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Stripping it back to basics Feature lighting is becoming a cornerstone of modern interior design. LED strip lighting in particular - which is flexible, cost-effective and easy-to-install - is at the forefront of the revolution. However, many contractors are still unfamiliar with how to use it. Trade Director at LEDHut, is on hand to shed light on this relatively new technology and explore the advantages of using LED strip on your project. Lighting the way Feature lighting is typically associated with high-spec new builds as a way to highlight architectural focal points for projects that have limitless budgets. This is not the case anymore. Recent times have seen costs come down, with LED lighting becoming central to a host of big and small domestic and commercial projects thanks to its flexibility and longevity. Versatile LED strip can be cut to size, making it incredibly versatile and it’s also possible to extend it. For example, without an amplifier, 12V LED strip has a maximum length of 10m. But if used with an amplifier and a driver, the run length is infinite. Furthermore, you have waterproof and splashproof options that come with special gel coatings that protect strip lighting against the elements. And most strips come with adhesive backing to make installation even easier. Customer satisfaction With prices falling, LED strip is relatively inexpensive and is becoming ever-more popular with domestic and commercial customers. Ketan Patel, director at KBB Custom Interiors, is a strong advocate of strip lighting. “A lot of our work is with high-end projects, but we offer strip lighting on almost every job – new build and retrofit – as it’s so in demand,” “It’s perfect for kitchens, as under-cabinet lighting, or for mood lighting in bedrooms. For example, I recently fitted colour-changing RGB strip on some glass floating shelves – the customer is really happy and everyone who comes to the house comments on how impressive it looks.” Colour changing strip in particular is growing fast. The cutting edge look which can be controlled at the touch of a button has proven popular in the market. Patel recommends the use of RF controls, as opposed to IR ones. “We always specify an RF system, like LUMiLife RGB colour changing strip kit, because it can be controlled from anywhere – with no need to point the remote at the transformers in a specific spot.” “From an installation point of view, this means we can hide them away discreetly (e.g. under a plinth) with no impact on the controls.” Smart specification To get the most of strip lighting, Patel advises that contractors draw up a plan before they start. “On a recent project, plotting out where we wanted to use the strip beforehand – and where we needed to run the cables – meant we were able to find a central location to house the transformer. As a result, even though the strip was fitted in five different locations in the room, we could still control it all using one remote control.” said Patel. At these early stages, we recommend seeking support from your LED supplier as it helps you get the most out of the products you’re using, from controls through to transformers and drivers. Ketan Patel sums it up well when he says: “Even though LED strip lighting is a great finishing touch for any job, that doesn’t mean it should be an afterthought.” If you'd like more info on what strip light to chose or how to fit it see our LED Strip Light guide here.