How to Install LED Strip Lights?
Supplies and tools required for LED strip installation
Before installing the LED strip lights, we need to prepare the materials and tools required for installation, including LED strip lights, power supply, LED controller, LED connector, LED strip channel, etc. You can choose the relevant materials and tools based on the needs of your project.
1. Select LED strips (single-color, CCT, RGB, RGBW, RGB+ CCT)
Whether it’s a living room, kitchen, office or commercial space, LED tape light can now provide comfortable lighting anywhere, it can not only provide accent lighting for one area, but also illuminate the entire room. Modern LED strip lights are bright enough for any project.
2. 12V, 24V LED power supply, including power adapter and switching power supply
The power supply is also interchangeably referred to as an LED driver or an LED transformer. The LED power supply is connected to a 110V / 220V household power supply and provides 12V or 24V DC to the LED strip. A proper LED strip power supply should not only have the proper voltage (12V or 24V) and current output, but also enough power to be able to power the flexible LED strip lights.
To select an appropriate LED strip power supply, the wattage of the strip lamp to be installed is first calculated.
Formula: strip light wattage = strip light length x wattage/meter.
The power usage of the LED strip to be installed is equal to the length of the LED strip multiplied by the wattage per unit length. For example, for a 5m 12V LED strip at 10w/m, what power supply should we use?
The power usage of the LED strip is 5m x 10w/m = 50W. But LED power supplies should not be used at full load. Typically 15-20% more capacity should be set aside. So the LED strip light power supply should be 50w*1.2=60W.
LED strips work on direct current (DC), so only DC power adapter or power supply LED can be used.
3. LED controller
The LED controller can adjust the brightness level and LED color. LED strip lights controller is optional for single color LED strips, but required for adjustable LED strips, RGB and RGBW strips.
4. LED strip connector
Select the appropriate solderless LED connector based on the type and width of your LED strip. There are two important specifications when selecting an LED strip light connector.
A specification is the number of conductor pins of the connector. LED strip lights installation usually chooses single color strip (2 pins), CCT strip (3 pins), RGB (4 pins) or RGBW (5 pins) according to the type of LED tape.
Another specification is the width. The width of the LED strip connectors should be selected according to the width of the LED strip lights, generally 5 mm, 8 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm, etc.
There are many types of connections for strip light installation, including strip-to-strip, strip-to-power, strip-to-controllers, controller-to-power, and more. Typically, we make the connection by two methods: soldering or using a solderless LED connector.
Use solderless LED connectors. Due to the rapid development of LED light strips, solderless strip connectors have seen a corresponding rapid development. As of today, solderless LED strip connectors are capable of getting you through most projects.
By welding. It’s also great if you consider soldering. Solder connections are permanent and provide the perfect bridge for current flow. Soldering LED strips and wires is not difficult. Easily find tools, parts and materials for your welding job. With a little practice, you will be able to make the best possible solder connections.
5. LED Aluminum extrusion profile for strip light installation
LED aluminum profiles are a premium option for mounting LED strips. There are many advantages to using LED aluminum channels for strip light.
- Serve as a heat sink for better strip light heat management.
- Working as a mount bridge provides a better mounting surface for strip light installation.
- Provide better light diffusion through diffuser cover.
- Protect the LED strip from dust, impact, etc.
Practical steps of LED strip light installation
- Measure the LED strip. Roughly estimate how many meters of led strip lights you will need. If you plan to install the LED strip in different locations, please measure each point so that you can cut the LED strip according to size later.
- Clean and dry the mounting surface. Take a clean cloth and thoroughly wipe the area to be installed, using soapy water or cleaning solution as needed to remove any residue and dirt; if the installation area is wet, dry the area thoroughly to ensure a permanent and smooth adhesion of the LED tape.
Note: You can install on any smooth surface such as wood, metal, etc.; do not install the LED strip lights on textured or grainy surfaces, because the adhesive will come off over time.
- Tear off the back glue of the LED strip, and slowly stick it to the application area. First tear off a part of the back glue of the strip light, carefully align a part of the LED strip, and then press it on the wall, table, cabinet or the place you want to install, press each part of the strip light on the installation surface, keep the light as straight as possible.
- Use scissors to cut off the excess led tape light after installation. Cutting should be made where it can be cut to avoid damaging the light strip.
- Connect the LED power supply to light the LED strip. If you need to connect an LED dimmer, please connect the LED dimming controller between the light strip and the power supply, and then plug in the LED strip power supply to light up; if not, you can connect the LED light strip directly to the LED power supply and plug it in.
It’s worth noting, don’t try to connect LED strips to your home’s electrical circuit, it’s a dangerous operation, have it done by a professional electrician if needed. If you want to solder the LED strip lights by yourself, please pay attention to the ventilation of the room and take proper safety measures.