A guide to choosing lights and accessories
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A guide to choosing lights and accessories
LED lights can be installed anywhere you want to add interest, elegance or ambience to your interior and exterior spaces. Modular and expandable, LED lighting systems permit a range of illumination from subtle accents to bright task lighting using various controllers, dimmers, diffusers and other accessories.
Our LED lights operate on 12 volts DC. Household installations require a power supply to convert standard 120 volt AC electrical power to 12 volts DC power. The lights are directly compatible with the DC power systems found on most RVs and boats (i.e., no additional power supply needed other than a 12 volt DC battery).
All our LED products are CSA, cETLus or cUL listed. They are safe to handle and more energy efficient than conventional lighting. Since LEDs emit very little heat, they won’t overheat an enclosed space as halogen lights will. Unlike incandescent bulbs that need to be replaced frequently, LEDs are rated to last for decades in normal use.
This guide will assist you in planning your custom LED lighting project so you are sure to have all the parts you need.
Step 1: Select the Lighting
Step 2: Select a Lighting Controller, Dimmer or Switch
Step 3: Select a Power Supply
With options suitable for use indoors, outdoors, in bathrooms and in saunas, our selection of LED lighting makes it easy to mix and match our tape lights and individual lights to suit your needs. You can choose as many lights as you want and space them exactly as you wish. All lights* are fully dimmable and are for use only with a low-voltage 12V DC power source. The color-controlled LED lights require a color controller to blend red, green and blue (RGB) LEDs to create custom colors and automated color-changing scenes and effects.
* except the white landscape light (00U44.30)
The color temperature of light is expressed as a number on the kelvin (K) scale. Essentially, the lower the number, the more the light will appear reddish-orange (warm); the higher the number, the more the light will appear bluish-white (cool). For comparison, a candle flame has a color temperature of about 1800K (warm), indoor office lighting is about 4000K (natural/neutral) and sunlight is about 6000K (cool). Our LED lights come in two variations of white (warm or natural) and a color-controlled version.
Warm White: color temperature of about 3000K. Provides elegant indirect lighting. Complements wood tones and enriches colors. Used to promote relaxation.
Natural White: color temperature of approximately 4000K. Ideal for task and accent lighting. Imparts a bright, clean and lively modern look. Used where attention to detail is required.
Color Controlled: produces an endless array of colors chosen by you (plus variations of white) for dramatic and creative lighting.
Contrary to common belief, wattage is not a measure of brightness, but rather the amount of energy needed to power a light. The brightness of light is expressed in lumens. For example, a 25W incandescent bulb produces about 250 lumens and a 60W bulb about 800 lumens.
For our LED tape lights, brightness is based upon the number of LEDs per metre. We offer three brightness options in white tape lighting, and two options in color-controlled tape lighting. See below for the lumens per metre of each density of tape lighting and its recommended application.
Delivers about 400 lumens per metre at full intensity (or at 100% bright white for color-controlled LEDs).
Well suited for decorative lighting (e.g., above cabinets, in coves or on tray ceilings) where ambience is the primary purpose of the lighting.
Delivers about 800 lumens per metre at full intensity (or at 100% bright white for color-controlled LEDs).
A good all-around solution for accent lighting and lower brightness task lighting (e.g., under cabinets or toe-kick areas). Provides brighter illumination and a more seamless glow.
Delivers about 950 lumens per metre at full intensity. (White tape lighting only.)
Provides a brightness level suitable for task lighting. Also useful for accent lighting to be installed close to an adjacent surface, since the high LED density provides the most seamless illumination (no hot spots).
LED tape lighting is uniquely versatile – it produces dramatic lines of light, is easy to conceal and will conform to almost any straight, curved or irregular space. Straightforward to connect and install, it has a peel-and-stick backing for easy mounting and can be cut to length using ordinary scissors. Connections can be made without soldering using quick connectors. Each LED produces a 120° beam for smooth, even light distribution; as the density of LEDs increases, the greater lumen output yields a brighter light.
WHITE LED TAPE LIGHTS
Available in warm white (3000K) or natural white (4000K) for use indoors or in outdoor/wet locations, these lights can be purchased in a convenient factory-assembled kit, by the foot or as a 32' roll. The outdoor/wet location tape lights are factory sealed within clear, weather-resistant tubing.
Each indoor white kit includes 8' (2.5m) of tape lighting pre-soldered with a 48" wire lead for connection to a power supply, a splice connector for in-line tape-to-tape connections, a wire-lead connector to extend two sections around corners, plus two wire support clips.
