When it comes to the subject of lighting, specifically LED lighting, there are often many misconceptions and choosy vocabulary which can make the entire subject perplexing. For example: LED Rope Lighting is frequently interchanged with Flexible Strip lighting. The fact is that the two are very different. Lets explore each type of lighting so we can establish these differences and see which one will work best for your application!

Rope Lightingrope flexible lighting

Rope LED lighting is an enclosed system; a string of LED bulbs surrounded by a PVC jacket. This design makes rope lighting suitable for indoor and outdoor usage. Often referred to as a first generation of LED products, rope lighting was and still is very useful.

  • Cost– rope lighting is rather inexpensive
  • Color options– rope lights often come in single colors like red, red, green, and white
  • Voltage – rope lights can vary in their voltage from 12V, to 24V, or 120V

LED rope lights are most commonly used for accent lighting, or for outdoor applications.  Due to the spacing of the LED bulbs within the strip (typically about an inch apart) they are not particularly efficient sources of task light. Additionally, if a bulb within the rope lighting burns out or becomes dim, there is no way to replace the bulb because of the construction of the housing.

Flexible Stripsflexible strip led lighting

Flexible LED strips typically have an adhesive backing and can come with or without a silicone enclosure. These strips are extremely low profile and can be used in a variety of ways. They can also be easily cut to customized lengths.

  • Cost– flexible strips can be rather inexpensive, the brightness of the LED strip will be a factor in price
  • Color– flexible strips, like rope lights, come in a variety of different colors (our RGB strips can even change colors!)
  • Voltage – all of our flexible strips are 12V – so they consume very little power, other companies may also offer 24V flex which is a great option

Flexible strips are great for both indoor and outdoor applications. These strips are most commonly known for being used under kitchen cabinets as task lighting. Flexible strips can also be used as an accent above cabinets, as a toe-kick, under bars, or anywhere else you can stick them!

Both rope lighting and flexible strip lighting are great options when it comes to transitioning to LEDs, and both serve their own purposes. The total customization that comes with flexible strip lighting is what really puts it above rope lighting, and makes it our most recommended and popular product.


For more information on why you should choose LEDs for your next lighting project check out our other recent blogs. There you can find tips on illuminating your home and also learn about lighting changes being made near you! For further information regarding any of our products, or if you have questions about LEDs in general, contact us at (480) 941-4286 or email us at orders@inspiredled.com.