Frequently Asked Questions
1.What are lumens (lm)?
Lumen is the measurement of brightness as perceived to the human eye. Because of incandescent lighting, we are all accustomed to using watts to measure the brightness of light. Today, we use lumen. Lumen is the most important variable when choosing which LED strip light you need to look at. Make sure you compare lumen output between LED strip lights before determining which one is best for your project.
2. What is CRI and why is it important?
Color Rendering Index (CRI) is the measurement of how colors look under a light source when compared with sunlight. Having information on the CRI of a LED strip light is important because you want to make sure that the colors are being accurately represented by the light source. CRI is measured on a scale from 0-100. A CRI of 80+ is the industry-standard for most applications while a CRI of 90+ tends to be necessary for situations that need color accuracy. Our CL light High CRI Series are used for photography lighting, retail lighting, bathroom or salon lighting, and residential lighting.
3.What is LED pitch and how does it affect the type of lighting I wish to achieve?
LED pitch is the distance between the individual chips on a strip (FPCB). It is absolutely crucial to understand the importance that pitch plays in your project. The shorter the pitch, the more uniform the light tends to be and the less spotting you have.
4.What is the difference between 3528 LEDs v 5050 LEDs?
LED chips are all not all equal. The four digits represent the size of the chips in millimeters. For example, the 3528 chip is 3.5mm X 2.8mm. Some chips are brighter than other and some have special uses and restrictions.
5. Which color temperature should I choose?
Choosing the correct color temperature lights for your project is very important, and as important as the brightness you choose. Consider the look and feel you want your project to have. What other color lights will be present? What material and color you wish to light?
6. What is Binning?
Simply put, binning is the process of grouping LEDs during production so that they matched with LEDs of the same color sector. For example, all 2700K chips are ‘binned’ together and are separated from chips that have a higher/lower color temperature.
7. What is IP standard for?
This is a rating system that defines the ability of a product to be able to work in different environments. IP is an acronym "Ingress Protection". It is a measurement of the protection an item will have against solid objects (dust, sand, dirt, etc.) and liquids.
An IP rating is comprised of 2 numbers. The first number refers to the protection against solid objects (dust, etc) and the second number refers to protection against liquids.
8. What are the top 4 comparing factors to look for before purchasing LED strip lights?
1. Make sure you know the requirements for your project, then when looking at options, compare lumen output, CCT, and CRI.
2. Compare LED strip size and number of chips on the reel.
3. Understand the wattage and voltage that the LED strip light uses.
4. Make sure that the products have verifiable quality.
9. What is the lifespan of your strip lights?
Our lights have been rigorously tested and have an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours before dropping to 70% luminosity. This means that if you were to use your lights 12 hours a day, every day, the lights would be expected to last longer than 10 years. Even after that time has elapsed, the lights will maintain a brightness of 70%. Higher-output strips require a heat sink to reach the expected lifespan.
10. What makes CL Lighting LEDs strips superior to those sold elsewhere?
The look of the LED strip can often be deceiving. Although LED strips may look similar, they performance can vary widely. The quality of an LED strip relies on the use of top quality components, heat dissipation, color consistency through select binning, verifiable long lifespans, low or little color shifting over the life of the strip (chromaticity shifts), and verifiable performance. Only the highest quality components are invited to our assembly floor. We underpower our LEDs to make sure the strip stays cool and will be bright for many years and test each strip for 8 - 12 hours before it leaves the factory.
Flexfire LEDs produces lighting that you should never have to go back out and fix. We believe we have truly created a ‘set and forget’ solution. See our full article, “How does Flexfire LEDs make the highest quality LED strip light?”.
11. How flexible are the LED strip lights?
Our LED strip lights are as flexible as a carpenter’s tape measure. The numbers on the tape measure are analogous to the LED chips on the strip light. They can bend up or down but not on its horizontal axis (left or right).
12. Do longer runs of LED strips lose brightness?
In DC circuits, voltage gradually drops as it travels along through a length of wire (or an LED strip light). So, with every foot of wire, the available voltage to each foot gradually decreases along the length of wire. This can lead to having one end of your strip lights being brighter than the other end.
