Lumistrips LED Lighting Blog

High performance Horticulture lighting with LinearZ LED Modules

High performance Horticulture lighting with LinearZ LED Modules

Growing plants in closed and fully controlled environments, under artificial lighting is method of growing popularity, with increasing competition to have results at a low cost and as fast as possible. Thus the lighting system plays a crucial role.

Below you will find a quick guide how to build the most efficient lighting system.

1) Research, research

Discover what spectrum and intensity of light your plants need.

You can start by reading our detailed article about horticulture lighting here

2) Choose the right PPFD and light color for your plants

By using the latest technology, special or full spectrum white light LEDs have become the most efficient and cost effective light sources for plant growth. 

With our Nichia 757 Rsp0a LEDs with white light for special spectrum for plant growth or full spectrum Nichia Optisolis CRI98 LEDs your plants will grow up to 50% more than conventional light, including standard white LEDs, a combination of red and blue LEDs or a fluorescent tube, for lower energy consumption.

With 3000K white color temperature you will have more pleasant looking plants while with 5000K you obtain faster growth.

Nichia LED for Horticulture

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Seoul SunLike LEDs improve sleep patterns ease eye strain, two research studies confirm

Seoul SunLike LEDs improve sleep patterns ease eye strain, two research studies confirm

Seoul SunLike LEDs ease eye strain and improve sleep patterns, two research studies suggest

The positive health effects of the full spectrum SunLike LEDs from Seoul Semiconductor have been confirmed in two independent studies, by universities from Switzerland and South Korea.

The new SunLike LED technology brings a major improvement to the spectral power distribution (SPD) of LED lights, which now mimic the SPD of the sun within the bounds of the human visual range. The SunLike LEDs use a three-phosphor mix and a violet emitter to achieve the SPD. Seoul has said that the LEDs can be used in a variety of applications including in human-centric lighting or lighting for health and well-being where tunable lighting can be applied to improve human well-being.

SunLike LED Desgin 

A study published by the University of Basel in Switzerland titled “Effect of daylight LED on visual comfort, melatonin, mood, waking performance, and sleep” found that volunteers had better visual comfort, more alertness, and happier moods associated with exposure to SunLike LEDs compared to other LEDs. 

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Cove lighting with LED strips: what you need to know

Cove lighting with LED strips: what you need to know

A Cove light is a line of light can obtained via a LED strip hidden from view inside a cove in the wall or ceiling that illuminates an adjacent surface. Light is reflected from this surface into the space that has to be illuminated. That is why lines of light are commonly known as cove or indirect lighting.

 

Cove lighting is beneficial trend to design lighting, with focus on human nature and how natural light behaves. It is today widely adopted, with lines of light as a principal way to illuminate interiors.

The allure is the similarity with natural light. With the proper light source used, we could imagine that the cove is actually a hidden window to the outside from where sunlight flows in.

Lets explore how we can have the best results with cove lighting

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Seoul Semiconductor SunLike Natural Spectrum LEDs reveal color and depth of artistic works

Seoul Semiconductor SunLike Natural Spectrum LEDs reveal color and depth of artistic works

The new SunLike LEDs from Seoul Semiconductor are the world’s first natural spectrum LEDs, as they produce light that closely matches the spectrum of natural sunlight. This is made possible by using a the TRI-R technology new LED architecture, with a purple emitter in combination with a red, green, and blue (RGB) phosphor mix, unlike conventional white LED that use a blue emitter and yellow phosphor. 

Spectra comparison Sunlike LEDs, sunlight, ordinary LEDs, fluorescent light

This new design makes possible for an LED to render colors very accurately, almost as sunlight, with the added benefits of increased awareness of contrast and texture.

Sunlike LEDs will make art have the same colors and contrast as under sunlight


The high quality of the SunLike LEDs light spectrum is expressed both by the traditional color rendering index (CRI) and the new Color Fidelity Index. Therefore, SunLike LEDs have CRI 97+ and  Rf 96(TM30 Fidelity Index), values that indicate the high accuracy of reproducing the original color from 99 representative color indexes.

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Tips on how to have the best illuminated stretch ceiling with LED modules & strips

Tips on how to have the best illuminated stretch ceiling with LED modules

The illuminated ceiling or stretch ceiling is very interesting trend in interior lighting. By using a translucent material many square meters in size with a backlighting system, a diffuse, even and relaxing illumination of interiors can be created. The main advantage of this type of lighting is the absence of glare, as the light sources are distributed over a large area and hidden behind the material.

