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Are 24 volt LED strip lights brighter than 12 volt LED strip lights?
Many of our LED strip lights are offered in a DC 12 volt and DC 24 volt option. We're accustomed to thinking that higher voltage means higher power, so it's quite natural to assume that our 24 volt LED strip lights are twice as bright as their 12 volt LED strip light counterparts.
While it is true that 24 volts does provide twice the voltage of a 12 volt LED strip light, this does not necessarily correspond to an increase in brightness. In fact, both our 12 volt and 24 volt LED strip lights generally produce the exact same amount of brightness.
How can this be?
The reason is that voltage is only part of the equation when it comes to power and brightness. You may remember learning the following equation in high school:
Power (watts) = voltage (volts) x current (amps)
As the equation suggests, we need to consider the current of an LED strip light as well as its voltage, to determine the total power output, and therefore brightness output.
Our 12 volt LED strip lights have twice the current draw of our 24 volt LED strip lights. For example, our CENTRIC HOME LED strip lights have the following specifications per reel:
- PN 3003.27 (12 volts / 2700K): 90 watts = 12 volts x 7.5 amps
- PN 3004.27 (24 volts / 2700K): 90 watts = 24 volts x 3.75 amps
Both variants have the same 90 watt power consumption, because the 12 volt version draws 7.5 amps per reel, which is 2x the current draw of the 24 volt version, which only draws 3.75 amps. As a result, both offer the same amount of light output and similar performance.
The next logical question, then, might be: what's the point of having two voltage options if they produce the same light output? The reason here is that the two voltage options are offered for our customers who have an existing power system in place. For example. our customers who are installing LED strip lights in an RV may have an existing 12 volt battery system. For such installations, 12 volt would be much easier than having to convert the 12 volt power feed to a 24 volt input, specifically installed for the LED strip lights.
Generally, we recommend 24 volt systems for a slightly higher efficiency boost. We recommend reading our article which goes over the advantages of our 24 volt LED strip lights over the 12 volt versions.
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LED strip lights