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Frequently asked questions

Q: What should I look for when purchasing Neon Flex?

  1. A good warranty and back up service. LUMUL Neon Flex offers a 6 month warranty on our 220V Neon Flex and a 1 year warranty on our 12V and 24V Neon Flex.
  2. SMD LED chips. DIP LED chips are old technology, are not efficient, not as bright as modern SMD LED chips and cannot achieve the chip density of modern SMD chips - meaning you generally see the LED dots beneath the neon flex jacket.
  3. Quality SMD LED chips. In this game, only the name-brand chips, such as Epistar, are good, the rest (like Sa'nan) will truly disappoint over time.
  4. Modern LED chips with a large heat sink, such as the 2835 chip. Try and avoid Neon Flex with the 3528 chip which does not have a good heat sink, and is dimmer and less efficient.
  5. Lumen efficiency (lm/W). You want as much brightness as possible for the power consumed, and this is best achieved with more LED chips configured to run at a lower current.
  6. Electrical efficiency (W/m). Electricity is expensive so you want to achieve a good efficiency. LUMUL Neon Flex consumes 14.4 W/m however delivers exceptional brightness.
  7. A high number of LED chips per meter. As you inxrease the number of LED chips you reduce the space between the LEDs ; as you reach 120 LEDs per meter you get a real dot-free neon flex. Individual LEDs are no longer visible beneath the jacket. Equally important, the more LED chips you have the higher your brightness, and if the LEDs current is slightly reduced, the better the efficiency. LUMUL single colour Neon Flex contains 120 LED/s per meter and is perfectly dot-free.
  8. Brightness. Neon Flex chips are contained in a thick PVC jacket, so for most use cases it's imperative to have sufficient brightness through the PVC jacket. Different colours have a different brightness, white being brightest, yellow the dimmest.
  9. Lumen maintenance. Aim for a lumen maintenance of at least L7 at 50,000 hours, meaning you want your Neon Flex brightness to be at least 70% of the original brightness after 50,000 hours.
  10. A good thickness of copper in the FPC (flexible printed circuit) within the Neon Flex, to effectively conduct heat away from the LED chips.
  11. Good thickness of copper wires, for effective conducting of electricity.
  12. Small cutting unit. Neon Flex must be cut in specific places to avoid disrupting light in a section of the internal strip. High voltage strips have a larger cutting unit because of the way the LEDs are wired internally whereas low voltage strips have smaller cutting units. LUMUL 12V Neon Flex has a cutting unit of 5cm whereas our 220V Neon Flex has a cutting unit of 1m.
  13. UV-protected PVC jackets. No plastic is fully UV-resistant and all will over time suffer UV damage, however with UV inhibitors placed inside the plastic, the Neon Flex will resist UV rays much better and last much longer.
  14. A good range of accessories. The accessories are important to make installation simpler. LUMUL offers one of the widest ranges of Neon Flex accessories available in South Africa.

Q: Do electrical surges damage Neon Flex?

Electrical surges will certainly damage 220V Neon Flex because the rectifier (the AC to DC converter) does not offer over/under protection, and the internal components fail at voltages over ~225V. We recommend installing an online UPS when installing 220V Neon Flex, a very small cost to protect your investment. Your warranty does not cover damage from electrical surges or spikes so please consider this small investment.

Electrical surges should not damage 12V Neon Flex since most good power supplies will offer over-voltage and under-current protection.

Q: Is Neon Flex suitable for dimming?

220V Neon Flex cannot be dimmed through our economy range power converter which converts AC to DC, however dimming is possible through one of our commercial grade controller SR-1009HT.

12V Neon Flex can certainly be dimmed, as any 12V flexible strip can be dimmed using a dimming power supply or one of our commercial grade controllers such as SR-1009EAWI or SR_1009FAWIWP (IP67 controller).

Q: What happens if I cut my Neon Flex in the wrong place?

The worst that will happen is that you damage a section, which would be at the end closest to the cut. If this is 12V Neon Flex you may have the last 5cm not lighting up, for 220V Neon Flex that could be a meter. There is tolerance for cutting a bit to either side of the cutting mark.

Q: How do I choose the correct 12V power supply?

Type of driver: LUMUL 12V Neon Flex requires a 12V constant voltage power supply.

Wattage: Your power supply must be able to handle the power drawn by the Neon Flex. Take the length of Neon Flex (in meters) connected to the power supply and multiply by 14.4 to know the total wattage required. Find a power supply which can supply this wattage, and include a 20% buffer otherwise you risk overworking the power supply.

Water protection: Ensure your power supply is suitable to the environmental conditions: if the power supply is exposed to the environment you may need to purchase an IP65 / IP67 power supply.

Operating temperature: Ensure your power supply is suitable for the operating temperature where it will be located.

Lifespan: The power supply will generally fail before the Neon Flex, so it is wise to purchase a power supply which will last in alignment with your needs. IP67 power supplies will generally outlast an IP20 power supply hence they usually have longer warranties. Meanwell power supplies will almost always outlast a no-name  power supply.

Q: What happens if I power from both ends?

Only consider powering 12V Neon Flex from both ends and not the 220V Neon Flex. Powering your Neon Flex from both ends is perfectly fine and a good way to get longer runs without voltage drop. It is critical that you ensure you wire the positive and negative wires correctly - both ends must match, otherwise you risk damaging your power supply and possibly even your Neon Flex.

Q: Is Neon Flex waterproof?

Our Neon Flex is IP67 rated, meaning it can be submerged in water. It is imperative that the ends are sealed with a silicon glue and end cap / proper power connector or converter and heat shrink, otherwise water can leak in and damage the internals.

Being responsible citizens, we NEVER recommend the use of 220V Neon Flex around pools, ponds and water features, as there is always the risk of shock if the neon flex was not sealed properly or the jacket was damaged.

Q: How easy is it to cut Neon Flex?

It's dead simple, and can be cut with a Stanley knife or even a sharp kitchen knife. A little pressure and some care to not cut your finger, and Bob's your uncle. It really is simple.

Q: Can Neon Flex really be bent?

Yes! That's the beauty of Neon Flex. But note that inside the Neon Flex is a flat flexible strip FPC which means the Neon Flex can only be bent on one axis (laterally). It can be bent into quite a small radius without any problems or risk to the internals.

Q: Is Neon Flex suitable at the coast?

Yes, the PVC jackets and end caps, connectors and accessories are all resistant to salt water, sea air and high humidity.

Q: Is Neon Flex suitable inside a sauna?

Not really. Heat is the enemy of LED chips - the hotter the chips get the quicker the brightness will fade. It's not a good idea to run them in an environment exceed 50 degrees Celsius.