12 volt DC and 24 volt DC, as the most compatible DC voltages in the LED strip lighting market, are the two standards we have to choose between them at the beginning of our projects. In this article, we'll compare the 12V LED strip and 24V LED strip, and see what's their difference and find out which one we should use.
In addition to the print circuit board (PCB), most of the components are universal including but not limited to LEDs, resistors, and IC chips. From the picture below, you can see that the cutting unit of the 12V LED strip is 3 LEDs, and that of the 24V LED strip is 6 LEDs. That's because of both the 2 products use the same light source, the 0.2w 3V mid-power SMD 2835 LEDs. Thus, to achieve 24V DC driving, the LED strip have to connect 6 LEDs in series in a unit circuit.
12V vs. 24V LED Strip Lights 2835 120L
As we said above, the light sources are universal for the two products. So, in the part of the lighting performance, there is no difference. The critical difference between the 12V and 24V LED strips is the durability performance. In another article What Causes Light Decay of LED Lights?, we have introduced that the brightness decrease of the LED strip is caused by the overheating. At the same power, the higher the voltage, the lower the current. Therefore, the working current of the 24V LED light strip is less than that of the 12V LED light strip, so the former will have less heat production and be more stable.
Both the 12V and 24V LED strips are easy for installing and can be cut. Take the two products shown above as examples, the cutting units' length of the 12-volt 2835 LED strip is 25mm, and that of the 24V-volt version is 50mm. That means the 12-volt version will be more likely to achieve the specific length you need. And the advantage of the 24V LED strip lights is that they can be connected longer in series without voltage drop.
Most of the accessories are designed for a specific voltage such as the power supplies, amplifier, controllers, and so on. And some accessories can be compatible with 12V DC and 24V DC, but their prices will be higher meanwhile.
How to choose between the 12V and 24V LED strip lights?
Under the premise of the same material quality, if you are strict in the stability and wanna connect the LED strip longer in series, 24V LED strips take precedence. In today's market, due to the 12V LED strip and related accessories are more advantage in total production and shipments, the DC 12V driving system is still an economic and feasible choice.