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The Incredible Versatility of LED Strip Lights

The Incredible Versatility of LED Strip Lights

Posted by Chris Johnson on Jan 1st 2016


When you are talking about using a long strip of LED lights, the right terminology is as widely varied as the product's many creative uses. You may hear them referred to as:

  • Strip Lights
  • Rope Lights
  • Bar Lights
  • Linear Lights
  • Ribbon Lights
  • Tape Lights
  • String Lights

... and to keep you on your toes,

  • Tape-Rope Light Hybrids!

Strip Light vs. Tape Light vs. Rope Light vs. Linear Light

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there are situations where specific types of lighting are preferred. It's helpful to think of strip lighting as an all-encompassing term that describes any strip of light, whether it's on a flexible rope, along a rigid bar, or on a thin piece of adhesive tape.

So what makes a tape light different than a rope light or a linear light? And when should you use one over the other?

Low profile, multi color LED Tape lights

When to Use a Tape Light

Due to the super low profile of tape lights and their handy adhesive backing, they are great for curved, awkward or hard to reach spaces. Tape lights are field cuttable and easy to customize to your specific application, but will require an LED driver.

POPULAR TAPE LIGHT USES: Underneath or along staircases, halo lighting (a lighting method popular in home theater applications where soft light glows from behind the television), cove lighting, and pool lighting.

LED rope lights are versatile and stunning for many applications

When to Use a Rope Light

If you want a plug-and-go solution, rope lights are the ones for you. No drivers to deal with, and no special wiring configurations are required.

POPULAR ROPE LIGHT USES: Over-cabinet lighting in a kitchen, on a patio or porch, holiday lights, and decorative outdoor lighting features.

Note: Tape-Rope Light Kits combine the plug-and-go functionality of a rope light with the lower profile of a tape light. The result is a perfect hybrid of bright, functional and affordable LED strip lighting.

Linear strip lights offer a precise and flexible light source for many applications

When to use a Linear Light

If precision is important, linear low voltage strip lights are the premier choice in strip lighting. Linkable fixtures in assorted sizes, impressive light output and a variety of accessories make them ideal for a host of situations. For example: adding angled mounting clips directs the light right where you want it, and frosted diffusers diminish glare on a shiny countertop. These first-class features also tend to put them on the higher end of the price range.

POPULAR LINEAR STRIP LIGHT USES: Under cabinet lighting, bookshelf lights, retail jewelry displays, and closet lighting.


A strip light goes by many names, but there is one word we hear our customers use to describe them over and over again ... Incredible.

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