Rope lighting is a multi-functional accent lighting product that DIY’ers and electrical contractors use. People use it in residential, retailing, commercial projects, etc. You can brighten your area with them. In addition, these LED rope lights flexible models are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use for durable designs and all-weather construction.
If you want to line your sidewalk, decorate your deck or illuminate your bedroom, select them for your home. Besides, color-changing ones are a beautiful addition to your home. These come in ten user-selected colors and twelve movement options. In addition, these can offer dimming and brightness control. Thus, you can customize precisely how they look. Hence, you can take the help of a daily timer to turn it on and off at a specified time.
There are plenty of waterproof LED rope lights available in the market. So, you might confuse about which one to choose for your home. Do you know where to start? Our guide will help you in this case.
What is a LED Rope Light?
Rope light is used as a decorative lighting fixture with small bulbs connected. Besides, these are encased in a PVC jacket to make a string of lights. You can use them in multiple applications, both indoors and outdoors. People use it in place of neon signs. So, we also call it soft neon.
Design of LED Rope Light:
Design usually relies on the end use of the product.
There are several bulbs stringed together on a wire. Then, the cable is encased in a clear plastic jacket. The number of wires depends on the purpose you use them. Usually, it has two cables used to create bulbs, dim or flash. But if a model has three wires, it becomes suitable for greater functionality, including chasing, dimming, and flashing.
Another crucial factor is the outer plastic tube affecting the end use of any product. Remember that you should always choose one which has relatively wider plastic tubing. It is more durable than external elements. But it is not so flexible. You can use thinner plastic tubing because it is far more flexible. But it doesn’t feel so powerful. If you want to use them for heavy use outdoors, ensure that these have thicker plastic casings. But thin plastic casings are fine if you use them for decorative purposes.
These are usually sold in three voltages in the US: 12 volts, 24 volts, and 120 volts. Usually, the 12 Volts and 24 Volts variants are suitable when using batteries to power the LED rope lights outdoors. In this case, it is the most effective option for cars, boats, etc. But the 120-volt version is better for household or industrial lighting needs.
Types of LED Rope Light:
Different options are available in color, input voltage, and style. Go through the section properly to learn about different shades of white rope lights.
- Warm white is quite the same as the standard incandescent bulbs. It is a good color temperature for cove lighting.
- Pearl white is an extremely warm white.
- Cool white represents a bright white (almost blue). It is around 4000 Kelvin. You should use it for under cabinet lighting and other task-oriented installations.
- The chasing type is connected with a chasing controller to make them flash or chase. But this controller is not included in the package. Besides, the standard type is constant-on and does not blink or chase. Remember that all colors don’t have a chasing option. So, you should choose products with a chasing option or call customer service for help.
- Rope Light Kits include hardware and a molded power cord to make the installation easier. Besides, these are extendable while interconnected together up to a full run. You don’t need splicing or extra tools.
Caring for LED Rope Lighting:
It is flexible and enables you to twist it into all sorts of patterns. Ensure not to weaken the connections by bending them back and forth. You should keep it curved in the same direction while rolling up the Christmas decorations or putting away a custom installation.
Rope Lighting Accessories and Rope Light Applications:
If you use a 1/2 inch diameter, 3/8 inch diameter, or 5/8 inch diameter model, you can find end caps, mounting clips, shrink tubes, suction cups, connectors, channels, adhesives, etc., for your installation. For example, in DIY word art, you may use mounting clips for straight lines in curves.
Several brands manufacture products for both indoor and outdoor use. For the versatility of this technology, you can use it in various environments without compromising the quality.
- These are perfect for both decorative and practical lighting purposes.
- Besides, you can use indoor LED rope lights for outlining the edge of a kitchen counter or bar, comprehensive ceiling lighting, and under-lighting the baseboards in a movie theater.
- It is suitable for a room with no permanent layout, including a garage, attic, etc. In addition, you can use it in the kid’s room to offer comprehensive lighting throughout the room. If you want to add ambient lighting, use them in the TV/gaming room, bedroom, and bathroom.
