How to Find the Best Placement for LED Strip Lights

Posted by Birddog Lighting on Oct 11th 2016

How to Find the Best Placement for LED Strip Lights

LED strip lights are undeniably cool when you properly install them in your home or around outside areas. They can transform even the most traditional home interior into a swanky party pad. They allow you to display your personal style, set a mood, and impress any guests you have in your home. That said, most people don’t have a lot of experience installing strip lighting.  Therefore, when you decide to add this form of illumination to your interior design, you might be understandably nervous about getting it wrong. If you’ve ever seen lazy or haphazard placement, you know it can end up looking shoddy and cheap. This is probably not the look you’re going for. The good news is that you needn’t be an expert to figure out some very cool ways to use LED strip lights in your home. Here are a few factors to consider before you install your lights so that you can arrange for the perfect placement.

Indoor/Outdoor Lighting

There’s no reason you can’t utilize LED strip lights both inside and outside of your home for the purposes of illumination, as well as creative design. However, if you plan to place any kind of lighting outdoors, you need to make sure it’s suitable for this usage. In other words, you must choose waterproof products at the very least.  You’ll also want to make sure the strips are able to withstand other weather conditions, especially if you plan to use them in the winter as part of your holiday light display.

Power Supply

Finding a nearby power supply is an important part of deciding where to place LED lighting strips and there are a couple of reasons why. Most LED light strips include power options, generally in the form of a self-contained power supply (like a battery pack) or cabling with the addition of a power brick designed to regulate voltage and amps. Either way, chances are that you’ll to want to hide the power source. The last thing you want is a bulky battery pack exposed for everyone to see, or even worse, a trailing cord dangling down the wall or across the floor and creating an eyesore and/or a tripping hazard. If you can fully commit to the permanent placement of LED light strips, then you can hire an electrician to open up the wall and connect your lights to a switch on the wall. This is bound to be the most attractive and aesthetically pleasing option. Otherwise, you’re going to have to find a way to conceal a cord that you connect to an outlet, or alternately, a battery pack.

Securing Lighting Strips

After deciding on an appropriate power supply, it’s time to think about how you’re going to secure your lighting strips. Some strips come with adhesive backing so that all you have to do is remove a strip of paper to tape them in place. Others may require the aid of hot glue, staples, nails, or clips of some sort to stay where you put them. You can hide lighting strips under surfaces like cabinets or countertops.  Your only other concern will be how secure the method you choose for holding them in place is. However, if strip lights are exposed, you definitely want to think about not only whether your method of affixing them in place is visible.  You’ll also need to consider whether or not it will leave visible damage should you choose to remove the lights (as you’re likely to do if you sell your home).

Practical Purposes

There are two main reasons to install LED strip lights: to provide illumination and for aesthetic appeal. If the former is part of your plan, then the placement of lights is important. For example, you might want to illuminate a staircase as a means of ensuring that guests find their footing when going up or down stairs. Or, if you want to add ambient light to your space, you might place strip lights on crown molding to bounce light off the ceiling. You can also use under-cabinet lights to illuminate a smaller surface like the kitchen counter. Practical usage may well determine the proper placement of LED strip lights.

Creative Placement for Aesthetic Effect

Even if you have practical goals, you can also use LED strip lights for aesthetic purposes, as well. In addition to placing strips under cabinets to illuminate countertops, you could place them inside cabinets with glass doors to show off your dishware or add a pop of color to your space. They could be used decoratively around windows, doors, and other architectural features.  Alternatively, you could place them around mirrors in main rooms, bathrooms, or a bar area to magnify their effect. You can also put them outside to light up your landscaping. There’s just no end to the places you can add LED strip lighting for both practical and creative design purposes.

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