Our strips can be ran 16’, 32’ or 48’ - this varies between different series of LED strips. After reaching these distances, you need to run another separate run from the power source. Another thing that can cause a drop is the distance between the power source and LEDs. Use an appropriately-sized wire to avoid voltage drop, and consult an electrician for further advice. To learn more about voltage drop click here or please contact our customer service for help.
13. What is the max depth that an IP68 LED strip can be submersed?
14. Are the connectors on the IP68 LED strips also submersible?
No, the factory connectors are rated to IP65 only. If you need us to custom manufacture longer wires on each end of the strip so the connections can be made outside the water, please contact us.
15.Is there any difference in brightness between the indoor and outdoor versions LED strip lights?
The indoor and outdoor versions have similar brightness outputs. They run off exactly the same specifications and the outdoor versions have a clear silicon sleeve protecting them. The outdoor version may be 5% less bright than the indoor version, but this is not typically noticeable to the human eye.
16. Do the silicone sleeves on IP65 strips affect the CRI?
Yes, though only minimally. For example, one of our IP20 tested LED strips has a CRI of 82.6, whereas the IP65 silicone sleeved strip has a CRI of 82.1.
17. What are the recommendations on adhering outdoor-rated strip lights?
All of our outdoor-rated lights come with mounting brackets. The strip also has a 3M adhesive on the back. We recommend using both for the most secure installation. They can also be installed within a mounting channel.
18. Can I cut reels that are waterproof (IP65/ IP68)?
Yes. Be sure to reseal the strip light each time it’s cut to prevent water damage. A lot of clients like to use a liquid electrical glue.
19. I am designing a project for an outdoor fountain and I am in need of color changing LED strips that are fully submersible. Does such a product exist?
Our RGB range is also available in IP68 which means they are fully waterproof and submersible. They can be installed in depth up to 4m (13’).
20. Can Flexfire LED strips survive in a humid environment?
Indoor-rated strips can withstand up to 70% humidity. If it’s going to be installed in a more humid environment, we would recommend using our outdoor-rated strips instead.
21. What is the importance of having UL Listed products?
UL is an acronym for the Underwriters Laboratories. They are an independent product safety certification organization. UL is, "a not-for-profit organization dedicated to public safety." This means you can install these LEDs in commercial spaces, industrial applications, and in your home with peace of mind.
CL Lighting provides UL Listed LED strips to reassure the customer that only the highest quality components are used.
22.Have all of your lights been independently certified and tested for safety?
Yes! Almost all of our strip lights are CE, RoHS certified, and UL Listed.
23. Do strip lights have an EU Energy Label?
LED Strip Lights are not yet covered by this regulation, however LEDs have been considered by the EU Directive to be the best alternative to incandescent, halogen and even HID lamps.
New LEDs will most likely occupy the A++ class after the deletion of classes F and G.
24.Do LEDs work with dimmer switches?
Yes. all of our LED lights are fully dimmable and can work with dimming switches. It is important to select a dimmer and power supply that are compatible together. Note: The RGB flexible strip lights are only dimmable with an RGB controller.
25.Will the dimmer I own work with CL LEDs strips?
Our strip lights are dimmable with almost all dimming systems, however it’s important to ensure compatibility between the dimmer and dimmable power supply. Check with us to see if your setup is compatible before any installation. If you need more dimmer recommendations, please contact us.
26. How much brightness is lost by using a channel with a frosted cover?
Frosted covers helps diffuse the light and reduce ‘hotspots’ and may typically reduce the brightness up to 30%.
27. If I want to order a product that is not on your website, is that possible?
Contact our team who are happy to discuss your custom product/project. We offer other lighting solutions that are not listed on our website.
At CL Lighting we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and will do everything in our power to accommodate all of our clients. If a product does not meet a certain criteria, our team can help find a way to tailor it to meet clients’ needs. All custom/special orders are subject to a lead time