An In-Depth Look at LED Channels

An In-Depth Look at LED Channels
Sep 5, 2019

In many lighting applications, discretion must be leveraged to cultivate the right aesthetic result. If lighting is too intrusive or over-the-top, it’s going to have a negative impact on atmosphere – and in many cases, the amount of business coming in.

It’s in these settings where LED channels serve an invaluable purpose. From protection and heat reduction to light diffusion and space-saving, channels provide a number of visual and functional benefits to your LED system – but determining which channel is right for you depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish.

Here are the key benefits of LED channels and how to go about determining which is best suited to illuminate your space.

What are LED channels?

LED channels – also referred to as extrusions, profiles, or housings – are structures used to house LED strips. They act as an avenue between the light source and the application area, allowing us to maximize the versatility of LEDs and eliminating the need for larger, more obtrusive fixtures.

Imagine entering a bar or theater in which subtle, concealed lighting would be norm, and instead a myriad of exposed, distracted lighting is presented and taking away from your enjoyment of the space. If this is the case, the right channel was most likely not chosen for the application.

The benefits of LED channels

When done right, channels are so discreet that they essentially go unnoticed. In cove lighting, under-cabinet applications, and more, they deliver a welcoming glow of light more aesthetically pleasing than a rigid, more visible solution.

The primary benefits of LED channels include:

  • Heat reduction of the LED system
  • Longer ribbon life
  • Space saving
  • Versatility
  • Clean appearance
  • Protection from the elements
  • Professional, finished look
  • More reliable installation

Using channels to reduce heat and extend ribbon life

It’s often assumed LEDs give off an excessive amount of heat, but they don’t give off as much as you’d think. The channel draws heat away from the LED and prevents overheating, lengthening the life of the ribbon and the performance of your lighting system.

Protection and life extension are key advantages of LED channels, and adding end caps to the channel can provide even more protection from outside elements. Lenses can also be used to diffuse light and to eliminate dotting for an even greater aesthetic advantage.

Using channel lenses to diffuse light

Many LED channels are compatible with lenses that cover the light source to diffuse the light, more evenly distributing it throughout the application area. This helps eliminate what’s known as “dotting,” where each individual diode can be seen within the channel. In certain applications where the strip is in direct view, dotting is seen as a big issue and one that simply provides the wrong look.

The choice of lens, depth of the channel, and series of LEDs chosen all help determine the level of dotting.

Lens protection

In addition to diffusing light as it exits the channel, lenses also provide added protection against the elements. We offer waterproof lens options at the IP65 level – but if you’re after a completely watertight solution, we recommend using our IP68 ribbon inside an IP65 channel for lasting protection.

Choosing the right channel

There is a wide range of options when it comes to LED channels, and the right choice will depend on your unique application and the LED strip you’re installing. Whether you’re looking to have the strip surface-mounted, recessed in for a flush-mounted look, or entirely concealed, there’s a solution to ensure your application shines its brightest.

Locations from restaurants and museums to commercial and high-end residential spaces have unique lighting needs. We’re here to help define that need and the perfect channel solution to go along with it.

Achieve custom lighting solutions with Nova Flex

At Nova Flex, we customize channel solutions to meet the unique needs of our customers and can incorporate our arsenal of accessories for added versatility, including hanging cables and a universal clip that can be fit and mounted into any of our channels to easily adjust the lighting at any angle.

Not sure which channel is best for your system? Our website allows users to filter channels by compatible LEDs to get a complete view of your range of options. Contact us today for a quote and hands-on assistance in achieving glowing results with your LED system.