Best Practices for Installing LED Ribbon

Jun 1, 2019

LED ribbon, also referred to as strip or tape light, can be used for endless design & install possibilities from creating a linear fixture to accent lighting. With this versatility in application types, installation can become a complex process. If not done correctly, an LED system may fail – this can be frustrating if none of the involved parties are sure of what went wrong.

Plan ahead to ensure the lighting you’ve invested resources in shines bright with these best practices for installing LED ribbon:

  1. Select the proper power supply

If your system is not turning on, the first place you should check is the power supply. If there’s an issue, it may cause the LEDs to not turn on even though everything appears it should be working properly.

LED ribbon is typically low voltage ranging from 12V to 24V. Ensure you match the voltage of all elements within the system to avoid overpowering the LEDs. If the power supply is a higher voltage than the ribbon itself, such as a 24V power supply being paired with a 12V ribbon, this difference in voltage leads to the driver overpowering the ribbon.

Purchasing the full system from the same LED supplier can prevent these issues and ensure optimal performance throughout the entire system.

  1. Avoid power surges

Power surges occur when power flows through the transformer and surges the ribbon. The best way to prevent surges is to use a power supply with a built-in surge protector. This immediately turns off the light if there happens to be a surge and ensures the system does not fail.

Nova Flex’s E-Series 96W and 96W-0/10V Drivers both feature built-in surge protectors to prevent system failure and optimize the performance of your LEDs.

  1. Proper installation

LEDs are highly technical mechanisms that require expertise and care to properly install and ensure longevity and reliability for your system. A few items to consider:

          a. Don’t bend ribbon improperly

LED ribbon is flexible, but it should never be bent at a 90-degree angle in any application. Doing so can kill the signal and result in the ribbon only lighting up until the breakpoint.

          b. IP rating for application

Ensure the proper IP rating is selected for an effective installation. For example, an outdoor application requires a rating of IP68 to keep the ribbon from deteriorating early on in its life. Our Pro Series Outdoor/Wet Location ribbons deliver the necessary IP rating to survive even the toughest outdoor environments.

          c. Dimming

If using a dimming power supply, it must be linked to a compatible dimmer. Ensure the dimmer is UL certified, since a bad dimmer can sabotage a complete LED system. If your system uses a non-dimming power supply, it only requires an on/off switch in order to work properly.

Take a look at our installation guide for step-by-step support and in-depth imagery to guide your next installation process.

Keep your LED system shining bright with Nova Flex

Nova Flex makes LED lighting easy, providing ready-to-install customized solutions for all your LED needs. Our team of experts is here to work closely with you to achieve a long-lasting, reliable lighting system. Contact us today to get started on your next project.