LED Tape Light

Do you remember incandescent rope light? That plastic coiled clear rope with small dots of light every inch. Of course, it’s still available at Target in orange during Halloween and the standard warm white version you can still find hanging underneath the bar at your local hole-in-the-wall watering hole. Like all incandescent light, the light dimmed over time, had hot spots even when concealed, and once it went out that was it. Thank God for LED tape light!

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LED tape light has all the advantages of the old rope light with many great new benefits. First of all light emitting diodes are semiconductors that emit light through a process called electro-luminescence. This means that unlike incandescent and fluorescent there are no gasses inside and glass tubes. This is the biggest factor leading to it’s long life, it is simply difficult to break this unit and it is not under any pressure or gas. Specifically, with tape light, strip light, or ribbon light, the size is what makes this piece of technology most impressive. It is extremely small, can literally fit within a crack, hole or crevice, underneath a stair tread, inside a hand-rail, edge lighting a piece of frosted glass, or used as toe-kick lighting at the base of your kitchen cabinets.

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The most beautiful aspect of LED strip light is the spread of light you receive from it. Even if placed directly horizontally on a wall, the light produced will move upward and flush together within centimeters. The beam spread is derived from the optics used with LED’s or lack of them at all. LED’s emit light in almost a 180 degree pattern. This gives the ability to shine light in a variety of directions simultaneously. Typically light patterns and desired effects are controlled through the use of extruded aluminum channels. This will help hide the light and produce the desired grazing or indirect lighting effects desired.

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LED tape light has all the other benefits of typical LED technology, long-life, great color temperature, 80+ CRI color-rendering, use for indoor/outdoor applications, and producing little to no heat when properly used with a heat sink.

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Over the last year we have been able to put LED tape light within new-construction projects in places only dreamed of before while maintaining an extremely small footprint or housing to produce the light. We are able to put consistent flush light underneath stair treads, running down a wall or behind floor molding to slightly graze a surface, floating a vanity with a strip of light underneath to emphasize a floating effect. LED tape light manufacturers area also producing material that is water submersible and able to be used in landscape lighting systems.

led-diningThe LED soft strip tape light product has changed the landscape of lighting design and created a whole new avenue of design concepts and plots not thought of before. With LED tape light you can simply put light wherever you never dreamed of before.

led-dining-2Be sure to have your tape light installed by a licensed electrician, follow all transformer requirements, and contact manufacturer for proper dimming units and devices.

Photos by Bowman Group Photos

Author: Kenneth Vick

Kenneth Vick has always been fascinated by the form and function of design and the physics behind the beauty of light. His career started with a stint in Financial Services at Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney. During his tenure he managed the portfolio of a lighting entrepreneur and learned about the evolution and future of LED lighting and the importance of energy conservation. After leaving Wall Street he went to work on Main Street at the lighting department of The Great Indoors. Soon after, his love of furniture and lighting design led him to Design Within Reach where he learned about the rich history of modernism. His various training with the IESNA, ALA, and a decade of design and lighting experience has provided him with the tools to develop, design, and fabricate custom lighting plans, fixtures, and mood for the world to enjoy.

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