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24V LED Strip Lights

Major considerations before buying 24V LED strip lights

24V LED strip lights have many advantages that make them very popular. Compared to 12V LED strip, 24V are better to make long LED light strips. They are better for longer run installation, need less feed points due to the requirement for LED wires is less demanding, can be used for high efficacy lighting, and require less power supplies and controllers. We discuss the knowledge about 24V LED strips in this article. It helps users make wise decision when buying 24V LED light strips.

Recommended Reading:
What are LED strip lights?
Buy LED connectors for your 24V LED strip installation






The advantages of 24V LED strips: 24V vs 12V LED strips

24V LED strip lighting for office room

1. For longer run, larger outputs, especially for large scale installations, the 24V LED strips are the better long LED light strips, significantly better than the 12V version. The current of 24V LED strip is half that of 12V, so the 24V line loss and hence the voltage drop is less. This is why the continuous operation length of the 24V LED strip is longer than 12V, usually the length doubles under 24V version. This offers convenience to the long run installation. Whether it is the LED light strip, the controller, or the power supply, the installation work is less.

2. Many 24V LED strips can be made as long LED light strips up to 10 meters in continuous operation length, some can even be even longer, reach 20 meters, therefore fewer power feed points are required than for 12V LED strips. For 24V DC LED strips, the current that flows through the line is only half of that with 12V light strips. When installing multiple light strips, the required total current is smaller than their 12V counter parties.

Multiple strips are sometimes connected to the same feed point, which is more convenient for installation. The 12V LED strip has a larger current, which easily exceeds the current limit of the feed point if many strips are installed. For the above reason, 24V LED strips require fewer feed points, and current requirements for feeder lines are lower than the 12V strips. This is why 24V LED strips are more suitable for large scale installation.

3. The operating voltage of the LED strips with high luminous efficacy is generally 24V, because the LED voltage (2.7-3.3V) and other parameters determine that 12V is not suitable for high luminous efficacy light strips. A light strip with higher luminous efficacy will produce more lumens of light than a regular light strip, on the condition that the two light strips consume the same amount of power energy.

4. 24V LED strip lights use 24V power supplies and controllers. For medium to large installation, the total power of the LED strips is generally large. With the overall power of the LED light strips being the same, the power ratings of the 24V power supply and the LED controller are relatively larger compared to 12V, so the number of power supplies and controllers required is less for 24V version, which makes the 24V LED strips more economical than 12V.


The so-called shortcoming of 24V LED strip

The only drawback of the 24V LED strip is that the cutting increment is greater than that of 12V. The 24V LED strips are usually cuttable for every 6 or 8 LEDs. However, we specially designed a 5050 24V LED light strip with Two LEDs One Cut, achieving a remarkable cutting increment of 1.34 inch(34mm). This increment is even much shorter than the regular cutting increment of a 12V LED strip, which is usually 2 inches. The special design has effectively satisfied the customer's need for the installation length accuracy. So this shortcoming of 24V LED strip is negligible.

What does the high luminous efficacy of 24V LED strip mean?

Luminous efficacy, referred to as light efficiency, is the ratio of the luminous flux emitted by an electric light source to the electrical power the light source used. The unit is lumens per watt (lm/W), which is the luminous flux per watt for the luminaire, which measures how many lumens of light is produced by a light source when it consumes one watt of power energy. It is the most important technical parameter for evaluating the electrical efficiency of 24V LED strip lights.

Luminous flux refers to the amount of light emitted per unit time, expressed in lumens. The greater the luminous flux emitted by the light source per unit of electricity, the higher the efficiency with which the light source converts electrical energy into light energy, i.e., the higher the luminous efficacy. Luminous efficacy, expressed by the following formula:
luminous efficacy = luminous flux / power.

For example, one meter of a 24V LED strip has the power 12W and produces 2000lm. Its luminous efficacy equals 2000 lm / 12W = 167 lumens/watt. This is a high efficacy LED light strip.

Through the calculation formula we can see, the greater the luminous flux value per watt of energy used, the higher the luminous efficacy of the LED light source.


Is the luminous efficacy of a 24V LED strip the higher the better?

1. Yes, assume that two LED strip lights have the same color rendering index, the 24V LED strip with higher luminous efficacy is better.

2. The higher the luminous efficacy, the stronger the ability of a lighting product to convert electrical energy into light energy. That is, the energy-saving of the lighting product is greater when the same brightness is produced. The luminous flux of the lighting is greater under the same power, the greater the relative brightness of the luminaire. But it does not mean that the brighter the luminaire, the higher the luminous efficacy of the luminaire, because on the condition that the luminous flux is the same, the luminous efficacy is inversely proportional to the rated power of the luminaire.

