Of all the LED lights available for public consumption, LED strip lighting may receive the most attention. Its virtues are many. It is one of the most efficient lighting sources on the market in terms of lumens per watt of electricity. It comes in a variety of brightness levels, colors, and color temperatures. It has an adhesive back leading some to call it “tape lighting,” that makes it easy to install almost anywhere, and when that doesn’t work a set of simple plastic mounts can be attached with screws. And it is flexible and cuttable, making LED strip lights easy to tailor for use in a number of unique settings. But some critics point out that a bare LED light strip is visually unappealing, and can be an eye-sore during the day when it is visible but not turned on.
This criticism is entirely reasonable, in that LED strip lights do look like a string of light emitting diodes along some electrical-looking tape. But that is only a problem when they are installed incorrectly. LED light strips are meant to be installed out of view, so the fact that they don’t feature an attractive housing should never actually be an issue. In fact, many of the most creative and effective ways to use strip lights already make this criticism a non-issue.
LED strip lighting is low profile and has an adhesive back. These two features make it particularly well suited for being installed upside-down in small spaces such as under cabinets or shelves, against the wall in small nooks, or along the underside of ledges. Getting the most out of strip lighting requires taking advantage of its capacity to be installed in places like this, to deliver bright, even lighting where it was previously awkward if not impossible to get effective lighting. Other examples of appropriate places to install LED strip lights include along the wall immediately above ledges or molding that can hide it from view, along walls below knee level where natural ledges will block it from view, and in the inside and back corners of coves where objects will hide the lighting source.
Clearly, though LED strip lighting isn’t some miraculous cure-all lighting solution, with a small investment in understanding the best ways to install it, it can be a very effective and versatile lighting tool.