LED strip lights are often used to outline the various buildings, build large lighting patterns, decorate a variety of indoor entertainment facilities, home landscaping, and other auxiliary lighting and decorative lighting applications.

According to the voltage, it can be divided into high voltage led strip light and low voltage DC12V/24V led strip light.

led strip lighting application - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

High voltage led strip light is a light strip driven by high voltage. As it is powered by alternating current, it is also called an AC led light strip. Such as AC110V/120V/230V/240V led strip lights.

Low-voltage led strip lights usually powered by low-voltage DC 12V/24V, is also called a 12V/24V led strip light or DC led strip light.

The high-voltage led rope light and the 12V/24V led strip light are the main products in the field of linear lighting, and the lighting effects are similar.

The following mainly talks about the difference between the high-voltage 110V/120V/230V/240V led strip light and the DC 12V/24V led strip light.

#1. LED Strip Light Appearance:

The 230V/240V LED strip light is mainly made of PCB board and PVC plastic by the injection molding process. The formed led strip has one independent wire on either side, which may be copper wires or alloy wires, as the main power supply wire for the entire led strip.

AC voltage led strip lights - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

The flexible PCB board is sandwiched between two main conductors, and a certain number of led lamp beads are evenly distributed on the PCB board.

The high-quality LED strip with good texture has high transparency. It has a neat appearance, is clean and transparent, and has no impurities. However, if it is inferior, its appearance is greyish-yellow and the softness is also poor.

double row 5050 high voltage led strip lights - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

The high-voltage 230V/240V led strips are all sleeved, and the waterproof rating is basically IP67.

The 12V/24V LED strip has some differences from the appearance of the high-voltage LED strip. There are no double-alloy wires on both sides of the led strip.

high voltage led strip and low voltage 12v led strip lights - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

Due to the low working voltage of the strip, its two main power lines are directly integrated on the flexible PCB.

Low-voltage 12V/24V led strip light can be made with non-waterproof (IP20), Epoxy dustproof (IP54), casing rainproof (IP65), casing filling (IP67) and full drainage (IP68), and other processes.

waterproof 12v 24v led strip lights - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

#2. Light Strip Minimum Cutting Unit:

When the 12V/24V led strip light needs to be cut, you should look at the cut-out mark on the surface.

There is a scissors mark at every certain distance on the led strip light, which means that this place can be cut.

12v 5050 led strip lights - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

The smallest unit of the low-voltage led strip with a cut length is:

The 12V led strip lights with 60leds/m are usually 3 LEDs (length 5cm) that can be cut. The 24V led strip lights are cut for every 6 LEDs (length 10cm). As shown below the 12V/24V 5050 led strip light. The 12v led strips with 120leds/m are conventionally equipped with 3leds (length 2.5cm) that can be cut. The 24V light strip is cut for every 6 LEDs (length 5cm). As shown below the 2835 12V/24V led strip light.

2835 and 5050 led strip lights - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

If you need special cutting length and spacing, you can customize it. It is very flexible to use.

The smallest unit of 110V/240V led strip light with a cut length is 0.5m or 1m, and you can only cut it from the place where have a scissors mark and can’t cut it from the middle, otherwise the whole set of led strip lights will not work.

5050 110v 240v led strip lights - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

Suppose we only need a 2.5m 110v led strip light. What should we do?

We can cut 3m out, then fold the excess half a meter back, or wrap it with black tape to prevent light leakage and avoid partial over-brightness.

#3. Flexible LED Strip Maximum Cascade Length:

The 120-volt high-voltage led strip light is usually light up by 50 meters or 100 meters, and only one rectifier power supply is needed.

high voltage led strip lights power supply plug - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

The 12V/24V led strip light is usually used for lighting up a 5-10 meters’ area, and the longest one is no more than 15 meters.

Since the working voltage of the DC led strip is relatively low, when the led strip length is connected in series is too long, the voltage will be attenuated on the circuit board, resulting in inconsistent brightness between the head and the tail of the strip light.

12v 5050 led strip lights wire connect - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

Therefore, if the power is supplied at one end, the series length is controlled at about 5-10 meters; after the series length exceeds 10 meters, this situation should be avoided this result by supplying power to both ends of the led strip at the same time.

12v led strip lights wiring diagram - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

The maximum length of the led light strip powered by this method is recommended not to exceed 15 meters.

#4. The Dark Interval Area of LED strip Light:

The 110-volt or 230-volt led strips are basically every one meter can be cut. When the cut light strips are reconnected, in order to ensure the safety and reliability of the interface parts, the cut parts will be reserved for a relatively large interval, as shown in the figure.

high voltage led strip lights Dark space interval - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

But the large spacing affects the continuity and consistency of the light from the led strip.

high voltage led strip lights application - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

However The low-voltage led strip can be cut to a small length, and the LED is evenly distributed on the board, and there is no inconsistency in the interval of the lamp bead.

#5. Strobe Problem of High voltage LED Strip Lights:

The flexible AC 110v/120v/230v/240v led strip light is driven by a dedicated power driver. It is also standard for all high-voltage led tape light manufacturers. This driver is inexpensive and can meet the requirements of led strip work.

However, it has a defect that there is generally only one rectifier bridge, and the treatment of the AC voltage is not enough so that after the led strip is lit, there will be a stroboscopic problem, and the stroboscopic is invisible to the eye.

there is a strobe in the Light ups High voltage led strip - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

Long-term use of this kind of light illumination can lead to eye fatigue, decreased vision, and may also cause problems such as migraines.

Therefore, if you use a place with strict lighting requirements, you must use a non-stroboscopic drive power supply.

You can use the phone camera to identify if the LED strip has a strobe. For the average consumer without professional instrumentation and testing knowledge, this is an easy way to identify.

