Ultimate Guide to Mount LED Strips Lights
LED strips are now the preferred choice of millions of for their homes and businesses. To make your home unique and surprising, however, it is necessary to choose and install the LED strips in the best possible way.
LED strips what they are
We hear a lot about LED strip lighting and its functionality, but before seeing how they are installed, let’s try to understand what they are exactly. The LED strips are made up of chips arranged in series on a copper or aluminum strip and are commercially available in 5-metre tapes.
Equipped with adhesive tape to facilitate application, they are flexible and to choose the most suitable LED strip for our needs it is necessary to check its power, expressed in Watts, the color of the light, to be chosen between cold, warm, neutral or rgb white and the degree of impermeability, i.e. the degree of IP protection.
LED strips which to choose
Excellent for creating decorative elements in the rooms of the house, indoor LED strips can also be used as the main light source and today many people opt for dimmable LED strips that allow you to monitor the intensity of the light.
Their versatility and ease of application allows you to create a lighting system even in places where it is sometimes difficult to place a normal lamp, such as for example in very narrow corners, in curves or even in rooms with rather low ceilings, where it can be cumbersome even a ceiling light.
In fact, they have very small dimensions both in width, which generally consists of about ten or twelve millimetres, and in thickness, usually not exceeding two millimetres.
Learning how to install led strips is extremely easy: the installation of a led strip is in fact facilitated by the presence of an adhesive placed on the back of it. To apply the strip, simply remove the protective paper and position it, making it adhere to the surface where you want to install it.
If the adhesive strip is not present, glue can be used to mount the LED strips on the profiles or directly on the wall, taking care to fix them correctly.
Before installing the LED strips, it should be known that they are divided into permeable and waterproof: the latter are suitable for installation near water sources, such as in the bathroom.
But if you want to put the LED strip above a piece of furniture to highlight it, or you want to light up a detail of the room, how to do it? You have to cut the led strip to the desired length taking into account an important detail, namely the marked points.
How to Cut LED Strips?
The LED strips are characterized by some cutting points, which are used to identify where it is possible to cut them without damaging the circuits inside them.
To apply the strip to the desired part, first measure the required length and then make the cut with a pair of pointed scissors, holding the strip firmly with one hand. Never cut the LED strip outside the points indicated by the manufacturer.
Establishing the required length is easy: in fact, every five millimeters, within which there are three LEDs, there is a cutting point. This means that in a meter of LED strip there are sixty LEDs while on a strip of five meters there are three hundred chips.
How to Mount LED Strips?
Before fixing the LED strips, carefully clean the surface where you have to apply them and then slowly adhere the adhesive part to the surface itself, spreading it well, but without pressing with your hands or with any tool.
Always check that the LED strip is completely adherent to the support surface. The support surface dissipates the heat. If some stretch of the strip does not lose heat, it risks significantly reducing the life of the LEDs.
A valid support for correctly mounting the LED strips is the use of the aluminum profile: the aluminum LED bars, in fact, prove to be particularly useful for protecting the strip from dust or external agents but also from possible impacts and allow correct dispersion of the heat, preserving the functionality of the strip over time and increasing its duration.
Another advantage of the aluminum profile on which to mount the LED strips is that it is suitable for establishing the right point where to apply them, both inside and outside the home.
- Read Also Make Homemade LED Lights
How to Connect Adhesive LED Strips?
LED strips are generally powered by 12 or 24 volts, depending on the model chosen, and when connecting them it is important to pay attention to the polarity of the current marked on the LED strip. Since LEDs are diodes, current flows only in one direction, so you have to pay attention to the negative cable and the positive cable.
In order not to compromise its efficiency and duration, it is therefore necessary to use the right transformer. Which transformer for LED strips is needed for correct operation? Since the LED strips work with direct current and low voltage, they need power supplies of adequate power. Therefore, you need to calculate the right absorption and find the right power supply to avoid making mistakes.
Instead, to connect the LED strips to the general system, a switch must be added, which must be joined to the pre-existing one via a bridge with a blue cable. The other brown wire must also be connected to the switch in order to be able to switch it on and off.
How to Solder LED Strips?
After cutting the LED strip to the desired size and along one of the lines marked on the strip itself, it is necessary to solder the cables in order to connect it to the power supply.
Here’s how to proceed: remove the protective silicone part with scissors, freeing the contacts; with the heat of the soldering iron, melt the tin on the final contacts and on the final part of the cables to restore the contacts on the strip, connect the cables and apply insulating adhesive tape.
Mistakes to avoid when installing a led strip
Everything is ready to get to work! Before leaving, it is better to know what absolutely must not be done when installing a LED strip .
1) Never cut the LED strip outside the points indicated by the manufacturer.
2) Never place the led strip with a curvature of less than 1 degree or, even worse, at a right angle.
3) When you are fixing your led strip, remember to NEVER press the leds, neither with your hands nor with any tool.
4) Do not glue the led strip with glue (acrylic but not only). The substances inside the glue could come into contact with the LED causing its rapid degradation.
5) Always check that the LED strip is completely adherent to the supporting surface. The support surface dissipates the heat, if some stretch of the strip does not lose heat it risks significantly reducing the life of the LEDs.
I hope you like this post and it will help to choose the right strip and use it while avoiding common installation mistakes.