Best place in US to order LED strip lighting (that will last)?

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SpaceCrawler

Active Member
I need some affordable and reliable LED strip lighting for some display cases. Each case is 5 feet tall by 6 feet wide and I'd planned to put the lights all around the front edge (so about 22 feet). I figured those rolls of strip lighting might be the best way to do this. I don't want battery operated lights, just to be clear. I've tried Christmas rope lighting over the years but it was never long enough and seemed to have a limited life span. So, any advice where to get some good, affordable strip lighting that won't die after a year?

Sean
 

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robstyle

Master Member
LED strip lighting is generic and if memory serves only manufactured at a few places regardless of the name branded to them. For longevity, ive seen cheap strips outlast higher dollar name brands for RGB, and older Ikea strip linkable strip lights outlast the more recent version from Ikea. The power supply and controller boxes are weak points for generic import items. Heat kills them. Unless youre after $$$ youll be fine with $ with strip LED lights.
 

zapwizard

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I doubt you won't find a US manufacturer of these. I have dirt cheap ones which I bought directly in the markets of Shenzhen that work great, and expensive "smart home" brands that flicker and died.

My tips:
Do NOT get the waterproofed strips. Those have very cheaply made goop applied to the top surface which turns yellow and sticky in no time. The non-water proof strips are just LEDs on a flexible PCB, and very durable and even repairable if a LED fails (either by soldering, or replacing a chunk of strip)

The other items that is often cheap is the adhesive. 3M 300LSE, or 3M VHB tape is the best. Unfortunately many LED strips in China just print 3M on the adhesive regardless. Note that both of the adhesives I mentioned have the full number printed on the release, not just "3M". Finding authentic 3M adhesive is nearly impossible unfortunately. All I can say if the adhesive smells quite strong, it is probably authentic.

If your using single color LEDs, which need only a single power supply (12, 24V, etc...), invest in a good power supply. Rather than using the typical wall brick. A good regulated and filtered power supply will help ensure the LEDs are protected from shocks in voltage from say your air compressor cycling.
Since most manufacturers run the LED right near their maximum current rating, it doesn't take much overvoltage to kill them.

As robstyle said: Heat also shortens their life. So attach the LEDs to any sort of metal heatsink. This can be as simple as putting them into a L or U shaped strip of aluminum. If your display case is metal, this works too. The goal is to simply spread the heat away from the individual lights.
 

GF

Sr Member
I got on amazon, 16 feet for $20 or 40 feet for $40 comes with power supply and remote, you can select tons of colors and even make custom colors works amazing used it in my sons bedroom ceiling all around great effect! but if you intend to install on ceiling you will need special corner connectors as you can't bend them unless you stick them on the wall.
 

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SpaceCrawler

Active Member
I got on amazon, 16 feet for $20 or 40 feet for $40 comes with power supply and remote, you can select tons of colors and even make custom colors works amazing used it in my sons bedroom ceiling all around great effect! but if you intend to install on ceiling you will need special corner connectors as you can't bend them unless you stick them on the wall.

I am not sure I understand. Are you saying you can't do 90 degree corners without these special connnectors? I'm just going around the inside of a big glass display case.

Sean
 

Oddmar

New Member
I've owned/operated a sign company for 30+ years, and i've never found higher prices than at Grimco. I personally use Wensco but they are based in central Illinois, central US.
For good led lighting i'd follow zapwizard's advice and just buy $8 non-waterproof 5050 5m strips off eBay.
 

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