LED Lighting Explained: Elevate your Hot Toys Collection

So you got your hands on the figures, you got the display units, and you marked off an area in the house to display your Hot Toys or figure collection but something is missing. You ask yourself: what else is there that you can do to highlight your collection? The next natural step for upgrading your collection is the addition of LED lighting. This additional step can really make your display the centerpiece of your home if properly executed with the correct understanding of LED lights and how they function and look based on watts or color temperature.

Without a doubt, one of the most important items to add to any collection is lighting. There is no reason to let your figures sit in the dark. After all, collecting Hot Toys or other sixth scale figures can be an expensive hobby why not allow house guests to indulge and enjoy your collection, too. One of the easiest items to add is Light Emitting Diode (LED) strips to your shelves. LED’s have the added benefit of producing little to no heat and have a very long working time. Additionally, they give off very low levels of UV radiation which means your figures fabrics, materials or otherwise will not fade when exposed to them. There are many places to buy LED light strips like IKEA, Home Depot, Amazon and others. But with so many types/kinds on the market, how do you know what is right for you? First let’s cover some basics with LED lighting.

Color Temperature

Color Temperature Scale Measured in Kelvins (image courtesy of SocketStore.co.uk)

The warmth of the light emitted from the LED can really change the overall mood or feel of your collection. Color temperature is often expressed in units of Kelvin. As the Kelvin temperature value increases the light produced is referred to as being “cooler” in look and feel. You will notice that higher Kelvin temperatures in excess of 6000K will appear to be a shade of “blue” almost.

Alternatively, as Kelvin temperature of the light decreases, the lighting becomes could be described more as “warm” looking with more of a yellow/orange shade to it. Anything below 4000K in color temperature will appear particularly yellow/orange in color and looks almost like a warm summer night sunset in some photographs or lighting conditions.

“Warm” LED Lighting (Left) vs “Cool” LED Lighting (Right) produces a completely different look!

Either of these looks can drastically change your display.


Watts used to be synonymous with brightness in the world of lighting but that was in the old incandescent bulb days. Now-a-days, LED lights have a much lower wattage consumption, thereby saving you money. Which means you can show off the ol’ Hot Toys collection without breaking the bank on the electricity bill. Lumens is the measurement of brightness that our eyes can see. So the higher the lumens the brighter the display.

Chip Size

Often when shopping for LED strips or bulbs for your collection you will see numbers such as 5050, 3528 or 2835 in the product listings to name a few of the examples. The numbers here in this particular case describe the size of the LED chip in millimeters. Typically (but not always) larger LED chips will produce an overall higher light output but that is not always the case. If you are unsure refer to the product details prior to purchasing and setup to save the hassle.

Different LED Chip Sizes will produce different Light Outputs – here’s a few examples of common types & sizes with a visual idea of what they look like!

Here is a picture of my personal Hot Toys and sixth scale figure collection.. I am currently using 5050SMD LED strips with a roughly 780 lumen count and a cool white temperature for that more “blue” appearance that was previously mentioned.

A look at my personal collection of Hot Toys figures with a “cool” white LED lighting setup!

As you can see there are many combinations for LED lights to properly showcase any figure collection. Now that you are armed with all this technical information under your belt you are a regular day Tony Stark! Now go on and shed some light on your awesome collection. And if you are looking to add any additional Hot Toys figures to your collection be sure to consult our homepage for a look at the latest Pre-Orders from your favorite sixth scale figure & pop culture collectibles companies!

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