Each outdoor/wet location white kit supplies 8' (2.5m) of tape lighting, one splice connector for linking two tape segments, three wire-ready connectors (one to connect the lighting to circuit wire and the other two, when joined by wire, to let you extend two sections of lighting around a corner), plus four lengths of weather-resistant shrink tubing for sealing joints and cut ends.
COLOR-CONTROLLED (RGB) LED TAPE LIGHTS
Color-controlled tape lighting is available for use indoors or in outdoor/wet locations. It contains red, green and blue (RGB) LEDs. A color controller is required to adjust the level of each base color, so you can set the lighting to any color from a near-endless spectrum, including variations of white. The indoor color-controlled LED tape lights can be purchased in a convenient factory-assembled kit, by the foot or as a 32' roll. The outdoor/wet location color-controlled tape lights are factory sealed within clear, weather-resistant tubing, and can be purchased in a kit, by the foot or as a 32' roll.
The indoor color-controlled kit includes 8' (2.5m) of tape lighting pre-soldered with a 48” wire lead for connection to a power supply, a splice connector for in-line tape-to-tape connections, a wire-ready connector to extend two sections around corners, plus two wire support clips.
The outdoor/wet location color-controlled kit supplies 8' (2.5m) of tape lighting, one splice connector for adding lengths of tape lights, three wire-ready connectors (one to connect the lighting to circuit wire and the other two, when joined by wire, to let you extend two sections of lighting around a corner), plus four lengths of weather-resistant shrink tubing for sealing joints and cut ends.
CHANNELS AND DIFFUSERS FOR TAPE LIGHTING
Aluminum channels can be fitted with a polymer diffuser to conceal the LED tape lighting and diffuse the light output. They are particularly useful where installed lighting will be visible, such as on the underside of a shelf or in a display cabinet, or to soften lighting to eliminate reflective hot spots on a nearby surface. The channels can be affixed to a surface using metal clips or double-sided tape.
LED tape lights mounted directly to surface
Surface-mount channel with frosted diffuser (LED tape lights not included.)
Flush-mount channel with opal diffuser
Corner-mount channel with opal diffuser
Channels are available in three styles:
Diffusers are available with opal (milky) or frosted (translucent) surface finishes. The opal diffuser provides more uniform light diffusion and good LED concealment. The frosted diffuser allows good light transmission, but the LED lights are somewhat visible.
The channels and diffusers can be cut to length using a fine-tooth handsaw and run in sequence to create a longer fixture. To enclose the channels, end caps are available in pairs (one cap has a hole for wires). Metal mounting clips are also available separately. A continuous length of tape light should be used inside each channel (you may purchase any length of lighting by the foot up to 32').
Note that each channel component is specific to the channel type; components cannot be interchanged. For example, diffusers and end caps for flush-mount channels cannot be fitted to surface-mount channels.
RECESSED AND SURFACE-MOUNT LIGHTING
Individual (non-tape) LED lights provide versatile options for accent and task lighting since they can be mounted just about anywhere. The lights are easy to connect in single- or multi-light arrangements, or combined with other forms of 12V DC LED lighting, using standard connectors and wire (available separately).
Color-controlled LED lighting requires a color controller to blend red, green and blue (RGB) LEDs to create custom colors (including variations of white) and automated color-changing scenes and effects.
INDOOR/OUTDOOR MINI RESCESSED LED LIGHT
Available in warm white (2900K), natural white (4100K) and color-controlled versions, this light is rated for wet or dry conditions, so it can be used anywhere you can drill a through-hole.* Each light produces a 45° beam angle and yields about 80 lumens at maximum brightness. It comes pre-wired with an 8" wire lead. The white lights come with two interchangeable white diffuser filters that can be added to soften the light output and reduce reflective hotspots on a nearby surface, as well as six colored filters that can be used individually or combined to create a blended color. You can layer the white and colored filters to further customize the light output. The color-controlled version can be set to any desired hue including variations of white. An optional ring nut (not shown) is available for installation in thin materials, such as wall panel board, fiberglass and sheet metals. Each light requires a trim ring that threads onto the light housing.
* The light fits into a 1 3/8" hole when used in rigid materials (e.g., wood, plastic, fiberglass) and into a 1 1/4" hole when used in drywall; integral spring clips secure it.
We offer three styles of trim rings in three colors so you can personalize the look of the mini recessed LED lights to suit their location. The 1 1/2" round trim rings come with a removable shield that can be used to direct illumination, useful for path and wall lighting. The 2 3/4" round trim rings are die-cast aluminum, and the 1 9/16" square trim rings are powder-coated polycarbonate.