The backlight source is usually low or medium brightness LEDs (5 to 50 lumens) mounted on strips or modules. Since the illuminated surface has a large area, such low power illumination is the best choice.

Illuminated stretch ceiling with LEDs, inside an office

Illuminated stretch ceilings can have personalized shapes and even feature translucent images. They can therefore influence the overall design of a room much more than other lighting fixtures. From a lighting design perspective, uniform light should be supplemented by spotlights or lamps that can draw attention to specific areas or objects.

The proper design and installation of a luminous ceiling has a number of unique challenges that we will address in this article.

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How to build the best lines of light or linear light fixtures with LED strips

How to build the best lines of light or linear light fixtures with LED strips

Lines of light are a new trend in lighting design and are usually made with an LED strip inside an aluminum profile that has a translucent white cover. The attraction of using such a linear light fixture is that it can be personalized. You can choose as you desire the pattern, place of installation, length (up to many meters), geometric shape or a combination of these elements.  

Line of Light with LED strip inside a profileBecause of their way of construction lines of light are a type of direct lighting. Compared with coves that are indirect lighting, lines of light are more energy efficient but can have greatly increased glare. For this reason lines of light should be designed with care and almost always be dimmable. 

Let's see how we can achieve the best results with lines of light.

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Plant growth (Horticulture) lighting guide with LEDs

Plant growth (Horticulture) lighting guide with LEDs

Industrial scale indoor agriculture under artificial lighting in closed and fully controlled environments could become the main factor that keeps at bay famine and related conflicts. With increasing population, diminishing area of agricultural land, pollution, global warming and migration to grow plants in a reliable, predictable and efficient way will become even more important in the future. For this reason it is important to understand and corectly apply the concepts of lighting for plant growth and development.

Concepts related to Horticulture lighting

A key factor in the success of indoor plant growth is the efficiency of the lighting system compared with sunlight, in the process of plant growth.

Plants grow via a process called Photosynthesis that converts electromagnetic radiation (light) into the chemical energy needed for growth and development. The other ingredients required are carbon dioxide (CO2), nutrients and water. 

Photosynthesis and PAR radiation

The electromagnetic radiation required for Photosynthesis is defined as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and 400 to 700 nanometers has spectral range. Only radiation in this interval can be used by photosynthetic organisms in the process of photosynthesis, to fix the carbon in CO2 into carbohydrates.

Electromagnetic radiation called visible light or simply light for a typical human eye has a spectral range from about 380 to 740 nanometers.

A common unit of measurement for Photosynthetically active radiation PAR is the photosynthetic photon flux (PPF in short), measured in units of moles per second. For many practical applications this unit is extended to PPFD, units of moles per second per square meter.

The theory behind PPF is that every absorbed photon, regardless of its wavelength and energy, has an equal contribution to the photosynthetic process. As in accordance with the Stark-Einstein law, every photon (or quantum) that is absorbed will excite one electron, regardless of the photon’s energy, between 400 nm and 700 nm. 

However, only some of photons are absorbed by a plant leaf, as determined by its optical properties and the concentration of plant pigments. The pigments are Chlorophyll A, Chlorophyll B, and Carotenoids (a/-Carotene, Lycopene, Xanthophyll).

The Chlorophylls A and B give plant leaves the characteristic green color because they reflect most of the radiation between 500 and 600 nanometres.  Plants Where more Carotenoids than Chlorophylls are present plant leaves reflect wavelengths beyond 540nm and have yellow, orange, and red colors. This includes autumn leaves when Chlorophylls have dried away. 

The graph below shows the typical absorptance spectra for Chlorophyll A, Chlorophyll B and Chlorophyll (beta-carotene). Each are explained briefly afterwards:

 

 

 

 Typical absorptance spectra for Chlorophyll A, Chlorophyll B and Chlorophyll (beta-carotene).

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Innovative LED technology: CRI97+ SunLike Natural Spectrum LEDs by Seoul Semiconductor

Innovative LED technology: SunLike Natural Spectrum LEDs by Seoul Semiconductor

SunLike LED techology from Seoul Semiconductor and Toshiba

The innovative SunLike LEDs from Seoul Semiconductor are the first natural spectrum LEDs on the global market. For the first time an LED can emit light that closely matches the spectrum of natural sunlight.

SunLike LED package design


The special ability to have a spectrum close to sunlight comes from using a new LED design, with a purple emitter in combination with a red, green, and blue (RGB) phosphor mix, unlike conventional white LED that use a blue emitter and yellow phosphor.  By removing the blue LED chip and replacing it with a purple light one, lighting technology is fundamentally transformed. For the first time it is possible to render colors accurately with very low energy use and positive effects on health. Compared with other LED lights, the new SunLike Series do not have a blue energy peak associated with eye discomfort and poor sleep patterns.

