AD | Featured / Affiliate Links
LED strip lights are one of the most versatile light sources available now. Their peel-and-stick backs enable them to be stuck to almost any surface but sometimes LED tape requires a more permanent fastening or simply to be hidden out of sight. The solution to both those problems is simple – just set it in an aluminium profile. But these aren’t the only reasons you should use LED profiles – let’s have a closer look at them.
What are aluminium LED strip profiles?
It’s rather simple – they’re solid, hollow or semi-hollow shaped pieces of aluminium designed to shield LED strip light from mechanical damage. Apart from their main purpose, they’re also great as heat sinks and can be used as finishing touches in even the most elaborate lighting projects. Thanks to its design, a LED profile hides the strip without obscuring its light – you can’t see the individual diodes but the light shines uninterrupted. Both LED lights come in many varying styles and colours which makes it easy to pick just the right ones for your projects. It’s also worth mentioning that the term ‘aluminium profile’ is interchanged with ‘aluminium extrusion’ – it’s essentially the same product.
Types of LED profiles
LED strip light profiles/extrusions can be divided into four groups – surface mounted, recessed, corner mounted and architectural.
Surface mounted extrusions
As the name suggests, this type of profile can set up on the surfaces of walls, ceilings, cabinets and cupboards or even floor edgings. It also works great for under cabinet or under shelf lighting. A profile of this kind gives your tape light a slick look, suitable for any office space or plainly visible locations (especially high-diffused cover models).
This type of profiles is easy to mount, cut and fit together – you can even create a seemingly one-piece continuous line lighting effect with them. They’re available in standardized 1 or 2-metre sizes that can be cut for your needs (often for free).
Similarly to the aforementioned type, recessed extrusions work well for under-lighting of shelves and cabinets or for lights on ceiling, walls and floor. They give your LED tape a more “finished” look (with their diffuser covers) and can be integrated into various decors and interior designs. You can get them in standardized sizes that can be cut to length.
Corner mounted profiles
Any profile of this kind is made to fit in 90-degree angle corners. Different models allow the light to shine out at 30-/45-/60-degree angles (although the 45-degree is the most standard option). Their diffuser covers enable you to create a smooth light bar effect. They’re mainly used for floor corners or ceilings but also work great under kitchen cupboards, cabinets or shelves. All of them are available in standardized lengths but can be cut for your particular needs.
Often called special, this group consists of a variety of special-shaped LED extrusions meant for specific applications – from practically flat, through T-shaped, to nearly circular. This variety enables them to be used in practically any lighting project you can think of. They can provide high-quality and stylish protection for the LED tape on walls, displays, stairs, living rooms, wardrobes or even bathrooms (just make sure they aren’t directly exposed to moisture or use waterproof LED strips).
This type of profiles is great for anyone who wants to design their own modern-looking interiors or like to experiment with lighting – a simple change of a profile’s shape can work wonders.
Why use LED profiles?
Besides the main reason of protecting and extending the longevity of LED strip lights, alu extrusions bring you many benefits. Here’s a shortlist of the most important ones:
- Heat absorption – as any other light source, LED tape generates heat (although far less than incandescent lights) which can be absorbed by the aluminium profile, protecting your wood or wood-like surfaces from a fire hazard.
- Firm placement – although sticky, LED strip won’t hold in place forever – the glue will weaken in time. With an aluminium profile, you can permanently mount it in the desired location without worrying it’ll fall off.
- Light directing – a LED profile is an easy way to direct the light – just choose the right-angled one for your project and shine it just where you want it.
- Reflection consistency – a profile’s diffuser creates a consistent dot free reflection. This is especially impotent while using LEDs in conjunction with highly reflective surfaces (e.g., tiles or worktops), which tires eyes quickly.
- Easier cleaning – using a LED extrusion is an easy way to keep your light source nice and clean as you won’t catch the diodes encased within with your duster.
LED profiles – protect your LEDs with style
Mounting naked LED strip lights might be quick and easy but in most cases, they can be a real sour to the eye. Therefore, putting them in LED extrusions will not only protect them from mechanical damage but also add style to them, making them less visible without lowering the quality of their light. So if you’re planning to change the way your home or workspace is illuminated, that’s the way to do it.