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How to Install LED Strip Lights

Install LED Strip Lights

LED Strip Lights provide a flexible means of both indoor and outdoor illumination. Strips are typically up to 5m in length but may be cut at designated regular intervals. Chains of strips may be achieved given the correct power supply. The adhesive backing allows LED strips to be attached to all surface types.

How to Install LED Strip Lights

Installing LED strips is a relatively straight forward process. Always ensure to consult an electrician when combining two or more strips in a chain, as power supply considerations will vary according to circumstance.

Steps:

  • Measuring Up
    The length of an LED light strip may be shortened with scissors at any of the regular highlighted intervals along the strip, usually indicated with a line, spaced roughly every 10cm (4 – 5 inches). With this in mind, make sure to adjust the desired final position of the strip such that the end connected to the power supply is close to an appropriate outlet. The choice is also generally made to move the powered end of the strip close to a drill-hole in a cupboard, for example, so that wiring may be easily concealed.
  • Power Supply
    LED light strips are generally sold in bundles containing a power pack and connectors. This power supply will be relevant to the manufacturer’s guidance on powering the strip. Using an alternate power supply could result in overloading the strip (burnout) or conversely may result in a dimmer over all output. When purchasing the strip and power supply separately, be sure to consult the literature accompanying the strip for best results.
  • Cut & Connect
    The designated ‘cut’ points located at regular intervals along the strip allow a safe place to expose the wiring within the strip. This is where the power supply connector ‘clips’ into place. A small section of the strip is placed inside the connector, which then snaps shut to provide an insulated completed connection.

Wifi Connectivity

A standard 5m (16.4ft) LED light strip should provide ample length to suit most popular locations around the home and garden (e.g. kitchen cabinet under-lighting, garden shed). Extending beyond this length would ideally entail a separate strip complete with a seperate power pack (although solutions involving multiple wires from a singular power pack are available). This avoids complicated chain strips, which must be powered properly.

A popular DIY solution to controlling multiple strips from a singular switch is to build wifi connectivity into the circuit. Wifi boxes may be purchased separately, and can be controlled from a linked smartphone, tablet, or virtual assistant (e.g. Alexa, Google Home). Alternatively, seek professional advice when attempting a setup that allows multiple strips to be controlled from a central physical switch.

Splash Proof & Waterproof

While waterproof and splash proof LED strips are widely available, an important consideration to bare in mind when choosing suitable lighting solutions is that not all strips are water resistant (the added feature of water resistance is commonly reflected in the retail price). Where a non-waterproof light strip is intended for use in areas likely to come into contact with water, trunking is available in both clear and semi-clear formats.

4 Responses to How to Install LED Strip Lights

  1. Mal says:

    How do I calculate the required transformer wattage for a given strip length?

    • Jamie / LED Expert says:

      Hi Mal,

      The transformer wattage should cover the strip light wattage plus around 10%, so a 72 Watt Strip Light would require an 80 Watt transformer.

  2. Tom says:

    How do I cut and solder the spashproof LED strip? I want to turn the strip 90 degrees so need to cut and join the strip. Do you have some instructions for this? Also if the strip is 9 meters from the transformer will 0.75m2 wire be sufficient or will the loss be too great to work well? Should I use 1,5m2 wire instead?
    Can I use the strip in 3 sections in 3 different locations in the room?

    • Jamie / LED Expert says:

      Hi Tom,

      You can cut the strips every 5cm as there will be visible cut marks and you can use scissors to make the cut. You will need to put the ends of the wires onto the oval copper points on the strip and then solder the wires onto that.

      In regards to the cable, as we are not electrically qualified we cannot advise you on the size of cable required, we generally say that a 2 core cable would be sufficient enough to bridge any gaps.

      The strips can be put in three different sections, but please be aware that if you do this they would either need to have their own transformer or be connected as one continuous circuit if you would prefer to use the one transformer.

      Hope that help, but feel free to contact us on 0333 77 22 111 if you need anything else.

      Thanks.