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If you are looking for a way to decorate and add color to your room, LED light strips come in handy. Even if you don’t have any electrical experience, you can hang your LED strip lights with ease.
You only need to prepare yourself earlier by ensuring you have the correct length of LEDs and a matching power supply. We prepared this guide to help you learn how to hang led light strips.
How to Hang LED Light Strips
When installing LED strips, we look at four steps:
- Power supply requirements
- Connection to the power supply
- Soldering LED strips
- Hanging LED light strips
Determine the Power Supply
One of the most crucial first steps to hanging your LEDs is identifying the power supply. To do this, follow these steps:
Step 1: Measure Your LEDs
Firstly, take a rough estimate of how much light you need. For instance, you may want to have the LED lighting fixed at different spots in your room. If that is the case, then you need to have the measurements of each spot so that you can cut the right size of the LED strips later. Determine the total length of LED lights required by adding the measurements together.
Step 2: Determine the Amount of Voltage Needed
If you are purchasing the strips online, look at the details of the product on the website to know the voltage. Alternatively, you can look at the product label to know the type of voltage required for the light strip. Normally, the voltage of LEDs is either 12v or 24v.
You would probably like to have your LEDs running for a long time. To achieve that, you need to acquire a matching power supply for the LED light strip.
Step 3: Determine the Power Consumption
There is a specific amount of power wattage needed for a LED light strip. Just check at the product label you will see the exact number of watts required. Then, multiply the distance of the strip you are planning to install by the watts
Step 3: Identify the Minimum Power Rating
If you want to know how strong your power supply is, then multiply the consumption by 1.2. The result will help you to determine the minimum power rating. In some cases, LEDs tend to consume more power than expected. Thus, you have to add an extra of 20 percent to the total power consumption that you are going to attain.
Step 5: Determine the Speed of the Electrical Current
Lastly, you have to divide the power consumption by the voltage. Why is it important? It is essential because you will be able to get the minimum amperes.
Doing this will also help you in knowing the swiftness of the electrical current on the light strip. If the current is not fast enough, the effectiveness of the LED strip will be affected. The light will dim or shut off.
You can avert that, by testing the amp rating on a regular basis.
Connect the LED Strips to the Power Supply
Follow these steps to connect your LED light strips to the power supply:
Step 1: Connect with Plug-in Connectors
If you have more than one LED strip in your room, you can use plug-in quick connectors to connect them. At the end of every LED strip, there is a clip-on connector that fits over the copper dots.
The dots have plus or minus labels. Connect each clip to the rightful dot. Position the black wire on the dot marked negative, and the red wire over the dot marked as positive.
Step 2: Eliminate Loose Wiring
You can take care of any loose wiring on the strip by selecting screw-on connectors. This method is effective because the screw-on devices have slots for the wires which are mostly used to connect these devices. Look at the connectors to know which is marked positive and negative.
After that, you can proceed to put the matching wire to each slot. Ensure you have a Phillips screwdriver because it will help you to turn the screws in the clockwise direction.
Step 3: Connect the LED Strips to the Power Source
The next step is connecting the LED to the power source using a quick connector. Ensure that your power supply has got a long cable with a plug at the end. Now, just connect power adapter plugs into one end of the LED strip. That way, your LED strip will start working effectively.
Solder the LED Strips to the Power Supply
To solder your LED light strips to the power supply, follow these steps:
Step 1: Use Protective Gear
It is necessary to protect yourself because when soldering the strip, some fumes are released. The fumes are irritating when inhaled. Put on a dust mask and open the nearby doors and windows for protection purposes.
Don’t forget to put on safety glasses to protect your eyes from splattered metals, smoke, and heat.
Step 2: Measure the Red and the Black Power Wires
Normally, LED lights have two contacts and each contact needs a separate wire. Most people use wires from 0.025 to 0.04 in diameter. That diameter will work just fine for you.
You should also remove 1.3 cm of the casing of each wire. You can do this by measuring the end of the wire you are planning to use. Afterward, clamp the wire between the jaw of the tool.
To break the casing, press the tool down. Once the casing is broken, you can now proceed and strip off the remaining wire.
Step 3: Heat the Soldering Iron
You need to wait for about 30 seconds for the iron to heat up to 350 Fahrenheit. With that heat, the iron will be ready to melt copper without spoiling or scorching it.
You also need to be extra careful when handling iron, because it gets so hot. For your safety, you can as well set in a heat-safe soldering iron holder.
Step 4: Melt the End of the Wires
After positioning the wires over the respective dots that is: red wire over the dot marked as positive and the black wire over the negative dot, work on them separately. Take the soldering iron and hold it at a 45-degree angle along with the exposed wire.
Subsequently, you can touch the wire lightly until it fully melts and sticks on the place. After melting, wait for about 30 seconds for the soldier to cool. Usually; the soldered copper does not take long to cool down.
Step 5: Cover Exposed Wires
Put a shrink tube over the exposed wires for protection. To be on the safer end, you should use a gentle source of heat such as a hairdryer. Hold it near 15 cm and move it forth and back to avoid burning it.
Once you are certain that the tube is tight against soldered joints, you can comfortably install the LED and protect yourself from electric shock.
Step 6: Solder the Opposite Ends of the Copper Wires to the LEDs
You can effectively soldier the wires by connecting the dots to the nearest LED strips. Also, you can plug the wire into a screw-on-quick which plugs in turn into a power supply of another device.
In case you are using a connector, you can put the wires into the opening of the connector. Afterward, you can use a screwdriver to tighten the terminals.
Hang the LED Light Strips
After successfully connecting the LED Lights to the power supply, it is now time to hang them. To do these, follow these steps:
Step 1: Clean the Installation Surface
To do this, dampen a clean cloth in warm, the scrub the surface to remove the debris. Anything left on the wall can hinder the LEDs from sticking. Therefore, you need to thoroughly clean the surface.
If there is moisture left, ensure that you have removed it and leave the surface for around 30 minutes to dry.
Step 2: Hang the LED Lights
Later, clean the adhesive backing and put the LEDs in the right place. One thing with LED is that they are like stickers. Therefore, you can’t just put them on the wall. You need to be very careful and ensure that the adhesive site is well-positioned.
You start with one end of the source and then peel the backing of the LED light. Finally, just place it and press it flat by hand. Afterward, you can proceed to place the other strips.
You are also required to cut the LEDs. The strips have dotted guidelines that help you to cut the strip effectively. All you need to do is unroll the length of the strip that you need and look for the dotted lines on each.
The lines are typically positioned between the copper dots. As advised earlier, make sure that the strip length is effective for your project.
We hope that this article will guide you on how to hang your LED light strips with ease. Make sure that you are very careful with the whole process. That is from identifying the power source, soldering to hanging the LEDs