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How to Change the Color of an LED Light

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Over the past few years, the evolution of LED lights has been expeditious. Now, LED lights glow in several colors. Manufacturers have given us the option of changing the color of our RGB LED lights to our preference. If you don’t know where to start, we specifically prepared this guide to help you learn how to change the color of an LED light bulb or strip.

How to Change the Color of an LED Light

You can change the color of your LED in several ways. If you have an RGB light, you can use a remote control or wall mount controller. Some RGBs are preset from the factory and have a color-changing sequence of their own.

However, if you are not able to purchase an RGB LED light, you can apply DIY methods on your traditional LED light bulb or strip to change its color. There are also different ways on how to change the color of your LED lights.

White LED bulb

Changing with a Remote Control (With Inbuilt Receiver)

These are the simplest types of color-changing bulbs to use. The numbering and color system on the remote control is not that complicated. Most of these remote controls have the color customized and indicated on the buttons.

You only need to mount your bulb and press the color you want from the remote control button. These LED bulbs have only three primary colored LEDs inside; red green and blue.

Most RGBs in this category (like the compact-RGB-2) come in two parts, a little remote controller and the receiver. For this method, you’ll need an RGB LED strip, a source of power supply, and the connecting cable. (with one side connecting port)

  1. Plug the connecting cable into the output connector of your power supply. Then wire the cable into the input port of the receiver. Make sure that you match the positive and negative wires to their respective ports.
  2. Wire the GRB LED strip into the output of your receiving unit. Make sure that you correctly wire the red, green blue, and black wires to R, B, G, and the + sign marked on the receiver.
  3. Plug the power supply and switch on your lighting system. Most brands pair RGB remotes with the receivers at the production level. If yours is not, press the ID learning button on the receiver.
  4. When you do this, the flashing LED on the receiver will turn on. Press any key on the remote to pair the two parts. The LED on the receiver will now flash rapidly to confirm successful pairing.

Your little remote should have several quick select color buttons. When you press any of these, your LED will change to the button color. 

In addition to the color buttons, you will notice that your remote has red, green, and blue up and down arrows (These particular buttons will vary with different brands). These arrow buttons allow you to fine-tune your color selection. You can get the color you want using the arrow buttons. 

Controlling the LED Light With the Paired Remote

Once you are happy with your color selections, you can save that color using the numbered button on the remote. Choose your preferred color and pressing a number button for about two seconds. This way, you can save that particular color.

It is important to note that some RGB LED lights only allow you to adjust brightness levels to only preset colors but not custom colors. You should set your brightness level as required before you save the custom color as you cannot adjust this afterward.

The plus and the minus buttons on the remote will allow you to adjust the brightness of your LED strip. They also allow you to change the speed that your LED changes color.

Changing Using Tissue Paper

This simple life hack will help change your plain white-colored LED bulb to a color of your choice. For this method, you’ll need the LED bulb (or strip), some tissue or thin paper, sellotape, some color markers, and a pair of scissors.

Light bulb

Now, follow these steps to change the color of your LED light using a tissue paper: 

  1. Carefully trim the tissue with the scissors. The size of your tissue paper depends on the size of the bulb or strip you are using.
  2. Take a color marker of your choice and color the tissue. Make sure that there are no white marks left to allow the white light escape.
  3. Wrap the colored tissue around the bulb or strip and sellotape it carefully.
  4. Mount your lights and turn it on to confirm if it meets your expectations. If the color is not intense enough, try using a darker colored marker or coloring over the tissue paper a couple of times.

Changing White LEDs by Directly Coloring the Bulb

This is a more permanent method when it comes to changing white LED lights. For this method, you’ll need your white LED light or strip, some sandpaper with a grit of between 200 and 400, and some color markers.

Got everything? Great. Now follow these steps: 

  1. Sand the bulb to get that diffused and cloudy effect. Next, use a soft cloth to wipe off the dust from the sanding.
  2. Use the color marker of your choice to paint the lens/ cover of your LED strip/bulb.
  3. Light your bulb to see if you missed any spots during the coloring. If you did, repeat the coloring and retest.

It is important to note that what determines the color of your LED is the specific material used to make the LED and the amount of current passed through the LED.

Therefore, changing the color of the outer part of your LED light does not interfere with the electrical mechanisms applied during its manufacture. When you remove the paper or the painting, your bulb or strips will still produce that original white hue.

While this hack will not give you the standard industry results, you can at least change the color temporarily, which could be useful in a hurry. You may also not be able to adjust the colors the same way you would while using the mini remote or the wall mount controllers

Changing With a Wireless Wall Mounted Controller (With an External Receiver)

This is another simple process you can use to change the color of a LED light. For this method, you’ll need: a wireless receiver, two pieces of power supply, and the RGB LED strip.

  1. Connect one power supply into the input of at the back of your controller. Then connect the second power supply into the wireless receiver.
  2. Use step two above to Wire the GRB LED strip into the output of your receiving unit.
  3. Turn your controller on and off via the central part of the touch interface. When the controller is on, the indicator light will turn from red to blue.
  4. Pair your receiver with the controller by pressing the learning ID button on the receiver once. Select one of the zone buttons marked one to four on your controller. This step will pair the receiver with the selected zone you have pressed.
  5. To change the color of your light, select a preferred color from the color wheel of your remote controller.
Learn how to change the color of a LED light

Important Things to Note

  • Every brand has its industry model and precision on their remote control and receivers. What we have used to take you through this guide is one of the most common modelings across the industry.
  • The connection wires from the power supply to the receiver might be different depending on the manufacturer.
  • When using an RGB LED light with remote control, you must learn troubleshooting tricks that might help you when your appliances begin to fail; for example, doing the factory reset.

How to Reset Your LED Strips

Most LED strips are remote-controlled devices so it is easy to perform a factory reset (resetting overall settings and connectivity). These kinds of settings allow you to begin the usage of your appliance from the start.

Below are the steps to do this:  

  1. Turn your LED strip on for a few minutes.
  2. Turn the strip off and then unplug the power adapter without turning off the remote control device.
  3. Press and hold the power button for some second then reconnect the power supply
  4. Proceed to hold the power button for about five seconds the wait for the RGB LED strips to turn on.
  5. At first, the LED will turn in a sequence of red, green, and blue and finally yellow. Release the button when your LED strips hold in yellow.

This process may be different depending on the manufacturer. You need to read the instructions from the user manual on how to handle this situation as per the factory standard procedures.

Conclusion 

Changing the color of an LED light can be as digital as using a remote control to as manual as painting the plastic lens that covers the LED. Either way, you have the power to determine what color your LED light produces. While buying your LED light bulb, go for an option that will provide you with the biggest range of colors.