INDOOR LED DOWNLIGHT
Available in warm white (emits 375 lumens at 2700K) or natural white (emits 400 lumens at 4000K), the chip-on-board (COB) LED emits a wide-angle beam of even, diffuse illumination. Each is about as bright as a conventional 40W incandescent bulb yet produces very little heat, and comes pre-fitted with a 36" lead wire. For recess-mount applications, the light press-fits into a 2 1/8" diameter recess, held firmly by integral spring clips, with the 2 3/4" diameter housing sitting just 1/16" proud of the surface. An included trim ring lets you surface mount the light without having to drill a recess. The LED housing and matching trim ring project 5/8" and are made of aluminum with a matte white, matte black or brushed steel finish.
It's a good idea to delay drilling holes to install lighting fixtures until you have the unit in hand. Different manufacturing runs may have slight variations in recess dimensions.
INDOOR LED WAFER LIGHT
Available in warm white (3000K) or natural white (4000K), this 3 3/4" diameter surface-mount light is only 1/4" thick. It creates an appearance similar to recessed lighting without requiring a hole to accommodate a deep canister-style housing, so you can install it almost anywhere on a wall or ceiling, as well as on thin materials such as cabinet panels. The wafer light emits a wide-angle, 240-lumen beam of even, diffuse illumination. It comes pre-fitted with a 36" lead wire. The light has a strong peel-and-stick backing, as well as two keyhole slots for a hardware mount (screws included). Available with a gloss-white or brushed chrome finish.
3 3/8" ADJUSTABLE-BEAM LED SPOTLIGHT
This dimmable 8W LED spotlight gives you a range of options for creating customized indoor accent lighting. Its swivel mount lets you aim the light, and a focus adjustment lets you set the beam angle to either 20° or 40°. Available in warm white or natural white versions, it produces a maximum of 775 lumens of even illumination. Easy to connect in single or multiple light arrangements, this light can also be combined with other forms of 12V DC LED lighting we offer. It press-fits into a nominal 2 3/4" diameter recess and is held firmly by integral spring clips; the 3 3/8" diameter outer rim of the housing sits nearly flush with the mounting surface. Comes with a matte white finish. cETLus listed.
2" LED SPOTLIGHT
A great way to create focused accent lighting, this 3W dimmable LED spotlight is mounted on a swivel, so its narrow beam can be easily aimed. Available in natural white or warm white, it produces a maximum of 250 lumens with a 60° beam angle. Easy to connect in single or multiple light arrangements, the light can also be combined with other forms of 12V DC LED lighting we offer. It press-fits into a nominal 1 3/4" diameter recess and is held firmly by integral spring clips; the 2" diameter outer rim of the housing sits nearly flush with the mounting surface. CSA listed.
Quick and easy to install, these LED light bars let you customize indoor lighting just about anywhere. Each bar is a 12" long low-profile linear light just 3/8" wide that can be surface mounted using double-sided tape or metal clips (both included), or flush mounted into a dado. You can easily link up to eight bars with the integral plug-and-play connectors to create a continuous run of lighting; the flexible 2" long jumper connectors (sold separately) let you configure the bars in any shape or continue a path around corners. Bright yet dimmable, each bar requires a 12V DC power supply with enough wattage to suit the application; a 59" long power lead to connect the bars to the power supply is sold separately.
Available in non-dimmable 3000K warm white as well as a dimmable color-controlled model (requires a color controller), this light has a chip-on-board (COB) LED array that lights a broad area evenly without hot spots, to produce a bright 350 lumen beam. Each light comes with 36" of wire. You can choose as many lights as you want and space them exactly as you wish, used on their own or combined with our other 12V DC outdoor lighting. The light’s rugged, waterproof cast aluminum housing can withstand year-round exposure to the elements, and pivots and rotates to aim as needed, whether surface mounted or set on the included 6" aluminum ground post. Rated for 40,000 hours of maintenance-free use.
Controlling your white LED lighting using a standard in-wall AC dimmer switch (like those you might have elsewhere in your home) requires access to your existing household wiring, making a more involved installation. An AC-dimmable power supply must be hard-wired to a 120V AC household circuit. Alternatively, we offer a selection of DC switches, dimmers and controllers that can be connected after a 12V DC standard power supply that you simply plug into a household AC wall outlet. If you are installing custom-color lights, a color controller is required to blend red, green and blue LEDs into a custom color (including variations of white); it also acts as a dimmer.
Household installations of LED lighting require a power supply to convert standard 120 volt AC electrical power to 12 volt DC power. When choosing a power supply, consider how it will be connected to your home's power supply (by plug or hardwired) and the number and configuration of your lights. Further information is provided in this guide.View Guide
To use LED lighting in the interior of a boat or RV, you just need to connect it to a 12V battery. Simply maintain correct polarity, matching the "+" and "-" labels on the lighting or lead wires with the "+" and "-" terminals on the battery.
