Category Archives: Buying Guides

All-in-One 12V & 24V LEDs: Making DIY Lighting Easier than Ever

Working with LED lighting does not have to be hard. You have probably thought of a cool lighting idea that you have not attempted to build in the past. Why not? I believe most people, like you, feel they are not educated or skilled enough to create the LED lighting idea on their own.

Well I have news for you… Stop, leave that ‘but I can’t’ thought behind. In this post, I will show you just how easy LED lighting can be to set up with the right products!

What is needed to Create an LED Light

Ever wanted to build an LED lamp? Now you can with just 2 parts!

With the growing popularity of LED lighting, many have researched and contacted me asking how to create small LED lights, LED lamps, LED panel lights, downlights…you name it. This would start a discussion about the different components needed to complete an LED setup:

  • Surface mount device (SMD) LEDs or LED Modules
  • Constant Current Drivers
  • AC/DC Power Supplies
  • Heatsinks

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LED Strip Accessories

Completing an LED Flex Strip installation does not have to be hard, make it simple with LEDSupply’s strip accessories!

LED strip lights are the most popular do-it-yourself option for many residential applications. The discrete, self-adhered strips are easy and safe to run for under cabinet lighting, cove lighting and various accent lighting applications that have become popular with the continued growth of LED strip light technology. The best part… there are a wide range of accessories that make 12V LED strip lights user friendly and make installation a breeze! Continue reading

7 Things to Know Before Buying and Installing 12V LED Strip Lights

Flexible LED strip lights are used all over the world in various industrial, commercial and residential projects. LED strip lighting is popular among many Architects and Lighting Designers due to the improvements in efficiency, color options and brightness. The biggest draw is how easy they are to install. Their flexibility, low-profile and helpful accessories make LED flex strips popular for the at home DIY types. With these LED strips, a homeowner can design like a professional with the right supplies and just an hour or two.

There are many options for LED strip lights with no simple ‘one size fits all’ standard to go by. This LED Strip Light Resource Guide will educate newcomers and experts alike on finding the best LED strip lights for the job. Continue reading

How To Choose an LED Power Supply

Whether you are building your own LED fixture, fixing and retrofitting existing fixtures, or purchasing new LED lights, you will need to find the correct power source for your LEDs. You will either need a constant current LED driver or a constant voltage power supply (or a combination of both) in order to make your LEDs work properly. There are many different factors to consider when choosing a power supply for LED lighting. This post will go through those many factors and help you select the right power supply for your LEDs! Continue reading

12 Volt LED Light Strips: Powering and Wiring

LED strip lights have become a quick and efficient answer to providing accent lighting around cool-white-flexible-led-strip-light-non-waterproof-led-ribbon-light-12volt-300leds-5050your home. A relatively low cost option is low voltage, 12 volt LED strip lighting. These discrete strips are sometimes called led ribbon lights or flexible led strips, referring to the ease at which they form to any surface to provide a soft, smooth accent light. Their low 12VDC power input makes them run at an efficient rate while 5050 LEDs keep it running cool and safe to run in tight spaces. All of these factor into what makes 12V LED strips so great for under cabinet lighting, accent lighting, bookshelf lighting, task lighting, cove lighting and so much more. Since they are 12VDC powered they are also popular in car and boat applications. Throughout this post we will go through how to make sure you are powering your LED strips correctly and different ways of wiring your strips to make for the best LED lighting set up. Continue reading

How to Choose a Mean Well Power Supply: LED Driver and Power Supply Guide

Mean Well Company LogoWhen looking for a Mean Well power supply for LED lighting it is easy to get lost in the many different options available. First, it is a good idea to know the specific needs of your project. Often, power supplies are wrongly chosen for an LED project which leads to failure. In order to cut out any issues use the quick checklist below when looking for an LED power Supply.

 

What to consider before selecting a power supply:

  • How will I connect my power supply?
    • A simple outlet plug or directly wiring into AC lines?
  • Will the power supply fit in the desired space?
    • Make sure to check the size of the unit to make sure you have room for it.
  • Can I use a power supply outdoors or in a damp area?
    • Luckily there are many Waterproof power supplies and drivers, just look for the IP65 rating!
  • Do I want to be able to dim my LED lights?
    • If dimming is needed, make sure to choose a power source that has dimming capabilities.
  • Lastly, does my application require any other functions?
    • Examples: PFC, Over voltage protection, Over temperature protection, UL recognized, etc.

