02 November 2009

Tape LED lighting has arrived

Actually, it's been around for a little while but I'm using it in a renovation I have under construction right now and I am pretty hyped up about the stuff. LEDs have come a long way in a very short period of time. I don't think they're quite ready for prime time yet, but they are getting there fast. Check out this restaurant:

This room's lit with LEDs entirely and it's probably using a tenth of the electricity required for the same level of light using incandescent bulbs. There are LED recessed lights in the ceiling over the bar and there are LED tape lights tucked under the bar itself and in a recess above the rear wall and the lights in the display cabinets are LED task lights. As cool as that is, it's a restaurant and you don't light homes the same way that you light restaurants.

But where the real-life application comes in is in the tape lights, and I'm using them as under cabinet lighting in the renovation I mentioned earlier. Here's a roll of LED tape light from W.A.C. Lighting.

It really does come in a roll like that and you dispense it to size and cut it just like tape. It's 8mm wide and even has an adhesive back and all you have to do is press it into place and connect it to a power supply.

A whole roll of that stuff when it's still on the roll is blindingly bright. I'm still freaked out by the idea of light that doesn't produce heat, but I'm getting used to it.

Each of those white diodes is a light believe it or not and they have a 50,000 hour lifespan. Because it's so new, a five-meter roll of the stuff will set you back around $300 and that's already about half what it was two years ago.

Tape lighting's some pretty wild stuff. There are waterproof varieties out there and because it's LED, it can come in many colors. If you're feeling particularly festive, you can buy tape lighting that cycles through all of the colors of the spectrum. That sounds a little Shanghai to me if you know what I mean.. My job's getting warm white ones thank you very much.

What you're seeing here is the future kids and you heard it here first.


  1. I really like this sort of lighting. Such a mood elevator.

  2. Very cool :-) You could stick these suckers pretty much anywhere!! I'm thinking they would be cool on kitchen cabinets illuminating the tow kick -- sort of funky and unexpected :-)


  3. They are neat and when you hide the light source, like under a toe kick notch, the resulting light is gentle glow. It's a great tool to get light to pool and puddle unexpectedly.

  4. Must get this for lighting bottom of vanities in bathroom - hope it won't look too like a plane "this way to the exit" emergency light, though...

  5. The key is to hide the lights themselves. If you can't see the light sources, then it doesn't look anything like the exit lights in a plane aisle. It's some pretty cool stuff.

  6. OK, at the risk of sounding stupid, cool as these are, what powers them?


  7. Ahhh, I'll be more specific the next time I write about these things. The end of the tape fits into a small coupling. The coupling is essentially a wire that then connects to a transformer. The transformer then plugs into an outlet. It's the same kind of set up that you'd use for any low-voltage lighting.

  8. Why, I get them through my handy local GM Lighting and W.A.C. distributor. You can buy them online pretty easily too.

  9. the insatlation for the image of the restaurant is a bar club in the uk called Sence. The lighting was installed by us, We are ALG Sound & Lighting.

    If you would like to know any more about LED Lighting and LED tape please look on our site.


  10. You do great work, thanks for identifying yourself!


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