Voltage drop or ‘volt drop’ happens in all types of electrical installations. When larger power cables are being installed more complex calculations should be made to counteract the problem. However, when LED driver or tapes are concerned there are a few simple guidelines to follow.
Volt drop in LED strips takes place when the LEDs are positioned too far away from the power source or when longer individual runs (or lines) are attempted. This takes place because inadequate power or electrical current reaches the LEDs, since it has further traveling. This causes the voltage to decline or drop right at the end of the run.
Voltage drops out approximately .6V every metre and is also less noticeable with 24V strips. When using 12V strips, a 2-3V drop over a 5 metre run would lessen the voltage by 25% subsequently lowering the lumen (brightness) by way of a similar percentage.
Volt drop could be compared to a person climbing a mountain, the larger the altitude, the thinner the oxygen becomes and also the less the person can breathe.
The LEDs at the beginning of the fishing line will show up bright at 100% output nevertheless the LEDs towards the end from the line will begin to fade. The brightness will reduce exponentially; the further away it gets out of the source of energy. Potentially the sunshine output could be reduced to % if greater distances were incorrectly attempted and cause permanent injury to the LEDs.
Volt drop in single colour strips are barley noticeable, especially in shorter lengths. Colour changing strips are more visible once you turn the color to white. If you have inadequate voltage right at the end from the strip the clear white colour will turn pink right at 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 from your power source, green and blue don’t get enough voltage and be weaker, whilst the red colour becomes more prominent and turns white into pink.
The greater the wattage from the LED strip, the short the run needs to be. For instance; 30 LED (7.2W) per metre strip could have a maximum run of 10 metres, when compared to 60 LED (14.4W) per metre strip which may have a maximum run of 5 metres.
This does not necessarily mean you can’t install longer runs of LED strip, it merely means that you need to take a different approach. Single colour strips and colour changing (called RGB) strips are not the same because colour changing LED driver ul must be controlled from one controller. Utilizing a higher rated power source fails to repair the problem because the current continues to have to pass through through a long line of LEDs and resistors, each one draining small quantities of power.
Single colour strips ought to be wired directly to the ability supply in five metre of 10 metre runs depending on the version of strip i.e. 30 or 60 LED that is used. Each run will be powered directly from the energy supply and may be turned on or off by switching a switch or unplugging it from your mains. The energy supply is normally wired to some light switch but could be controlled by various controllers. The strips can then be positioned nevertheless you like, in a single long line or in a rectangle shape for example. After the strips are positioned next to one another the sunshine can look seamless, just like a fluorescent tube. The run might be over 100 metres hapmys length as long as the energy supply was rated appropriately.
Volt drop will occur slightly within the connecting power cables but since there are no LEDs or resisters etc draining the current, the volt drop is going to be barley noticeable. Thicker cables can be used to reach further distances.
For prolonged runs of colour changing strip, you have to fit amplifiers every 5 or 10 metres. Amplifiers allow the strips to be powered indirectly from your power source but additionally allow the signal from your controller to pass with the entire run of strips. By doing this once you turn the color to red for example, everything turns to red simultaneously. The amplifiers power the strip, the energy supply powers the amplifiers. Amplifiers can also be powered using their own separate power source and you can have as much power supplies as you desire on the same run. The power supplies could be positioned closer to the LED strip connection or wherever is most accessible.
For prolonged, more complicated runs we can supply our customers with their own easy to follow wiring diagram. The diagram illustrates how the power source, strips and cables are connected together. As part for the LED Strip Fit brand, LED Constant voltage drivers can be supplied to the exact lengths required; everything apart from the larger hard wired power supplies could be plugged into each, requiring no tools or electrical knowledge.