Basic Components of Applying RGB LED Strip Lights
The RGB LED strip light turned out to be one of the most popular products at LEDcentre. Its wide range of application allows customers to use more of their imagination, decorate and create new moods in their homes or businesses to their own tastes. The most common application in businesses can be found in bars, clubs, restaurants or stage lighting for bands. Besides commercial use, household rgb led strip application is also very common in the kitchen or living room for instance, where mood lighting is often used. When it comes to mood lighting, and picking colours, the customer’s imagination is the only limit. Both in household and commercial uses, the RGB LED strip is applied to enlighten edges of furniture, worktops, to give a little colour to walls, corridors, articles, steps and staircases, illumine audio visual systems, is used as an event set or background setting for bands.
The two basic components to operate RGB LED Strip Lights are the RGB LED strip (obviously) and a matching RGB controller. All RGB LED lighting systems require a controller, with which you can determine the colours displayed. The number of effects you can achieve with your RGB LED string depends both on the tape, and the controller you apply it with. The simplest RGB LED tape has a fixed set of colours that can be displayed in a pre-programmed sequence.
Once you decide on going for RGB LED Strip Lights, the technical details you have to pay awareness of are the following. LED Strip Lights often do not operate at mains, but are low voltage lights. If so, you require a transformer to plug them to the mains, or you can operate them with batteries of the adequate voltage. LEDs require transformers specially dedicated to them, so electronic transformers are not suitable, for instance, and also the majority of LEDs require stabilized constant voltage running. Voltage tolerance may also have significance if you operate the lights from a battery or an engine (power supplies need to be stabilized, which means this problem doesn’t occur with them). On boats, luxury yachts or caravans, Voltage increases when the engine is on, for instance. If you would like to apply any low voltage LED lights of this kind, look for the voltage tolerance of the light among the technical details. When you decide on the deprive light, pay attention to the followings: the size and performance of the light-emitting diodes included in the strip, the technology of the LEDs (low power, SMD power or high power), the light emitted, its IP rating, the direction of the light or the diodes, and its coverage. Also, obviously, the choice of effects you will be able to achieve with the RGB LED tape depends on the familiarity with the deprive, so check what colour range it provides, or if they can be used with DMX RGB controllers (which provide a full choice of mixing colours and widest choice of effects).
The technical details of the controller are also significant. The controller determines the performance of the strip lights it can directly link to. For example, if the controller would work for let’s say 140W performance, and the performance of the RGB LED strip light you will use is 7W per metre, than you can connect 140/7=20 metres of deprive lights to it. If you need to control more than that, but synchronized together; you will need an RGB amplifier that forwards the signal of the controller. However, since the ability that can tell you the RGB controller is fixed, the amplifier needs to be powered directly from the transformer or the battery. The connection mode of the LEDs you have will determine the bond mode of the controllers you can use. RGB LEDs have four pins. Three of these pins are for the colours (RGB), the pole of these pins determine the type of connection. If the LED light or deprive light has three positive and one negative pins, the connection is common cathode. If it is the other way round (three negative, one positive), the bond mode is common anode.
How does RGB LED technology work?
RGB LEDs basically contain three LEDs used in one. The combination of these three colours covers the full spectrum of colours. The RGB controller works together with PMW (pulse-width modulation), which means – at a certain frequency – it turns the LEDs on and off fully (this is exactly the same technique single coloured LEDs are dimmed). If you turn the blue LED off completely for instance, the red and green will create a yellow light together. The colour can be manipulated with the frequency of the individual LEDs on and off modes. If you add a bit of blue to this yellow, you will receive a lighter green shade. To manufacture a single colour output the frequency of the full LED must be over 50Hz.
So, what is the full choice of effects possible with RGB LED strip lighting?
The simplest RGB LED string lights have a pre-programmed set of colour they can emit ranging from four to 16, and the colours rotates according to these programmes. The choice of colours displayed can be widened with the knowledge of the strip and obviously the information of the controller. RGB LED ribbons which allow DMX controllers can display several million colours. Besides the off the shelf RGB LED Strip Lights which can emit several shades of colours, but only one-by-one, exist the multiple colour strips – also called magic LED strips or pixel LED tape lights. This type of RGB LED rope light requires a special RGB controller. RGB LED Strip Lights are generally sold with the controllers suitable for their operation, or there is a list of recommended controllers indicated at the strip light’s description. Controllers can basically be manual, automatic, semi-automatic, pre-set sequence or DMX.
Besides the most popular pre-set sequence RGB controllers, a popular solution for creating your own effects is DMX controllers, which allow users a wide range of settings of the brightness, colour and the pace of colour changing of the strip light. DMX controllers allow you to set the quality of brightness, usually have a range of colours over several millions, different speed of display or colour change, this speed is often set to follow the beat of music. With this wide range of possibilities to create your own, unique lighting, only your imagination is the limit.