Therefore, in terms of brightness alone, of course, the higher the luminous efficacy, the greater the brightness of 24V LED strips with the same power rating. In other words, the high efficacy LED light strips use less power when the same brightness is produced. However, the quality of the LED strip lights also depends on the lifetime, the comfort of the light emitted, etc.


The importance of high efficacy of 24V LED strip lights

1. High efficacy is related the brightness and heat generated by 24V LED strips. High efficiency plays a very important role in certain strip lighting applications. High efficacy LEDs are irreplaceable in bright light strip designs. In wet locations and outdoor LED strip light applications, we sometimes need very bright waterproof LED strips. We know that very bright LED strips generally require large power support, otherwise the LEDs cannot reach its designed high output. The large power usually means that LED strip lights will generate a great deal of heat, as the waterproof material is not good at heat dissipation.

Heat is the number one killer for LEDs. It deserves special consideration when designing waterproof LED strips. Otherwise, the high-heat of the waterproof light strip will shorten the LED's lifetime, and even burn the LEDs in the worst case. So we have to consider how to reduce heat when designing the 24V LED strip lights. The best option is to choose high efficacy LEDs. Choosing high efficacy LEDs can reduce the power of the 24V LED strip to a certain level while still emitting a large amount of light, which can perfectly serve the purpose to achieve high brightness and great waterproof performance simultaneously.

2. 24V LED strips achieve high efficacy and high CRI at the same time. High efficacy and high CRI (color rendering index) are key indicators of LEDs. LED strip lighting products have become the trend of new lighting standard for the industry. Products with high luminous efficacy and good color rendering index have already occupied an important position in indoor and outdoor lighting, showing great results and strong advance momentum.

Traditionally, there was a certain trade-off between light efficacy and color rendering index for LEDs. The technology development of LED has made great progress in balancing the two. While the LED efficacy has been greatly improved, the CRI has also made great process. The CRI has already reached the vision health standard. LEDs with super high CRI have been used more and more in many applications. Therefore, when looking at the LED efficacy, we must pay attention to its color rendering index. Talking about the efficacy without mentioning color rendering index has no meaning.

CRI has gained increasing attention in the current lighting applications. Especially in the indoor environment, the requirement for higher color rendering ability has become more and more demanding. For example, a low-pressure sodium light has a luminous efficiency of nearly 200 lm/W, but the monochromatic yellow light makes it only suitable for road lighting and few other occasions. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has raised the CRI for indoor lighting from 70 to 80 for the purpose to protect the vision health.

3. High luminous efficacy and high CRI are the key factors of 24V LED strip quality. White light with high efficacy and high CRI and in line with the lighting environment or the object illuminated is the best white light.

The industry once had been controversial about the competition between LEDs and traditional light sources, and the question of who was ups and downs in the market. DOE also showed interest in this topic by having had comparison of ordinary light bulbs, fluorescent lamps and MR16 LED bulbs. Under current technical conditions, LED's high efficacy means higher luminous efficacy than conventional light sources. As for the CRI, its value is set specifically for various specific occasions.

There are no regulations of CRI on some occasions, such as outdoor lighting. Some have made detailed regulations, especially for indoor lighting. For example, in the home environment, the lights with a CRI above 80 has become a customary requirement. Therefore, a higher efficacy than a conventional light source and a color rendering index greater than 80 seem to be a measure of the white LEDs for indoor lighting.

CRI and TM-30, a new method of evaluating color rendering ability

Both light efficiency and CRI are important, so let's also briefly talk about CRI here. CRI stands for Color Rendering Index, which indicates how well a light source faithfully renders nearby colored objects. The range of CRI values is 0-100, the bigger the better.

Although the universal Color Rendering Index (CRI) of International Commission on Illumination (CIE) has long been widely used, its limitations have been recognized. CRI is based on eight pastel colors, but the number of colors people often see are much more than eight, it is in millions. The colors are also not pastel colors but rather in full saturation. Another limitation is that CRI is only comparable under the same color temperature.

In October 2016, DOE supported and promoted, in its documentation for solid state lighting research and development, a new method of measuring color rendering ability, IES TM-30 (IES stands for Illuminating Engineering Society). It measures much more than the average color fidelity that CRI does, thus the quantification of color rendering ability is more closely in line with human judgment. Unlike the CRI obtained by sampling eight pastel colors, the TM-30 uses 99 color samples with various tones, saturations, and brightness.

For more detailed CRI information, please refer to our article What is high CRI LED lighting?

Have questions on how to wire LED strip lights? How to connect LED strip lights to power supplies? Don't worry, we got you covered. See the great article: All-inclusive Guide of LED Strip Light Instllation.