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LED Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the frequently asked questions concerning our LED Strip Lights, LED Modules, LED Wall Washers, LED Fixtures, LED Controllers, LED Power supplies, and LED Accessories. Click on the arrows below to view basic LED Lighting questions or use the form below to send us a question of your own.

• Basic LED FAQ's

• What are the benefits of using LED Products?

LED Products contain no harmful gases or chemicals and will save you money on power costs as well as last thousands of hours longer than any other lighting alternative.


• Can I plug LED Lights directly into my 110VAC wall outlet?

Excluding certain LED light bulbs, none of our LED product can be plugged directly into 110VAC, doing so would certainly damage the product and potentially create a fire hazard. All LED product sold by Ecolocity LED, excluding certain LED Light Bulbs, must use a power supply that converts the 110-220VAC to 10-24VDC.


• I have LED Christmas Lights, can I dim these with your product?

No, none of our product is compatible to dim LED Christmas lights.


• How do I determine what power supply that I need?

First you must determine the DC Voltage that the product requires, then you can find the wattage consumption in the specification table on each of our product pages, determine the length of lighting you need and then calculate the wattage that the length will require to power. Add 10%-15% cushion on top of the total wattage that you calculated and then purchase a power supply accordingly.


• What does RGB mean?

RGB lights, RGB modules, or anything else that lists RGB simply means red, green, and blue. RGB products use these three colors to create over 16 million hues in the same fashion that your computer screen uses RGB to display what you see on your monitor.


• Can I use your products with other distributors LED Product?

Be wary when using other peoples product with our product, there are many different types of LED Lights and LED Lighting controls. Almost all product sold by Ecolocity LED is 10-24VDC CONSTANT VOLTAGE type product, which is not compatible with CONSTANT CURRENT type product. Be sure you know what voltage type product you are using when using our product with others.

• LED Module FAQ's

• What can LED Modules be used for?

We carry a wide variety of modules in many different sizes, and colors that can easily be used for any kind of lighting application. Typically modules are used to backlight signs or channel letters but are also great for cove lighting, cabinet lighting or any other application where modular LED lighting is needed.


• What depth do I need for my LED Modules to properly diffuse?

We recommend a depth of around 5" to 6" for the LED Modules to properly diffuse when backlighting any signage, depending on the material that the light is shining through.


• What power supply do I need to run my LED Modules?

In order to determine what power supply you would need you first need to figure out what type of DC Voltage the modules operate on and then you must determine the total wattage of modules that will be powered, wattage can be found in the specifications table on each module product page. After figuring the total wattage of the modules being powered add an additional 15% cushion on top of that and this will give you the size of power supply that you will need.


• How do I mount your LED Modules

All of our LED Modules come with an adhesive tape on the back of each module for an easy and secure mount.


• What is the difference between RGB and Digital RGB Modules?

RGB Modules are color changing modules that can create over 16 million different hues from the combination of red, green, and blue LED chips inside of each module, when using RGB Modules every module connected to the RGB controller will do the same color changing effect. Digital RGB Modules can still create the same color effects as regular RGB modules but they also include an IC control chip that enables each individual module to perform a different color changing effect when controlled by a digital RGB controller or DMX512 control system.


• Can I cut the wire in between each Module?

Yes, all of our LED Modules can be cut at any point in the lead wires between each module as long as there is sufficient wiring left to splice back to DC power source.

• LED Strip Lights FAQ's

• Can the LED Strip Lighting be cut?

Yes, every strip light that we sell can be cut at different lengths according to the product. Some product can be cut every inch, some every 2 inches, and others every 4 inches. When cutting the ribbon be sure to cut directly on the line between the copper dots, cutting through the copper dots will damage the product. For the best connection we recommend using stranded wire to solder new leads to the cut strip or use one of our many quick connectors for a quick and easy connection.


• Do I have to know how to solder to cut the LED Strip Light?

Although we recommend soldering for the best and longest lasting connection, no, you do not need to know how to solder in order to cut and re-use the LED light strip. We carry a variety of quick connectors for every version of strip light that we carry in an array of types and lengths.


• What power supply do I need to run my LED Strip Lights?

All of our strip lighting that we sell is 12VDC Constant Voltage type, so first of all you would need a 12VDC power supply. Next determine the entire length that you are planning on lighting and then multiply that by the watts per foot of the product that you are using. Lastly add a 15% cushion to the total wattage that your lights will be using and this will give you the minimum amount of power supply that you will need.


• How flexible is the LED Strip Light?

The LED Strip Light is slightly flexible in an arcing linear matter but is not meant to be bent, twisted, or wrapped around any angles. Bending, twisting, wrapping, or any other abuse of this product will damage the circuitry on the product.


• What is the difference between RGB and Digital RGB Strip Lights?

RGB LED Strip Lights are color changing strip lights that can create over 16 million different hues from the combination of red, green, and blue LED chips, when using RGB LED strip lights every section connected to the RGB controller will do the same color changing effect in uniform. Digital RGB LED strip lights can still create the same color effects as regular RGB LED strip lights but they also include an IC control chip that enables every 3 LED chips to perform a different color changing effect when controlled by a digital RGB controller or DMX512 control system.


• What is the difference between your Ribbon Star LED Strip Lights?

