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What are the best quality LED strip lights?

The quality of an LED strip light is determined by the material used, performance, certification, and services related. The four aspects are explained to help customers understand what are the high quality LED strips. The highest standard for each aspect will make the best quality.

Quality materials

Quality materials are the foundation for high quality LED strips. They include quality LED packages, double-sided copper FPC board, 3M double-sided back adhesive, waterproof material etc. Certain material quality can be inspected by the naked eye, such as FPC board.

1. LED (also referred to as LED package).
LED package is the most critical part to make the best LED strip lights. The quality of LEDs has direct and decisive impact on LED strips. Major components of an LED include: LED chips, brace, lead wire, phosphor and package glue.

  • LED chips. LED chips are the core component for LED package. It is the part that actually emits light. Brand and size of the chip can mostly tell its quality. LED chips made by Taiwan Epistar are big, and they emit light with great color accuracy and consistency.

    In general, LED chips of bigger size will have stronger performance, and produce higher brightness light. Their heat dissipation is better as well.

    LED's lifespan is positively correlated with heat dissipation ability. In order to lower cost, some manufacturers choose to use small chips, which causes much shorter lifetime and less brightness of LEDs. Of course their LED's price is lower.

  • Brace bracket. Best LEDs use red copper silver-plated brace bracket. The silver plate should be at least 60 uin in thickness so that the brace has less resistance and better conductivity to fast dissipate the heat generated within LED. Inferior LEDs use iron brace as replacement, which is vulnerable to rust and has low heat dissipation ability.

    How to tell if an LED uses red copper silver-plated brace? An easy way is to cut the LED in half and see if there is the color of red copper inside.

  • Bond wire. Quality bond wire uses 99.99% purity of gold wire, 1.0 mil gauge. Gold wire has the best rating of ductility and malleability, which ensure that under the glue's internal stress force, the bond wire will stretch well without getting damaged. Gold is expensive. In order to gain price advantage in competition, some manufacturers use inferior bond wire, such as copper wire, which causes low conductivity, fast decay and more heat for LEDs.

  • Package glue. Best quality package glue has a high refractive index, which considerably enhances LED's brightness. Package glue should deliver strong bond with brace bracket, be wet resistant and anti-cracking, and doesn't turn yellowish.

  • Phosphor. Phosphor is a critical material for LEDs. Advanced phosphors include indium gallium nitride (InGaN) and aluminum gallium indium phosphide. Phosphor's characters have direct impact on white LED's quality, such as brightness, color temperature, color rendering ability, and chromaticity coordinates. Good phosphor should have concentrated spectra, slow decay in brightness, and high temperature resistant.

LEDs of a batch(bin) shall emit light with the same level of brightness and the same color temperature, delivering accuracy and consistency. If the LEDs cannot achieve these performances, they are inferior in quality.

A method to inspect LED's quality is to apply 6-8 voltage DC to an LED strip light. If every LED emits slight light in low brightness, and the brightness levels of all LEDs on the strip are the same, the LEDs are considered having great consistency. If the brightness of the LEDs differs, some are brighter, some are not bright, then the LEDs are low quality.

Especially for 5050 LEDs with three color chips inside, we can tune RGB controller to check three chips separately. Every chip should light up. If not, the LEDs are defective.

2. Flexible printed circuit board(FPC).
FPC board is the strip carrier of LEDs. It uses layers of copper as conductor. With copper layers on both top and bottom sides, double-sided FPC board should be used to make the best LED strip lights.

Single sided FPC contains much less copper hence are cheaper than double-sided. In order to save cost, many manufacturers use single sided FPC. Light strips with single sided FPC will generate too much heat and their lifespan will be much shorter.

How to tell from the appearance of the LED strip light if it uses double-sided or single sided FPC? Single sided FPC has only one side printed with circuits, the other side looks smooth and even distributed color. Double-sided FPC has printed circuits on both sides.

When you hold the LED strip light with two fingers, you will tell that the double-sided FPC is thicker than single sided. The thicker the FPC board is, the better the heat dissipation.

3. Genuine 3M double-sided adhesive backing.
Almost all of stick-on LED light strips on the market carry on the back with double-sided tape, on which the letters "3M" is printed. Unfortunately many of them are not genuine 3M, because, again, they are cheaper to gain price advantage.

Fake 3M tape has the character that when applied, it delivers strong adhesive bond at first and the light strip stay on application surface well. But as time goes by, the tape will become less and less adhesive.

In contrast, genuine 3M double-sided tape, after applied, will deliver stronger and stronger adhesiveness as time goes by. If not peeled off intentionally, the light strip will not fall off by itself.

4. Waterproof material utilized.
For outdoor waterproof strips, the waterproof material used makes a difference. Best quality waterproof light strips use silicone waterproof materials, which is non-toxic and can be used to manufacture bottle nipples for babies.

Silicone has high light transmittance and does not turn yellowish later on. They have constancy of properties over a wide temperature range of -67 °F to 392 °F (-55 °C to 200 °C). So they work very well in super hot to super cold areas, no too softening to loose, no crispy, no crack.

Inferior waterproof strip lights use cheaper PU glue for waterproof material. PU glue is toxic and not good for indoor use, and it will change to yellowish and become crispy and crack in several months.

The manufacturing process with PU glue results in that the PU glue contacts the LED surface, which will shift the light color temperature. For a normal light strip of 6500K covered with PU glue waterproof material, the color temperature will shift up by about 1000K, turning into about 7500K-8000K.

Solid performance

Quality materials cannot guarantee good performance of strip lights, because design and manufacturing processes are also very important. Fortunately, the performance can be told by viewing with naked eyes, by feeling with hands, or by inspection with equipment. Three performance features to consider:

  • Color temperature accuracy and consistency. Quality strip lights produce lights with very good accuracy and consistency for color temperature. Brand name LED packages can assure good accuracy and consistency of lights.

  • Heat management performance. It refers to how well the heat generated during operation is managed. Usually, it relates to the circuit design and the material selected. LED strip channel is the most popular part to help better heat management.

  • Color rendering index(CRI). To protect eyes, use light with CRI at least 80.

  • Manufacturing process. You can tell if the manufacturing process is done well by checking the soldering points of LEDs. The soldering points of quality LED strip lights look full and glossy. Those on inferior strips look shriveled and dull. Most LEDs are arranged vertically on the strip. Horizontal arrangement is vulnerable to issue of weak soldering or fake soldering, causing high rate of defective products.


UL listed. UL approval is a factor of quality in the sense it ensures the design and manufacturing comply with certain regulations. All of our strip lights are UL listed in the category of low voltage luminaire.


Good customer services before and after sales. We help all customers, company or individual, with passion. All of our strip lights have a 30-day return and refund policy.