LED Rope Light Vs. LED Strip Light – What’s the Difference?

Posted by Birddog Lighting on Oct 1st 2016

LED Rope Light Vs. LED Strip Light – What’s the Difference?

LED lights are often used in home settings, making them a top buying choice for consumers. However, there is a bit of confusion about which type of LED lighting to buy to improve home décor. There are different terms for the various kinds of lights, which sometimes are interchangeably used. For example, LED strip lights are oftentimes misconstrued as LED rope lights. The type of light you buy will depend on your project and personal taste. The first thing you need to understand is that these two types aren’t the same and there are some important differences between the two. Let’s dive a little deeper into the differences between strip and rope LED lights.

What is LED Rope Lighting?

LED rope lights are designed in an enclosed system made with a string of LED bulbs that are encased in a durable material, often PVC. This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor or indoor use. It’s been around for several years, which is why many call it the first generation of LED products. You can use rope lights in a variety of ways. The long cylindrical tube enables it to be wrapped around objects and used to outline pathways, garden beds and doorways. The tubing is sometimes made with materials other than PVC, such as epoxy, plastic or other clear products. Most people apply these decoratively, such as for the holidays or parties. They are also frequently used as accent lights. The LED light bulbs are placed about an inch apart, so they aren’t ideal for task lighting. One downside of this version of LED lighting is that once one of the bulbs burns out, it can’t be replaced. There are different types of rope lighting, some coming with LED bulbs or incandescent bulbs. The most popular choice is LED because of its longevity and versatility. You can find these made in 120/220v AC input or 12/24v DC input. You can find these in a variety of different colors, but none of them are RGB (which means they can’t change colors). The size of rope lights is between ½ inch and 3/8-inch diameter tubes. They come with mounting clips, which can increase the width of the product. The brightness is relatively low. They do, however, have a 360-degree viewing, making them perfect for wrapping around trees.

What Are LED Strip Lights?

Other terms for strip lighting is LED tape or ribbon lights. LED strip lights have a flexible circuit board and surface mounted LEDs. These normally come with an adhesive on the back, which makes it easy for consumers to install on their own. There are different quality levels of these lights, so make sure to do your due diligence before making a purchase. LED strip lights are very flexible and have a low profile, which allows them to be placed just about anywhere. You can cut them to make them shorter by snipping them at cut points. They are much brighter than the rope lights, so they’re ideal for task lighting. They are commonly used in kitchens work areas. They can be installed underneath or above cabinets and beneath counters and kickboards. Some even replace their fluorescent kitchen lights with these. These can also be connected to wireless dimming systems, DMX controllers or wall switches. Strip lights can be purchased with either 120/220v AC input or 12/24v DC input. You can buy them with single colors or multiple colors. The strips are fairly small ranging between 3/8-inch-wide and 1/16 inch tall. This makes it easier to install in tight places where other lighting systems can’t be installed. You can buy strip lights with low or high brightness, depending on the type of project you are working on. Keep in mind that the dimming system can be used if you sometimes need bright light and other times don’t. Some of the applications include accent lighting, task lighting, display lighting, and backlighting. They can be bent 90 degrees, so keep this in mind when coming up with ideas for strip lighting applications.

Which is Better?

The choice between LED rope lighting or LED strip lights is completely up to you and the application you plan to use it for. This information can be used to help you make a more informed decision.

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