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Waterproof LED Strips

Waterproof LED Strip Lights

We provide a full range of waterproof LED strip lights for you to choose from, including 12V, 24V, RGB color changing, white, red, green, blue, UV black light and other versions. People also call it waterproof LED tape lights. Our waterproof strip lights uses high quality silicone as waterproof material. Compared with other materials such as epoxy resin and PU glue, silicone is the best waterproof light strip material with irreplaceable advantages. Through the introduction of these materials, we teach you how to choose the best waterproof LED strip light.

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How to buy the best LED strip lights?
Buy waterproof LED connectors for your LED strip installation






What is a good waterproof LED strip light?

For a high quality waterproof light strip, its outer tubing not only protects the components inside from the external environment (especially water), but also effectively conducts out heat generated by LEDs and other electrical components, making LED's lifetime longer.

The outer tubing of the waterproof LED strip light is similar to the glass cover that protects the growth of young green plants. It not only shields the young plants from wind and rain, but also let in the appropriate amount of sunlight and air to help the young plants grow.

When we buy the waterproof LED light strip, we often pay attention to the lumen brightness, what material the outer tubing is made of, and the quality of the material, is easily ignored by us.

In fact, some inferior waterproof materials contain harmful substances to the human body. During the operation of the waterproof LED strip light, it reacts to the light and heat, causing the harmful substance to volatilize and affecting our health.

On the other hand, due to their own composition elements, the inferior materials will gradually corrode the LEDs and the surface of the circuit board under the effect of light and heat, resulting in dead LEDs and damage to the circuit board, which will further shorten the life of the strip.

Now that we know the important role of the material of the outer tubing on the quality and life of the LED light strip, let's discuss it further. What's so good about silicone?

Comparison of silicone waterproof LED strip lights with general waterproof light strips

Comparing silicone waterproof LED strip lights with ordinary waterproof strips from various aspects, we can see the advantages of silicone waterproof light strips. Its excellent characteristics include non-yellowing, non-toxic, weather resistant, ultraviolet resistant, etc. All of these benefits show that silicone waterproof LED strips are the best.

1. Silicone waterproof LED strip lights are non-toxic and RoHS certified. Silicone is non-toxic. You may remember that it is the material to make kid pacifiers, environmentally friendly and safe. Epoxy resin and PU glue waterproof materials are toxic. With the increase of heat during the use of the light strip, the toxicity is letting out worse and worse.

2. Silicone LED light strip has excellent weather resistance. Silicone maintains its normal soft state under the environment of -67 °F to 392 °F (-55 °C to 200 °C), and does not appear brittle, deformation, softening, aging and so on. This feature gives the silicone light strip a particularly versatile scope of applications.

No matter in the severe cold regions at high latitudes, or in the subtropical hot regions, silicone can always maintain good softness. Various bending degrees to meet the diverse needs of customer installation. PU glue waterproof material generates bubbles and cracks at high temperatures. Epoxy resin becomes brittle at low temperatures and easily cracks.

3. Silicone waterproof LED strip light has excellent UV resistance. It can be exposed to strong sunlight for a long time (more than 5 years) without yellowing and aging. In contrast, epoxy resin is very sensitive to ultraviolet components and heat, and its aging and yellowing will occur in several months or up to one year.

With the yellowing of the outer tubing, the color temperature of the LED light will drift and the brightness will decrease. And with aging, the protective role assumed by the outer tubing will be invalidated, and moisture and dust will enter, gradually eroding circuit boards, LEDs and other components.

4. Silicone waterproof LED light strip has excellent corrosion resistance. Silicone waterproof LED strip has stable chemical properties, can resist the corrosion of ordinary acids, alkalis and salts, and can be widely used in chemical plants, gas stations, yachts, ships, seaside stores, residential homes, and other places.

Ordinary LED lights installed close to sea areas will get rusty fast and have a short life. This is because the salt content on the seaside is high, and the high temperature and moisture also exacerbates the chemical reaction of the ordinary shell material. Silicone is inert and not reactive to many elements, so it protects the circuit boards and LEDs inside. The LED strip light will have a long lifetime under its protection.

5. Silicone LED strip has excellent light transmittance: The light transmittance of silicone is as high as 95%. When it is used to make the waterproof tubing for the LED light strip, and the light loss is lower than other waterproof materials.

PU glue will shift the light color temperature. For a normal LED light strip of 6500K covered with PU glue waterproof material, the color temperature will shift up by about 1000K, turning into about 7500K-8000K.

6. Silicone waterproof LED light strip has good thermal conductivity. Compared to other waterproof material, silicone has a large thermal conductivity. It can effectively dissipate heat away from the light strip.

Light and heat are always together. LEDs are extremely sensitive to temperature. Although the heat generation of LED products is already very small compared to traditional lights, increased temperature still affects LED life, light efficiency, and reliability. Therefore, thermal design is one of the key technologies for the development of LED lighting products. Good thermal design helps to improve the performance and reliability of LED lighting products.

The LED strip light is different from other light fixtures. For example, a flood light or a bulb, which conducts heat physically through an aluminum substrate and die-cast aluminum housing. The heat emitted by the LEDs of the light strip is quickly transmitted to the circuit board, and then conducted to the outside through the outer tubing.

