LED lights in the ceiling using recessed aluminium profiles

Joined
24 Sep 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
2
Country
United Kingdom
Hi folks,

I'm looking to install the spotless led strip on the ceiling. Please can someone advise what I need?

Its going to be a rectange on the ceiling and from research I have understand that I need the following but have some advice:

LED strip (what type is best?)
LED driver (do I need more than one?)
LED controllor (do I need more than one?)
LED controller remote (how do the zones work)

Do I need anything else? Any hints and tips will be greatly appreciated

Many thanks
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
4 Nov 2010
Messages
5,912
Reaction score
603
Location
Cumbria
Country
United Kingdom
To be clear, this is to be a strip facing down off the ceiling, fitted into a recessed aluminium profile ?

Strip choice is largely down to preferences - colour (RGB or RGBW), white (in which case, which colour of white - warm, cool, in between). I would suggest pick a UK based supplier (I've used LEDHut in the past - there are plenty of suppliers around) and avoid becoming you own importer with problems if anything goes wrong. Then there's the W/m (watts/metre) - generally the more W/M the brighter - but any decent supply will quote lm/m (lumens/m) figures which will allow you to compare since lm/W does vary between designs.

Then how do you want to operate it ? All as one system, as individual sections ?
All as one system is simplest - connect all the strip together and to one driver. If you want multiple sections then each section is a system on it's own.

And is this to be on/off or dimmable ? On/off just needs a driver (power supply), anything else will need a controller - either as a separate unit or integrated with a driver/power supply. Most LED tape is voltage controlled - you apply a constant voltage and the tape has LEDs in groups (typically 3 LEDs/group for 12V) with a current control element (usually a resistor, but some have a constant current chip). If you study LED tape, then you'll see it is in sections, can be cut between sections, and between the cut point there's a set number of LED chips (again, typically 3 for 12V tape) and the resistor or CC chip.

And if you want multiple sections individually controllable, then you'll need a controller for each section.

If you have multiple controllers then you may have problems with the remotes - as in each remote will operate all the controllers at once. I don't know if there are multi-zone controllers - I suspect there are, but it's not something I've looked at/for.

Driver selection means matching the voltage for the LED tape, and having sufficient power to drive it. Multiply the W/m figure by the total length being driven, and that's the minimum power you need. So, for example, with 2.5m of 5W/, tape, that's 12.5W - so select a driver with a power rating higher than that. Some drivers may have a minimum power rating - but that's probably not going to be a problem unless you massively over-size it (which means spending more than you have to anyway).
 
Joined
3 Nov 2006
Messages
26,589
Reaction score
2,813
Location
Bedfordshire
Country
United Kingdom
Driver selection means matching the voltage for the LED tape, and having sufficient power to drive it. Multiply the W/m figure by the total length being driven, and that's the minimum power you need. So, for example, with 2.5m of 5W/, tape, that's 12.5W - so select a driver with a power rating higher than that. Some drivers may have a minimum power rating - but that's probably not going to be a problem unless you massively over-size it (which means spending more than you have to anyway)

Being pedantic...

A driver drives a set current through the LED elements.

A power supply supplies a set voltage to the LED elements and their current control device. ( in LED strip the current control is a resistor )


LED strip.jpg


Strips rated at 12 volts can be adequately bright when run on a lower voltage supply and will have a longer life time.
 
Joined
24 Sep 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
2
Country
United Kingdom
To be clear, this is to be a strip facing down off the ceiling, fitted into a recessed aluminium profile ?

Strip choice is largely down to preferences - colour (RGB or RGBW), white (in which case, which colour of white - warm, cool, in between). I would suggest pick a UK based supplier (I've used LEDHut in the past - there are plenty of suppliers around) and avoid becoming you own importer with problems if anything goes wrong. Then there's the W/m (watts/metre) - generally the more W/M the brighter - but any decent supply will quote lm/m (lumens/m) figures which will allow you to compare since lm/W does vary between designs.

Then how do you want to operate it ? All as one system, as individual sections ?
All as one system is simplest - connect all the strip together and to one driver. If you want multiple sections then each section is a system on it's own.

