Category Archives: How-To

Altair Lighting LED Lantern: LED Driver Replacement

Have you had issues with your Altair Lighting LED Lantern from Costco? Many home owners bought this outdoor LED wall light only to experience issues, sometimes only months after purchase! This can be frustrating as it is not as simple as just replacing the bulb, in fact, it is not even the bulb that is the issue.

When a light starts to strobe or blink slowly, it usually points to a power input issue. In this particular light, the constant current LED driver has gone bad. Many owners of the light were left scrambling around trying to fix the issue as there are no Altair Lighting replacement parts. Fortunately, we have a great LED driver replacement and a quick fix solution to get your outdoor LED lantern lit back up in no time! Continue reading

Splitter Cables for LED Strip Lights

Why Would I need an LED Strip Splitter?

LED strip projects typically require multiple runs of strip that need to be connected in a planned circuit so that they are all receiving 12VDC from an AC/DC transformer or 12-volt battery source. They can be run in series (end-to-end) up to their max run length, however, projects often require more and will require parallel strips being run from the power supply.

This is where LED strip splitters come in, allowing you to install and use more light strip reels where you might normally only be able to run a single strip. This allows you to run strips in opposite directions if needed, side by side, or simply help connect parallel lines back to the main power source. Continue reading

How to Dim Your LEDs: Top 3 Solutions for Smooth LED Control

Mean Well LED drivers offer dimming features to fit the demand for modern lighting control. Mean Well has developed a wide line of LED drivers with advanced dimming features for LED lighting. Many models like the HLG, NPF and LPF are built with Mean Well’s 3-in-1 dimming feature. This ‘3-in-1 dimming’ allows for the user to dim LEDs with three different forms of signal: Passive Resistance, 1-10VDC (0-10V) and Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This dimming feature enhances flexibility to make the end-application design much simpler. Continue reading

Dimming LED Strip Lights with the Mean Well PWM

‘How do you dim LED Strips?’

This is a common question we receive multiple times a day. Simple 12V LED systems (like the flex strips) can be dimmed, but it requires the right power supply and setup. Through the years there have been two options for dimming LED strips:PWM dimmer in series with LED Strip Lights

  1. Using a PWM dimmer in-series with the LED Strips.
  2. Buying a pricey AC dimmable power supply.

Both options are adequate in providing quality dimming, but still might not be right for everyone. Using a PWM dimmer in-series typically works better from a remote dimmer. Using a PWM wall dimmer requires excessive wiring and limits the load that can be handled. AC dimmable power supplies are great if there is already a common residential dimming setup within the home, otherwise this route can be very expensive.

Mean Well developed a unique AC to DC switching power supply that transmits a PWM style constant voltage output. This is a way to beat the system as the PWM output can be controlled by non-PWM dimmers like our affordable 0-10V dimming control. Let’s see how this power supply works to dim LED strip lights in a way otherwise not possible. Continue reading

Common BMW LED Tail Light Repair: $6 Replacement for bad circuit board

As LED lighting continues to improve and grow in popularity, more and more manufacturers are utilizing them in larger scale products such as household appliances and cars. Unfortunately, many manufacturers take shortcuts when designing these parts, using poorly designed and built electronic components. Not only do these failed parts damage the reputation of LED lighting but they also create short term problems for the owners as they now must deal with partially broken products that could be expensive to fix.

BMW X3 rear lightsOne of these types of issues has been identified in BMW models (2011-Present). The second generation BMW X3 F25 (years 2011-2017), like many other BMW models, added new style features to the high end mid-size SUV. One of these added features was LED lighting within the tail light assembly. Unfortunately, the BMW X3 LED tail lights have become notorious in failing as early as 60,000 miles after purchase. This issue has left many faithful BMW owners frustrated and looking for a solution. Continue reading

Installing LED Flex Strips: Mounting Techniques

LED Strip Adhesive (peel off) BackingLED flex strips are extremely popular in home lighting applications. LED strip light applications continue to grow because of their ease of use. The low-profile design, flexibility, efficiency and adhesive backing make them a no-brainer for many DIYers looking to put LEDs in their home. Like any other product, the whole is only as good as the parts. A common failure for these strips is that their adhesive backing fails on some surfaces or tends to give way over time. Luckily, here at LEDSupply we have taken feedback and found additional ways to mount these LED strips. Use some of these methods in installing LED strips to enjoy for years to come! 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

Our LED Grow Light Kit Write-Up: Using the Highest-Quality LED Components!

LED grow light kitWhen LEDs became powerful, circa 2006, we started getting requests from customers to help them use our LEDs for growing (horticulture). Before giving out too much information, we researched photosynthesis and did an internal grow test using shorter wavelength blue and longer wavelength red LEDs. After the success of that first test, we decided to develop a high-quality LED grow light kit; something that used name brand and reliable LEDs and components. At that time, all the LED grow products we were seeing on the market seemed to have vague specifications, outlandish claims, looked cheaply built and used unreliable components. Of course our kit started small in-scale, but now almost 10-years later 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

Perfect LED Retrofit Solution for Landscape Lighting using a 12VAC Transformer

LED Landscape LightSome sort of outdoor, landscape lighting is needed in many residential and commercial areas. Whether it just be small security lights, pathway markers, or just added accent lighting around the grounds, they run on a certain system and if you plan on switching to LEDs you will need to be aware of this. Most outdoor lighting systems run off of a low voltage AC transformer, usually 12VAC. These 12VAC transformers are already in place in the majority of houses and businesses as incandescent bulbs could take AC power and it had advantages over going straight from the main line (120VAC). When switching to LEDs this can be a problem as LEDs need direct current, and most LED drivers are made for low DC voltage or high AC line voltage. Here at LEDSupply, however, we have the perfect driver option for landscape and outdoor lighting systems that utilize a low voltage AC transformer. Continue reading