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LED Strips SERIES and PARALLEL circuit connection guide

LED Strips SERIES and PARALLEL circuit connection guide

Basic LED principles:

An LED (light-emitting diode) is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. Light is energy in the form of photons that emit when electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes. 

The higher the current flow, the brighter the LED becomes. However, the circuit is not perfect and some of the current is converted to heat instead of light. When the current reaches a certain value, the heat generated is so high that the semiconductor is permanently damaged. In most LED data sheets, this important limit is specified as "Absolute Maximum Current".

Even if the LED operates below the maximum current, the heat will slowly damage the LED, causing its luminous flux (light output) to gradually decrease. The time when the LED luminous flux is only 70% of the initial value is commonly referred to as "LED life".

For LEDs to have a very long life of 50,000h or more, a current level well below the absolute maximum current is required, which is referred to as the "typical" or "recommended" current.       

Constant current source for the recommended current

To operate an LED at the recommended current requires an external circuit, a constant current source. Without it, the current in the LED increases exponentially with the applied voltage, as a small change in voltage results in a large change in current until the maximum current is reached and the LED burns out. 

The external circuit, constant current source can be a simple resistor for low power LEDs (max 100mA at 3V) or a stand-alone device called an LED driver

LED drivers come in many shapes, sizes and power levels and many accept 230 VAC input. Some dedicated LED drivers accept VDC inputs at higher levels than the output (buck converters) or lower levels (boost converters).

A common characteristic of LED drivers is that they provide a constant current output (CC out) within a voltage interval. This output voltage interval is specified in the LED driver data sheet. For example, an LED driver with 350mA CC output at 1-10V can safely power an LED if the voltage required for 350mA is within the 1-10V interval. Examples include a red LED 2V @ 350mA, a white LED 3V @ 350mA, or a COB LED 9V @ 350mA.

Theoretically, it is optimal to use one LED driver for each LED, an approach that is impractical from many points of view, for most LED types. Exceptions are the COB LEDs with very high power, from 50W upwards. 

Series and parallel electrical circuits

To light up a string or array of LEDs from one LED driver, the LEDs must be connected into an electrical circuit. This can be a series or a parallel circuit. 

We will explain these circuits with examples using our popular LinearZ 56 cm LED strips, with SunLike TRI-R CRI97+ LEDs, Nichia Optisolis CRI98+ LEDs or special Nichia Rsp0a Horticulture LEDs:

1. Series connection with LinearZ Sunlike CRI97+ LED strips:

One LinearZ 56 cm Toshiba-SSC LED Strip Zhaga Sunlike CRI97 warm white 2700K has the recommended current at 350mA, reached at the voltage of 39.5VDC.

A series circuit with two, three or four LinearZ LED strips is shown below:

LinearZ LED strip Series connection

The series connection is applied by connecting the positive (+) terminal of the first LED strip to the negative (-) terminal of the second LED strip. This pattern is repeated for further LED strips, from the negative (-) of the second strip to the positive (+) of the third strip and so on. At the same time, the negative (-) of the first LED strip is wired to the (+) of the second, then the (-) of the second to the (+) of the third and so on. 

In a series connection of LED strips, the current of the string is equal to the current of the first LED strip, while the voltage is the sum of the voltages for all LED strips (voltage of the first LED multiplied by the number of LED strips):

1 x LinearZ 56 cm Sunlike CRI97+ LED strip: 350mA at 39.5VDC

2 x LinearZ 56 cm Sunlike CRI97+ LED strips in series: 350mA at 79VDC (= 39.5VDC x 2)

3 x LinearZ 56 cm Sunlike CRI97+ LED strips in series: 350mA at 118.5VDC (= 39.5VDC x 3)

4 x LinearZ 56 cm Sunlike CRI97+ LED strips in series: 350mA at 158VDC (= 39.5VDC x 4)

2. Parallel connection with Nichia Rsp0a Horticulture LED strips:

The parallel circuit is applied by connecting the positive (+) of the first LED strip to the (+) of the second LED strip. This pattern is repeated for further LED strips, from the (+) of the second strip to the (+) of the third strip and so on.

At the same time the negative (-) of the first LED strip is wired to (-) of the second, then (-) of the second to (-) of the third and so on.

