UCL lighting on eBay

sriirvineOctober 8, 2012

We just remodeled our kitchen and I had some wiring put in for LV UCL. The lighting would be on UCL and also for accent lighting on the molding of the top cabinets. I'm starting to do some research for LED lighting strips and I'm amazed at the range in prices!

1. It looks like there are a bunch of sellers on eBay that sell reels for as little as $1/ft. It looks like they are available as 3528/5050s sMD, 300/600 LEDs per 5M, about 2000 lumens per reel etc. So the specs seem the same or very similar to much more expensive strip lighting such as elementalled.com? What's the catch? Anything to watch out for?

2. Regardless of whether I go eBay or not, does anyone have any pro/cons on any of the LED specs? Should I go with 3528 vs. 5050s? Doesn't seem like I need waterproofing. 300 vs 600?

3. Any issues with the backing? Some sellers seem to specifically point out that they use 3M backed adhesive.

Thanks for your help.

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The best way to compare is to look at the specification sheets for the individual LED emitters used.

The reels can be relatively "cheap" on a per foot basis. However, the vendors would want to sell whole reels.

I propose taking an alternative look at the problem as described in the link below since the end result has to work properly from the start and for quite a while.

Here is a link that might be useful: LED UCL continuation

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 12:24AM
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I will be using some of those for my ceiling cove lighting. The possible downside is color matching, either from LED to LED or from reel to reel. I bought 4 reels of ~2700K and one reel of ~3100K, to check them out ($16 per 5 meter reel). I couldn't see any mismatch at all. There were the less bright reels of 300 LEDs /~900 lumens. I will use a double row of them in my cove lighting.

I saw the strips on eBay and Amazon, but ordered them directly from an Amazon dealer, ledwholesalers.com.

For kitchen under cabinet lights, it might be best for the strips to have a cover so you could gently wipe them off.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:02AM
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Thanks for the replies davidtay and attofarad!

I'm probably going to get a reel or two and see which ones I like. Even the 600 LEDs reels are only about $25 for 5 meters so quite reasonable.

davidtay, I went through that helpful thread and I think I get the issues. It sounds like the most common gotcha with strips is that they shouldn't be wired in series. The power for each strip should be sourced directly from power leads of the supply. As long as I do that, and of course make sure I have sufficient power, it sounds like this is pretty straightforward.

attofarad, did you get the transformer from the same supplier? When you said it's better for the strips to have a cover, I'm assuming that you are talking about the waterproof versions of the strips? I thought the waterproof versions would have less light output or it would be diffused because of the cover?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I got one transformer from them (150W) for my kitchen ceiling. The 300W one for my living room was from Alcon Lighting. They are made by Technomagnet. Always allow at least 20-25% more power rating for the transformer than your LEDs add up to.

I just thought that, if the strips are close enough to collect kitchen grease and splatters, it would be good for them to be a bit more protected if you want to wipe them off. I'm not doing that, so I haven't investigated the options.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Strips can be wired in series under certain conditions. If low voltage lighting is deployed, the wire gauge has to be calculated based on the length of the wire to the power supply and the anticipated power consumption of the segment being fed.

The power consumption (of the segment) in turn depends on the efficiency and number of emitters used. In addition to proper mounting, heat sinking may be required.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:38PM
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