A JUSTFLOW ELECTRICIAN’S EASY GUIDE TO INSTALLING LED STRIP LIGHTING YOURSELF AND ADDING MAJOR VALUE TO YOUR HOME, BUSINESS OR PROJECT
DIY LED STRIP [LINEAR TRACK] LIGHTS GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS .
Author A.Klink [Justflow Electrical Specialist] [Local ELECTRICIAN SYDNEY]
Strip Lights or Downlights?
Why Linear LED strip lights? And why not just install downlights?
Let me explain this and break down a few key points here. The most common question we receive when planning a new home build or home renovation for our western Sydney customers is why wouldn’t I just install downlights and save time and money? The simple answer is you wont save either. Downlights unlike conventional battens or oyster lights require careful preparation, plug bases cut outs and not to mention space above your ceiling which can be problematic when an electrician hits a timber or aluminium stud
With more and more overseas manufacturers downlights entering our market with intense competition between them, there is a visible decline in downlight quality
Once quality falls below standard the safety risk increases and these risks can range from electric shock to fire hazards
So what to do?
Consider using LED strip lighting. Linear LED strip lights look great and avoid many of the problems that come with installing standard down lights
By following the easy steps below you will be well on your way to enhancing the look of your home or office
It helps to plan carefully. The areas in which you plan to install the LED strip lights should diffuse the light softly at the chosen location.
There is nothing more un appealing than a LED which is misplaced and does not diffuse correctly. In most cases this will cause a spot effect and the individual LED’s can be seen through the diffuser or in some cases not using a diffuser at all.
Good ideas are places such as above/below feature walls, under the lip of stairs (bullnose), behind cabinetry or recessed within timber or laminate panels. You are definitely not limited for options here so use your imagination and let your creative juices flow!
Choose the location carefully however and take appropriate measurements of the length of LED strip light needed, the length of the aluminum profile in which the LED lights will sit in and the size of the cutouts needed if you plan to recess the extrusions.
A the old saying goes measure twice cut once and this has never been more pertinent than when measuring size of aluminium extrusion and the LED itself. The next measurement you will need is the length of low voltage (Figure 8) cable needed from the chosen end of the aluminum profile. A good rule of thumb is to allow for an additional 30% for wastage. At times when running cables there are always obstacles and bends which are met, these obstacles will make it harder to run the low voltage cable to the ceiling to sit behind a cavity or space which can be easily accessed later. This space will house the driver in which will power the LED strip lights. The power usually needed is 12V however this can be up to 24V depending on the type of LED lighting chosen.
Clean the chosen area thoroughly making sure nothing will interfere with the lighting as small bits of dirt dust and other substances will be evident on completion
This is crucial in making sure the process of installation smooth
Ensure that you clearly lay out the LED lighting and double check fittings to ensure a correct fit