 

LED strips Parallel connection

In a parallel circuit of LED strips, the current of the string is the sum of all current values of the strips, while the voltage is equal with the one of the first LED strip:

1 x LinearZ 56 cm Nichia Rsp0a Horticulture LED strip: 350mA at 37.5VDC

2 x LinearZ 56 cm Nichia Rsp0a Horticulture LED strips in parallel: 700mA(= 350mA x 2) at 37.5VDC

3 x LinearZ 56 cm Nichia Rsp0a Horticulture LED strips in parallel: 1050mA(= 350mA x 3) at 37.5VDC

4 x LinearZ 56 cm Nichia Rsp0a Horticulture LED strips in parallel: 1400mA(= 350mA x 4) at 37.5VDC

3. Combined circuit with LinearZ Nichia Optioslis LED strips

Series and parallel circuits can be combined, for example:

We create one group of two LinearZ Nichia Optioslis LED strips in series. Because one LED strip has 350mA at 39.5VDC, the group will have 350mA at 79VDC (= 39.5VDC x 2)

This group we connect in parallel to a second group, identical to the first (350mA at 79VDC). Then values of the string will be: 700mA (=350mA x 2) and 79VDC (=39.5V x 2).

Series and parallel connection

The above can apply for single LEDs also. On our LumiFlex700 Pro Toshiba-SSC LED Strip Sunlike CRI97, segments of 7 LEDs in series are daisy-chained in parallel for a total length of 5 meters. The total circuit requires a constant voltage driver of 24VDC.

 

4. Selecting the LED driver for a string of LED strips

Before selecting the LED driver the current and voltage value of the string of LED strips must be known and the type of input: constant current or constant voltage.

Examples:

1 x LinearZ 56 cm Sunlike CRI97+ LED strip: 350mA at 39.5VDC will require the constant current LED driver Mean Well LPC-20-350 with 350mA output at 9 > 48VDC. 

1 x PowerBar V3 LED Module Aluminium UV 365nm 12180mW 700mA at 44.4VDC can use a constant current LED driver Mean Well LCM-40 with 700mA output setting at 2 > 57VDC. 

2 x LinearZ 56 cm Nichia Rsp0a Horticulture LED strips in parallel: 700mA(= 350mA x 2) at 37.5VDC can be connected to a constant current LED driver Mean Well LCM-40 with 700mA output setting at 2 > 57VDC. 

3 x LinearZ 56 cm Sunlike CRI97+ LED strips in parallel: 1050mA(= 350mA x 3) at 39.5VDC require a constant current LED driver Mean Well LCM-60 with 1050mA output setting at 2 > 57VDC. 

4 x LinearZ Nichia Optioslis LED strips in parallel: 1400mA(= 350mA x 4) at 39.5VDC need a constant current LED driver Mean Well LCM-60 with 1400mA output setting at 2 > 42VDC. 

5 meters of LumiFlex700 Pro Toshiba-SSC LED Strip Sunlike CRI97 function at 24VDC and have a total power consumption of 96W (=19.2W x 5). In this case we can use one constant voltage LED driver at 24V, such as HLG-150H-24B with 150W maximum output.

10 meters of LumiFlex350 Pro Samsung LED Strip CRI90 function at 24VDC and have a total power consumption of 126W (=12.6W x 5) can also work with the HLG-150H-24B.

 

Disclaimer:

This article is for informative purposes only. It is not a installation guide. LED strips our other electrical components should be installed by qualified personnel (such as an electrician). 

Home lighting guide with LED strips and luminaires

Home lighting guide with LED strips and luminaires

Good design of your home lighting will ensure that the right amount of light can be switched on conveniently and will light where and when it is needed. A proper home lighting should avoid over-lit areas and give control and flexibility to create lighting effects for different situations. Well-designed lighting will be inherently easier to use and more likely be energy-efficient.

The recommended approach to home lighting is to use three lighting levels or layers: general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. By combining these three levels, the recommended lighting level for each room or activity can be obtained, as below: 

 

 

Recommended lighting levels for the Home  in Lux
Living rooms general 50-150
Casual reading 150
Study 150-750
Bedroom general 50-150
Kitchen general 150
Kitchen working areas 400
Bathrooms 150-300
Halls and landings 100-150
Stairs 100-150
Dining rooms 150-450

 

 

The three levels of lighting

General lighting should ensure a sufficient minimum level of light in the room. There are many LED light sources that can be used for this purpose: LED modules, strips, luminaries or spotlights. Decide on the desired illuminance level (lux). In living rooms and bedrooms give a certain degree of flexibility (through control settings/dimmers) so...

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