How to Install LED Strip Lights

Install LED strip lights will add a bright light to your bedroom and amazing colorful light to your living room, behind the tv, camper, or RV awning. LED strips have many advantages. They work on a very safe low voltage, often 12V or 24V DC. The led strip lights with thin and flat and are flexible to form various shapes of lighting design, so they can be easy to install around corners, on the wall, on shelves, on tv, under kitchen cabinets, etc.

Install led strip lights is so easy. So you may want to install led strip lights by yourself to actualize your led lights DIY colors ideas of led strip lighting. But there are some mistakes that many users would make.

The post will show you how to install led strip lights properly. It includes all methods and notes worth of attention you need to know about how to install led light strips. After reading this strip lights installation guide, you will learn how to install led strip lights step by step.

How to properly install led strip lights

Next, we will learn the actual steps of installing LED strip lights, including how to measure and cut led strips, connect strip lights together, install led light strip connectors, connect led strip lights to power supply, etc. It covers practical installation tips and common mistakes that you should avoid.

Step 1. Test the led strip lights you get

Before installation, you should test the LED strips to ensure that the strip lights are functional; the color and color temperature are what you need. As well as make sure the LED strip lights controller works well and can adjust the lighting that effects you want.

The test is to ensure all the connections work well, preventing surprise after we install the led strip lights. After the strip lights are applied with 3M adhesive, it will be hard to take them down. Even if we managed to do so, the led strip lights might have potential damages caused by stress while taking them down. And, we can not get a secure bonding if we use the 3M adhesive for the second time.

Step 2. Clean the surfaces where you will install

The mounting surfaces must be clean and kept dry to get optimum adhesion. This includes removing dirt, oil, and other contaminants.  After you clean the surfaces, it will facilitate the quick and safe installation of strip lights. Once the prepared surfaces dry, we can continue to the next steps.

Step 3. Measure the length of led strip lights that you need to install

Next is to measure the length of each leg of the installation. This is because, in most instances, the led light strips need to be cut when installed around corners. We should take notes of our measurements as we will need them when cutting strip lights later.

how to cut led strip lights

Step 4. How to cut LED strip lights?

In this step, we will cut the strip lights according to the needed length measured before. Cutting LED light strips is very easy. On the led strips marked cutting lines, the strip lights are often designed to be cuttable in every three or six LEDs. The short-cutting segments are perfect for the accurate length of the installation.

how to cut led strip lights

Step 5. How to connect LED lights strip together?

We need to connect led light strips to each other after cutting. When installing led strips on corners, we will be making 90-degree turn connections.

5.1. Connect led light strips with connectors

Open the clip on the connector. And tear off a small section of 3M adhesive. Then insert the led strip end into the connector, and we should ensure the copper pads of the led strip line connect with the conductor pins of the connector. Close the lock pad to secure the connection between the led strip light and connector.

5.2. Repeat the step above, and connect another led strip on the other end of the connector. Here we should ensure the polarities match correctly for the strip light and connector. A wrong polarity connection will cause damage to strip lights and connectors.

5.3. When installing led strip lights around corners, don’t twist strip lights. Cut off the strip light and use L or T shape LED connectors to make turn connections.

Step 6. How to connect led strip lights to power supply?

If we install the single color LED strip lights that don’t need a controller, we can connect the positive “+” of led strips to positive “+” of the adapter,  and connect V- to V-. We should correctly match the electrical polarities, do not mix these up, otherwise will damage the led strip lights.

Connect led light strips with connectors

Next, connect LED strips to the power adapter. It is easier, we only plug the male connector of the power supply into the female connector, and then we can plug the power supply into the wall outlet to start lighting the led strip lights.

When installing the led strips that require a controller, we only connect the adapter to the corresponding V+ and V- poles of the controller instead. Then connect the V+ and V-  color ends on the other side of the controller to each of the corresponding ends on the light strips.

Connect two LED light strips to one power supply

One power supply can provide power to two light strips. We only need to prepare a two-way power splitter to connect the two led strips. We need to pay attention that the led strip light wattage cannot exceed the output of the strip light power supply. The led strip light power supply is often under 120W. So each led strip can be 50W at most.

Since voltage drop and current load issues, the led strips are designed to run continuously up to a certain limit. This is a challenges for connecting strip lights in series to achieve longer installation.  RGB led strip lights are often set to run 16.4ft(5m) or 32.8ft(10m).

Step 7. How to power LED strip lights?

The led strip’s input terminals for power supply have three power wires, the L for live wire, N for neutral wire, and G for the ground wire. Connecting the wires to the power supply provides power to led strip lights.

Step 8. How to hang led strip lights

This guide will teach us two methods to hang led strip lights. One method is to utilize 3m adhesive tape, and another is to use mounting brackets.

8.1. Install led strip lights with 3M adhesive tape.

Install the led strips 2ft at a time to prevent the strip light from being messed up by entangling themselves or sticking to dust. Therefore, tear off the protection film of the 3M adhesive for about 2ft, attach the 2ft strip light to the application surface, then tear off for another 2ft and stick, and so on.

peel off the blue layer only

Press the strip lights 3M adhesive contact to the surface, thus improving bond strength. But do not press too hard, especially on LEDs and resistors. Pressure should only be applied in areas with no LEDs or other electrical components.

8.2. Install led strip lights without adhesive

 This way is a good choice when we install led light strips outdoor. We will use led strip mounting brackets and screws instead of 3M tape. Install one mounting bracket at appropriate intervals along the strip lights.

Last, install the LED controller and power supplies. Turn on the power, and start to enjoy the led strip lighting! After reading this strip lights installation guide, I hope you can install led strips like a professional.

How to wire led light strips together

Install led strip lights on ceiling. Indirect lighting is an aesthetic design of the main lighting for the room. For the 15ft x 15ft room, we connect four 16.4 ft led strips to a controller and extend one LED strip light to each corner of the room, connecting each LED strip light.

How to install led strip light on wall

To install your LED strip lights on the wall, you’ll need to ensure they’re installed behind a lip. This will hide the led strips but still give the full lighting effect for a much sleeker look. Put LED strip lights can look great on your walls or ceiling.

LED strip light ideas


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