Voltage drop or ‘volt drop’ happens in all types of electrical installations. When larger power cables are installed more advanced calculations should be made to counteract the problem. However, when LED driver or tapes are concerned there are some simple guidelines to follow.
Volt drop in LED strips takes place when the LEDs are positioned too much out of the source of energy or when longer individual runs (or lines) are attempted. This takes place because inadequate power or electrical current reaches the LEDs, as it has further to travel. This causes the voltage to decline or drop right at the end of the run.
Voltage drops out approximately .6V every metre and it is less noticeable with 24V strips. When utilizing 12V strips, a 2-3V drop spanning a 5 metre run would reduce the voltage by 25% subsequently reducing the lumen (brightness) with a similar percentage.
Volt drop could be in comparison to a person climbing a mountain, the larger the altitude, the thinner the oxygen becomes as well as the less the person can breathe.
The LEDs at the start of the fishing line can look bright at 100% output however the LEDs right at the end in the line will start to fade. The brightness will reduce exponentially; the further away it gets from the power source. Potentially the lighting output may be reduced to % if greater distances were incorrectly attempted and cause permanent harm to the LEDs.
Volt drop in single colour strips are barley noticeable, especially in shorter lengths. Colour changing strips tend to be more visible whenever you turn the colour to white. If you have insufficient voltage right at the end in the strip the clear white colour will turn pink towards the end in the line. It is because white colour is mixed from red, green and blue (RGB). However, the red requires less voltage than green and blue. Once the strip is far through the power source, green and blue don’t get enough voltage and become weaker, whilst the red colour grows more prominent and turns white into pink.
The greater the wattage from the LED strip, the short the run needs to be. For example; 30 LED (7.2W) per metre strip may have a maximum run of 10 metres, when compared to 60 LED (14.4W) per metre strip which could have a maximum run of 5 metres.
This does not mean you can’t install longer runs of LED strip, it merely means that you need to have a different approach. Single colour strips and colour changing (known as RGB) strips will vary because colour changing LEDA driver 12v must be controlled from one controller. Utilizing a higher rated power supply will not fix the problem since the current really has to move through a long collection of LEDs and resistors, every one draining small quantities of power.
Single colour strips should be wired directly back to the ability supply in 5 metre of 10 metre runs depending on the version of strip i.e. 30 or 60 LED that is utilized. Each run will be powered right from the energy supply and can be turned on or off by switching a switch or unplugging it from your mains. The power supply is generally wired to a light switch but could be controlled by various types of controllers. The strips can then be positioned however you like, in one long line or in a rectangle shape for instance. After the strips are positioned close to one another the sunshine will show up seamless, such as a fluorescent tube. The run may be over 100 metres hapmys length so long as the energy supply was rated appropriately.
Volt drop will occur slightly in the connecting power cables but because there are no LEDs or resisters etc draining the current, the volt drop will be barley noticeable. Thicker cables can be used to reach further distances.
For extended runs of colour changing strip, you need to fit amplifiers every 5 or 10 metres. Amplifiers allow the strips to become powered indirectly from the power supply but in addition enable the signal from your controller to pass with the entire run of strips. In this way when you turn the color to red for example, everything turns to red simultaneously. The amplifiers power the strip, the ability supply powers the amplifiers. Amplifiers can also be powered off their own separate power supply and you might have as many power supplies as you desire on the same run. The ability supplies may be positioned nearer to the LED strip connection or wherever is most accessible.
For extended, more complicated runs we are able to supply our customers making use of their own easy to follow wiring diagram. The diagram illustrates how the power supply, strips and cables are connected together. As part for the LED Strip Fit brand, LED dimmable driver could be supplied to the exact lengths required; everything in addition to the larger hard wired power supplies can be connected to each, requiring no tools or electrical knowledge.