LED tape lights, also known as LED strip lights, are incredibly versatile and easy to install. They can be a useful or a purely decorative addition to almost any room of a home. Let’s take a look at five popular ways to use tape lights in your home.m
Under Cabinet Lighting
Under cabinet lighting, or countertop lights, is a quick way to add value and a touch of class to homes. Using LED tape lights as under cabinet lights is a very practical and easy way to add task lighting in the kitchen, office, craft room, and other locations. The best way to install tape light under cabinets, especially in the kitchen where moisture can be an issue, is with a channel guide and lens cover. These channels can ensure your tape lights are perfectly straight and disperses the light for more even light coverage.
Adding bias lighting, or backlighting, to your TV helps improve the contrast of the picture as well as reduce eye strain caused by watching in a darkened room. LED strip lights are the most popular way to backlight a screen. Since most LED strip lights have a 3M adhesive backing, installing is an easy peel-and-stick operation. Just attach it to the back of your TV, plug it in, turn it on, and enjoy. The best color to use for bias lighting is white to avoid distorting the picture’s color. There are kits available that can be powered directly through your TV’s USB port, however you may need an LED driver to operate your lights.
Cove lighting is a form of indirect lighting often built into wall recesses like base boards or crown moldings with the light directed straight down or up to provide accent lighting in a space. The subtle, low-profile illumination from this type of lighting doesn’t cause harsh glares on television screens or reflective surfaces. Cove lighting can be used to highlight ceiling architecture, add low ambient lighting to home theaters, and more.
Installing stair lighting is a great and unique way to light a high-traffic area that can be hazardous in the dark. The relatively dim light emitted by the tape lights will illuminate the stairs enough for safe passage but won’t be so bright as to blind you or wake any sleeping housemates. There are two main types of stair lighting: under rail and under stair. Under rail lighting is installed on the bottom of the hand rail. This type of lighting can also be used with guard rails on patios or balconies. There are two methods for installing under stair lighting. The first and easier method involves lining the side of the whole flight with a single run of tape lights. Installation using this method is very similar to cove lighting. The second method illuminates each stair individually and may require installation by a professional electrician for those unfamiliar with electrical currents and wiring since it requires the wires from each length of tape light to be connected in parallel.
Most homes have a multitude of shelves, and plenty of those shelves are not under direct lighting. LED strip lights can be the answer. Whether it’s on a bookshelf, in the pantry, or in kitchen cabinets and drawers, adding a little light can go a long way. Simply peel and stick a run of tape light under each shelf towards the front to illuminate the shelf below it. Much like the second method for under stair lighting mentioned above, some shelf lighting will require the tape light wires to be connected in parallel, so be prepared to call a professional if the installation gets too complicated.
These are only five examples of popular ways to use LED strip lights; they are far from being the only ways to use these versatile lighting in your home. If worse comes to worse you can even get color changing tape light! Don’t be afraid to experiment with placement and find more creative and practical places to install LED tape lights.