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7 Great Tips and advice for working with Addressable LED strip lights
 
     Un packing the LED reel
 
1 - Alway ensure that the LED reel is fully un-reeled before any attempt to conect it to the power supply. If you try to                      illuminate the LEDs while still on the reel, the LED will become hot and this will distort the copper backing plus overheat          both the micro LEDs and associated IC processor. This will void warrenties of all LED suppliers. This relates to both                    traditional LED strips as well as Digital pixel LED tapes. Strip or tape is the same meaning, in the UK we use the word tape.
 
      Making a connection to the LED
 
2 - Check polarity of the LED tape prior to connection to power supply, it's usually quite easy to find as a small black screen          print at the cut points on the LED strip. Further information is available on each website page on this site related to each        type of strip selected. You will find this under the heading PDF "technical drawing" where you will find drawing clearly              marking each cut point and polaity. Never connect the LED polarity in reverse as this may cause damage to the internal IC      processor on the LEDs. This is more problematic on Digital pixel tapes than on normal LED strips as they do not have ICs.
 
      Orientation of the data for addressable LED strip
 
3 - Look for the arrow denoting the direction of data flow, data flow means the direction the LEDs data must flow. It works in        the same way as a domino effect where the flow is a nock on type effect. The LED internal processor alway talks directly to      the next LED with the data cascading along in the direction of the arrow. Normally the arrow flows away from the control        module. See our data sheet for further information  Do not connect the driver backwards where the flow id running                  towards the driver as this will not work. It sometimes can damage the first few LEDS on the strip if this happens. Cut back        the LEDs until you have a working one again and disgard the damaged ones.
 
      Cutting and preparing the LED strip
 
4 - Sissors are the best tool to be used for cutting LED strips, they are shape enough to cut evenly and leave a crisp edge on        the copper PCB. This is important as frayed edges will result in connection failure. Once cut, you can solder on lead                  connection wires using a quality soldering iron. Invest in quality when it comes to soldering as pore quality solder will              result in hard work and damaged PCB pads.
 
      Soldering and jointing the copper pads
 
5 - Soldering the strip should be done with care and attention to detail, use glasses if you wear them as the pads are small           and the legend showing the orientation of the wires are hard to read as the strip is only 10mm wide. Check the data                 sheet the product you are working with to give you details of the connection prior to working on the strip. Do not                     overheat the pads as it will delaminate from the PCB rendering it useless for connectivity. In such an event, cut back on           LED and retry. it is good practice to test all LED digital strip prior to removing the backing tape an affixing it to a                         perminent surface. This will avoid the need to have to remove the tapefrom the stuck surface in the event of in correct             connectivity to the strip. 
 
      Testing the digital flexible strip
 
6 - Before illuminating the pixel LED strip, check over the polarity to ensure the connections match that of the specified data        sheet. Not all pixel tapes have the same wiring configurations so careful checking is avised before powering up the LEDs.        When connecting to the pixel driver, check that the wiring is also correct within the plug as reversed polarity at this point        will damage the LEDs. Switch on the LED driver until "Test" is displayed in the display window, at this point you should              proceed to check the LEDs are all working. The driver has a "Length" setting that allows calibration for the precise number      of LEDs installed. 
 
     Static and pixel LED strip lights
 
 
 

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7 - Static is an enermy of LEDs, it can be considered even                  worse with an LED that has an IC buil-in like the pixel LEDs          known as the World Semi WS2811, WS2812, WS2812b.
 
     Static should be at the formost importance when installing          LEDs. Static will completely destroy an LED from the inside          out, often the source root of static is plastic film that is                  removed from plastic covers.
 
     Never remove perspex film cover when the LED                              is illuminated. Always switch of the power and wipe down            plastic covers with anti-static spray. It isnt a case of will it              damage the LEDs, its a case of wnen. Just because the                  damage isnt in some cases immediate, the LED will fail if it          has been subjected to static.
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Side lighting LED strip

Pelmet lighting LED strip

Cove lighting LED strip

Cove lighting has been very popular for decades because of the soft indirect concealed lighting look. Cove or coffer lighting as its also refered to adds an element of luxury to any environment. It creates a feeling of space. Hotels, residential, commercial and retail all use this technique.

Side lighting is ideal for shelves, steps lights, raised features, curtain headers. bed back boards or any application where a feature is slightly mounted forwards of a wall. The LED strip is mounted side on to the illuminated surface to create a stunning rear facing glow that will add depth to room.

Pelmet or kick board lighting has the effect of floating on light. This style of lighting architecture is common place, its very practical and adds the wow factor to any project. White light or colour changing lighting works extremely well in this form. For best results, the LED strip is mounted facing downwards.

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