Voltage drop or ‘volt drop’ happens in all sorts of electrical installations. When larger power cables are being installed more complex calculations has to be made to counteract the problem. However when LED power supply or tapes are concerned there are some simple guidelines to follow.
Volt drop in LED strips takes place when the LEDs are positioned too far away 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, since it has further to travel. This causes the voltage to decline or drop towards the end in the run.
Voltage drops out approximately .6V every metre and is less noticeable with 24V strips. When you use 12V strips, a 2-3V drop over a 5 metre run would reduce the voltage by 25% subsequently lowering the lumen (brightness) by a similar percentage.
Volt drop might be compared to a person climbing a mountain, the higher the altitude, the thinner the oxygen becomes and the minus the person can breathe.
The LEDs at the beginning of the fishing line can look bright at 100% output but the LEDs towards the end in the line will start to fade. The brightness will reduce exponentially; the further away it gets out of the power source. Potentially the lighting output may 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, specifically in shorter lengths. Colour changing strips are definitely more visible whenever you turn the colour to white. If there is inadequate voltage right at the end in the strip the clear white colour will turn pink towards the end from the line. The reason being white colour is mixed from red, green and blue (RGB). However, the red requires less voltage than green and blue. When the strip is far from the power source, 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 ought to be. As an example; 30 LED (7.2W) per metre strip could have a maximum run of 10 metres, when compared to the 60 LED (14.4W) per metre strip which can have a maximum run of 5 metres.
This does not necessarily mean you can’t install longer runs of LED strip, it merely means that you should require a different approach. Single colour strips and colour changing (known as RGB) strips will vary because colour changing LED driver ul need to be controlled from one controller. Utilizing a higher rated power source will not repair the problem because the current still has to pass through via a long collection of LEDs and resistors, every one draining small quantities of power.
Single colour strips needs to be wired directly returning to the ability supply in five metre of 10 metre runs depending on the version of strip i.e. 30 or 60 LED that is utilized. Each run will be powered directly from the power supply and can be excited or off by switching a switch or unplugging it from the mains. The power supply is generally wired to your light switch but could be controlled by various types of controllers. The strips can then be positioned however, you like, in a single long line or in a rectangle shape for example. Once the strips are positioned close to each other the sunshine will appear seamless, such as a fluorescent tube. The run might be over 100 metres hapmys length provided that the ability supply was rated appropriately.
Volt drop will occur slightly inside the connecting power cables but because there are no LEDs or resisters etc draining the current, the volt drop is going to be barley noticeable. Thicker cables can be used to reach further distances.
For longer runs of colour changing strip, you need to fit amplifiers every 5 or 10 metres. Amplifiers enable the strips to be powered indirectly from your power source but also enable the signal through the controller to move with the entire run of strips. This way when you turn the color to red as an example, everything turns to red concurrently. The amplifiers power the strip, the energy supply powers the amplifiers. Amplifiers can even be powered from their own separate power source and you could have as much power supplies as you desire on the same run. The ability supplies can be positioned even closer to the LED strip connection or wherever is most accessible.
For extended, more difficult runs we can supply our customers with their own easy to understand wiring diagram. The diagram illustrates how the power supply, strips and cables are connected together. As part for our LED Strip Fit brand, LED Waterproof power supply could be supplied for the exact lengths required; everything in addition to the larger hard wired power supplies could be plugged into each, requiring no tools or electrical knowledge.