Along with the popularity of the LED application for its energy efficiency. There are many choices of LED type, today we will category it from two types: high voltage LED strip light and low voltage led strip light. High voltage LED strip light means it is powered by alternating current and driven by high voltage such as 110/240V. It was named an AC light strip. While the low voltage LED strip light is powered by a low voltage DC such as 12/24V so that we called a DC led strip light. Here we will do a comparison between them and it is can easily understand which category Led strip light is suitable for different occasions.
The most obvious difference between them is that the AC Led strip light has two independent copper wires (alloy wires) distributed on both sides of the PCB board where All the LED chips were distributed on the PCB board evenly. These two alloy wires are the main power supply for the whole LED strip. Different from the AC led strips, the two main power line was integrated on the PCB board of DC LED strip light. From the above discussion, we can easily distinguish the AC and DC led strip light, only check if there are two copper wires on both sides of the strip, if there are, the AC voltage led strip light.
Cutting Point and Maximum Cascade Length
Generally, the cut unit for DC LED strip is 5cm/10cm(12V/24v) while the normal cut point for AC is 0.5/1. As for maximum cascade length, the AC Led strip can reach up to 50m-100m, only with one rectifier power supply. But for DC Led light strip usually the maximum reach length is 5-10m, this is because their power supply-demand is low voltage supply, the voltage will be attenuated on the circuit board if the connected strip length is too long. And it will results in inconsistent brightness between the head and end of the strip light.
Downsides of AC LED strip light
As above mentioned, the cutting point of it is usually 05/1m. Under the consideration of safety and stability, there is a relevant large space in the cutting area, resulting in the continuity and consistency of the light from the led strip. Simply, there will be some dark area on the lighting strip because of the large space at the cutting area.
Besides, the strobe problems also happen on the AC light strip. Since just one rectifier bridge and the treatment of the AC voltage are limited which results in the strobe problems occur. And it is invisible to human being eyes. We can use the phone camera to catch and check if the light has a strobing problem. Some people might wonder even if the AC LED has the strobing problem but it only can be caught under the camera so that it won’t have the influence during daily use. The fact is long-term use will cause eye fatigue, decrease vision or even migraine.
Different applications For both AC and DC LED
Additionally, since the AC LED work with 110 above voltage, there might be also a potential safety problem. Therefore, the application of AC LED light usually will be as decoration where people are impossible to touch such as the ceiling light trough. But DC LED is supplied with low voltage, the voltage is much lower than body safety voltage, so that there there is no dangerous situation occurred for DC LED applied in bedroom atmosphere lighting, bedside reading lighting, bathroom lighting, and other indoor led lighting, showcases, shelf containers, bookcase, wardrobe, glass counter lighting. Also as we mention before, there is a strobe problem in AC LED rather than DC voltage. So from the health consideration, we highly recommend using the DC LED as the illumination application.
Cost and LED Life span
We are going to discuss their cost from not only the single LED light strip but also the entire project. The cost of an AC LED strip is lower than the DC LED, only under consideration of the current market price. On the other hand, equipped with AC LED strip only needs a high voltage supply which can offer power for 50m around the LED. The situation is different for DC LED, equipped with DC LED definitely need a DC power supply. And the longer length strip applied, the more DC power supply you need.
Additionally, the life span of the two types of LED is various. Generally, the life span of the DC LED light strip is around 50000 hours, while the AC LED only can run around 10000 hours. The main factor affects the life span is that the AC voltage is much higher than the DC voltage so that it will generate lots of heat when it works.
At present, since the security and durability, the majority people prefer the DC LED light strip as their home improvement, counters, lightboxes, etc. For AC LED light strip, take the consideration of the advantage of convenience and economy, the application of AC LED strip would be a large outdoor project, such as bridge decoration, tree decoration, building outer body decoration.