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LED strips for vanity/accent lighting?

FuzzyWombatSoup

Nov 18, 2014
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I'm looking for input on what strips I should investigate for accent/vanity lighting in my home. Here are some key factors:
  • Need to be RGB(daylight W is a plus)
  • 5-12VDC dimmable, as I'm going to use PWM
  • Bright, I'm going to aim to use them as the primary light source(if W)
  • No waterproofing needed, it's all indoor
  • I'll probably end up needing ~100' of these total
I've played with the cheaper $15 strips from Amazon which work fine for projects, but I suspect they are lacking something compared to the "higher quality strips". The only thing I've found is https://www.flexfireleds.com. I'm not sure if that's an extreme end of the spectrum, or midrange.
 

BobK

Jan 5, 2010
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I looked at the ultrabright LED strips on you link. They are 519 lm / ft. 100' of these would be 51900 lm or about the equivalent of 35 100W incandescent bulbs. You could grow an awsome crop of your favorite indoor plants with that, but it might be a little obnoxious for accent lighting.

Bob
 

FuzzyWombatSoup

Nov 18, 2014
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Are there any suggestions for something not quite as bright/costly, but superior to the cheap $15 LEDs?
 

shrtrnd

Jan 15, 2010
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Might be off-subject, but I don't know your 'vanity/accent' application.
If a female might be involved who'd use the lighting for self-evaluation/make-up application, make sure the
light from the LED's suit the application (whatever it is). Some of my 'friends' have had issues with LED's in some places I've mounted them. (Maybe different wavelengths involved with some types over others?)
 

FuzzyWombatSoup

Nov 18, 2014
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Might be off-subject, but I don't know your 'vanity/accent' application.
If a female might be involved who'd use the lighting for self-evaluation/make-up application, make sure the
light from the LED's suit the application (whatever it is). Some of my 'friends' have had issues with LED's in some places I've mounted them. (Maybe different wavelengths involved with some types over others?)
Application helps :) It's going to be in my kitchen/living room.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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I looked at the ultrabright LED strips on you link. They are 519 lm / ft. 100' of these would be 51900 lm or about the equivalent of 35 100W incandescent bulbs. You could grow an awsome crop of your favorite indoor plants with that, but it might be a little obnoxious for accent lighting.

Bob
I have 'issues' over claimed luminosity values for LEDs over incandescents. Manufacturers seem to be able to take their own readings based on whatever spec they set - there is little compatibility for comparison over the whole industry.

Inevitably they'll be used as indirect lighting anyway i.e. bounced off a painted surface and not directly visible to the eye.

I'd be very surprised indeed to see an LED strip outshine incandescents - they may have 'peak' light output over a narrow band (beam width) but their global i.e. whole radius brilliance never seems to match up with equivalent incandescents. In my experience.

At 519lm/ft the strip may hurt the eyes to look at directly but won't give the same illumination coverage as an incandescent. The OP may be best served by fitting them and seeing the result - given his intention to use a dimmer then brighter is better than not-bright-enough....
 

BobK

Jan 5, 2010
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That is not my experience at all. The LED bulbs I have bought appear to provide more illumination to me than their stated incandescent equivalent.

On the other hand, Lumen raytings of raw LEDs from Ebay are almost certainly way overstated.

I doubt that that is the case with the very expensive stiips he is looking at.

Bob
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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The LED bulbs I have bought
And thereby lies the rub. 'bulbs' and 'strips' are apples and pears and can't be directly compared. Indeed, different bulbs (shapes) will have different illumination qualities and light output is only relevant, as I tried to make out, when comparing like-for-like.

This has always been the 'problem' with lumens, candela whatever - there isn't any specific determination for the way it's measured as beam pattern/spread make such a difference to any readings.

If manufacturers specified, and stuck to, say "the light output should be measured at a distance of 1 metre and in the plane of maximum illumination" or somesuch nonesense, you could start to get an idea of how things compare but still, a narrow-angle LED would 'outshine' a 100W incandescent with only the most limited of output under such test conditions rendering any comparisons meaningless.

It boils down to 'subjective' brightness and as far as I know there is no 'standard' for that!

Given the understandable difficulties of determining light output it is, as I suggested, better to fit 'more' than 'not enough' and simply dim the lighting if it ends up being too bright. Such PWM dimmers as are used these days don't waste any energy so it's not an issue.
 

BobK

Jan 5, 2010
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Lumens measure the total light output in all drections, unlike candella. The angle of view does not affect lumen measurements.

The total illumination provided by a bulb or strip putting out 100 lumens is the same, though the spatial distribution will be different.

It is also adjusted according to the respose of the human eye. Since the eye is more sensitive to green, 1 lumen of green light is a lot less in terms of Watts than 1 lumen of blue light.

Bob
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Lumens measure the total light output in all drections, unlike candella. The angle of view does not affect lumen measurements.
It might not affect the total lumen output measurement as a numerical figure but it certainly shows itself in a subjective way!

A 100lumen source could be a radiant device with TOTAL spherical coverage or one with a very narrow beam (still its total output though) but the narrow beam one will certainly look brighter! Just as putting a lens in front of a light source to focus it doesn't change its luminosity but subjectively it will be brighter.

Consequently making comparisons of light output by lumens (by eye) is only valid when both sources have the same beam or radiance pattern.
 

linacat

Jun 23, 2018
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I once bought LED strip lights from a brand called sunnest. They have many different kinds of strip lights and I bought one. I've used it for my mirror and it looks really beautiful. I don't know how to cut and connect it at first, and I search a lot and find the way.
 

spandrel

Jul 3, 2018
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LED shops usually sell 12v dimmers as well. I fitted a touch dimmer to the lights in my campervan.
 
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