LED strip lights are strips or ribbons containing small LEDs spaced at regular intervals. LED strips come in various sizes and are often used to highlight transition areas (e.g. along a staircase), workspaces (e.g. under kitchen cabinets), or the perimeter of an object (e.g. mirrors).
LEDs emit bright light while consuming very little energy, distributing light differently than other common types of lights like spotlights, lamps, or neon lights.
You can create an LED strip by using the New Light -> LED strip under the Virtual Navigation tab of the Ribbon.
Use your mouse to draw one or more lines on your floorplan, representing the outline of the LED strip.
Each click of the mouse will fix a point along the LED strip path, working exactly the same way as the “Line” and “Polyline” CAD commands. You can use the “O” key to turn on/off orthogonality (90° lines only) while drawing or right click at anytime to open the context menu with the following options:
- Point 2D: insert a point using 2D coordinates (x, y). You can find the exact coordinates of any point on your floorplan under “Tools -> Point Info” in the Ribbon.
- Continue: continue drawing LED strip.
- End: stop drawing and save LED strip (you can also hit Enter on your keyboard).
- Cancel: cancel the operation and delete the LED strip.
With an LED strip, you can trace different shapes ranging from a simple line or geometric shape to complex shapes, curves, text, or artistic designs.
If you want to create an LED strip with a complex design, it is best to first use the 2D CAD drawing tools to create your design (using lines, polylines, curves, etc.) and then trace over it using your LED strip and taking advantage of the snapping features which will let you easily follow your premade design.
Once you have created the shape of your LED strip, you need to set the orientation of the light based on the position and effect that you want in your final rendering. For example, an LED strip under the lining of a kitchen cabinet should be oriented down (towards countertop) while cove lighting under the ceiling should be oriented towards the walls.
To change direction of the light, right click on your LED strip and select Orientation. Select the direction that you want the light to point; the graphic representation of the LED strip in your floorplan will change based on the direction of the light.
Right clicking on the LED strip will give you the following options (similar to those available for other light sources):
- On/Off: turns on/off the light source in your project. The current state (on/off) can be seen in the icon of the light in the floorplan.
- Delete: deletes the light from the project;
- Properties: opens the properties window for the light to adjust settings (for more information see this article Artificial Lights)
- Copy: copies or repeats the light in a series.
Similar to other lights, you can right click on the LED strip in the 3D Navigation window, as well. From here, you can reach the properties window or move the LED strip using the Move 3D command.
It is not possible to associate a IES file to this type of light.
You can also create an LED strip from the Wall 2D window, a useful method if, for example, you need to create unique shapes or text placed on a wall.
Open the Wall 2D window where you want to place your LED strip and use the CAD commands to trace the geometric shape you want your LED strip to have. After you’ve completed your drawing, you have to convert your drawing to one single geometric entity using the Polyline from Selection command.
Right click the shape you’ve created and select Create LED strip. Insert the distance from the wall where you’d like to place the LED strip and select ok. The newly created LED strip will be visible in the Wall 2D window and the Virtual Navigation window, as well.
Below is an example of an LED strip outlining a furnishing item found in our project:
Open Wall 2D where you want to insert your LED strip. Create a polyline that traces the outline of the item in question using the polyline tool in the CAD toolbar.
Right click on the polyline and select “Create LED strip”. Set the distance from the wall and select OK.
Lastly, set the orientation desired for the light.
This article is valid for the 2020 version and later.