It is common to install an LED strip on a cornice running around the ceiling of a room to achieve a diffused ceiling lighting effect. This not only looks beautiful but also provides a discreet base lighting for the room, which can be made exclusive with additional accent lighting.
Those who have switched from the previously used 12 Volt strips to 24 Volt ones have already experienced the advantage, especially if they have created longer, larger systems. The fact is, with LED strips of the same performance and cross-section, the 24 Volt ones allow for nearly twice the distance between connection points while maintaining almost the same light experience when examining the lighting further from the power source. Thus, installing longer systems becomes simpler with 24 Volt LED strips.
Let’s examine this with specific strip measurements to discuss more than just theory!
The above graph shows the changes in light performance of a 30-meter 12 Volt and a 24 Volt Pannon LED strip at different power connection densities. If you find the graph too complicated, read on as we break down the topic in detail for easier understanding.
These are the 30-meter rolls with a nominal 4.8 Watts per meter that the test is about:
- Warm White 24 Volt Pannon LED Strip
- Neutral White 24 Volt Pannon LED Strip
- Cool White 24 Volt Pannon LED Strip
- Warm White 12 Volt Pannon LED Strip
- Neutral White 12 Volt Pannon LED Strip
- Cool White 12 Volt Pannon LED Strip
This table serves as the basis for the overly crowded graph above:
I measured the lighting at various sections of a 30-meter 12 Volt LED strip with a nominal consumption of 4.8 Watts per meter and a 30-meter 24 Volt LED strip with the same nominal consumption, while creating power connection points at different densities.
- I measured 10 cm long LED strip sections with a lux meter placed 1 meter away. For this, I used a 1 meter long tube with a diameter of 10 cm. Naturally, this is not an accurate measurement, and the measured lux value is not significant in absolute terms, so I did not display them. Instead, I took the highest lux value from all the measurements as 100% and compared all other measurements to this. This way, presenting it on a percentage scale, the weakening of the LED strips becomes noticeable as you move further away from the various density connection points.
- I measured the illumination at 0 meters, 2.5 meters, 5 meters, 7.5 meters, as well as at 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 meters on the 30-meter LED strips.
- I examined the operation of the LED strips with the following power connection densities:
- Connected from one end, which is equivalent to being powered every 60 meters, but only half of the strip is measured
- Connected from both ends, i.e., powered every 30 meters
- Connected every 15 meters, i.e., connected at both ends and in the middle, resulting in 3 connection points for the 30-meter strip
- Connected every 10 meters, i.e., resulting in 4 connection points for the 30-meter strip
- Connected every 5 meters, resulting in 7 connection points for the 30-meter strip
Illumination values at various length points: | 0m | 2.5m | 5m | 7.5m | 10m | 15m | 20m | 25m | 30m |
Pannon 24 Volt 30 meter 144 Watt nominal consumption LED strip roll | |||||||||
Connected from one end | 100% | 86% | 71% | 56% | 41% | 22% | 15% | 12% | 11% |
Connected from both ends, i.e., every 30 meters | 99% | 88% | 64% | 58% | 48% | 43% | 46% | 63% | 98% |
Connected every 15 meters | 98% | 93% | 88% | 78% | 88% | 97% | 88% | 88% | 98% |
Connected every 10 meters | 97% | 92% | 82% | 92% | 97% | 82% | 97% | 82% | 97% |
Connected every 5 meters | 94% | 92% | 94% | 92% | 94% | 94% | 94% | 94% | 94% |
Pannon 12 Volt 30 meter 144 Watt nominal consumption LED strip roll | |||||||||
Connected from one end | 95% | 47% | 35% | 23% | 12% | 5% | 2% | 2% | 1% |
Connected from both ends, i.e., every 30 meters | 90% | 51% | 37% | 20% | 13% | 10% | 13% | 34% | 90% |
Connected every 15 meters | 90% | 53% | 43% | 33% | 42% | 85% | 42% | 43% | 90% |
Connected every 10 meters | 87% | 62% | 47% | 62% | 85% | 47% | 87% | 47% | 87% |
Connected every 5 meters | 85% | 79% | 85% | 79% | 85% | 85% | 85% | 85% | 85% |
The graphs have a flaw. Since I measured every 2.5 meters up to 10 meters, and every 5 meters between 10 and 30 meters, the curve for the first 10 meters appears different from the next two 10-meter sections. This is because there are 2 extra measurement points in the first 10 meters, making the horizontal axis non-linear. Nevertheless, I believe they are still understandable.
I have broken down the above composite graph and presented the lighting characteristics of the two strips by connection type.
To properly interpret the percentage changes, I think:
- A 10% change is excellent and practically not noticeable to the eye. Even a 20% change is almost just as good and can be considered an acceptably good value perceptually.
- A 40%-50% deviation is already highly compromised and considered acceptably poor for afterthought, non-professionally designed LED strip implementations.
- For deviations greater than this, I would say, what’s the point? It makes no sense.
Comparison of the light performance of 30-meter (4.8W/m) 12 and 24 Volt Pannon LED strips when powered from one end
This setup is only useful to see what the two strips can do, as such an operation only makes theoretical and investigative sense. The 24 Volt strip is only effective up to the first 3-4 meters. The 12 Volt strip is only effective up to the first meter. Despite this, the two curves clearly show the greater potential of the 24 Volt strip.
