Is someone trying to upsell you a channel and you’re in a pickle as to whether you need one or not? Well, this article will share with you circumstances under which you might not need a channel for your led strip lights.
1. If Direct or Indirect Glare Is NOT A Concern
If the type of glare from the led strip light is not a concern to you, then you do not need an led light strip channel.
LED lights are able to self-contain their own lighting within the confines of where they’re mounted. And if that’s all you would want, then it is a good idea not to get it.
All you do is to get a 3M double-sided tape to mount it on the wall or ceiling. It’s as simple as that, and you don’t need to worry about getting a channel for your led strip lights.
2. If the Area Is NOT Going To Be Exposed to Water or Humidity
If the area where you’re going to be mounting your led light strip is not going to get exposed to water or humidity, then it’s a good idea to not get a channel.
While some led strip lights will come rated waterproof or water-resistant, not all do. And if you’re going to be getting one that is waterproof, then it’s a good idea to skip the channel for your led strip lights.
Also, if you are not going to be exposing your led strip lights to water, i.e. near a bathroom or kitchen area then you do not need an led light strip channel.
3. If the Area Is NOT Going To Be Exposed to Heat
If your area will not be exposed to heat, then you do not need an led light strip channel.
LED lights are known for producing very little heat, and the few that do produce a bit of heat are usually underpowered.
So if you are mounting your led strip lights in a place that will not be exposed to heat, then it is not necessary to get a channel.
Simply mounting it directly on your wall or ceiling is going to be fine and you do not need to worry about getting a channel.
4. If the Area Is NOT Going To Be Exposed to Direct Sunlight
LED lights are known for being able to withstand direct sunlight. However, some LED lights are known for being more effective in indirect light rather than direct sunlight.
So if your area will not be exposed to direct sunlight, then you do not need an led light strip channel.
Also, other weather elements like snow and rain can cause problems for led strip lights so make sure that you mount your led strip lights in a place where they will not be exposed to those weather elements, as well.
Once you’re sure of these, make sure that you get a good adhesive to mount your strip directly on the wall or ceiling. That’s all there is to it, and you don’t need to worry about getting an led light strip channel.
5. If The Light Will Shine Upward Towards The Ceiling
If the area where you’re going to mount your led light strip is in a place that will direct the light upwards towards the ceiling, then you do not need an led light strip channel.
Usually, people will use an led strip light channel in order to install a diffuser so the brightness of the led strip lights is smooth and does not appear dotted. But if the strip lights are going to be installed on the ceiling, then diffusers are not necessary.
Led strip lights mounted that point to the ceiling will give you smooth and uniform lighting without having too much brightness.
So if you are not going to install your led strip lights in an area that will direct the light downward, then mounting it directly on the ceiling will be enough. You do not need to worry about getting an led light strip channel and a diffuser for that matter.
6. The Area To Be Illuminated Is Not Harshly Contoured
Channels are usually rigid and can be a pain to bend around contours and curves. Harshly contoured areas are better off with led strip lights mounted directly on the wall or ceiling, rather than using an led light strip channel.
Or better still, if you’re willing to spend more money, you can get the silica gel neon covers as they do a great job of going around contours easily, diffusing lights, and waterproofing your led strip lights all at once.
If the area to be illuminated is not harshly contoured, then you do not need an led light strip channel for your lighting.
The first and most apparent disadvantage is the increased cost. In addition to the material and labor costs, installation costs may be a consideration.
This means that aside from the increased cost of materials, the cost of installation will be a bit higher if you are installing the led strip lights themselves directly on a wall against installing it together with a channel and a diffuser.
Of course except you are mounting the led strip lights yourself then the cost will be down to the additional accessories of the channel and diffuser you will have to get.
Another hidden cost when your get a channel and a diffuser is that the channel and diffuser significantly reduce the brightness of the led strip light by 5-10% when compared to installing them without a diffuser and channel.
This means that you will have to increase the brightness of your strip lights by 10% in order to get the same luminance you would have gotten without the diffuser and channel.
This then can translate into slightly high electricity costs in the long run. If cost is a concern, then you may not need to use an led light strip channel.
Important Tips If You’re Not Installing Led Strip Lights Without Channels
- Make sure that your led strip lights are water-resistant if they are going to be installed where moisture or water might damage them.
- If possible, get a channel with adhesive backing so you can stick it directly to the wall or ceiling.
- If you are going to install the led strip lights directly on a wall or ceiling, then use an adhesive that is able to be withstanding heat and humidity.
- Make sure your led strip lights have the brightness you prefer as there is a possibility to have a bit of glare and brightness when you install it without a diffuser and channel.
- Be mindful of the led strip light positioning so that you avoid having the light being too intense.
- It is best to use led strip lights with a high lumen per watt ratio if you are planning on installing them without channels.
- You can get an led strip light reel to make the application easier.
- LED strips that come with the adhesive back may also be good options for those who do not want to get an led strip light channel.
- The best led strip lights for installation without channels are the silver cased ones because they have
- Lastly, if possible, have a cheap voltage tester to ensure that there is no power running through the led strip lights before you install them.
Q. Is it possible to use an led strip light channel with the adhesive backing?
A. Yes, many LED strip channels have a double-sided adhesive backing. This helps them stick to the wall or ceiling when needed. You can however reinforce its adhesion by using a small amount of silicone adhesive.
Q. What is the main purpose of an led strip light channel?
A. The primary function of the led strip light channel is to help install, protect and diffuse LED lights. The main idea behind having a diffuser is to make sure that the light is spread over a wider area and that it becomes less glaring. It also helps contain the led strip lights to one specific spot so there won’t be any accidents.
Q. Will an led strip light channel reduce brightness?
A. Yes, many LED strip channels have a diffusing film on the inside to help contain and diffuse light. This reduces glare as well as helps reduce brightness.
Q. Can I use an led strip light channel with the LED tape lights?
A. Yes, many channels are compatible with various types of LED tape lights. You can also use an led strip light channel with the adhesive back to have it stick directly on the wall or ceiling.