Voltage drop or ‘volt drop’ happens in all sorts of electrical installations. When larger power cables are installed more complex calculations has to be made to counteract the problem. However when LED power supply or tapes are concerned there are a few simple guidelines to follow.
Volt drop in LED strips happens when the LEDs are positioned very far out of the power source or when longer individual runs (or lines) are attempted. This takes place because not enough power or electrical current reaches the LEDs, because it has further to travel. This causes the voltage to decline or drop right at the end of 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 decrease the voltage by 25% subsequently decreasing the lumen (brightness) by a similar percentage.
Volt drop could be compared to a person climbing a mountain, the greater the altitude, the thinner the oxygen becomes and also the less the person can breathe.
The LEDs at the beginning of the line will appear bright at 100% output however the LEDs towards the end from the line will start to fade. The brightness will reduce exponentially; the further away it gets away from the source of energy. Potentially the light output may be reduced to % if greater distances were incorrectly attempted and cause permanent harm to the LEDs.
Volt drop in single colour strips are barley noticeable, especially in shorter lengths. Colour changing strips are definitely more visible whenever you turn the color to white. When there is inadequate voltage towards the end in the strip the clear white colour will turn pink towards the end of 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. If the strip is significantly through the power source, green and blue don’t get enough voltage and become weaker, whilst the red colour gets to be more prominent and turns white into pink.
The greater the wattage of the LED strip, the short the run needs to be. As an example; 30 LED (7.2W) per metre strip may have a maximum run of 10 metres, when compared to 60 LED (14.4W) per metre strip which could have a maximum run of 5 metres.
This does not always mean you can’t install longer runs of LED strip, it simply means that you should have a different approach. Single colour strips and colour changing (referred to as RGB) strips will vary because colour changing LED driver ul must be controlled from a single controller. Utilizing a higher rated power supply will not fix the problem since the current really has to pass through a long line of LEDs and resistors, each one draining small quantities of power.
Single colour strips needs to be wired directly to the ability supply in five 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 directly from the power supply and will be switched on or off by switching a switch or unplugging it from your mains. The energy supply is usually wired to a light switch but tend to be controlled by various controllers. The strips are able to be positioned nevertheless you like, in a single long line or in a rectangle shape as an example. Once the strips are positioned close to one another the lighting will show up seamless, like a fluorescent tube. The run may be over 100 metres hapmys length so long as the power supply was rated appropriately.
Volt drop will occur slightly inside 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 could be used to reach further distances.
For prolonged runs of colour changing strip, you need to fit amplifiers every 5 or 10 metres. Amplifiers permit the strips to be powered indirectly from the power source but additionally permit the signal from your controller to move through the entire run of strips. This way whenever you turn the color to red as an example, everything turns to red concurrently. The amplifiers power the strip, the ability supply powers the amplifiers. Amplifiers can also be powered using their own separate power source and you might have as numerous power supplies as you desire on the same run. The power supplies could be positioned nearer to the LED strip connection or wherever is most accessible.
For longer, more difficult runs we are able to supply our customers making use of their own simple to follow wiring diagram. The diagram illustrates the way the power source, strips and cables are connected together. As part for our LED Strip Fit brand, LED Waterproof power supply could be supplied to the exact lengths required; everything apart from the larger hard wired power supplies can be plugged into each, requiring no tools or electrical knowledge.