Shining a Light on LED Tape

Have you ever wished you had more light when cooking, putting makeup on, or digging an item out of a dark closet? LED tape lighting is an excellent option for illuminating just about any area of your Portland home. Here are the challenges, benefits, and tips to remember when installing these versatile and convenient lights:


LED lighting is an evolving technology, and compatibility issues pop up from time to time. To prevent these issues, work with an experienced designer who is aware of the challenges and can plan ahead to avoid them. These common challenges include:

  • Flickering. LED lights are known to flicker if you don’t install them properly or use the wrong type or voltage.
  • Variable quality. As with any product, not all brands are created equal. Sure, you can save a few dollars finding a cheap version online, but you’re almost guaranteed to run into problems. Stick with an established, reputable company — even if it costs more.
  • Connection issues. When LED lights are not properly connected, they won’t work correctly with switches and might not turn on when you need them to.


LED lighting is gaining popularity for several reasons. Homeowners appreciate that it’s:

  • Sleek & concealed. LED tape is slim and has virtually no profile on the surface you attach it to — so you can keep your well-lit work area looking clean.
  • Continuous. Even the longest stretches of cabinetry can be illuminated with no breaks between lights.
  • Customizable. LED lights are completely tunable, meaning you have control over the light’s brightness and color temperature.
  • Controlled anytime, anywhere. Forgot to turn the lights off before you went to bed? Lighting controls can be accessed right on your smartphone, so you can switch them off without needing to get up.
  • Safe & sound. LED lights run on low voltage and don’t get hot to the touch, meaning the chances of causing a fire are extremely low.

Tips & Tricks

If you do decide to install your own LED tape lights, remember to:

  • Ensure you get adequate light by installing in tight clusters and not spacing the tape too wide.
  • Mount lights toward the front of cabinets, not the back — that way, light will focus on your cookbook instead of highlighting the imperfections of your backsplash.
  • Take advantage of lens covers — they help diffuse light and prevent harsh reflections on your countertops.
  • Think beyond cabinets — use it to illuminate your bathroom mirror or mount it to the trim in your bedroom closet.

Contact Creekstone Design + Remodel for more on this and other home trends, as well as professional installation throughout the Portland area.