#6. The Installation Differences Between Them:

High-voltage 120V/230V LED tape lights are relatively simple to install, generally with a snap or tie to fix the installation. It can be driven directly by a high-voltage driver.

When the led strip is shipped from the factory, the driver will be configured and installed on the led strip light. When it is used, it only needs to be connected to the 110V or 230V power outlet to work normally.

110v 230v 240v led strip lights - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

The 12V/24V LED flexible strip, is to needs to install a DC power supply in front of the led strip.

Relatively speaking, it is relatively complicated during installation. During the installation process, the position of the DC power supply needs to be considered and to calculate how many transformers are needed according to the led strip length of the installation.

5050 led strip lights wiring diagram show 2 - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

The bare board’s 12V/24V led strip light comes with the factory default 3M adhesive on the back. When installing, directly peel off the adhesive release paper, and then stick the led strip to the installation position.

Waterproof 12V/24V light strips need to be fixed by silicone snaps and screws. When using the low-voltage led strip, it is recommended to install it in the aluminum profile to ensure uniformity and consistency of the light emitted by the led strip light.

#7. The Difference in Safety and Application:

The high voltage LED strip works with a voltage of AC 110V~240V, which is a dangerous voltage and has potential safety hazards in some applications place.

Therefore, the application scene is mainly concentrated outdoors, and the modeling shape is generally simple, mainly for decorative lighting, and functional lighting is rare. If it is used in places such as steps and guardrails that can be easily touched, it is more dangerous.

So, it is recommended to use a place where the position is relatively high and people can’t touch it, such as the ceiling light trough.

12v 24v led strip lights application - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

The low-voltage 12V/24V led strip light uses a 12V or 24V DC power supply that is lower than the human body safety voltage, so there is no electric shock, and it can be applied to various occasions, such as bedroom atmosphere lighting, bedside reading lighting, bathroom lighting, and other indoor led lighting, showcases, shelf containers, Bookcase, wardrobe, glass counter lighting, linear lights interior, etc. It is very convenient to use.

led strip lights bathroom lighting and other indoor led lighting showcases shelf containers Bookcase wardrobe - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

#8. Packing:

The packaging of 120V/240V LED strips and 12V/24V LED strips are also very different.

High-voltage LED flexible strips can generally package with 50~100 m/roll.

110v 230v 240v high voltage led strip lights package - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

12V/24V LED strips can be packaged to 5~10 m/roll.

12v 24v led strip lights package - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

Why do this length, here are two main reasons to consider:

1. The longer the led strip is, the larger the total operating current is, and the strip carries a large load and is easily blown.

2. The DC 12V/24V led strip is a constant-voltage working mode, there is a voltage drop in the line.

The farther away from the power supply end of the led strip, the lower the voltage on the main power supply line of the strip (<12V), so that the working voltage of the strip before and after is different, resulting in different operating currents of the LED.

When the length of the led strip light exceeds 10 meters, the DC power supply will have a large attenuation, and there will be a difference in brightness between the front and rear LED strip lights.

#9. The Difference in Project Cost Price:

The cost of the two kinds of lights with the same quality will not be much different, but if you consider the cost of the entire project, it will be very different.

Because the high-voltage LED strip light is equipped with a high-voltage power supply, generally one power supply can carry 30~50Meter LED flexible strips, and high voltage electricity price is relatively low cost.

ac led strip lights 50 meters - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

However, the 12V/24V LED light strip needs to be equipped with a DC power supply.

Generally, the power of the 1 meter 60leds 5050 led strip light is about 11~14W, which means that each meter led light strip needs to be equipped with a DC power supply of about 15W.

The longer the strip length is used, the more power supply required, and the higher the purchase cost, so that the cost of using the DC 12V/24V LED strip will be much higher than the high-voltage AC 120V LED strip light.

low voltage dc 12v led strip lights with power supply - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

Therefore, from the perspective of overall cost, the price of DC LED strip light is higher than that of the high-voltage AC LED strip light.

#10. The Difference in the Service Life:

The service life of the 12V/24V LED strips will be 50,000-100,000 hours, and the actual use can reach 30,000-50,000 hours.

The high voltage led strip has a much higher generate heat per unit length than the low-voltage LED strip, which directly affects the life of the high-voltage LED strip.

Generally, the service life of the high voltage is about 10,000 hours.

24v led strip lights with aluminum profile - LED Strip Lights Application Guide


At present, there are many 12V/24V led strip lights used in large projects, home improvement, counters, lightboxes, etc., because of its excellent safety performance and durability, it is more popular.

Also, there are many high-voltage led strips in places where there is no direct contact with the human body, such as outdoor, tree decoration, etc.

From the above comparison, it can be seen that the high and low-voltage LED strip lights have their own advantages and disadvantages, and you can choose a suitable one according to the actual use requirements and safety performance.

Of course, the above-mentioned are the most conventional high-voltage and low-voltage led light strips on the market. We have now developed a new product: a drive-free high-voltage led strip light, which neither requires a drive power similar to a low-voltage led strip nor a rectifier equipped with the high-voltage light strip.

driverless led strip no need this plug - LED Strip Lights Application Guide

It can be directly connected to AC110V/120V or AC230V/240V alternating current to use. And this driverless led light strip has the advantages that the conventional light strip does not have, a smaller cut unit, can be cascaded 50m or 100 meters without voltage drop, and it is a constant current light strip.

It can be said to be a more practical and compatible product. If you want to know or buy this light strip, please click https://www.derunledlights.com/what-are-authentic-120v-240v-driverless-led-strip-lights/ to visit the product details!

If you have any problems or needs with high voltage or low voltage light strips, please leave a message below, or click the red button on the right side of the page to send us a message, we will be happy to hear from you and provide the products you need.