LED strips & modules – which are better? By now, Im going to assume that you are already familiar with the concept of using LEDs in preference to traditional Flourencent light, or globes. LEDs have come down in price significantly over the last decade and install costs have dropped considerably now as no electrician is required. Running costs are significantly lower and the life span is significantly improved. Most LEDs now provide between 35,000 and 50,000 hrs of operation before being considered tired. So, lets have a look at the difference between modules and strip lighting:
Both have their place in the market
They both use the same LED chips, the most common being 3528, 5050, 2835, and 5630, although others are finding their way into mainstream Signage lighting products.
LED strips & modules both vary in quality. Even the best known brand names grade their chips, and its not usually chips that fail. In fact, I dont think we’ve ever had a chip fail, but then we use only Grade 1 chips from the likes of Epistar, Samsung and Cree. Its usually solder points, short circuting, and or poor quality PCB and assembly that we observe on cheaper product.
They can both use the same Power supply, and provide the same light output.
Here are a few of the considerations you should consider prior to purchasing:
- Most suppliers will provide a longer warranty for modules than flexible strip lighting. Why? Because the structure is more robust, has better heat dissipation, insulation and the PCB is much stronger (doesnt flex) and they are, by nature waterproof.
- How much do you want to pay? Are ours really better than what you can purchase online? Well, we discuss specification requirements and then negotiate Pricing directly with our suppliers. Not brokers, merchants, shipping companies, or third parties on Ebay, Amazon, or one of the other disposal outlets. We deal directly with the factories and we deal with the same person, year on year- that relationship means we can talk technical. With 8 years of constant business with a small number of quality manufacturers, we can and do absolutely believe what we sell is good. Its very good. And the support and advice that we get and can give is good too. Is it worth paying a little more for peace of mind. For a genuine warranty? For a back stop? You bet it is.
Our Primary product, Edge-lit signage – lends itself to strip lighting, as we punch the light into the edge of both acrylic and glass. Our Edge-lighting units have consumed literally 10s of kms of strip lighting, so we know the strengths and weaknesses of this product. To this day, we only use Rigid Strips. Why? Because they have the same inherant strengths that modules do.
How tight / small is the area you want to light.
Most flexible strip lighting can only bend up or down. Not sideways, so cant be successfully twisted around corners. Yes, there are now even strips that do – the ‘S’ strip , however, Modules have a flexible wire between them, which means they can be used around corners, in my experience, far better than ‘S’ type flexible strip. We have a module thats just 38 X 7mm in size, and is ideal for small channel letters. Its our mini module, and punches out 20 lumens of clean white 6000k light.
How far away from the surface that you wanting to light, can you install your LEDs.–
All LED chips have a beam angle, like a tourch beam. You usually wont get this detail, when buying online, but its important- Extremely important. When placed in a line (as in strip lighting) the light in very intense along the line, but drops off rather quickly to each side. This means that when you are populating a large area, (like a light box, the LED strips need to be close enough that the beams cross over. The angle of that beam means that the closer to the lit surface, the closer the strips need to be. Now that introduces a secondary problem because by placing too many strips close together to avoid dark spots you create too much light along the strip- a hot spot. Hense the box needs depth.
But even this rule is now becoming defunct, as we have recently intoduced a special LED strip, that has a beam angle of 170+ degrees, and can be used as close as 4cm from the surface without hot or cold spots. Seeing is believing! Sadly, this strip is not waterproof, but for internal use, they really are sensational. BUT- Never fear- we have modules that can do amazing things too. So, in summary, there are a number of reasons for buying from us. We know our product-
- Dont purchase from disposal outlets like ebay and Amazon, where factory seconds are dumped by brokers and traders with no physical presence.
- Specify the beam angles, so we can provide the correct number of units for complete and consistant cover of the surface
- Know that our chips are powered correctly – The same chip can be manufactured brighter simply by using a different resistor – or over powering it. Ours are all set for longivity and reliability over straight Lumens output.
- Know the reliability – tested with true long life sales experience.
- Set the colors, and ALL our white chips are 6000K +-500, so that your signage presents as white and above 93 percent CRI.
- Have an extensive range of LED strips & modules, so will guide you on which product is best suited to your application- Not flog what we stock.
- Are an Australian business, since 1991 so our warranty is solid.