Voltage drop or ‘volt drop’ happens in all kinds of electrical installations. When larger power cables are installed more complex calculations must 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 occurs when the LEDs are positioned too much from 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 traveling. This causes the voltage to decline or drop towards the end of the run.
Voltage drops out approximately .6V every metre and is also less noticeable with 24V strips. When you use 12V strips, a 2-3V drop more than a 5 metre run would lessen the voltage by 25% subsequently decreasing the lumen (brightness) by a similar percentage.
Volt drop may be compared to a person climbing a mountain, the greater the altitude, the thinner the oxygen becomes and also the minus the person can breathe.
The LEDs at the beginning of the fishing line will show up bright at 100% output nevertheless the LEDs right at the end in the line will start to fade. The brightness will reduce exponentially; the further away it gets from the power source. Potentially the light output could be reduced to % if greater distances were incorrectly attempted and cause permanent injury to the LEDs.
Volt drop in single colour strips are barley noticeable, particularly in shorter lengths. Colour changing strips are definitely more visible when you turn the color to white. When there is not enough voltage right at the end of the strip the clear white colour will turn pink right at 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. Once the strip is way through the power supply, green and blue don’t get enough voltage and be weaker, whilst the red colour becomes more prominent and turns white into pink.
The higher the wattage from 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 60 LED (14.4W) per metre strip which may have a maximum run of 5 metres.
This does not necessarily mean you can’t install longer runs of LED strip, it simply means that you need to require a different approach. Single colour strips and colour changing (called RGB) strips are different because colour changing LEDA driver 12v must be controlled in one controller. Using a higher rated power source does not repair the problem as the current still has to move via a long collection of LEDs and resistors, every one draining small amounts of power.
Single colour strips should 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 which is used. Each run is going to be powered directly from the power supply and can be turned on or off by switching a switch or unplugging it from your mains. The energy supply is normally wired to your light switch but tend to be controlled by various controllers. The strips are able to be positioned however, you like, in a single long line or in a rectangle shape for example. After the strips are positioned close to each other the lighting can look seamless, just like a fluorescent tube. The run might be over 100 metres hapmys length so long as the ability supply was rated appropriately.
Volt drop will occur slightly in the connecting power cables but since there are no LEDs or resisters etc draining the existing, the volt drop is going to be barley noticeable. Thicker cables can be used to reach further distances.
For extended runs of colour changing strip, you should 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 move with the entire run of strips. This way whenever you turn the colour to red for example, everything turns to red at the same time. The amplifiers power the strip, the power supply powers the amplifiers. Amplifiers can also be powered off their own separate power source and you might have as much power supplies as you like on the same run. The energy supplies can be positioned even closer to the LED strip connection or wherever is most accessible.
For longer, more difficult runs we are able to supply our customers using their own easy to understand wiring diagram. The diagram illustrates how the power supply, strips and cables are connected together. As part for the LED Strip Fit brand, LED Waterproof power supply can be supplied to the exact lengths required; everything apart from the larger hard wired power supplies can be connected to each, requiring no tools or electrical knowledge.