Untangle this Rope Light Mystery

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16 Oct Untangle this Rope Light Mystery

What is the difference between LED rope light and incandescent rope light?

Before you run to the store to grab the first light rope product available, there are some details to consider to maximize your purchasing power. Believe it or not, there are benefits to both LED rope light kits and Incandescent rope light products, it just depends on your purposes. There are four things to consider:

  1. Color – warm or cool white
  2. Usage – prolonged regular use or temporary enjoyment
  3. Installation Length – small or large area of coverage
  4. Design features – dimmer switch or consistent glow

cool white and warm whiteWhen it comes to color, the more common misconception among neighbors is that LED rope light always comes in a bright, almost blue-tinted vibrant white. It’s understandable, when tube lighting first came out the most prominent colors on the market were LED cool white and incandescent warm white. In reality, LED rope lighting provides choice when it comes to the “white” light spectrum, whereas incandescent does not.

warm white Incandescent rope light offers one color tone, a warm semi-yellowish tint of white. It’s very similar to the soft glow of a your bedside table lamp. LED rope light offers three different hues of white:

– a semi-yellowish tint – warm white
– a brilliant blue-tint – cool white
– a softer white – moonlight white

The warm white LED option is extremely similar to the color tone emitted from an incandescent alternative. If you’re looking to illuminate a very sleek and modern home with chrome accents, a cool white or moonlight white would be quite complementary. If your home has a mediterranean or traditional style, warm white would create a cozy atmosphere. The key, is using an appropriate hue for your more permanent projects.

Girl's roomWhile color alone doesn’t really help determine if you’d be better off with either the incandescent or LED options, usage may narrow down your selection. Do you need to cover the length of your roof for seasonal displays or will you be installing under cabinet lighting for everyday use? From a cost perspective, larger more permanent projects are better for LED, while smaller or more temporary projects can easily be accomplished with incandescent lights.

LED rope lighting may initially cost a bit more than incandescent, but ongoing energy costs will quickly make it worth the investment. In general, LED rope lights use less wattage per foot. The watt usage varies by manufacturer, but living room with backlit panelAQ Lighting’s rope light draws 0.8 watts per foot and is expected to last for 50,000 hours. Our Incandescent alternatives use 3 watts per foot and are expected to last for 15,000 hours. Understanding how often you plan to use your rope light feature, as well as whether or not the installation is temporary or permanent, will determine the true cost associated with your selection.

The installation process is relatively similar between the two options. They both use mounting brackets, power cords, invisible splice connectors, etc, but LED rope light can run a continuous strand up to 900 ft in length, whereas incandescent has a 200 ft maximum. The temperature of the fixture also varies between the two types, LED being cooler to the touch and incandescent burning at much warmer temps. You wouldn’t unscrew a bulb after it’s been on for an hour – same with touching incandescent rope light.
LED Warm WhiteSometimes it’s difficult to see that rope light is truly just another type of light fixture, and should be treated with the same care and consideration as a lamp in your home. When you install your rope light try not to tug on the kinks or squish the tube. Rope light is much more durable than the typical light bulb, but the actual tube is surrounding a series of tiny individual bulbs that could be damaged by poor handling. It may feel and behave like a rubber hose, but to make sure you get the maximum life out of your selection, handle it with care.

The final consideration is the intent of your lighting design. Do you want the rope light to provide a consistent stream of light or be able to dim for better mood lighting? Incandescent rope light is a better option for under cabinet lighting set to a dimmer switch. Unlike LED, which is designed to emit the same brightness within a range of voltage, incandescent lighting dims when the amount of volts is reduced. LED rope light can be programmed to dim, but it hasn’t mastered the smooth dimming transition that an incandescent option would provide. So before you rush to purchase another light rope product, evaluate your upcoming project to determine which option is right for you.

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Affordable Quality Lighting designs its LED Rope Lights in Southern California enhancing the quality of our products. We use the best components currently available on the market guaranteeing a long lasting LED Rope Light. With a power consumption of only 0.8 watts per foot, your energy bill will stay low even as you install feet of rope light for accent lighting and mood lighting.

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