We have White and Warm White LED Strip Lighting in three different Levels of brightness. Ribbon Star Ultra is our brightest version and requires a heat sink. Our next bright LED Strip Light is Ribbon Star Max, and then Ribbon Star is our least bright strip light. All single color LED Strip Lights are available in Ribbon Star Max and Ribbon Star. Ribbon Star RGB 180 is the brightest of our RGB LED Strip lights and has 180 RGB LEDs per roll compared to our Ribbon Star RGB 90 that is less bright and only has 90 LEDs per roll.

• RGB LED Control FAQ's

• How do I control my RGB LED lights?

We carry a large stock of RGB controllers, all of our controllers come with programmed functions that change the color and effects of the RGB LED Lights that they are hooked up to. We have certain programmable controllers that allow you to create and store your own customized scenes and colors, but for complete control and customization of your RGB LED Lights a DMX control system would be necessary.


• How do I know what controller to buy?

When choosing a RGB Controller you must first determine the type of voltage and then take into consideration the amount of total wattage put out by the lights being controlled and you must ask yourself how complicated of an installation you would like. If you simply want an RGB Controller with no other components that controls your LED lights then the total wattage of the lights must be less than the total wattage that the controller can handle by a margin of at least 15%. Thanks to RGB signal amplifiers there is really no limit to what RGB controller can be purchased but the installation and wiring is a bit more complicated.


• What is a signal amplifier?

A signal amplifier is a special component that allows for power as well as control signal to be supplied to additional RGB LED lights from a single RGB controller. Using signal amplifiers one could theoretically control as much RGB LED lighting as they would like as long as the power sources were sufficient.


• What is a DMX control system?

A DMX512 control system is a developed and widely used control system that allows the user to control up to 512 different universes. Using computer software that comes with each of our DMX control system one can create fully customized lighting scenes straight from their computer and then save those scenes to their DMX controller. The DMX controller then relays these scenes through addressed DMX Decoders or Drivers which sends the DMX signal and scene functions on to your LED lights.

• PWM LED Dimmer FAQ's

• What does PWM mean and what does it do?

PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation which is a specific way that LED lights are dimmed. Basically this dimmer works by sending a pulse or flicker to the light at a rate that the eye cannot detect in order to achieve 256 levels of dim.


• Can I only dim single color LED Lights?

No, RGB LED Strip Lights and Modules can also be dimmed to create customized colors using a three channel PWM dimmer, all you would need to do is split the ground wire three ways.


• Can I use a signal amplifier with my PWM Dimmer?

Yes a signal amplifier can be used to apply more lights and power signal from your PWM dimmer. The tricky part is that most signal amplifiers are made for RGB or three channel LED Lights and typically a dimmer is used for a single channel LED Light. All that needs to do is splice your negative wire three ways on both ends of the signal amplifier so that you can utilize the three channels of the signal amplifier simultaneously.


• What is the difference between and IR and R/F remote control?

An IR remote is short for Infrared, meaning it has to be pointed directly at the Infrared sensor on the controller in order for the remote to function. R/F stands for radio frequency remote, these remotes operate on radio frequency and have the ability to transmit signals through walls and other surfaces. Note, all R/F remotes do not run on different frequencies.


• Can I dim the LED lights by a standard triac wall dimmer?

There are certain products that can but for the most part, trying to dim a constant voltage power supply through a triac dimmer will damage the product beyond use. All of our LED product is Constant Voltage type and can only be dimmed by PWM dimming. Our 60W Foster Power supply is dimmable only by a low voltage magnetic dimmer and we also carry a round down light that can be dimmed by a standard wall mounted triac dimmer.

• Power Supply FAQ's

• Why do I need a power supply for my LED Lights?

It is necessary to step down the power from your standard 110V wall plug or power source to accommodate lower voltage 12VDC or 24VDC powered LED Lights.


• What is the difference between Constant Voltage, Constant Current
and Dimmable Power Supplies?

It is *very important* to use LED products within a system that operates using a uniform power system. At this time all Power Supplies sold by Ecolocity LED are Constant Voltage style.


• What Wattage capacity of power supply do I need?

This depends on the total wattage of LED lights you are attaching. For example, if you are using 36 total Watts of lights, you would choose a 40 Watt power supply in order to have the minimum recommended 10-15% cushion.


• How do I calculate the amount of wattage of lights that I have?

Each of our products has a table which specifies the wattage per foot, wattage per module, or wattage total per product. You must use these specs and add or multiply by the quantity of products you are using in this particular project or run.


• Water- Resistant vs. Non?

Some of our power supplies have IP ratings allowing them to be placed in outdoor locations that may get wet. We always recommend placing any power supply in a well ventilated and protected location avoiding direct sunlight.


• Ventilation placement requirements?

Please keep in mind that when placing or mounting a power supply in a box or within a wall, to allow room for ventilation in order to prevent overheating.


• Can I use a 12 VDC battery with my LED lights?

Yes, you can use a 12VDC battery to operate 12VDC LED lights, however, a 12 VDC battery will NOT power 24VDC lights.


• Will the power source in my Boat or Car work with LED Lights?

If you have a constant voltage 12 VDC battery in your boat or car (which is a common standard in most automotive and boat applications), the 12VDC lights will work properly.


NOTE: *Input/output do NOT hook up backwards directly to AC power!!!*

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