InStyle’s LED tape offers you more flexibility than other forms of lighting. You can fit it to curved surfaces, twist it and even loop it back on itself. (After all, it’s supplied on reels!)
So bending your LED strip lights for installation on a curved surface is very straightforward. But what if your projects needs its LED tape to be bent flat (across the PCB’s edge), as in the picture below?
1. How to bend your LED tapes laterally
When we talk about ‘bending LED tapes laterally’, it means creating a curve of light on a flat surface (by bending the strip across the edge of the PCB). Like this:
LED strips are designed to be very flexible. Their PCBs (printed circuit boards) are so robust that many LED tape products can be bent up to 90 degrees with no difficulty.
But be aware that higher-power LED strips are less flexible than lower-power ones. This is because the LED modules are placed closer together on high-power strips, and require wider PCBs (for more heat dispersal).
The 5-watt white LED tape shown here has 60 LEDs per metre, mounted on an 8-millimetre-wide PCB.
For comparison, we’ve got pictures illustrating the flexibility of some more LED tapes below…
Note: When bending your LED tape across the PCB’s edge, take care not to damage the PCB mounting. We strongly recommend you apply the bend at one of the tape’s marked cut-points.
2. How to bend your LED tapes laterally with clip-on connectors
If your LED tape needs to bend at an angle greater than 45 degrees (for example, to go around a right-angle corner), then we do not recommend physically bending it. Instead, we suggest one of our tape connectors.
Clip-on connectors have a standard 150mm cable. This length cannot be adjusted, so you’ll have to find space to hide any excess cable. This can be a problem for some installations.
InStyle’s LED tape has a wide beam angle of 120 degrees, so it can be quite forgiving if the LEDs are not perfectly positioned. But even so, be careful not to space the LED strip sections too far apart like so, as this will lead to ‘dark’ patches in the light produced by the LED tape run.
Instead, you should position the LED strip sections close together. The goal is to keep an even amount of space between the LEDs on the boards, like so:
3. How InStyle can solder flexible links so your LED tapes bend laterally
You can order your tape with flexible LED strip connectors already fitted. Tell us where you want your tape to bend, and we’ll cut and solder your flexible connector(s) before your order is dispatched – so it’s ready to use right out of the package.
Link cables are completely customisable, so they can be cut to fit your LED strip lighting project exactly – without excess cable, or with longer cables if required.
But what about my LED tape extrusions? Can they bend too?
Yes they can! Bendable aluminium LED tape extrusions are now available. You can order yours from InStyle LED today.