- In this case, you should use them in staircase lighting, outdoor patio or deck lighting, and outdoor art displays.
- Outdoor rope lights are ideal to use around the garden, pool, driveway, shed, etc.
- You can use them during the holidays to generate messages or designs with various colors and patterns.
Best LED Rope Lights for You
Errol LED Neon Rope Light:
- There are versatile and colorful string bulbs used to make a different ambiance in the comfort of your hands. In this case, you only need to switch them on.
- You can use them as decorative pieces around the house. For instance, it is possible to use mainly during festive occasions, office buildings, walls, etc., to brighten the occasion.
Specifications: This SMD 2835 120 LEDs/M comes with a waterproof rating of IP65. Besides, it has a 120° beam angle. In addition, it comes in Cool white, warm white, blue, red, ice blue, green, yellow, rose red, etc. While one meter is the cutting unit length, the strip length is about 1m/3.3ft, 2m/6.6ft, 3m/9.8ft, 4m/13.1ft, 5m/16.4ft.
Neon strip: It is a low voltage silicone Neon LED strip model coming with a flexible lamp belt. Besides, it is heat-resistant, waterproof, corrosion, weather-resistant, etc. In addition, the product comes with a more prominent anti-UV ability than a traditional PVC jacket. This feature makes the product long-lasting.
Illumination: As the silicone channel is emitting and spotless, the strip becomes wider.
Flexible: You can turn the top-quality flexible silicone tube into different shapes or angles required for your projects.
Wide Application: The product is ideal for both indoor and outdoor usage. It enables you to decorate your mirror, table, TV, door frame, car, bike, trees, cabinet, wardrobe, display window, swimming pool, advertising signboard, shop brand logo, etc.
- Broken switch
Gesto 16.4Feet Long with 12V Adaptor LED Neon Strip Rope Lights, Flat Silicone Neon Rope Light Flexible Cuttable String
- You can use it on the ceiling, Home, Office, Diwali, Eid & Christmas decorations, Birthday, Stage Decoration, etc.
- It allows you to cut it to design a unique commercial sign or DIY special residential decoration.
- You can see different shapes and patterns, delivering an excellent lighting effect.
Waterproof IP65: It is equipped with IP65 Technology, making it waterproof. You can use it even in the Swimming pool/ in Heavy Rain Day. In addition, the product consists of Weather-resistant Heatproof Silicone Construction. Don’t worry, as the Silicone Material is safe enough.
Multiple Use: You can use it in kitchen cabinet lighting, vanity lights, TV backlights, hallway, living room, staircase, bar, shop window, bookcase, display cabinet, pantry, etc.
Long-lasting: Due to the strip, the durable components become suitable for decoration. Besides, it works with a 12V Direct Current making it Low Heat. Therefore, kids and adults can touch it.
- Multiple uses
- It can damage MCB
3) LIGHTAVERSE LED Neon Flex, 8.2ft/2.5m Blue Neon Light Strip, 12V Flexible Waterproof Neon LED Strip:
- This white strip has 600 super bright warm white diodes. Due to the upgraded diode and Side-Brightness Design, it can illuminate more than others.
- It has 120 Degrees Projection Range providing huge illumination Coverage.
- Remember that it doesn’t come with a power adapter. Therefore, you need to purchase it separately. In addition, it is advised to buy DC 12V 5A output power adapter.
Cuttable: Like usual strips, it is possible to cut to DIY special residential decoration or design unique commercial signs. In addition, you can dim it. But you can’t get any dimmer in the parcel. Therefore, if necessary, purchase a single color strip dimmer to control the brightness.
IP65 Waterproof: This product is equipped with IP65 Technology, making it waterproof. Therefore, it is possible to use even in the Swimming pool/in Heavy Rain Day. In addition, it consists of weather-resistant Heatproof Silicone Construction. Don’t worry, as the Silicone Material is safe enough.
