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How to Install LED Strip Lights

By By Rayn Iversen on 06/17/ on 06/20/2019


How to Install LED Strip Lights

Strip lights are a very popular form of LED lights that can be used in a lot of places. They can add beautiful white light for ambience or task lighting as well as RGB color changing for special events or when you want to add a little color. They seem simple enough to set up, but when you get down to them, they are somethings that need to be done carefully. So in this article, we will be going over the basics of how to install strip lights.

The first thing to do that I will always recommend is that before starting any project, you have to plan. A reel of LED strip lights is 16.4ft long, but will that be enough for your project? Are the strip lights that you’ve chosen powered by either 12V or 24V DC power? Do you use RGB strip lights or single color ones? These are all questions that will be answered when you plan out your project. Paying attention to what voltage they’re powered by when purchasing strip lights will help you find the right power supply. Decisions like choosing RGB or single color strip lights are more based on personal preference, where you’ll be installing the strip lights and what they’re being used for.

Now let’s talk about the real meat of this article, installing your strip lights. All strip lights come with an adhesive backing that lets them stick in place. Just pull off the covering and then press them to the surface that you want them to stick to. If you don’t feel like only letting the adhesive hold your strip lights in place, then you can use mounting brackets or aluminum channels. TORCHSTAR offers both of these accessories and they can be really helpful to some installations. Screw mounting brackets into the surface you want to place your strip lights and hold them in place. Aluminum channels not only hold the strip lights, but the plastic that comes with them acts as a diffuser for a better lighting effect.

If you are installing strip lights, then you might encounter situations like these. You have enough length of strip light for your project, but there is a gap between the spaces you want to install. Or you have multiple lengths of strip lights that need to be wired together. How do you do these? We’ll first go over how to wire a length of strip light over a gap. If you have purchased a reel of strip lights, then you may have noticed that on them is a little dotted line mark every few inches. This tells you that you can cut the strip there. You can cut the strip with a simple pair of scissors, just make sure that they’re sharp. Now after cutting and placing the strips, you can now wire them together. You can accomplish this by soldering the appropriate extension cable wire to the strips. Luckily, extension cable for both single color and RGB is offered by TORCHSTAR.

But if you’re are uncomfortable with soldering, then you can just use strip light quick connectors. TORCHSTAR’s quick connectors snap right on to the end of the strips and some come with wires attached to them. Connecting multiple lengths of strip lights together is done the same way. But something to keep in mind is that if you connect too many strip lights in a series, then voltage drop can occur, making your strip lights dim or the wrong color if they are RGB. This can be avoided by wiring the strip lights in parallel. In a parallel circuit, each strip will receive power directly from the source. This makes sure that the lights are both bright and the right color.

So the strip lights are secured in place and wired together correctly. What do you do next? The next step for you to do is to connect them to a power source. Since your strip lights work on either 12V or 24V low voltage power, it’s not a good idea to wire them to your standard household circuit. Doing this will just lead to your strip lights’ LED chips exploding, which ruins your lights. Luckily for you, TORCHSTAR’s strip lights usually come with power adapters that plug in line with the strips or can be purchased separately. If you ever had a laptop or even an old school phone, then using these power adapters will be super easy for you as they just plug in. There are also DC power converters that let you wire multiple strip lights to them.

These power converters from TORCHSTAR are designed with only positive and negative wire taps, so you can only use single color LED strip lights with them. But these converters have taps for AC line, Neutral and Ground wires, otherwise known as the black, white and green/bare copper house wires. This way you can wire them to your household power circuit and save yourself from using some needed outlets. TORCHSTAR also offers power splitter cables that let multiple strip lights be powered by a single plug-in AC power adapter.

If you are wondering how you would control these strip lights then, you don’t need to worry, we are going over that right now. You can get on/off and dimmer switches that can go in line with the strip lights. They can be wired or plugged in between the power source and the strips to let you control your lights. There is also a motion sensor from TORCHSTAR that can be wired to the strip lights so they turn on when motion is detected. If you want something a little more high-tech, then you need something that works with your smart devices. TORCHSTAR’s WiFi compatible multi-zone RGBW controllers and smart plugs let you control by using your phone or tablet. The smart plug can be used with the power adapter while the WiFi controller is placed in line between the power adapter and strip lights. There are also strip lights designed to be installed outdoors. These strip lights have a protective silicone covering that keeps the LED chips and circuitry safe from water.

Strip lights are a fantastic form of LED lights. Their design makes their uses flexible, so they can fit many projects to add a little something extra. With this how-to, you have hopefully learned the basics on how to install them and have gotten some ideas for future projects as well. TORCHSTAR will always be willing to fulfill your LED lighting needs.

Product reference:

16.4ft 3528 SMD LED Light Strip


16.4ft 5050 SMD LED Light Strip


32.8ft RGB Extension Cord Kit


4 Zone RGBW LED Controller