Rolls - Help

This is a tutorial page designed to answer the thousands of questions we get about 5m LED strip rolls.

All strips come standard as a 5m roll. We mainly sell in 5m rolls, because we have over 100 types and don't really want to have 1000 offcuts. It can be done, but you will pay a premium.

Rolls are classified by 4 things:

1. Number of chips per meter
2. Type of LED chip
3. Waterproof protection
4. Colour

There are 4 types of LED chips:

1. '3528' - older chip, up to 6 Lumens per chip.
2. '5050' - newer chip, up to 17 Lumens per chip.
3. NEW: 50HP - higher power, up to 40 Lumens per chip
4. NEW: 5630 - latest chip, up to 50 Lumens per chip

(a Lumen is a standard unit of light output)
5050 chips are in effect 3 x 3528 chips in one.

Strips are either bare (non-waterproof), with chips on the surface, or the bare strip is covered in a clear resin (waterproof). There are advantages & disadvantages for each.
'non' strips disperse heat better, are lighter, do not illuminate the strip itself. They are more fragile (chips can be knocked off) and harder to clean (lots of nooks & crannies for dirt to hide).
'waterproof' strips get a bit warm, are less likely to get damaged, heavier, easy to clean and illuminates the resin somewhat. Waterproof strips will have a shorter life (and warranty) due to the added thermal constraints.

There are 8 levels of brightness:

1. 30/m 3528 (900 Lm) - Level 1
2. 60/m 3528 (1800 Lm)  - Level 2
3. 30/m 5050 (2550 Lm) - Level 3
4. 120/m 3528 (3600 Lm) - Level 4
5. 60/m 5050 (5100 Lm) - Level 5
6. 99/m 5050 (8415 Lm) - Level 6
7. 60/m 50HP (12000 Lm) - Level 7
8. 60/m 5630 (15000 Lm) - Level 8


Different colors produce different brightness levels. Lets call this the 'color factor'. White is 100%. Warm white is 85%, green is 70%, blue 60%, red 30%, amber 30%
To determine the brightness of a strip (say 60/m 5050 white), multiply the chip rate (60) by the length (5) by the Lumen rating (17 for 5050) by the color factor (100% or 1) which gives: 60 x 5 x 17 x 1 = 5100 Lumens.
For a 120/m 3528 red roll, the Lumen output would be: 120 x 5 x 6 x 0.3 = 1080 Lm

Current draw (suggested power supply):

30/m 3528 - 12w (1A)
60/m 3528 - 24w (2A)
30/m 5050 36w (3A)
120/m 3528 48w (5A)
60/m 5050 72w (5A)  - (most common strip used) Ideal for task situations
99/m 5050 100w (7A)
60/m 50HP (108w) (7A)
60/m 5630 (216w) (7A) (for 2.5m rolls)

Current draw is manufacturers rating. Actual current draw is often lower depending on room temperature and other factors.
(make sure your power supply is adequate)

Rule of thumb is that 1 watt of LED strip is equal to 5w of incandescent power. ie, 5x the light output for the same power, or 1/5th the power for the same amount of light. Eg a 12w strip gives the same amount of light as a 60w bulb. To replace a 100w bulb, you would need 100 / 5 = 20w LED, ie 24w strip (60/m 3528 or better)

Strips can be cut shorter but LEDs always work in sets of 3. This type of strip can easily be joined, extended and cut into multiple working pieces.
Viewing angle: 140 degrees
Lifespan: up to 20,000 hrs
Colors (in order of popularity): white - warm white - blue - red - green - amber - pink - purple. Less popular colors are more expensive and harder to source.
The wire attached is fairly short, it can be lengthened by soldering a new wire on to the strip. There is no plug attached but we do sell them separate for $4. It is required when connecting to a power supply.
Every strip has 3M brand high quality double sided tape on the back. It is important that the surface applied to is VERY clean.



As with all things in life, you get what you pay for. There are cheap LEDs, and there are good LEDs. Have no illusions, you CANNOT get good LEDs at a cheap price. Cheap LEDs usually have the following:

1. Thin circuit board. If the circuit board is paper thin, the LEDs will overheat and die quickly. It also means on a longer run, the current going through the circuit board is too much for the small amount of copper, creating heat. So instead of taking heat away from the LEDs, the circuit board is adding heat.

2. Chinese LEDs. Standards (and prices) for Chinese LEDs are significantly lower than those from Taiwan / Japan / Korea (strip assembled in China) LEDs. Chinese LEDs have lower efficiency, lower light output, colour shift and a much shorter life.

3. Some "5050" cheap LEDs are only pretending to be a 5050. In fact they are a 3528 inside a 5050 shell.

4. Over-driven LEDs. Having lower light output, factories will sometimes use smaller resistors to make the low grade LEDs brighter. This causes the LEDs to overheat.

There are no products in this section