To say that LED strip lighting is gaining in popularity is the understatement of the year! And thanks to that popularity, LED strips of all sorts are becoming available from more and more sources. But, as with any hot product quickly gaining a foothold in the market, there are plenty of “buyer beware” type situations: Is the seller legit? Are their LED strip light products truly tested and verified? Are their products consistent from one order to the next? Are their products even safe to install?
Don’t worry. Take a breath and relax. Nova Flex has you covered with our simple guide to get you started on your LED lighting quest.
Why “Commercial” Is Important
When it comes to LED strip lighting, the term “commercial” actually matters. It means that the product is designed, manufactured and tested to withstand everyday applications in a wide range of situations safely and reliably.
Less robust consumer-grade LED strip lights just can’t be counted on to perform for the typical 50,000+ hours that commercial LED strip lights can. What else does “commercial” mean for you and your customers?…
- Brighter LEDs & Better Resistors: Commercial strip lighting features LEDs that can handle more current and offer brighter light. Since larger spaces – hotels, retail, corporate settings, grand homes, restaurants, outdoor venues and more – require serious luminosity, a commercial strip packs the performance needed to light the space effectively. But as current flows through an LED strip, there can sometimes be fluctuations in the voltage being delivered. Even a small increase in voltage can result in damage that shortens the strip’s lifespan. That is, if it’s not up to Nova Flex’s commercial standards. All our LED strip lighting contains quality resistors that maintain consistent current levels throughout the entire LED strip, no matter the length or application.
- Durable PCBs: PCBs, or printed circuit boards, are the backbone to LED strip lighting. The PCB contains the circuitry that allows current and communication to reach each LED along the strip. Commercial PCBs are thicker and wider than flimsy, non-commercial versions. A durable PCB means the strip can reliably support larger LEDs and stand up to heat, so you get the most time and use from your LED lighting setup.
- Higher CRI: Yes, another acronym for you! – CRI refers to an LED’s color rendering index: A measure of how clear or vivid an object looks under a light source compared to how the object looks under direct sunlight on a scale of 0 to 100. At Nova Flex, we clearly list the CRI for all of our commercial LED strip lighting (here’s just one example). CRI is important when it comes to accurate color representation for branded spaces, retail experiences and in areas where colors and surfaces need to pop.
- Investment Protection: Although we’ve established by now the numerous advantages of commercial LED lighting strips – from durability, to long life, to robust components – there is still one more layer of commercial fit and finish that can’t be overlooked and that’s an LED channel. Channels are the perfect finishing touch to allow LED strip lighting to perform at its best with your choice of lenses for diffused or focused light. Channels also provide protection indoors, outdoors, as well as from exposure to UV light and water in accordance with UL 746C code. Available in a variety of colors, it’s not a complete commercial install until LED channels have done their part.
As you compare commercial LED strip lighting suppliers, don’t hesitate to ask hard questions. Can the supplier verify all their claims about their products? Is everything they sell tested and certified as advertised? If the seller cannot provide immediate proof, don’t walk – run away from them!
Don’t forget to also investigate the details of product warranties. Many companies will quote a long-term warranty, but once you dig into the fine print, you’ll find they may only do things like replace an individual diode – not an easy fix if the strip lighting is recessed in a wall, for example.
For truly commercial LED products, look for the following quality proof points…
- Thermal Management: Heat and LEDs do not mix. Ask your supplier exactly how their LED strip lights have been designed to properly dissipate heat. After all, LED strips that do not deal well with heat will see a sharp drop in their overall lifespan. And that’s just not a sound investment.
- Color Temperature Accuracy: If a supplier claims their LED strip is going to deliver light at 3500K, you want to know that value – the color temperature – is going to be accurate and repeatable. Just imagine a situation where you are asked to replace or install additional lighting that must match a batch from a previous install. If the supplier cannot provide a consistently performing LED strip lighting product, leave them in the dust. Nova Flex Single Bin LED solutions give you peace of mind that our products will provide consistent results, from the first install to the last – Just ask our happy customers!
- Safety First: It’s pretty tough to verify a seller’s safety claims when they’re just another rando on Amazon or eBay. At Nova Flex, we’re a U.S.-based supplier ready to show off our UL and RoHS certifications assuring you that our LEDs are safe and do not contain lead or other hazardous materials. If you ever have a question or concern, we’re just a phone call away.
- Quality Materials: Beyond the already great LEDs that make our products literally shine, the quality of our product PCBs, resistors, lead-free soldering, plus our precision-made channels all combine to give you an LED installation that is of the highest quality. And that means many years of flawless LED lighting performance.
It’s All About Reputation
If you’ve stuck with us this far down the page, first of all, congrats ☺. And second of all, you probably realize that despite all the guidance we can offer in this Buyer’s Guide, it’s really the long list of happy clients we’ve had the honor of helping over the years that truly means the world to us. Between repeat business, positive word-of-mouth and our growing preferred distributor network, we’re extremely proud of the growth of our business.
Check out our case studies. From a quick-turn order where we saved the day after another supplier failed to deliver… to an affordable custom solution… to a seemingly complex design challenge with an elegantly simple solution… to a complete, branded solution that absolutely brought the “wow,” we’re excited to add your project to our case study library.