During the test, it was found that after turned on for a while, the silicone waterproof LED strip light felt warm when touching. After the light was turned off, the silicone light strip quickly returned to room temperature. It is obvious that silicone conducted the heat inside the tubing to the outside environment, thanks to the good thermal conductivity of silicone.

What can waterproof LED strip lights do?

bathroom LED strip lighting
Waterproof LED strip lights installed for bathroom

Waterproof LED strip lights are widely used due to their different waterproof grades, dust-proof and anti-corrosion properties. Below are some common applications.

  • Chemical plants, gas stations, seaside stores, residential homes, and other places close to shore.
  • Cars, RVs, limos, boats, yachts, ships.
  • Water splash areas in the kitchen, bathrooms, saunas, salons, restaurants, bars, etc.
  • Store doors and windows.
  • Garden, deck, patio, landscape lighting.
  • Dust areas, such as factories and workshops.

What waterproof LED strip light do you choose?

Frequently asked by customers, I need to use waterproof LED strips to decorate the edge of the pool, or to use them underwater. What kind of waterproof LED strips do I need? Let's take a look at the explanation of the waterproof rating, and the answer lies in it.

The format of the waterproof level of LED strips is IPXX. Among them, IP is the abbreviation of ingress protection, and XX are two digit numbers, which represent the IP waterproof protection level. The first digit number indicates the level of protection against dust and foreign objects, and the second digit indicates the degree of tightness against water intrusion.

Let's see some examples. The first digit, if it is 5, meaning it is dust protected, but not tight. The dust can enter, but not in sufficient quantity to interfere the operation of the equipment. If the first digit is 6, means dust tight, no dust shall enter at all.

IP65: Waterproof to the level that water projected by a 6.3 mm (0.25 in) nozzle against enclosure from any direction shall do no harm to the strip lights.

IP67: Can be submerged into water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

So, Waterproof LED strip lights at the level of IP65 and IP67 can NOT be submerged into water for extended time of use, such as left in the pool.

IP68: Can be continuous immersion in water, generally up to 3 meters (9.8 ft)

Warning: A commonly seen, so called waterproof LED strip light on the market. The waterproof materials exist only on the LED side of a light strip, not on the side or at the back of the strip. So the side and back of the strip is not waterproof. Even water splash can cause damage to the FPC board of the strip. Also due to the limitation of manufacturing process, the waterproof material on the front is typically PU glue, which is harmful.

12V Waterproof LED Strip Lights vs 24V Waterproof Strips

The low wattage 12V waterproof LED strip lights are also often called waterproof LED rope lights. Compared with the 24V version, 12V waterproof light strips use the same waterproof material, LEDs, flexible printed circuit board and other components. The main difference between 12V and 24V LED strips is the strip design and circuit characteristics.

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The main difference between 12V and 24V LED strips

For applicable places, where the 24V version can be used, basically 12V waterproof LED strip light can also be used. But the reverse is different. In some places, only 12V strips version can be used, such as on cars, RVs, and boats, because the power supply system in these places is 12V.

Compared with 12V waterproof LED strip light, 24V version is better for longer run installation, because its voltage drop is smaller than that of 12V strip. At the same time, 24V version draws less current than the 12V waterproof LED strip light, which makes the 24V version better for large-scale installation.

By the way, where non-waterproof versions can be used, waterproof LED strip lights can generally also be used, and waterproof light strips can provide protection from dust, particles, incident impact, and other harmful factors.

Features of the 3M tape for our waterproof LED strip lights

3M tape for our waterproof LED strip lights

Behind our waterproof LED strip lights, we use 3M non-trace double-sided tape. Non-trace means that it will not leave any trace of remnants on the mounting surface when it is removed. It creates strong adhesive bond for the strip lights to mount securely to the installation surface. But when intentionally removing it, it will not do damage to the mounting surface. This special tape cannot be replaced by other double-sided tapes. Its benefits are summarized as below:

  • Leave no traces (do not leave any stain on the product when removing the light strip).
  • Absolutely environment-friendly.
  • High viscosity and strong adhesion.
  • Peel and stick, easy to use.

How to cut and connect waterproof LED strip lights

Cutting waterproof LED strip light is basically the same as non-waterproof light strips. Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut along the cutting line. Be careful not to cut skew. Skewed cutting will cause the conductive copper pads to be insufficient on one side, and the LED strip will not work properly after reconnection.

Due to the waterproof tubing, connecting waterproof LED strip light is different from non-waterproof light strips. Depending on the installation and use environment, you can choose to directly connect using waterproof LED strip light connectors. It is usually necessary to use a waterproof sealant to seal the interface. Sealants are usually readily available at hardware stores.

If the waterproof requirements are not very high, you can choose ordinary LED strip light connectors to connect. At this time, the waterproof tubing of the light strip needs to be further cut with great care, because usually the waterproof tubing will hinder the connection between the flexible printed circuit board of the light strip and the connector. After connection, the interface needs to be sealed with sealant as well.

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How to cut, connect, wire and mount LED strip lights.