Wire-lead connector comes with 7 1/2" wire and attached connectors.
To make longer "jumper" cables: cut a wire-lead connector in half to create two wire leads that can be joined to longer wires to extend power wires or connect separate strips of lighting.
CONNECTORS AND WIRE
Your project may require connectors and/or more wire than those included with the lights. Note that installations outdoors or in wet locations (such as shower enclosures) require the use of outdoor-grade connectors and wire in addition to outdoor-grade lighting. Color-controlled tape lighting requires the use of four-conductor connectors and, generally, four-conductor wire. The exception is the run of wire between the power supply and the color controller, where two-conductor wire is sufficient. Further information is provided in this guide.
Outdoor/wet location extension connector: used to make secure connections between electrical wire and outdoor LED tape lighting, this connector has a snap-closure at one end to accept tape lighting; we recommend sealing this joint with shrink tube. The input end has a factory-sealed connection to a 10" length of 20 gauge wire rated for outdoor/wet location use.
48" wire with connector: used with indoor tape lighting as a wire extension from the power supply to the tape light.
Indoor wire-lead connector: for running tape light around a corner, or to connect adjacent strips. You can cut the wire in half, producing two wire leads with connectors that can be joined with a length of wire, useful when extending power wires or connecting tape light in another area.
Wire-ready connector: used to make secure connections between electrical wire and LED tape lighting without soldering. One end of the connector has a snap-closure that locks firmly onto the end of the tape lighting; solid-core wire simply press-fits into the other end. This connector requires the use of the appropriate solid-core (non-stranded) electrical wire. If you'd rather use different wire, we suggest you solder it to the tape lighting.
Splice connector: used to join two lengths of tape lighting.
Wire support clip: a simple wire holder with an adhesive backing. Not compatible with outdoor four-conductor wire.
Screw terminal block: for secure connection of wiring, these four-pin blocks accept wires from 22 to 14 gauge. A block can be cut in half to create two 2-pin blocks. Block can be surface mounted using a brad or small screw.
Stranded wire: supplied in 26.2' (8m) rolls. Available in two- and four-conductor formats. The 22 gauge is for short wire runs (under 10'); flat-ribbon is not rated for in-wall use. The 18 gauge induces less voltage drop over longer wire runs. For example, if your 60 LEDs/m tape lighting is 12' long, the maximum wire length from the lighting to the power supply is 10' using 22 gauge or 20' using 18 gauge. The 14 gauge format is outdoor rated, suitable for direct burial, and was selected to minimize voltage drop over runs longer than 20'. Although its stranded format is incompatible with the wire-ready connectors available for outdoor tape lighting, it can still be used for long outdoor runs. For white outdoor tape lighting, just connect a short length of 18 gauge solid-core wire between it and the lighting; for color-controlled installations, it can bridge long distances between the power supply and the color controller.
Solid-core wire: supplied in 26.2' (8m) rolls. The 20 gauge four-conductor wire is for use with the extension connectors for outdoor color-controlled LED tape lighting. The 18 gauge two-conductor wire is specifically selected for use with the wire-ready connectors for outdoor white LED tape lighting. It is also well suited for connecting the power supply and color controller of color-controlled lighting. Both wire formats are rated for outdoor/wet location application and direct burial.
Small wire nuts: used to help secure and protect indoor wire connections, these threaded nuts are suitable for use with 22 to 16 gauge wire.
Silicone-filled wire nuts: used to seal wire connections. Suitable for direct burial.
Shrink tube: used to seal splice and wire-to-tape lighting connections or tape ends that have been cut, it provides electrical insulation and water resistance. When heated to about 110°C/230°F with a heat gun or torch, it shrinks by up to half its diameter and coats its content with a sealant, forming a snug jacket around wiring connections. Note that different diameters are required for color-controlled and white LED tape lighting.
Crimped butt connector: used to create an outdoor-rated, solder-free connection between two pieces of 20 or 18 gauge wire. Without need of a heat gun, a sealant within the connector coats the wire leads as they enter it; simply crimp the connector to secure the joint.
1. Slip shrink tube over one side of connection.
2. Connect wires and slide shrink tube over connection.
3. Heat shrink tube to form a snug jacket around connection.
For most LED light installations, you will only need a pair of scissors, a small slot or Phillips screwdriver, wire strippers, a pencil and a tape measure. More complex and refined installations may also require a drill and drill bit, a general-purpose razor saw and a thin-slot miter box. When through-holes are required, a hole saw is an economical option. Particularly for mini recessed lights, you may prefer the flat-bottomed recess made possible by a saw tooth bit. We offer appropriate bit sizes for your convenience.
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