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LED lights are becoming the most popular energy-saving solutions in households as their prices are dropping continuously, mainly due the fast pace of development in the industry. Their two basic forms: LEDs running at the mains and low voltage LEDs are both popular on the market, mainly due to the wide applicability in households. Since nowadays LEDs have a much brighter output and due to their improving design a longer operational time, their application is spreading within the industrial and commercial sectors too.
Originally, all light-emitting diodes require low voltage. To ensure this, you either run them on batteries which produce the necessary voltage, or - if you wish to run them at the mains - a form of transformation is necessary. Transformers of LED lights create low voltage (12V or 24V) from the mains, also changing AC to DC. LED transformers are most cases constant voltage (only special forms of LEDs require constant current), and stabilized.
The latest applications running at the mains all include the transforming device, and in case the LEDs require DC - which is the most common type of LED - they include the diode bridge as well (creating DC from AC).
Yet there is a wide range of LED lights which run at low voltage, and therefore (unless run with batteries) require an external transformer when connected to the mains. 12V and 24V LEDs usually don't operate with electronic transformers, but require wire wound or otherwise called magnetic transformers. Stabilized transformers guarantee the stable level of current, therefore preventing the flickering of the light. At LEDcentre, we only sell 12V DC transformers specifically designed for our LED lights - therefore they are constant voltage and stabilized. We strongly encourage our customers to apply our 12V lights with our transformers, so that we can guarantee the long lifespan and the best performance for our 12V LED light products.
As mentioned before, the LED lights have an extremely wide range of application in home as well as commercial use. Although you need transformers or power supplies to operate low voltage LED lights if you have the mains in your home, their installations is still easy.
Home applications of 12V LED lights
In households, low voltage LED lights are common applications in the kitchen or for cabinets.
The G4 lights are often used within cabinet downlighters and in desk lamps.
If you use G4 lights in your home, or want to replace your old halogen G4 lights also running at low voltage, please make sure you change your power supply running them too for the above mentioned reasons. G4 lights used within cabinet lights are often used for signal lighting staircases or corners in the house.
Another popular product among low voltage LED lights are the strip lights, which now exist in forms suitable for main lighting as well. LED strip lights (strings, ropes or tapes are other names for it) can be used in the kitchen, along staircases, in cabinets or in the living-room, just to mention a few examples. LED strip lights are perfect solutions for replacing fluorescent tubes to enlighten worktops, or use them as a source of mood lighting running under the edge of the worktop. Staircases can be well lit with strip lights running along the wall, or at the edges of the stairs. Strip lights are generally suitable for illuminating edges of furniture, mirrors, or illuminating shelves or cabinets. With the fast development of LED technologies the latest versions of strip lights are even suitable for main lighting running along the ceiling edge.
LED MR16 spots and LED MR11 mini-spots are suitable for lighting where 230V is not available. They are also often used within cabinet lights and downlighters, to enlighten smaller areas. The area illuminated depends on the performance of the spot, but also its beam angle is significant. SMD Power spots have a wide, 120° beam angle, therefore they are more suitable for illuminating larger areas from a short distance, like a shelf. While traditional spots, like high power LED spots, have a narrower, 38-45° beam angle, so its light is more focused, but very bright in the centre of the beam.
Since SMD Power LED lights appeared on the market the commercial application of LEDs has become possible. SMD lights can operate for 12 hours a day, without shortening the lifespan of the LEDs; while high power LED lights can be run constantly, 24/7, allowing industrial use even. This widened the range of applications and inspired people working in commerce and the hospitality industry for instance, to try and replace their more energy consuming lights to LED equivalents. Bars, restaurants, hotels, shops have become a main place of application, and those willing to save both the money of extra energy costs and the time and trouble of frequent change of light bulbs are eager to apply LED lights. Also areas difficult to access are popular places of application, as well as streets, where the cost of maintenance is very high.
Other applications of 12V LED lights - cars, caravans, boats, yachts
Outside the home and the office, there are still many places you can use low voltage LEDs. Low voltage is applied with garden lighting, but also in all forms of vehicles, like cars, bikes, boats, caravans, yachts, vans, etc. Some of these places require special forms of LED lights, but all the above mentioned forms are suitable and often used in them.
Applications of LED car lights are special forms manufactured for the purpose. Also often LED car lights have to meet various standard as car parts. These lights are standardised, and are best quality if there is a heat sink attached to their back assuring long lifespan. LED strip lights are also often used within cars for decor purposes, as well as vans and caravans.