How does voltage drop affect LED strip lights? We offer a straightforward explanation.

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What does voltage drop mean? How to avoid voltage drop with my LED strip lights?  

Voltage drop with LED strip lights basically means light loss!

This is a loss of brightness towards the end of the LED strip that is experiencing voltage drop, caused by a drop in voltage.

So for example:

As most LED strip lights use 12v or 24v constant voltage, this means you should use as 12v or 24v power supply.

At the start of the LED strip there is 24v powering the LED strip, then at some point along the strip this voltage will begin to drop off. It cannot remain at 24v over an indefinite distance.

Most LED strip lights have no significant voltage drop over a 5-metre length. This is why most LED strip lights are on 5m reels off the shelf, so they’ll offer an even brightness from the start to the end of each reel, powered from one end.

If you have 24v at the start of the 5m length and still 24v at the end of the 5m length the light is even and no voltage drop. But if you go longer than this, say 6m, the end of the 6m length maybe 23v or 22v and the light will be less bright as it has less voltage towards the end of the strip. (The lights would still work, and some customers would still be happy with the effect as this isn’t greatly noticeable. And this could really save cost / time on wiring: rather than having a 5m strip and a 1m strip, those customers can have a single 6m strip powered from one end.)

If you go longer say 10m of LED tape  the end of the 10m may be as low as 17v and the strip could be 30% less bright than the start. This would be unacceptable as the light loss is too much.

Always check with your manufacturer to find out the maximum length of your LED strip that can be in wired in series without voltage drop!

Why InStyle LED?

We stock all of these LED strips for next day delivery.

We can cut and solder the LED strips to exact lengths for you, and can solder in any corner links and custom length starter leads.

You can provide us with the lengths or, even better, a quick sketch of your area with the lengths written on them. We can advise the best way to wire the strips.

We can speak to any installers, before, during and after your project to answer any questions.

Please call us today on 0116 2799083 or email [email protected]