Typically, our clients have a lot of questions at the beginning of lighting projects and we’re always happy to walk them through, in a consultative fashion, how their environment would look when lit up correctly. That said, we get this question every now and again: what’s the difference between Omnify LED Strip Lights and standard light tape that one can find on Amazon, eBay or AliBaba?
Short answer: a lot.
If you’re a professional brand manager or designer looking to integrate LED light strips as part of your lighting design across your brand or stores, then the possibilities of enhancing your designs and the increased ease of integrating commercial-grade LED tape into your designs become key considerations.
Truth be told, all LED strips are not created equal. Unfortunately, it is getting harder to understand which LED lights can be easily brought into design specifications. While the specification might be the same, the components can be of completely different grade making the lights that much more difficult to design with.
Just like most other things, buying LED strip lights is a case of ‘buy cheap, buy twice’.
At Omnify Lighting, we consciously attempt to build the most design-relevant LED Strip lights, from the diode on-wards. To that end, there are several aspects involved in determining which LED strips are can be easily integrated into your designs and which can’t:
Pitch Perfect and Small Sizes
One of the first things to look for when buying a high-quality LED light strip include the actual physical dimensions of the strip, number of LED chips on the strip and the physical distance between the chips.
When LED chips are too far apart, not only does it affect the luminescence, it also causes an unsightly “cone of light”. To counteract the lack of ‘natural’ luminosity from a low LED count, cheaper LED strips often use LEDs powered by higher amperage which can indicate over-driving the LED emitters leading to premature failure of the LEDs. However, if you have enough space to diffuse the light adequately, wide pitch is not necessarily a problem.
Recognizing that a tight pitch will typically allow for the LED strip to be closer to the surface without noticeable hotspots thereby delivering true, evenly distributed linear lighting, Omnify Lighting released the OmniView and OmniLine series of light strips with pitches ranging from 16 mm to 4 mm.
The key aspect to remember in terms of pitch is this: choose a light strip family with a variety of offerings in pitch so that you can mix and match your light strips per your requirement.
Further, OmniLine Plus represents the thinnest LED light tape on the market with a minimal 4 mm width. The aspect of size in LED light strips is particularly relevant since increasingly smaller sizes imply that there is no additional consideration needed in design layouts. For example, OmniLine Plus can fit into extremely tight spaces with minimal adjustment to your design specifications.
High CRI & One-Bin Technology
As we’ve established before high CRI is an important benchmark of high-quality lighting and makes for lighting that actually works to support your design aesthetic. All of the LED Strips from Omnify Lighting are tested at a CRI of 85+, and in many cases, over 95 which means that the objects in your designed environment will look exactly the way you had originally envisioned it.
When LEDs of identical brightness and color are grouped together, the process is called “binning” which results in overcoming LED manufacturing variations that leads to a better quality and consistent light for the end user. The entire Omnify range of lighting products across backlighting, linear lighting and signage categories use LEDs from one bin only thereby ensuring that you can mix and match products from different categories with the same light consistency.
If you don’t build it right, it can’t work right. As such, we make sure that we use the absolute highest quality components possible to ensure that our customers enjoy consistent, quality lighting for years to come. This includes:
- Thicker-than-standard circuit boards that come with improved heat sink for LEDs and improved reliability so that the LEDs don’t heat up and fail in live installations.
- White coating on circuit boards which helps improve light reflection and increase overall light output.
- Top grade LEDs that are bright and render colors correctly thereby showcasing products in the way they are meant to be seen.
- 99% gold wiring used in LED encapsulations that produce about 3.55% more light (lumen) and is less susceptible to corrosion.
Components can also impact the color of light emitted by an LED light over it’s lifetime which is known as color shift e.g. poor quality LEDs can start out as a beautiful pure colored white and change to a blue or pink hue after a short time.
While LED lighting is far less susceptible to shifts in color than other lighting technologies, the sheer length of the lifetimes of LED lighting products—which can extend well beyond 50,000 hours(All LED products by Omnify Lighting are rated at 70,000 hours)—can make such color shifts more pronounced. This can potentially have a negative effect on the look of a carefully designed environment.
At Omnify Lighting, we use high-quality components in all of our lights to ensure that our LED solutions are built- to-last and stay true-to-light.
Rigorous Testing & Safety Standards
At Omnify, we ensure all critical processes are consistent with identical quality control procedures in each manufacturing location based on solutions that we have developed for determining brightness, color, spectrum and the dispersion pattern of LEDs. Further, all of our LED strip lights are tested for between 30-50 hours after assembly. As such, our customers can safely expect Omnify LEDs to work as expected, every time. Our confidence in our testing standards enables us to offer a 7 year warranty across all our LED strip lights with industry benchmark-worthy acceptance rates.
High Energy Efficiency
In poor quality LEDs, the only way to achieve decent lumen output for a particular use-case is by overclocking the LED chip. This plays out in two ways:
- The LEDs burn out a lot quicker than they should and
- You need to supply more wattage for the same amount of light.
In comparison, when you buy a Omnify Lighting product, you start saving money right away and both the OmniView and OmniLine families offer low wattage options with even more diodes per foot driving to lower overall power consumption. Another way of understanding this is that you can achieve the same lumen output with lower wattage requirements.
With increased regulations coming out in power management, options to reduce your wattage consumption become important so that you can comply with regulations without impacting the quality of your design or reducing light output.
Further, LED lighting implies sustainable lighting in a number of ways. While in traditional lighting, about 80% of electric energy is lost as heat energy resulting on only 20% efficiency, that is, conversion to light energy. On that metric, LED lights save up to 90% energy compared to a traditional lighting with the same light output. This is exactly the reason why traditional lighting dies out soon and LED products have a much better lifespan(Products in the Omnify range are rated at 70000 hours ). Due to the production of less heat, LED lights can reduce your electricity bills and carbon emissions.
We hope this article has been of use to you in helping you understand exactly how to qualitatively evaluate LED light strips for your design install. For peace of mind in your specifications and installations, we’d recommend (obviously) using a top of the line LED light strip such as OmniView Plus or OmniLine Plus that are part of the Omnify Light Strip family.
Rigorously tested for design-friendliness—by machines and by our staff, we know that our LED light strips enhance the aesthetic of any environment. For more information and assistance in determining which of our LED light strips would be the best fit in enhancing your design layout, get in touch with our sales team.