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LED Rope Lights V/S LED Strip Lights - A Comparative Guide

led strip lights
led strip lights
led strip lights
led strip lights

Did you just renovate the kitchen to design you have always dreamt of? 

Have you recently bought a patio or a new cabinet?

Do you want to add lighting to your new kitchen cabinets? 

Any new cabinet or patio looks good for a couple of days then with nothing to accentuate its colors, all the beauty goes away. 

When you really want to light up the cabinets, there are three lights to choose from, no matter what the requirement. 

Do you want to go with rope lighting, tape lighting, or strip lighting? 

Depending on the requirements you have, you can choose the one you need. These lights are interchangeable in many scenarios, but one is better than the other in different applications. 

Before Moving Further Ask Yourself 

  1. What Colors Do You Need? - Do you need single-colored lengths of LED lights with RGB compatibility or not? What colors do you exactly want? 
  1. What brightness is required?- LED rope lights and LED strip lights have different lumen output. To know more, read the comparison down.
  1. Do you need dimmers- Do you need dimmer function included? If you are buying lights for accent and task lighting, then dimmer included is a great option to have. 
  1. Do you need waterproof lighting- If you are going to use to lighting outside, you definitely need IP rated lighting, which ensures that the lighting you use will endure the weather easily.
  1. How long do I want to run the light? Both LEDs and rope lights have the same input voltage requirements, but LED strip lights come with options that last considerably longer. 

led rope lights

LED Rope Lights

Rope lights can be found in the market, and it was the first one of its kind in the start. A rope light looks like lighting rope- a long cylindrical shaped casing that contains strings of LED chips or incandescent bulbs as lighting elements. The casing is clear plastic or other durable materials. These lights illuminate an omnidirectional beam. 

These lights are used for accent lighting, wrapping decorative materials, outlining cabinets, paths, and much more. Mostly these lights are considered for decorative lighting.

led strip lights

LED Strip Lights

 An LED strip light is a flexible circuit board with a series of LED chips embedded running along the length. Thee LED chips are adhesive-backed, many of them come with a waterproof layer covering. Not all LED strip lights are created equally, and they differ in qualities. 

These lights are flexible and splittable. When split, these lights work flawlessly, but they lose their waterproofing ability. This is a drawback yet a great feature you could count on. Since these lights are bright and customizable, their uses range from kitchen under cabinet lighting, to small hobby lighting. They work wirelessly, with dimmable systems and wall switches as well. 

Things To Keep In For External Applications

Before you dive deeper into what light would work for you, make sure about a few things if you are considering installing the lights in outdoor lights-

  • If you are going to use the light outside, make sure to take safety precautions 
  • Rope lights are wetness proof(UL listed lights), so they are fine for outdoor lighting
  • Make sure that when using LED strip lights, that you use the complete length because it loses waterproofing once cut 
  • Direct contact with water will spoil LEDs or rope light

Power Requirements

LED rope lights require 120/200VAC or 12/24VDC, which is similar to the power requirement of LED strip lights. 

RGB Compatibility

Rope lights are available in many colors like LED strip lights, but only the former comes with RGB color changeable options.

Bulb Types Used 

LED bulbs are used in both rope lights and strip lights. The only difference mainly lies in RGB compatibility.

Beam Angle Comparison

Since LED rope lighting is cylindrical in shape, it renders a viewing angle of 360 degrees, i.e., it is an omnidirectional light. This property makes it an excellent choice for decorative lighting and for outlining pathways, trees, and other applications as well. 

LED strip lights have a beam angle of 120 degrees, which helps it cover a large area. 


LED rope lights seldom bend, as they consist of LED chips or incandescent bulbs. The internal wiring within the rope makes them fragile for large bending angles. 

LED strip lights, on the other hand, can be bent up to 90 degrees without bending. They can be easily run along the walls. 


LED strip lights shine brighter than the LED rope lights, so they are used for task lighting and display lighting. LED strip lights are dimmable, so they range from low brightness to high brightness. 

Exposure To Sun 

led strip lights

LED rope lights casing fades when exposed too long to sun. The casing dries off and breaks with time, which in turn dims the light when its dark. 

Best Option For Your Project

For multicolored lighting requirements, versatility, and customizability, LED strip lights should be given preference. No matter what task you want to achieve with it. - Illumination, task, or accent lighting. Either under cabinet lighting, display lighting, or bar lighting, the LED strip lights are can be used anywhere.  

Rope lights, while on the other hand, are suitable mostly for decorative lightings. 

Mounting Requirements

Rope lights come with the mounting clips, which can be embedded in different patterns. On these clips, these lights can be snapped into those clips. 

Strip lights come with adhesive backing and can be installed. with the help of 


No matter what lights you choose, make sure that you have a clear understanding of requirements and expectations. Otherwise, take expert advice from any experts, you know.

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