Wide use: The product is perfect for kitchen cabinet lighting, vanity lights, TV backlights, hallway, living room, staircase, bar, shop window, bookcase, display cabinet, pantry, etc.
- You can use it in a hallway, living room, staircase, bar, shop window, etc
- IP65 Waterproof
- Can’t change colors
4) Bright Electronics Decorative 20 Meter LED Rope Light, Water Proof, Color
- It comes in 20 Meter size and Warm White (Yellow) color.
- The product has an Adapter.
- It is durable and perfect for Indoor and outdoor decoration. If you are willing to turn your home, factory, and office bright & stylish, it is an ideal choice.
- It is simple to decorate patterns, designs, and characters.
- You can also decrease the electricity cost by up to 80% and save energy.
- It is safe and reliable.
Incredible experience: You can control this water-resistant product using the remote. Thus, it is possible to generate various ambiances with your hands. Just switch them on and enjoy different designs.
You can use these as decorative pieces around your house. For example, you can use them during festive occasions, on office buildings, walls, etc.
- Simple to install
- Sometimes you may get a current shock
5) Mufasa 220V AC LED Neon Light, 8MM Thick Pipe Neon Rope Light Waterproof Indoor Outdoor Decoration Light
- The product comes in machine rolLED condition.
- Ensure that the beginning and ending parts must not exposed to water.
- There are 120 top-quality diodes arranged every 3.3ft to offer balanced lighting over a 160⁰ beam angle.
Brighter Shine: Due to the presence of updated diodes and side-brightness design, these can shine brighter than others. This projection range can illuminate a large area. In addition, the neon tube design allows you to enjoy it more precisely.
Safe to use: It can work from -35°to 200 °. In addition, it is perfect for homes, commercial buildings, showcases, indoor and outdoor decoration, etc.
- Safe to use
- Perfect for outdoor decoration
- 120 diodes are available
- Half part is not working
LED Strip Light:
You might want to use this type when you need a thinner, more flexible, and more permanent solution. However, it also has benefits. Besides, the Hybrid flat type is a middle-ground. It has a complete run of 146 ft, while the standard type model has a maximum run of only 16 feet.
Buying guide for LED rope lights:
Technology: Incandescent or LED?
In short, the light-emitting diode is the one you should go with. Incandescent ones were the king of accent lighting at a time. It is why these became so popular. The bright and flexible nature is perfect for installations. In addition, they were much more energy efficient when they came out. But the high initial cost was an issue. As these have been out for many years and you can get them available at an affordable price, no reason exists to return to an incandescent model.
This type of model consumes a lot more power. Besides, they give off a lot more heat. In addition, you can not use battery LED rope lights for long. Moreover, these are more fragile. But the other one can save you money, and these can last much longer.
Size: 1/2″ or 3/8″ Diameter?
These dimmable LED rope lights are available in different diameters or thicknesses. This factor determines size, weight, and flexibility. ½ ” is the most common diameter, enough to feel solid and durable in your hands. In addition, it can make basic shapes and bends for flexibility.
3/8″ is another common type that is both thinner and weighs less. As it comes in a small flexible size, it can offer enhanced flexibility. Therefore, it is far better at making more complex shapes and curves.
That’s why the diameter that is most suitable for you depends on the type of project you have. Whether you want to create a lighted sign with many curves, try to make a complex outline. Otherwise, you can make any type of model with several tight bends and turns. You can find that a 3/8″ diameter can create these curves more precisely for their small size. In addition, it is simpler to work on any project.
Whether your project is primarily for straight runs or has some basic bends, the 1/2″ diameter is suitable for you. It is perfect for building perimeter lighting, deck and railing lighting, cove lighting, under cabinet task lighting, toe kick lighting, under-counter accent lighting, etc.
Orientation: Directional or Omnidirectional?
You can carry 1/2″ ones in either directional or omnidirectional bulb orientations. Directional models have the LEDs oriented vertically inside the tube. It helps to illuminate brightly in one primary direction.
