LED SMD strip storage?

Lightguy5

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Location
Oklahoma
No, not the striplight variety, the flexible surface mounted LED strips.
University theatre reuses as much as possible, and I'm basically just cheap frugal with my budget.

I'm slowly drowning in spools, bundles, rolls, and wadded masses of LED strips. I try to not remove the backing tape if at all possible, but sometimes it's unavoidable, and it makes storage all the more difficult.
If possible, they get re-coiled on their spools. Otherwise the strips get coiled loosely about 4-6" rolls, tied with line. I've got a bigger box with White(ish) rolls, a box with single color rolls, and a box of RGB strips both single and double density strings mixed together.
It's clunky and begining to outgrow the shelves.

Does anybody else bother saving and storing the used strings? How do you manage them?
 

dbaxter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Location
Rochester, NY
My experience with reusing lengths of LED is similar to my 2x4's - they just get shorter each time. Even though we try to be gentle with rolling them up, a section will fail when we unroll. The frustration continues as roll A, that we bought in January, will have slightly different colors from roll B that we bought last month and so can't be used together. With the prices of new rolls continuing to drop, I'm sorry, but we're starting to treat them as consumables.
 

Crisp image

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2017
Location
Eastern Victoria Australia
I treat as a consumable too. So much pain to try and reuse or match. I do keep some for testing or small projects but mostly it goes.

Regards
Geoff
 

Lightguy5

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Location
Oklahoma
And they're not as durable for second purposes as they used to be.
Probably best to just can 'em.
Thanks guys.
 

Aaron S.

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
here is how I deal with this stuff.
First, I do think this stuff is expendable. It has gotten cheap enough and undoubtedly the designer will never ask for tape you already own so you’re buying new every show anyhow, ME: I have 800’ of RGBA. DESIGNER: I need 800’ of RGBW. Next show, ME: I have 800’ of RGBA, and RGBW. DESIGNER: I need 800’ of RGBCwWw. You never can win.
I do tend to buy the higher end LED tape and normally from the same manufacturer so the batches will match better. I did a show and they bought a $5 roll off amazon. And you could see the difference in LED color and quality from 1 end to the other. So if I needed to supplement it’s a lot more likely to work out well. Also with the higher quality stuff it doesn’t fail as much. I can’t remember a time that just having it rolled and stored has killed sections of LED. I’ve even had it stepped on and bent and kinked and it still works just fine.
I do store them by type. Box 1) 12v RGB Box 2) 12v Cool White. And so on.
And lastly, even though I think of them as expendable I will save it in case I need a one off thing. Show needs a display case lit up. There’s a tv that wants to look like it’s on. You get the idea. I will also use it around my storage area. Light up some blue around the butchers block so you can see during tech, that kind of thing. I have also given away hundreds of feet to my electricians that have asked for some for a project they’re working on.
 

macsound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
I definitely reuse alot of it immediately after pulling stuff down, but at some point you run out of casual uses or even your casual uses fail and you have to toss it.
When I do reuse them, I'm careful to not reuse them somewhere "permanent".

I got asked by an usher once if after a kids production they could get the LED tape installed behind some crown moulding in the lobby. I graciously declined stating it wouldn't last very long and would be better if they got a commercial product with a warranty if it was going to be mounted up high with no intent of replacement in the next 6 months.
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
Electrical tape applied to the backing will remove problems somewhat from resticking the removed 3M tape... (super glue helps re-stick) but nope, never re-use especially silicone coated for IP rated tape. Spare rolls from tours years ago, if IP rated normally turn yellow and I give or throw away. Other stuff, often outmoded in saving for a while or also giving or throwing away once more efficient products in tape are available. Most modern needs... we no longer want just RGB per designers.

Quoted out a RGB WW bid today. New tape in not even considering what's in stock - already used some of it... Quoted for power supply 2Kw/24VDC controllers with 24 to 30 channels each - back when I had no budget, I built them for RGBW tape "coming" huge powerful controllers. Glad I bought and built the bulk power things before the pandemic, would not be able to now, much less have to nickle and dime the PSU's in building them these days.

Just have to convince the Project Manager TBD, I got this figured out... and don't need the wasted money on the last use of the last LED project PSU's and decoders. Three channel away, in this way you are needing to let me do what I do... stop micro managing.!