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Voltage drop or ‘volt drop’ happens in all types of electrical installations. When larger power cables are being installed more advanced calculations has to be made to counteract the problem. However, when LED driver or tapes are concerned there are a few simple guidelines to follow.

Volt drop in LED strips occurs when the LEDs are positioned too far from the power source or when longer individual runs (or lines) are attempted. This takes place because insufficient power or electrical current reaches the LEDs, because it has further to travel. This will cause the voltage to decline or drop right at the end from the run.

Voltage drops out approximately .6V every metre and is less noticeable with 24V strips. When utilizing 12V strips, a 2-3V drop more than a 5 metre run would lessen the voltage by 25% subsequently reducing the lumen (brightness) with a similar percentage.

Volt drop might be compared to a person climbing a mountain, the higher the altitude, the thinner the oxygen becomes as well as the minus the person can breathe.

The LEDs at the outset of the line will appear bright at 100% output nevertheless the LEDs towards the end in the line will quickly fade. The brightness will reduce exponentially; the further away it gets away from the source of energy. Potentially the sunshine output could be reduced to % if greater distances were incorrectly attempted and cause permanent damage to the LEDs.

Volt drop in single colour strips are barley noticeable, especially in shorter lengths. Colour changing strips are more visible once you turn the colour to white. If there is inadequate voltage towards the end from the strip the clear white colour will turn pink right at the end of the line. It is because white colour is mixed from red, green and blue (RGB). However, the red requires less voltage than green and blue. Once the strip is far through the power supply, green and blue don’t get enough voltage and become weaker, whilst the red colour becomes more prominent and turns white into pink.

The larger the wattage of the LED strip, the short the run should be. For example; 30 LED (7.2W) per metre strip can have a maximum run of 10 metres, compared to the 60 LED (14.4W) per metre strip which may have a maximum run of 5 metres.

This does not always mean you can’t install longer runs of LED strip, it merely means you need to require a different approach. Single colour strips and colour changing (called RGB) strips will vary because colour changing LEDA driver 12v need to be controlled from a single controller. Employing a higher rated power source does not fix the problem since the current really has to move by way of a long collection of LEDs and resistors, every one draining small amounts of power.

Single colour strips should be wired directly back to the power supply in 5 metre of 10 metre runs depending on the version of strip i.e. 30 or 60 LED which is used. Each run will be powered straight from the ability supply and can be switched on or off by switching a switch or unplugging it from your mains. The energy supply is generally wired to some light switch but could be controlled by various types of controllers. The strips can then be positioned however you like, in one long line or in a rectangle shape as an example. Once the strips are positioned next to one another the lighting can look seamless, such as a fluorescent tube. The run could be over 100 metres hapmys length as long as the energy supply was rated appropriately.

Volt drop will occur slightly within the connecting power cables but as there are no LEDs or resisters etc draining the existing, the volt drop will likely be barley noticeable. Thicker cables may be used to reach further distances.

For longer runs of colour changing strip, you have to fit amplifiers every 5 or 10 metres. Amplifiers enable the strips to get powered indirectly through the power source but also enable the signal from your controller to pass through from the entire run of strips. In this way once you turn the colour to red for example, everything turns to red concurrently. The amplifiers power the strip, the power supply powers the amplifiers. Amplifiers could even be powered off their own separate power supply and you can have as much power supplies as you like on the same run. The power supplies could be positioned closer to the LED strip connection or wherever is most accessible.

For prolonged, more difficult runs we can supply our customers using their own easy to follow wiring diagram. The diagram illustrates the way the power supply, strips and cables are connected together. As part for your LED Strip Fit brand, LED dimmable driver can be supplied for the exact lengths required; everything apart from the larger hard wired power supplies could be connected to each, requiring no tools or electrical knowledge.

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