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Basic Components of Applying RGB LED Strip Lights

Jul 3rd 2015 at 6:55 AM

The RGB LED strip light proved 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 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 user's imagination is the only limit.

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 attention to are the following. LED strip lights often do not operate at mains, but are low voltage lights. If so, you need a transformer to connect them to the mains, or you can operate them with batteries of the adequate voltage.

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 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.

So, what is the full range 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 range of colours displayed can be widened with the knowledge of the strip and obviously the knowledge of the controller. RGB LED ribbons which allow DMX controllers can display several million colours. Besides the regular RGB LED strip lights which can emit several shades of colours, but only one at a time, 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.

Besides the most commonly used 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, the colour and the pace of colour changing of the strip light. DMX controllers allow you to set the level of brightness, usually have a range of colours over several millions, different speed of display or colour change, this speed can often be set to follow the rhythm of music.

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