Flex into Fixtures: Taking LEDs to the Next Level

Flexible LED strips first came onto the market as energy efficient solution for accent lighting, particularly in kitchens. A low-profile design made them easy to hide away under cabinets, counter tops, or shelves, while the robust nature of the flex made the use of traditional lenses unnecessary in most applications. This meant reduced material costs which helped LED flex strips to become one of the most affordable lighting options available.

For the past several years these so-called “bare flex” installations have grown in popularity, allowing the average consumer to achieve the look of high-end lighting for less. But as increased competition has helped to improve quality and availability of LEDs, all the while continuing to drive down costs, electricians and home owners have begun to explore new ways to put their lights to work. As a result, flexible LED strips are beginning to make their way out of the shadows of the kitchen, and into more visible locations throughout our homes and businesses.

This increased visibility has led many customers and contractors to experiment with new techniques designed to take LEDs to the next level. The low cost and high versatility of LED flex strips makes them the perfect starting point for building unique light fixtures, and our Lighting Designers are increasingly called upon to apply their knowledge toward these types of projects.

So today, we thought we’d share a few ways that our popular low-voltage LED strips can be transformed from flex into fixtures. Check out the tips & techniques below, and get inspired!

Build your own LED panels.

With Inspired LED’s new DIY Radiant Edge System it’s easier than ever to upgrade your flexible LED strips into panels. Our aluminum channels are designed to house your choice of LEDs in a variety of brightness levels and colors. For a more distinct “dotted” effect try our normal or super bright, or for a more even diffused glow, go with our ultra or mega bright options.

Terminate your selected flex using a 3.5mm Tiger Paw® connecter or Micro-Lock Tiger Paw® connector, then snap on a lens and some end caps, and mount your new fixture in place. Using these simple components, anyone can create a sleek, elegant LED panel from the comfort of home. Are you a contractor or an expert DIYer? Inspired LED also offers an exclusive line of in-wall extrusions for those looking to create unique recessed lighting in new builds. Contact our design or customer service teams for more information.

Retrofit an existing light, or use found objects to create your own unique fixture.

If there is an existing fixture in your home that you’re attached to, you may not want to sacrifice aesthetics for the efficiency of LEDs.
Not to worry! Inspired LED products are easy to use for retrofits, and can help you reduce energy costs while preserving your favorite fixtures for the future. Or, if you’re feeling creative, why not try your hand at building a new light fixture from a found object? This shabby-to-chic trend is becoming all the rage among DIYers.

LED flex strips can be used to line the interiors and edges of lamps, wall sconces, or hanging lights. Low voltage cables can be run back to a hardwire transformer and connected to a dimmer switch on the wall for easy access. Or for an easier install, simply connect your lights to a plug-in power supply with an in-line switch or four position dimmer. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

Take advantage of our free design services and we’ll create something custom just for you!

Have a unique design in mind? Contact our Design Team, and we’ll create the perfect lighting system for your application. We’ve handled jobs ranging from mailbox and address lighting, to retrofitting porch lights, even custom ironwork. If you’re local, you can bring your fixture in to our facility and we’ll rig everything up for you. Out of state or can’t make the trip? No problem! Send us a picture and some measurements, and we’ll design a custom layout with installation instruction to be shipped to your door. Services are complementary, with turnaround times in as little as 48 hours.

No matter what your application, Inspired LED can help you bring your vision to light! Visit our website to learn more about our products, or check out our gallery for some more inspiration!