A Guide to Calculating Wattage
It may sound quite self-evident, but all electronic devices require power in order to function. The power they use is expressed as a numerical value called wattage. Most electronic appliances have a variable wattage, which means the amount of power in use at any given time is proportional to the setting and tasks being performed. Low energy LED Tape is a prime example of this.
To make things easy for customers, retailers like to convey the wattage of LED Tape on a per metre basis. This breaks the power specifications of the product down into digestable portions. As LED Tape can be purchased in bespoke lengths it is important to express the wattage in this fashion. A customer can very straightforwardly calculate the power requirement of their setup by multiplying the wattage per metre by the number of metres in use. For example, one metre of single colour LED Tape will use 4.8watts in power. If you are using 10 metres of this particular tape it will consume 48 watts, and so forth. Anyone competent in basic multiplication should have no problem calculating this figure.
The wattage of LED Tape varies depending on the number of LEDs per metre, the size of the LED Chips and the length of LED Tape in use. As a rule of thumb, greater number of LEDs, larger LED chips and greater lengths of tape, result in a higher operational wattage. In the case of RGB LED Tape the wattage is also determined by the setting. Most often a retailer will quote the wattage at full setting, i.e. when the RGB LEDs are using their three cores at full capacity to produce white light.
Why is calculating the wattage important? All LED Tape requires a transfomer power supply to work. These supplies have a maximum load they can handle before the LED Tape experiences performance issues. By calculating the power requirement of your set up you can determine exactly what size power supply you need and whether or not you require any amplifiers.
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