Comparison of the light performance of 30-meter (4.8W/m) 12 and 24 Volt Pannon LED strips when powered from both ends
This setup also only makes theoretical and investigative sense. Practically, we see the same as in the previous graph, but not only does the strip have acceptable light at the beginning (3 and 1 meters respectively), but also at the end. Compared to the previous graph, if we look at 15 meters, the power supply coming from the other end is also sensed by the middle of the strip, and both strips respond with twice the light output. For the 24 Volt strip, we can already say that this connection method is almost acceptable as a compromised poor connection.
Comparison of the light performance of 30-meter (4.8W/m) 12 and 24 Volt Pannon LED strips when powered from both ends and the middle
For the 24 Volt LED strip, I must say that this is already quite good in a certain sense. So, if we power the strip every 15 meters, the weakest performance is at 7.5 and consequently at 22.5 meters (I did not measure here, so it is not visible), but the shortfall is only 20 percentage points at these spots, which is less noticeable. Therefore, for those who want to save on connection points, in a 30-meter room perimeter, it is sufficient to run the power supply from one side to the other and connect it there (as well as both ends at the power source).
The 12 Volt strip in this setup is still in the compromised poor category.
Comparison of the light performance of 30-meter (4.8W/m) 12 and 24 Volt Pannon LED strips when powered every 10 meters
The 24 Volt strip here is almost in the completely good category. The 12 Volt strip is still the compromised poor version.
Comparison of the light performance of 30-meter (4.8W/m) 12 and 24 Volt Pannon LED strips when powered every 5 meters
The 24 Volt strip is in the perfect category here. The deviation within 2.5 meters is 2 percentage points, which is only 2% in percentage terms. I would like to point out that regardless of the connection, the individual variance of the soldered diodes themselves is already greater. It is completely acceptable if the light output of two adjacent diodes differs by 5%. For cheaper strips, significantly larger deviations of up to 20% can be observed between individual diodes. Here, the light of 6 diodes was measured simultaneously in 10cm sections. It is likely that even these show a deviation of up to 5% per diode, but together they improve the average.
And the 12 Volt strip also gives a good result here, with only a 6 percentage point deviation over 2.5 meters. In percentage terms, that’s 7%.
Development of LED strip consumption values according to different density connections
I measured not only the illumination values but also the consumption of the entire 30-meter rolls of both types of LED strips under different density connection methods.
This is good to examine because some people find changes in consumption values more convincing and perceptible in Watts than looking at the percentage of illumination values converted to ratios. At the same time, the table also highlights that the more precise the implementation for this strip, the more we exceed the nominal consumption value. This seems negligible for the 12 Volt version, because as mentioned above, the measurements are not certified, so the consumption values should be viewed not as absolute values but in terms of trend changes and comparisons.
However, for the 24 Volt strip, the 21% higher consumption above the uncertified nominal measurement is thought-provoking. Many power supply manufacturers state 100% load capacity, but seeing this, it is better to calculate with 80% load capacity in this case as well.
Without power supply consumption | total consumption | consumption per meter |
nominal consumption 144W/30m | nominal consumption 4.8W/m | |
Pannon 24 Volt 30 meter LED strip reel | ||
Wired from one end | 58 | 1.94 |
Wired from both ends, i.e., every 30 meters | 106 | 3.54 |
Wired every 15 meters | 153 | 5.10 |
Wired every 10 meters | 159 | 5.30 |
Wired every 5 meters | 175 | 5.82 |
Pannon 12 Volt 30 meter LED strip reel | ||
Wired from one end | 29 | 0.95 |
Wired from both ends, i.e., every 30 meters | 55 | 1.82 |
Wired every 15 meters | 96 | 3.19 |
Wired every 10 meters | 122 | 4.06 |
Wired every 5 meters | 150 | 4.99 |
I would like to note that the actual measured consumption was the total consumption together with the power supply, which I corrected with the 87% efficiency provided by the power supply manufacturer, and the corrected values are included in the table as consumption values measured without the power supply.
Summary
Reviewing the above, we can conclude that with a professionally designed, high-quality implementation, if we use the 12 Volt version of this strip with 60 LEDs per meter and a nominal power of 4.8 Watts per meter, we should power it at least every 5 meters. If, for some reason, we are forced to use longer sections, even 6-7 meters can be acceptable, but if we want less frequent power connections, it’s better not to use this strip unless it’s for some tertiary decorative purposes only. Of course, for smaller and shorter decorations, the 12 Volt strip is still perfect.
If we use the 24 Volt version of this strip, powering it every 5 meters will result in perfect implementation, and even powering it every 10 meters will be quite good. If for some reason, you want to save some money with a do-it-yourself approach, but still want an acceptable result, you can use this strip and power it every 15 meters. If you calculate the values in the table precisely, you will experience a 20% luminous flux difference at 7.5 meters. This is still acceptable for many, but it’s better to consider it as borderline.
When I say every X meters, it always means powering the length from both ends.