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Illuminations
LEDI’s Nick Senofsky may have just perfected the LED tape light with the release of its
latest version.
Residential Lighting: How did you get started with LED tape lights?
Nick Senofsky: By training, I’m an electrical engineer. In 2007, I saw a huge need for
a high-quality tape light. Tape lights were selling back then, but they were bad. They’d
claim to be 3000K, but they had garishly green colors. Some had an unnatural
magenta tint. Most had inconsistent color. Their adhesive would fail. Some of the
connectors worked, some didn’t. If you turned a connector upside-down, it usually
wouldn’t light at all.
So in 2010, I started developing a new LED tape light and released it the following
spring. We took it to a whole new level. We were the first to have a 2700K light and it
was consistent. Our connector was reversible. It didn’t matter if the electrician lacked
experience in handling it — it could get it plugged in, it would light. We also used a
polyurethane coating, rather than an epoxy, which become yellow and brittle after a
few months.
RL: What about power?
NS: The old systems had a 5W halogen festoon bulb — four per foot, so each foot was
20W. A 20-by-20-foot living room would use 1,600W of power. It was 12V product
with a bank of massively large drivers putting a ton of heat into the space. Our latest
product has only 2.2W. That’s one-tenth the power — 160W instead of 1,600W for
that 20-by-20-foot living room. You’re saving electricity and saving money on cooling.
RL: And the connectors?
NS: Connectors have always been problematic for tape lights. You’d think that with
putting a spacecraft on Mars there would be a connector out there that would do what
we need it to do, but no. I went to every major connector factory, because I didn’t
want to start from scratch, but we wound up designing our own. Our connector is high
amperage — it’s low wattage-per-foot, but you need current to run many feet. It’s
low-profile so as not to impede the light of the LEDs around it, and it has three patents
— an international patent and U.S. design and utility patents. We figured out a way to
mix polyurethane and apply it in a skin-like film. We call it NANOSKN. Our coated tape
light is brighter and moisture-rated. If your blender explodes all over it, you just take
a sponge and wipe it down. Also, Inspire V4 is the world’s first-ever coated tape light
that’s cuttable and reconnectable.
RL: What can lighting showrooms do to sell more LED tape lights?
NS: Most people in the lighting industry come at the business from a decorative
standpoint. Many are fearful of conversations involving drivers, wattages, loads and
run-length limits. I have great compassion for our industry, which is being forced into
a whole new world of technology. I don’t feel tension in my soul, because I have a
tech background. The key is to get to know the technology.
So, my first piece of advice to lighting showrooms is to educate the staff. Second,
integrate light fixtures and dimmers in the store.
LEDI’S LATEST
Inspire V4 LED tape lights are …
• Thin-coated with NANOSKN to run brighter and cooler
• Cuttable
• Reconnectable
Nick Senofsky is founder/CEO of LED Inspirations (LEDI), Cypress, TX. Prior to forming
LEDI, Senofsky was part owner of Lighting Unlimited, a Houston lighting showroom
which won a 2010 Showroom of the Year Award.