On the other hand, Omnidirectional models contain these diodes oriented horizontally along the length of the tube. It can create a more diffused 360-degree output. Every style comes with its pros and cons.
Do you want something bright to make a visual impact? Will viewers see the model directly? Then, you should choose directional flexible LED rope lights. But if you want to hide it behind a valance, a uniform glow without hotspots is enough for you.
Rope Light Length: Bulk Spool or “Selectable Length“?
Regarding “selectable length,” you can find two options— buying them in kits or custom cut form. You can purchase 150-foot spools. It is a perfect option whether you want to cover a lot of ground. In addition, it is ideal when you feel comfortable cutting and splicing yourself.
You can buy commercial LED rope lights in bulk to save huge money on your large projects. Remember that purchasing them in bulk is much less expensive “per foot .”Besides, cutting them to length, attaching power cords, accessories, etc., is very simple. You can see instructions that you should follow. But if you install them outdoors, ensure to follow outdoor installation guidelines to seal all connection points.
Code enforcement is another issue to consider. Bulk spools are usually UL or ETL listed as a complete spool. Therefore, cutting a spool into smaller lengths will void any UL or ETL listing. If your local codes want your project to have UL/ETL-listed light fixtures, go with the entire spool. Otherwise, choose the “selectable length” described in the next section.
Rope Light Length “Selectable Length”: Kit or Custom Cut?
If a bulk spool does not suit your project for the UL/ETL listing or you don’t want to cut & slice, the alternative can get them in smaller pre-sized runs. You can accomplish it through kits or custom-cut lengths.
These kits are pre-manufactured retail packages with a complete UL-listed LED Rope light system, including the model, a power cord, an end cap, and mounting clips. These come in 5 preset lengths. Besides, you can’t cut them too.
These use special gasketed and threaded screw connections to plug the power cable and end cap, not as the pin connections of bulk spools. If you want, plug extra kits end-to-end to make longer runs. Moreover, you can add a unique jumper that helps to customize your installation.
There is a unique gasketed screw connection for these kits. While it offers a secure and weatherproof connection, it keeps them semi-customizable. In addition, you can work with these easily. Moreover, it enables them to maintain their UL listings. It is a major problem for commercial installations.
Custom cut types are custom cut by the manufacturer to your specifications. Besides, it has a power cable and end cap using a UL-approved process. But you can not choose your preferred length for kits. It is their major drawback of them. Remember that getting to the proper length is tricky if it isn’t one of the premanufactured lengths.
However, Custom cut types don’t have this limitation. Therefore, you can order the length you need for your project needs. In this case, the only limit is that all lengths should be multiples of cutting increment, usually every 3 feet. Their design looks like a complete rope light assembly. Moreover, you can not cut them in the field or modify them using any extra power cables, jumpers, or other accessories.
Therefore, you must choose bulk spools if you’re a homeowner and want to invest your money in the best way. But if you don’t require so much, use a retail kit or custom cut to get smaller lengths.
On the other hand, the commercial contractor needs UL/ETL-listed light fixtures for their projects. That’s why bulk spools are better for them, while it is suitable for 150-foot long runs. Otherwise, you can go with retail kits or custom cut types.
LED rope lights can illuminate all directions by shining 360 degrees. It indicates that there is no need to twist the lights. A few models have mounting hardware. Therefore, you can install them easily on patios, stairways, trees, and walkways. In addition, these are long-lasting and energy-efficient. As a result, it is possible to enjoy them for many years.
Frequently Asked Question:
- What is the difference between LED and rope lights?
Rope ones consist of a string of incandescent lights within a plastic or epoxy tube. But LED strip ones have an adhesive backing. Besides, they are flexible circuit boards and are simple to install.
- How long do these last?
These use less energy for long-term and landscape lighting projects. Thus, you can use them for long periods—usually, these last up to 100,000 hours.
- Do these give off heat?
These don’t get hot, but it is not true technically. Although the bulbs don’t get hot to the touch, they can produce some heat. Each light source can create heat, and it is one of them.