And is this to be on/off or dimmable ? On/off just needs a driver (power supply), anything else will need a controller - either as a separate unit or integrated with a driver/power supply. Most LED tape is voltage controlled - you apply a constant voltage and the tape has LEDs in groups (typically 3 LEDs/group for 12V) with a current control element (usually a resistor, but some have a constant current chip). If you study LED tape, then you'll see it is in sections, can be cut between sections, and between the cut point there's a set number of LED chips (again, typically 3 for 12V tape) and the resistor or CC chip.

And if you want multiple sections individually controllable, then you'll need a controller for each section.

If you have multiple controllers then you may have problems with the remotes - as in each remote will operate all the controllers at once. I don't know if there are multi-zone controllers - I suspect there are, but it's not something I've looked at/for.

Driver selection means matching the voltage for the LED tape, and having sufficient power to drive it. Multiply the W/m figure by the total length being driven, and that's the minimum power you need. So, for example, with 2.5m of 5W/, tape, that's 12.5W - so select a driver with a power rating higher than that. Some drivers may have a minimum power rating - but that's probably not going to be a problem unless you massively over-size it (which means spending more than you have to anyway).

Cheers Simon, very informative post thank you.. yes it will be facing down and I want a single zone rather than controlling multiple zones. I have looking at ARC leds as I understand the right LED is the one that gives a dotless effect (whether it's the led or the cover on the aluminium profile in which the led strip goes into). I will find a picture to show what I'm looking for but your info has given me some direction so thank you for this.

Being pedantic...

A driver drives a set current through the LED elements.

A power supply supplies a set voltage to the LED elements and their current control device. ( in LED strip the current control is a resistor )


View attachment 254382

Strips rated at 12 volts can be adequately bright when run on a lower voltage supply and will have a longer life time.

Thanks Bernard, so you suggest getting a 12v instead of 24v?
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
24 Sep 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
2
Country
United Kingdom
Thanks.. I'm looking at Spotless RGB+W strip to go into the aluminium profile which is attached facing downwards on the ceiling.

So am I right that I need:
1x strip of LED (3-4 meters)
1x led driver
1x RGBW controller
3-4 led profiles

Have I missed out anything?
 
Joined
18 Nov 2008
Messages
1,539
Reaction score
199
Location
Surrey
Country
United Kingdom
How big is the recess as you may have to factor a small amount of volt drop if it's large. I once did this above an indoor swimming pool and we had to have more than one power supply feeding the strips.
 
Joined
4 Nov 2010
Messages
5,912
Reaction score
603
Location
Cumbria
Country
United Kingdom
You'll find that the majority of LED stuff is 12 V, 24V is far less common. Tape is universally voltage driven (with on-tape current control) because of the many parallel sets of LEDs. For discrete lamps, it's very common for them to be a set current (e.g. 350mA) and you connect them all in series to a constant current driver - this gives more reliable control of current but is only practical for small numbers of lamps. A constant voltage "driver" is more commonly known (outside of the LED lighting market) as a "power supply" as Bernard was pointing out - actually I don't think it's being pedantic to mention that.

The spotless effect will probably be done with a diffuser - put a translucent cover a small distance in front of the LED chips and the spots are much less distinct. Using more chips, each running at a lower power also helps - but adds to the cost.

I don't think you've explicitly said what dimensions you are working on, but from the sound of it (3-4m of tape) it's not that big. So a single power supply & controller should be fine. I would try and feed the strip at it's middle (or thereabouts) as that gives better performance regarding volt drop than feeding one end - you get a double benefit vs end feeding, the distance to the end is halved, and the current in the tape is split two ways. The connectors are designed for plugging onto the end of the tape, so you may have some soldering to do - either of wires to the tape, or to join the wires from two connectors to go to one controller.

The tape tends to come in 5m reels - though there are suppliers who will do it in other lengths. You can cut it between the sections (typically every few inches), and you can solder lengths together. For the profiles, they will probably come in set lengths - so you need to work out how the lengths you need will best fit in with the supplied ones.
 
Joined
15 Jun 2021
Messages
1,971
Reaction score
453
Location
Wales
Country
United Kingdom
Sponsored Links
Top