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How to Connect LED Strip Lights

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LED strip lights have become so popular. They can give an atmospheric feel, bright and light feel in the room, and highlight some parts of the house making it even more beautiful. LED strip lights are self-adhesive which makes them easy to install.

In this article, you will learn how to connect LED strip lights, and get the most out of their function.

How to Connect LED Strip Lights

There are several steps that you should carefully follow in order to make your LED strip lights work. Some connections are directed to a power supply, some to adapters, and some LED strip lights are connected to a solderless connector. Let us go step by step on how to connect LED strip lights to these devices.

LED strip lights

How to Connect LED Strip Lights to a Solderless Connector

A solderless connector is a small, usually white device that can connect two or more conductors or one conductor to a terminal. It creates a connection through the use of mechanical pressure. You can use a solderless connector to connect LED strip lights.

Step 1: Take the Measurements You’ll Need

Usually, LED strip lights come as a reel. Measure the spot where you wish to put the LED lights. Then measure the length of LED lights that you need to cover that area. Make sure to cut the LED strip along the marked line to ensure that it won’t get damaged.

Sometimes, you have to decide to put slightly over or under your measured area depending on the LED strip’s marked line. 

Step 2: Look for the Positive and Negative Markings

You can see the positive and negative terminal of a LED light at every marked line of the strip for cutting. Correctly connecting the positive and negative terminal to the solderless connector will ensure the success of the installation. If the terminals are mixed up, the LED strip lights will not light up.

Step 3: Connect the LED Strip Light to the Solderless Connector

The wider side of the solderless connector is the top part of it. Flip the lock open, which can be found on the side. Insert the copper pad of the LED strip under the two metal clips. Make sure the mounting tray is tightly closed or the lights may not function properly.

Gently pull the LED strip from the connector to make sure that it is secured. Do not pull the wires on the other side of the solderless connector because it is too fragile. 

How to Connect LED Strip Lights to a Power Source

Once the LED strip lights have a secured connection whether through a solder, a solderless connector, or an adapter, you may now connect it to a power supply. Remember to turn the power source off before connecting it to the LED light

Step 1: Identify the Correct Power Supply

The right amount of power should be taken into consideration. Usually, LEDs use a low voltage, like 12V to 24V. Look at the packaging of the LED strip lights to know their specific voltage and power need. 

Hand holding LED strip lights

Other power supplies can make the LEDs dimmer or brighter depending on your preference. A controller may be used to control the brightness level of the light.

Step 2: Consider Using a Proper Power Adapter

A power adapter can provide more supply for several LED strips. However, the wattage of the strips should not exceed the power of the adapter. A power adapter is usually 120W. So, it can power up to two or four strips depending on their wattage. 

For instance, each strip is at 50W, which means the power adapter should only handle two. This is for your safety and for a longer use of both pieces of equipment.

Step 3: Connect the LED Strip Lights to the Power Supply

As a general rule, always make sure that you connect the power supply and the LED lights in the correct polarity. Look at the positive and negative signs usually located near the copper pads of the LED strips. Doing this simple thing wrong can cause the connection not to work, or worse it can damage the LEDs. 

Step 4: Test the Connection

After finding the right kind of power supply or adapter, it is now time to test your connections. It will determine whether you are proceeding to the last step or you’re going back to square one. The connection test is to make sure that everything works well and we don’t have to unmount anything once they’re on the wall or ceiling.

Once the testing is done and you didn’t find anything wrong with the connection. You may now proceed with the last step. If for some reason, some of the lights are not working, check your cuttings, the power source, or the adapter to find the problem.

Step 5: Mount the LED Strip Lights

Last but not the least, is the mounting of LED strip lights to wherever part of the house you want them to be. Before mounting them, make sure you don’t have to remove them again since the adhesive may not be as sticky the second time. 

Mount the LED strip light and the adapter or power source that you connected with it securely and carefully.

LED strip lights

How Many Multiple LED Strip Lights Should Be Connected to a Power Supply?

Knowing enough LED strips to be connected to a single power source can save the life of the LED driver and the strips themselves. Too many LED strips in one power source can also cause overheating. The more heat it produces, the shorter the life of the LEDs would be.

The number of strips should correspond to the power capacity of the source to make sure that no unnecessary things will happen. To identify the correct number of strips that your power source can safely light up, you can compute it by getting the product of the watts per meter of LED strip and its length.

After calculating that, make sure that your power rate is 20% more than the wattage and length computation. If you’re not into Math, the easier way to identify is to look at the packaging if it says how many LED strips can be connected to it. Usually, it is just around 2 or 3 strips.

What to Do if Your LED Strip Lights Didn’t Light Up

Some issues are inevitable when it comes to connecting LED strip lights. Here are some of the most common problems and how you can resolve them.

  • Make sure that the solderless connector is not installed upside down. If so, repeat the process and make sure to close the lid tightly, yet gently.
  • Make sure that the power source has enough to supply all the LED strips that you have. Insufficient power may cause other lights to flicker or not even light up at all. Make sure it is hooked up properly as well. 

Can Different Brands of LED Light Strips be Connected Together?

The quick answer is yes. Different brands of LED light strips can be connected together as long as they are the same voltage, width, and copper pads. However, using the same brand and type of LED strip lights can make the connection easier and you don’t have to worry about compatibility, control, and power supply.

Conclusion

To sum up, LED strip lights can be connected to other devices in many ways. It can be connected to a power adapter, a LED wire, a solderless connector, and even to another LED strip. You just have to pay attention to the smallest of details like the positive and the negative terminals, and the top and bottom of a connector.