Practical Rope Lighting
Let's look at rope
lighting. Determine where you can use wich type. Tips
for smart uses, installation and operation.
of all light ropesAll
have very good flexibility. Can be cut, twisted or bent in practically
Add to that that you
can create various patterns of lightings from chasing to steady and in
between - only the matter of your controller.
where you want to use it based on ...
if not all rope lights are for both indoor and outdoor use. However,
this is best to check before the purchase. (Also,
some manufacturers developed different products based on those
suitability based on voltage in general
a general rule use:
- low voltage
for indirect and accent light
voltage for direct and illumination light
Determine voltage in more detail
Outlining (building, deck etc)
(highlight edges and outlines of things, light up trees)
lighting (under cabinet)
there is a whole lot more about usage and other things on
volt low voltage ropes (24 Volt too) I review
Higher voltage may be suitable for even
brighter outlines or complete illuminations (including building, deck, window
volt high voltage ropes (240 Volt too).
plug in ... ?
Runs off battery / alternator or transformer.
Plugs in normal housesold household
The LED version of both
be run off DC (and AC if there is a converter in the circuit)
and how to use:
on the material of the mount:
They all install well
on various materials. But if you want to fix it to heat sensitive
materials, such a wood for instance, definitely use a LED
light rope uses:
neon tube lights replace well with rope lights (Reason those also
called neon ropes? Could be ...)
below for more on efficiency details.
Use them as task
light. As it is light and very hassle free it installs
particularly easy as under cupboard.
don't or can't reach regularly put LED ropes.
LED home lighting
I collected more LED tips for you.
that is viewable from only one
chosen direction, use a flat light rope.
For decorative purposes, if you want to accent
the outlines of your home, emphasise vertical and horizontal lines with
the crisp lights of mini LED rope lights.
These are your available choices in
(for specifics and types look
my separate light
determine you choice let's start with energy usage in this day and age:
Neon ropes are now used where
neon lighting was an obvious choice before. And the energy usage
of a typical (incandescent) rope should be only a fraction
of your old neon light. But if you go for LED neon, your energy
consumption (and your power bill) should be even lower than that.
if your product is UL listed. (Underwriters Laboratories Inc. UL is the
trusted source across the globe for product compliance.)
(or not) for the
lenght you need
it before and measure the size you want or cut and connect as you go.
But, observe maximum allowable lengths. (Note: Be prepared that you will
connect-as-you-go in awkward hard to measure places.)
and connect - but how ... ?
low voltage and LED
Check cut length before cutting.
to unit size.
Cut spools. Use connector to connect kits.
(Do not cut kits.)
Standard high voltage
long spools, connect short spools.
splice connector and end caps (based on wire type)
typical cut length units relevant to your job refer:
12 volt light ropes (non LED)
12 volt LED ropes
120 volt light ropes (non LED)
120 volt LED ropes
else you need ... ?
use with your rope light:
or utility knife. The cleanest cut comes from a designated
rope cutter. Ask you retailer.
on what effect you want to achieve you might need a controller also.
(See below under operation.)
Converter, Adapter, Battery (for battery
mounting track for straight position, or clips for in a bent
the smartest winder I found anywhere. Recommended for all kinds
of ropes and cables, (I haven't used it for a light rope. but I think
they could be quite good for that.) Investigate it here:
a rule the following patterns may be achievable, so check the
controller you buy (patterns applies to both LED and non-LED):
chasing controller: typically allows variable chasing speed, single
dial operation, maximum run 24' (foot.)
High end chasing
controller: variable chasing speed, multi dial, maximum run 150' (foot)
and max load of 8 Amper.
Functions a good chasing
controller should handle:
- Slow Glow
- Slow Fade
- Twinkle /
- Steady On
- Combination of
all or some patterns above
you use a light rope from so called super bright LED
you need a converter, it is recommended that you use an anti-flicker
Often overlooked, but it is fairly
important. Typically, the recommended air temperature for LED ropes is
the same as for
incandescent rope lights: The range is between minus 4
degrees to plus 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rope light installation guide:
specifics on various rope lights, including
how they compare to LED look
up my separate pages on light ropes.
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