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Frequently Asked Questions about LED Rope Lights

LED rope lighting is a very popular LED product. A rope light is a flexible string of LED or incandescent lights which are encased in a tube. It is frequently used for Christmas decorations, word art, under cabinet lighting & cove lighting. LED rope lights come in kits or spools, this leads to a lot of questions about custom lengths, where they can be installed and how they are operated. Here are answers to some of frequent questions.

Is rope lighting splash resistant?

When rope lighting is uncut, it is splash resistant and can be effectively used outside; popular outdoor applications include lighting deck railings, wrapping around tree trunks and lining sidewalks. If your application requires that the rope lighting be cut, you must shrink wrap any connections made in order to protect them from water.

How do LEDs work?

LEDs are made up of three main components; the LED itself (the chip set that produces the light), the heat sink (which keeps everything cool) and the driver which converts AC to DC. LED bulbs take DC power from the driver to create light, the heat sink then captures the heat produced by the LED bulb and the drivers. It should be noted, that although LEDs produce less heat than the light bulbs we have used over the past century, the heat that they produce still needs to be managed – the more efficiently this is done, the longer the overall life of the product.

Can individual LED bulbs be replaced?

Due to the limited cut-marks, individual LED bulbs can’t be accessed without damaging other parts of the rope light. Instead, you have to remove the section that has gone out by cutting at the cut marks on either side and splicing in new LED rope lights. Make sure to wrap the new connections.

How much money can be saved by converting to LEDs?

The answer to this question is very much dependent on what you are converting from; whether it’s incandescent to LED, metal halide to LED or fluorescent to LED – it is not common to see at least a 70% plus saving on your energy consumption!

Can LED rope lights be cut anywhere or are there certain spots?
Rope lights have specific cutting marks which are notated for ease with a white dashed line. Spacing between the cut marks will vary across products – some may have cut lines every few inches, while the others could be feet apart.

Can LED bulbs be used with a dimmer controller?

Not all LED bulbs are dimmable – the driver within the bulb mist be designed in a way to allow dimming, secondly you need to purchase the right type of dimmer controller. Most good retail outlets now stock dimmers which are specifically engineered for LED bulbs.

Can rope light be used as sole source of light for a room?

Regular rope lights generally don’t produce a very bright light which can be used for general lighting; it is namely used for decorative purposes. Due to this, these lights are not tested for lumens (the amount of light delivered) or colour temperature (Kelvin, colour of the light).

Neon rope light produces the same amount of light as glass neon lighting and is given its own lumens per foot measurement. While this is often not bright enough to light a room, neon rope light makes an eye-catching addition to outdoor lighting for businesses or even your home. A flat rope light, which is a hybrid between rope light and tape light has LEDs which are visible through the silicone coating to produce a brighter light.