If you are unfamiliar with how LED power supplies operate and their specifications, the best place to start is at our first post in this series – LED Power Supplies 101.

When looking for both an LED driver and power supply brand to trust, look no further than Mean Well. With a failure rate at less than .02% in 2016, Mean Well has continued to make some of the most reliable power supplies in the world. After completing the checklist above and knowing what you are looking for, check out the options below!

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How Does a 5mm LED Work?

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are all around us. They are in our homes, our cars, even our phones. LEDs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, this gives designers the ability to tailor them to their product. Any time something electronic lights up, there’s a good chance that an LED is behind it. Their low power and small sizes make them a great choice for many different products as they can be worked into the design more seamlessly to make it an overall better device.

We have discussed high-brightness LEDs in the past, but throughout this post we will be focusing our attention on 5mm LEDs or through hole LEDs. These are the types of LEDs that are likely to be in your smaller electronics as an indicator light or something of that nature.  5mm LEDs take much less current to run than high brightness LEDs, 20mA compared to a minimum of 350mA for high-power LEDs. If you followed our original Mastering LEDs post, you should know: more current = more light. So obviously these 5mm LEDs are going to be more of an accent light or light for very small spaces. This is exactly the purpose of 5mm LEDs, they can be used together in a large array to create a sign or some sort of matrix, or they can be used on their own to make a small indicator light or one of those tiny key chain flashlights.

5mm LEDs are super helpful as they Continue reading

Are My LEDs Too Hot? Thermal Compounds & Adhesives are Crucial in LED Heat Transfer!

High Power LEDs are driven at higher drive currents and have high light output. LEDs may be cool on the outside, but because of this increase in power running through them, their internal (junction) temperature will increase with use. We have talked about finding an adequate heatsink for your LED set up which helps to transfer the heat from the LED to an outside surface. This will lower the junction temperature of the LED, keeping it running bright and degrading at a much lower rate, for much longer LED run time. However, in order to make this transfer of heat more efficient, it is a very good idea to use a thermally conductive epoxy or compound in between your LED and heatsink. This will create a thermal path in which the heat can easily move away from the precious diode, to your heatsink, which then will be passively cooled by the surrounding elements or actively cooled by a fan.Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

Now in the world of thermal compounds and adhesives it is pretty easy to get trapped into buying a low-quality product. Here at LEDSupply, we realize the importance of these thermal materials which is why we carry Arctic Silver thermal compounds and adhesives. These quality products have great thermal conductivity and I would recommend using in any LED project, especially if you are running the LEDs at 1 Amp (1000mA) or more. Let me tell you this, the couple bucks extra that you spend on this will more than make up for this in the long run as it will result in better LED performance and much longer lifetime. Continue reading

Lume Cube Review – 1500 Lumen LED Light Controlled Straight from Your Phone!

Compact Lume CubeThe Lume Cube is a small, but very powerful LED flash and video light you can take on the go. The super small, 1.5” cube design, allows you to pack 1,500 Lumens of light wherever you may need it. Throw it in your pocket and you have it whenever, no need to carry a ton of lighting equipment everywhere you plan to shoot. That isn’t even what we are most excited about, the real kicker is that you can control the Lume Cube right from your phone. As a matter of fact, with the Lume Cube Pro smartphone app you can control up to 5 Lume Cubes via Bluetooth, giving you total control over your lighting setup. Five Lume Cubes at the same time? That’s right, a total of 7,500 Lumens you can control from 5 different lighting points, straight from your phone! (if I haven’t convinced you on the importance of this product in flash photography…then keep reading)

The Lume Cube can basically act as an LED panel light, like you would have in your photo studio. They can be used as an external flash for photos, or as a continuous light source for video. I first reached out to Lume Cube when I found out about the product through an article on GoPro and have become more and more impressed since, especially when I got one of these in my hands and Continue reading