Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

Recommendation points

This article should help the average user choose a kit for creating an LED backlight.stretch ceiling grids. We tried to talk about the key technical and consumer properties of various LED sources, and also highlighted a dozen topical points regarding installation.

Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

Tensioning systems can be used in combination with any lighting. Chandeliers and spotlights work as the main light of the room, but there is another option – backlighting with LED strips. In this case, the task is: to make stretch ceilings even more expressive, to give some mystery to the interior, special charm.

LEDs in strips are the best suited for work in tensioning structures, since they:

  • compact;
  • weigh little;
  • do not overheat the canvas;
  • reliable;
  • easy to manage;
  • can change the color of the glow;
  • convenient for installation;
  • economical;
  • safe.

Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

How to choose an LED strip for lighting stretch ceilings

Design: duralight or LED strip

Two types of backlighting are used: duralights and tapes. Both options are similar only in that they are molded products, in which the LEDs are fixed at a given distance from each other – according to the principle of a garland.

Duralight is a transparent flexible PVC cord, inside of which LEDs are located, and they are completely filled with polymer. It can be round or flat, in different colors and sizes. The main advantages of duralight:

  • high strength;
  • good flexibility in different directions;
  • waterproofness.

Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

The LED strip is a flat (10โ€“20 mm wide, and about 2โ€“3 mm thick) printed circuit board on which single LEDs and resistors are installed. The tape on the back has an adhesive layer for mounting. This light source has its own advantages over duralight:

  • the size of the section is much more modest;
  • weighs less;
  • simply attaches;
  • gives more light.

Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

The disadvantages include the following points:

  • bends well in only one plane;
  • more vulnerable to mechanical damage;
  • often no resistance to moisture.

How to find out the type of LEDs

Stretch ceiling tapes usually use LEDs made using SMD technology. It may be important for us how large the crystals are, so we look at the numerical index. If 3528 is 3.5×2.8 mm. Also popular are LEDs with a chip size of 5×5 mm.

Number of LEDs

LEDs are located on strips and in duralights with a certain density. The total power consumption will depend on this indicator, as well as the intensity of lighting. Options are available in 30, 60, 120, 240 pieces per linear meter. Large LEDs are usually installed less often, small, respectively, more often.

Backlight source power

Knowing the power of each running meter of tape is necessary in order to choose the right power supply. For example, if each LED consumes 0.04 watts, then with a density of 60 pieces per meter we have 2.4 watts, which for a 10-meter circuit will be 24 watts.


Almost all such sources operate on direct current of 12 volts, there are powerful 24-volt devices. In any case, a step-down transformer must be used in the circuit..

Color solutions

Most stretch ceiling tapes give off a white glow. However, devices with colored LEDs can also be used. Some tapes allow you to choose color solutions for the backlight – semiconductors of several colors are installed there simultaneously.

Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

Stretch ceiling lighting control

Using special controllers in the circuit, you can remotely (infrared remote control, mobile phone) change the lighting characteristics. For example, we get the ability to change the brightness and colors. Some RGB tapes allow you to turn them on intermittently (like color music), according to some given scenario.

Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

How the tape is protected

For rooms with high humidity, it is necessary to choose LED strips that have high IP ratings. Duralight is better suited for these purposes, but there are also protected tapes in a silicone sheath.

How is LED stretch ceiling lighting used?

Due to their high reliability and durability, LED strips are used not only outside, but also in the interceiling space of a stretch ceiling.

To illuminate the ceiling from the inside, the tapes are installed on the load-bearing ceiling or on the walls under the main ceiling. In this technology, translucent films and fabrics are used as a stretch fabric, which allows to obtain the effect of a “floating” ceiling. Depending on the location of the LED sources, only the perimeter or a specific area can be illuminated, including creating luminous patterns and ornaments. Sometimes, with a uniform arrangement of tapes and maximum transparency of the canvas (up to 70%), general illumination of small rooms such as a bathroom is performed.

Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

Using a similar technology (LED strip behind a stretch ceiling), they reproduce the “starry sky” effect. The only difference is that the canvas does not transmit light at all. The stars are obtained exclusively by perforating the stretch ceiling (through the micro-holes we see the penetrating light).

Outdoor lighting can be used with any type of canvas. Here the light source is on the front side and no transparency is needed. In this technology, the ceiling is illuminated exclusively along the perimeter. In order to hide the tape, special polymer curtain rods are used or plasterboard boxes are assembled.

Stretch ceiling with LED lighting

Some tips for installing LED strips on a stretch ceiling

  1. Controllers and power supplies of tapes located behind the canvas must be installed in an accessible place for possible replacement.
  2. Before gluing the sticky LED strip, surfaces must be degreased or primed.
  3. It is possible to mount LED sources not only on horizontal planes, sometimes it is more convenient to fix them on the wall.
  4. It is necessary to bend the device very carefully, as the minimum radius is limited.
  5. Cut tapes exclusively according to the manufacturer’s marks.
  6. Arrange boxes and curtain rods carefully from the inside. Interior space can be reflected on glossy ceilings. Cables and fasteners can give an ugly picture. Sometimes the tape in the box or cornice is covered with transparent matte plexiglass.
  7. When making a box from gypsum plasterboard, or installing a cornice (before stretching the canvas), please note that installers will need a place to assemble the ceiling. The minimum between the rough ceiling and the box should be 12 centimeters.
  8. Always pay attention to the polarity when assembling the circuit.
  9. Do not place stretch ceiling LED strip near other light sources.
  10. Observe the manufacturer’s recommended daisy chain tape length. In large rooms, the perimeter will most likely have to be assembled from several lines..
Model A type Power, W / m Colour For wet rooms Glow modes Cost, rub / m
Neon Night, 121-325 duralight 2.4 multicolor Yes dynamic 200
Rich LED, 13mm duralight 4.8 white Yes permanent one hundred
60SMD (3528), China tape, IP23 4.8 white not permanent 130
NLS-5050RGB60 tape, IP65 14.4 multicolor Yes dynamic 280
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