when people string a lot of the LED strip lighting together, Without a big enough power supply.

    Also the Wire size is more critical for the 12V system, because of the increase in current being 10X more than 120V lighting, for the same amount of power.

    Not sure what is safer, High Voltage or High Current for a lighting system. Current makes Heat, Voltage makes Sparks.

    I bought a 5 meter strip of RGB leds to play with. 6 Amps at 12 V, Just for 1, string another 12 amps, and another 18 amps.

    String them together can get a person in trouble quick.


    Have Fun Everyone.
  11. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I normally do copy my text every few sentences, because I do tech support on the phone at work and that comes first of course, but in between calls I sometimes post here. I copy in case I get interrupted by a call and may somehow lose my place or close my browser, but this time I did not copy, so I had nothing to paste in. Oh well. It was about me making copies of my receipts and keeping them with the paper that comes with the bulbs. I know that by the time I need to make a warranty claim, the company would either be out of business or conveniently changed their name after a restructure or something.


    I looked at the LED 5050 light strips online, and they are not for me. If I ever did buy any, they would be white ones, not the RGB or whatever colors they come in. Psychedelic colors are to me, like from the LSD days in the 60's. I don't need that to get me in the mood, lol. Wiring up those LED strips, and the voltage drop from one end to the other seems like to much work to me from what I have read on some of the websites that sell them. Lights, power supplies, controls, too much to set up as far as I am concerned. Too much money, too much work, too much to fail. I'd rather screw in a light bulb

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.:)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  12. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

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  13. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,806
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    After all this time I never knew you boys had your own -Sub Forum.....

    By the way I Love the Photo Above.

    [​IMG]

    I love LED lighting.

    We always use a heat sink under our strip lighting.
    Taylor Love likes this.
  14. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

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    Location:
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    Do the strips get hot enough to need them ?

    What kind of heat sink do you use ?
  15. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

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    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Well I got my light strips for testing.

    Bob, you are correct the RGB LEDs are a bit of a joke.

    But you can use them to play to the music, Flash and all that crap.

    The amount of useable working light is for the bedroom. I guess you could make it light for screamers.

    I am still testing, but the 5050 Warm and Cool White look like the most promising for Usable Light.

    The CFLs win so far, for usable light for the Watt, The LEDs get to Hot, Believe it or not.


    More testing to come.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  16. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Florida
    I installed kits from http://inspiredled.com for kitchen under and over cabinet lighting.

    The flex strips were custom length, included all power supplies and connectors. I'm very happy with them.

    I was redoing the kitchen so before cabinets went in I ran switched 110ac power via bx cable to the top of the cabinets and plugged the power supplies into the metal boxes. They are in open air and they don't get very warm. The low voltage cable for under cabinet runs between cabinet boxes out of site. They sell low voltage cable rated for inside wall if required.
  17. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Florida
    ****Duplicate post deleted****
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  18. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    That is good, but is your Spouse happy also ?

    That is more important.


    I put my RGBs on Flash Fast 7, Just to drive my girl nuts.
  19. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Florida
    YES SHE IS!

    Thanks for asking :)
  20. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Florida
    YES SHE IS!

    Thanks for asking :)
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